Photos from Albania

OzOutback
Images of the World
Flag of Albania

Saranda, southern city on the Ionian Sea

Saranda (or Sarandë in a sentence with a preposition like “to”, “in” or “from Saranda”) is a lovely town on the Ionian sea, with the Greek island of Corfu only 12.5 kilometres away on the horizon. It has a population of about 32,000 inhabitants and has become an important tourist destination with an attractive beach along its open bay. There are a few sights in the town itself, like the ruins of a 5th Century synagogue complex, but its main attraction is its location and climate.

View to Saranda
 
Small boat harbour
 
Saranda beach
 
Saranda Promenade
 
Promenade and beach
 
Beach life
 
Old city wall
 
The beach
 
The boulevard
 
Promenade and beach
 
Orthodox church
 
5th-century synagogue
 
Fortress of Onhezmus
 
Mosaic floor images
 
Swimming in the bay
 
Fishing in the bay
 
Saranda bay
 
Children on the beach
 
Ferry terminal
 
Saranda Express ferry
 
Leaving by ferry
 
Resorts from ferry
 
Tourist resort
 
Seafront at dusk
 

The town’s name derives from the Greek Άγιοι Σαράντα (Agioi Saranda), the name of a Byzantine monastery meaning “Forty Saints”. In the early 20th Century, it was also known by its Italian translation “Santi Quaranta”. When the Albanian state received its independence in 1912, Saranda became part of it the following year. But shortly afterward, on 28 February 1914, it was occupied by insurgents of the “Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus”, a short-lived, self-governing state founded by Greeks living in southern Albania in the aftermath of the Balkan Wars. In 1916 the town was occupied by Italians, who then, on 23 June 1917, established an Italian Protectorate over Albania that lasted until the summer of 1920. In 1939 Saranda was again occupied by the Italians and briefly called “Porto Edda” in honour of Fascist leader Benito Mussolini’s eldest daughter. Italy annexed Albania, and the town once more was called by its Italian name “Santi Quaranta”, Forty Saints. But in late 1940 the Greek army, during the short Greco-Italian war, occupied a large area of southern Albania and the city remained under Greek rule until the German invasion of Greece. After the war, it reverted to the Albanian government and was called Saranda once more. There is still a significant Greek minority living in the city.