What to see in Saranda, itinerary including the main monuments and places of interest, including the Synagogue, the 40 Saints Monastery, Lekuresi Castle and Ethnographic Museum.
Renowned seaside resort, Saranda overlooks a bay along the southern coast of Albania.
It is nicknamed the "white city", a definition due to the color of its beaches and buildings bordering the gulf, in stark contrast to the blue of the sea.
Thanks to the beautiful promenade and the magnificent beach, the town has become a popular tourist destination since the early 21st century.
The best time to spend a holiday in Saranda is between May and October, trying to avoid the month of August as it is particularly crowded.
In the center there are the archaeological remains of a synagogue, which testify to the presence, in the fifth century AD, of a large Jewish community.
In the following century the Synagogue was transformed into a Basilica, and then ended up almost entirely destroyed by an earthquake and Slavic invasions.
Archaeological excavations have brought to light the interesting mosaic floor depicting the most ancient Jewish symbols, consisting of the seven-branched candelabrum, the ram's horn and cedars.
On a hill four kilometers from the center are the remains of the Monastery of the 40 Saints, erected in the fourth century in memory of the 40 martyrs killed in Sebaste in Armenia, as they had refused to deny their Christian faith to convert to the Islamic religion.
In the past, Lekuresi Castle was an important Ottoman outpost, built with the aim of controlling the bay of Saranda, today it houses an outdoor restaurant and bar, also offers a magnificent view of the port of Saranda.
This manor was built in 1537 by Suleiman the Magnificent, the sultan who led the Ottoman Empire to maximum expansion.Recommended readings
- Tirana (Albania): what to see in the capital
- Saranda (Albania): what to see in the white city
- Durres (Albania): what to see
- Butrint (Albania): what to see in the archaeological park
- Albania: useful information
The grand building, with a square plan and equipped with two perfectly preserved round towers, includes a set of walkways and terraces, one of which is occupied by the restaurant, where you can taste typical local dishes.
The Ethnographic Museum houses a series of particular objects and clothes used by the inhabitants.
The Archaeological Park of Butrint is 4 km away from Saranda, which includes the second largest Byzantine basilica in the world, after the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.