# Canoe sailing expedition in Albanian Riviera (June 2013)
The aim of the expedition was to sail from the Adriatic to the Ionian sea and explore the western side of the Karaburun peninsula. Main attractions include but are not limited to: exploring hidden beaches in Karaburun, visiting the sea cave of pirate Haxhi Aliu, docking in ancient port in the Grama Bay, doing “life is a beach” in Dhermi and sailing the canoe in the Adriatic and Ionian sea of course… Trip itinerary:
DAY1: we start the expedition by sailing from the Old Beach in Vlore but due to unfavorable wind conditions we have to paddle for most of the day across the Bay of Vlore to reach the tip of the Karaburun peninsula ~ 12km covered.
DAY2: because of upwind conditions we are forced to paddle around 3km from our night camp on a beautiful beach to the cave of pirate Haxhi Aliu. After exploring the cave, which by the way was a marvelous experience, we sail around the tip of the peninsula. We cross from the Adriatic into the Ionian sea and sail downwind in a moderate breeze along the western shore of Karaburun. After a few hours of easy sailing, we are encountering strong wind from the the land which pushes us away from the peninsula. Luckily, we manage to close reach to a small beach haven and camp through the night ~ 30km covered in total.
DAY3: we continue to sail downwind in a gentle breeze towards Dhermi. We visit Grama Bay – the place is known to be a natural harbor that was used as a port by Ceasar’s legions during civil war in I century BC. For the rest of the day we sail slowly towards Dhermi ~23 km covered. We finish the day in a local restaurant with a well deserved meal.
DAY4: relaxing day on Dhermi beach, return (by a car) to Orikum.
# Orikum (December 2012)
Orikum is a picturesque little town situated at the end of Vlore bay on the Adriatic coast of the Albanian Riviera, and it is surrounded from three directions by rugged and scenic mountains. Apart from beautiful beaches of the Adriatic coast, by crossing Karaburun peninsula from Orikum you can access more secluded beaches of the Ionian sea. With a number of hotels, private villas and apartments to stay in, Orikum is a convenient place to holiday and explore the rest of the Albanian Riviera. Some of the key attractions are featured in this slideshow.
# Driving through Llogara Pass (October 2012)
One of the best scenic drives in Albania – when you drive along the coastal road from Orikum to Dhermi you will pass through the famous Llogara Pass, a spectacular winding road, rising up to 1,027m and literally overlooking the whole Ionian coast of the Albanian Riviera.
This is the same road where one of the best ever car chases was recorded for Top Gear episode (apparently James May might have killed himself trying to escape Albanian police):
# Introduction to Albanian Riviera (April 2011)
This is an introduction video to Albanian Riviera – one of the last unspoilt and underdeveloped rivieras in Europe, the place where natural beauty of the landscape still prevails over commercial turism and industrialisation. There are probably many beautiful places in the whole of Albania, but only in the Albanian Riviera you can enjoy the symbiosis of the Ionian sea and wild mountain ranges co-existing together, which makes this place so beautiful and memorable. If you plan coming to Albania, or planning your next holidays in Albania, you should definitely consider visiting Albanian Riviera.
External sites you may also find useful (random links):
Albanian Riviera named a top tourist destination in 2012
Tirana International Airport
Dhermi - Wikitravel page
Accomodation in Albanian Riviera
Albanian Riviera on Wikitravel