I write this from my penthouse apartment in Saranda, Albania. Yesterday was a day of adjustment to the Albanian way of life. I have just returned to my apartment after an interesting cab ride trying to catch the sunset at Lekursi Castle. A huge upgrade in living arrangements has taken place over the last 24 hours and I now live with a view of the sea in my temporary new Saranda –>airbnb apartment for the next week. This was much-needed after a sleepless bus ride a couple of nights ago.

When you travel you have 3 choices for accommodation as far as I’m concerned. Fist choice is Hostels, second hotel, and third airbnb. You will have to look hard to find me in a hostel, hotels are great for a couple of nights, but if your staying a few days or longer airbnb is the only way to go. This particular find is no exception.

Saranda AlbaniaDoing regular Albania people stuff

Lekursi Castle is visible from our balcony and sits high atop a hill in the distance to the left. When you look straight ahead and to the right it’s nothing but sun and sea. All this for $32 a night split 2 ways.

When in a place such as this, it’s good to make yourself at home. We set out this morning to do some regular Albanian people stuff. We went to get Albanian sim cards, checked out the Albanian supermarket, then stopped by the local Albanian vegetable market to haggle over the price of green peppers and garlic.

When travelling long-term it’s good to just chill out sometimes, and who knew Albania of all places would have such a hidden gem like Saranda. After good food and chilling out it was time to head up to Lekursi Castle. Usually I would opt for walking but we thought we were in a hurry so we hopped in a cab. We took the cab up the hill and when we arrived the cab driver boldly stated “Lekursi Castle closed”.Lekursi CastleLekursi Castle

So turns out Lekursi Castle is closed at night time in November…

Lekursi Castle is a pretty sweet looking old pad with a restaurant attached,and an insane view. But since it was closed, and the fact that it is November and there isn’t a single tourist here, Lekursi Castle was a ghost town. However, weather wise, for November it’s surprisingly pleasant. Shorts and t-shirt in the day and not a cloud in the sky. This is a big change considering 4 days ago when I was checking out monateries in Meteora and hiking to hermit houses , it was closer to the freezing point. As we stood there, in our shorts and t-shirts, it didn’t take long to agree there was no sense sticking around at this point; so we asked our cab driver, who was waiting for us, to get a move on back to the apartment. I do plan to get back up to Lekursi Castle over the next week as it was quite spectacular.

Lekursi Castle

Theres not much going on here in Saranda at night; mainly groups of Albanian men just walking around. Not the night vibe I’m usually after. This apartment is awesome, so it’s best just to stay in. This city looks quite fantastic from the balcony at night.

On a side note: While surfing the interweb today I found out that putting this airbnb link in my blog, anytime someone clicks on it to sign up a new account they will get a $25 credit for airbbnd I will get $25 when the make a first booking. Talk about win-win.

Sarand Albania


6 Responses

  1. Vanessa

    Looks like a nice place. Im sure you’ve been at the Castle this time. I wonder what the insides of it looks like.

  2. Eliona

    Saranda (and Lekuresi Castle) are best visited at summertime. The nights only linger in Saranda town and roads are packed with people of all ages taking strolls along the promenade. That is usually until midnight when the babies head home to sleep and the older babies head to the clubs/discos. Plenty to see and do at summertime (including swimming at some of the most amazing little beaches nearby – that’s for daytime entertainment), but come fall/winter I’m afraid Saranda is a ghost town in itself. Partly guilty for leaving my hometown right after high school, but my heart is always there!

    • Alex

      Hi Eliona,

      I had the same impression. I am hoping to get back there this summer to see what it is all about! Thanks for reading!

  3. Paul

    Hey Alex!

    Thanks for the nice post on the Lekursi castle, it seems there is hardly any information on the internet about it even though it’s probably one of the most visited ‘attractions’ in Saranda!

    I myself have just finished putting together an article on it (http://www.sarandaweb.com/food-dining/lekursi-castle-lekuresi/), it’s got some helpful infromation in it that some of your visitors might find of interest.

    Anyhow, keep up the good work and happy travels!

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