How to get from Tirana airport to Saranda?
Tirana Airport is quite far from Saranda. So how do you get from Tirana airport to Saranda? In this blog post, I will go through the best ways to get from Tirana airport to Saranda by bus, by car and by taxi.
How to get from Tirana airport to Saranda? You can get from Tirana airport to Saranda by bus, by taxi or by rental car. There is no direct bus. So you either take a taxi to the Regional Bus Terminal (13 euros), then a bus to Saranda (12 euros). Or a bus from Tirana airport to Vlore and then transfer to Saranda. A taxi costs 165 euros. A rental costs 20-25 euros per day + 66 euros for petrol.
Saranda is the most popular beach city in Albania. However, it is all the way in the South of Albania, so not at all close to Tirana International Airport. It will always take you 5-6 hours to travel from the airport to Saranda. Let me discuss the best manners of transportation, so that you can decide for yourself!
The best ways to get from Tirana airport to Saranda
Is there a direct bus from Tirana airport to Saranda?
There is no direct bus from Tirana airport to Saranda. So the only way you can go direct from Tirana airport to Saranda is by taxi or by car.
How to get from Tirana airport to Saranda by bus?
If you want to travel by bus from Tirana airport to Saranda, you have two options:
Option 1: Take the bus from the Regional Bus Terminal in Tirana to Saranda. First, you take a taxi from Tirana airport to the Regional Bus Terminal. Then, you take the bus from the Regional Bus Terminal to Saranda.
Option 2: Take the direct bus from Tirana airport to Vlore. Then, from Vlore take a bus to Saranda.
Which of the bus routes is the best choice for you, depends on the time you arrive at Tirana International Airport. There are 8 x daily busses from the Regional Bus Terminal to Saranda and 6 x daily busses from Tirana airport to Vlore. So you can try to match the best bus with your arrival time at the airport.
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How to get from Tirana airport to the Regional Bus Terminal in Tirana?
To get on the bus from Tirana to Saranda, you must travel from the airport to the Regional Bus Terminal.
The Regional Bus Terminal is officially called:
In Albanian Language: Terminali i Autobusave të Jugut dhe Veriut
In English Language: Regional Bus Terminal – North and South Albania
You can see the location of the Regional Bus Terminal by clicking on this link to Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/Jso228CjaScxrMGS6
To get from Tirana airport to the Regional Bus Terminal, you can take a taxi. The taxi will cost you 13 euros. It will take 15-20 minutes to get from the airport to the Regional Bus Terminal.
When does the bus from Tirana to Saranda depart and how much does it cost?
From the Regional Bus Terminal, you can take the bus to Saranda.
The bus from Tirana to Saranda departs at 5:30 AM, 6:15 AM, 7:30 AM, 8:30 AM, 9:45 AM, 12:30 PM, 16:00 PM and 22:00 PM. You can always double-check the bus timetable on the website of Gjirafa Autobus here: https://gjirafa.com/autobus
A bus trip from Tirana to Saranda takes around 5 hours, of course, depending on the amount of traffic on the road.
A bus ticket from Tirana to Saranda costs 12 euros. You can pay your bus ticket by cash in euros to the driver.
You cannot pay by credit card or debit card, so be sure to bring cash with you. If you do not have euros, the driver will probably accept cash Albanian Leke or USD or GBP.
You do not need to reserve a bus ticket online. In Albania, the people simply show up at the bus station and pay the driver in cash. That is the way bus travel works in Albania.
How to get from Tirana airport to Saranda, by bus via Vlore?
Because there is no direct bus from Tirana airport to Saranda, you could take the bus from Tirana airport to Vlore and then another bus from Vlore to Saranda.
There is a direct bus from Tirana airport to Vlore. The bus departs 6 x times per day. The bus from Tirana airport to Vlore departs at 10:00 AM, 11:30 AM, 13:30 PM, 14:30 PM, 16:30 PM and 22:00 PM. A bus ticket from Tirana airport to Vlore costs 1000 Leke (8.25 euros). The bus journey from Tirana to Vlore takes around 2 hours.
Then, you can take the bus from Vlore to Saranda. The bus from Vlore to Saranda departs at 5:00 AM, 5:45 AM, 6:30 AM, 6:45 AM, 7:00 AM, 7:45 AM, 8:00 AM, 8:30 AM, 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 11:30 AM, 14:30 PM and 16:00 PM. It will take you 2 hours and 45 minutes to travel from Vlore to Saranda by bus. You can always double-check the bus timetable on the website of Gjirafa Autobus: https://gjirafa.com/autobus
There are 4 x advantages to taking the bus from Tirana airport to Vlore. Firstly, there is a direct bus from the airport to Vlore. Secondly, if you are tired, you could decide to spend your first night in Vlore, because Vlore is a beautiful city!
Thirdly, you split the journey from Tirana airport to Saranda into two parts. Maybe you will have time for some lunch or a snack in Vlore, it is your holiday after all! And finally, the route from Vlore to Saranda is more beautiful, because you will drive along the coastline with all the beautiful beaches. Whereas the direct bus from Tirana to Saranda will drive via the less beautiful inland road.
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How much does a taxi from Tirana airport to Saranda cost?
A taxi from Tirana airport to Saranda costs 165 euros with the official Tirana airport taxi service.
Tirana airport has official yellow taxis with the airport logo. These taxis operate with a set pricing list, so you won’t be surprised by the prices. You can see the price list of the licenced Tirana airport taxis here: https://tiataxi.al/travel/
For your reference, I have asked taxi companies in Tirana, what they would charge for a taxi journey from Tirana to Saranda.
⦁ Merr Taxi charges 191 euros for a taxi from Tirana to Saranda
⦁ UPs taxi charges 21502 Leke (177 euros) for a taxi from Tirana to Saranda
⦁ Speedtaxi charges 16000 Leke or 134 euros for a taxi from Tirana to Saranda
⦁ City Taxi charges 16000 Leke (134 euros) for a taxi from Tirana to Saranda
⦁ Euro Taxi charges 130 euros for a taxi from Tirana to Saranda
As you can see Euro Taxi, Speedtaxi and City Taxi are all cheaper than the official Tirana airport taxi service. Plus, the city centre of Tirana is actually a bit further from Saranda than the airport. So booking a taxi before you travel and having it wait at the airport for you, does save you around 30 euros.
The taxi journey from Tirana to Saranda takes 5 hours.
How much does a car rental from Tirana airport to Saranda cost?
A car rental from Tirana airport to Saranda will cost you 20-25 euros per day + 8000 Lek for petrol (66 euros) for a one-way trip.
I have recently written a blog post about renting a car in Albania. I did reach out to many different car rental companies and asked for quotations. By reading the blog post about the most affordable car rental companies, you can safe a lot of money and time, check it out here: https://albaniatourguide.com/how-much-does-it-cost-to-rent-a-car-in-albania/
The quality of the road from Tirana airport to Saranda is good.
You can decide to drive from Tirana airport to Saranda via the inland road. The inland road is via Tepelene and Gjirokaster. The inland road is quicker about 5 hours.
Alternatively, you can drive to Vlore and drive to Saranda via the coastal road. The coastal road is a bit longer, maybe 6 hours, but very beautiful! From the coastal road, you can see all the little beaches of the Albanian Riviera, you don’t want to miss out!
And finally, driving in Albania as a foreigner can be daunting and challenging. Unfortunately, Albanian drivers have a chaotic driving style. Although there are rules on the road, Albanian drivers often do not follow the rules. So you must be an experienced and confident driver to drive in Albania. Don’t be surprised if you are overtaken on both sides simultaneously in Albania!
Of course, you are the only one who can judge your driving ability and confidence behind the wheel. I just want to make sure you know what you are in for as a foreigner driving in Albania.
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Is there a train from Tirana airport to Saranda?
Tirana airport is not connected to any rail network, so you cannot travel from Tirana airport to Saranda by train.
Albania does have an old rail network, which was built during the communist period. However, after the fall of communism in 1992, the rail network has not been maintained, refurbished or renovated. This means the limited number of trains in Albania, that are currently operating, are not an effective manner of transportation.
Therefore, Albanian people prefer to get from A to B by car or with a Furgon minibus.
How to get to Saranda by flight?
Although it has been announced by the Albanian government in 2021, that a new airport will be constructed in Saranda. This airport is not finished or operational yet.
As a result, you have two options to fly to Saranda:
Option 1: Fly to Tirana airport in Albania and take a car, bus or taxi to Saranda (5-6 hours)
Option 2: Fly to the Greek Corfu island in front of the Albanian coastline and take the Corfu-Saranda ferry to Saranda
If you decide to fly to Corfu island and travel onwards to Albania, you must take these steps:
Step 1: Book a flight from your country to Corfu island
Step 2: Take a taxi or bus from Corfu airport to the Ferry port of Corfu
Step 3: Take a ferry from Corfu Port to Saranda Port
From Corfu airport, you can take bus line no. 15, which connects the Corfu airport with the Port of Corfu. Bus no. 15 takes you from Corfu airport to the Intercity Bus Station of Corfu, through the city centre and San Rocco Square to the Port of Corfu. The bus stops twice at the Port of Corfu, first at the ferry boat ticket offices and then at the Port Authority of Corfu.
The ferry boat from Corfu to Saranda only takes 35 minutes. The two companies operating the Corfu-Saranda ferry are Ionian Seaways and Finikas Lines. A ferry ticket costs between 19 euros and 23 euros depending on the season. Ferry timetables do vary significantly by season. In the winter there are as few as 2 boats a day. And in the high season, there are between 6-10 boats a day.
Bear in mind that there is a 1-hour time difference between Corfu and Saranda, which is important to note when you need to book the ferry boat in order to catch your flight back home!
How far is Tirana airport from Saranda?
Tirana airport is 275 kilometres from Saranda. There are two routes to drive from Tirana airport to Saranda. The inland route via Tepelene and Gjirokaster is quicker. The coastal route via Vlore and Himare is longer but very beautiful and enjoyable.
How long does it take to travel from Tirana airport to Saranda?
It takes 5 hours to travel from Tirana airport to Saranda, if you travel via the inland road.
However, if you take the coastal road via Vlore and Himare, then your journey will be longer. Because the coastal road, turns and twists by the coastline. This road is also very steep and hilly, so you cannot drive at a high speed.
It is definitely worth travelling via the coastal route from Vlore to Saranda. Because the route offers stunning views of all the little beaches below! Driving this route really feels like a holiday in itself!
How do I get from Tirana’s city centre to Saranda?
You can get from Tirana’s city centre to Saranda by bus, by taxi or in a rental car.
The bus from Tirana to Saranda departs from the Regional Bus Terminal. Therefore, if you are staying in Tirana’s city centre, you must take a taxi or a local bus to the Regional Bus Terminal. The bus terminal is 20 minutes by car from the city centre, so not within walking distance.
The city bus from Tirana’s city centre to the Regional Bus Terminal departs close to Skanderbeg Square. Skanderbeg Square is the central square in the city centre of Tirana. If you are standing on Skanderbeg Square, you need to walk to the back of the National History Museum, to the Dede Gjo Luli Street (In Albanian: Rruga Dede Gjo Luli).
From the bus station on Dede Gjo Luli Street (In Albanian: Rruga Dede Gjo Luli), you must take the bus to Instituti Bujqesor. The bus to Instituti Bujqesor makes a stop at the Regional Bus Terminal North and South Albania. A bus ticket will cost you less than 1 euro, so take some Albanian Leke coins with you.
A taxi ride from the city centre of Tirana to the Regional Bus Terminal costs around 5 euros. By taxi, it will take you approximately 20 minutes to get to the Regional Bus Terminal. But I do recommend that you leave on time! Because traffic in the city centre of Tirana can be heavy and it may slow you down significantly.
You can find the information about the bus from the Regional Bus Terminal to Saranda above.
Where is the Saranda bus station?
The bus station in Saranda is in the Rruga Onhezmi, next to the Friendship Park in Saranda. You can see the location of the bus station in Saranda here: https://goo.gl/maps/wN6kxsdFVR427yu37
How much is a taxi from Tirana airport to city centre? A taxi from Tirana airport to the city centre costs 20-25 euros with the official airport taxis, 18 euros with Merr Taxi, 15 euros with UPs taxi, 10 euros with Speedtaxi, 10 euros with City Taxi and 15 euros with Euro Taxi.
Where is the Albanian Riviera? The Albanian Riviera is a 120 kilometre long stretch of coastline in the South of Albania. The Albanian Riviera starts in Vlore city and ends at the Greek Border, near Saranda and Ksamil beach.
Where is Albania on the map? Albania is a country in the Balkans located between Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Greece. Albania is located to the North of Greece. Albania is located to the East of Italy. Albania has a coastline on the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea.
I am an Albania Tour Guide, who organizes 1-day, 2-day or multiple day private tours in Albania. I arrange your transportation and I am your English speaking guide. So that, you get to experience the most beautiful places in Albania!
Kind regards, Manon
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