How to get from Tirana to Ksamil?
When I was recently planning to get from Tirana to Ksamil, I realized it is not that easy to find information online about transportation. So, I decided to write a helpful blogpost about how to get from Tirana to Ksamil.
How to get from Tirana to Ksamil? You can get from Tirana to Ksamil by bus, by taxi or with a rental car. Since there is no direct bus line, you must take the bus from Tirana to Saranda, which takes 5 hours and costs 1300 LEK (10 euros). And then transfer in Saranda on a bus to Ksamil, which takes 10 minutes and costs 100 LEK (0.80 euro). A taxi from Tirana to Ksamil costs 175 euros.
Ksamil beach is the most beautiful beach in Albania, however, it is not easy to get to Ksamil from Tirana. Taxi’s are expensive. And regardless of how you travel, the journey will take you several hours.
Although, there are some TripAdvisor forums about travelling from Tirana to Ksamil. It is still quite hard for foreigners to find the bus station, bus timetable and correct pricing. Moreover, the bus station in Tirana has recently moved, so make sure you scroll down for the new bus station location!
How to get from Tirana to Ksamil by bus, by taxi or with a rental car
How to get from Tirana to Ksamil by bus?
It is possible to get from Tirana to Ksamil by bus, however, there is no direct bus line. Since there is no direct bus line, you must first take the bus from Tirana to Sarande. And then, when you arrive in Sarande, you must transfer onto a bus to Ksamil.
The most time consuming part of the journey is taking the bus from Tirana to Saranda, which takes roughly 5 hours. If you do not want to transfer busses in Saranda, you can simply take a short 10 minute taxi ride from Saranda to Ksamil to reach your destination.
Getting to the Intercity Bus Terminal in Tirana
To start your journey from Tirana to Ksamil, you must get to the Intercity Bus Terminal in Tirana. There are no direct busses to Saranda or Ksamil from Tirana’s city center. Moreover, there are no direct busses to Saranda or Ksamil from Tirana International Airport. So, if you want to get on the bus from Tirana to Saranda, you must travel to the Intercity Bus Terminal in Tirana.
The bus from Tirana to Saranda departs from the “Intercity Bus Terminal – South Zone”. This is the name and the address of the Intercity Bus Terminal – South Zone:
Terminali i Autobusave Nderqytetas Zona Jug,
Veri dhe Durres, Kthesa e Kamzës, Rruga Kastriotet, Kashar, Shqiperi, Tiranë
I recommend that you copy the above address in Google Maps, so that you can see the location. The Intercity Bus Terminal is not located in the city center of Tirana. Basically, the bus terminal is in the outskirts of Tirana, close to the highway between Tirana and Durres.
From the city center of Tirana, it will take you approximately 10-15 minutes to travel to the Intercity Bus Terminal by taxi or with a city bus. You can take a short taxi ride. Or you can take a bus from Tirana’s city center in the direction of “Instituti”. The bus to Instituti departs behind the National History Museum from the Dede Gjo Luli Street (In Albanian: Rruga Dede Gjo Luli). The bus to Instituti will stop at the Intercity Bus Terminal – South Zone.
If you are travelling from Tirana airport, your best option is to take a taxi to the Intercity Bus Terminal. It will take approximately 25 minutes by taxi.
Attention! The location of the Intercity Bus Terminal has recently changed. If you read any information online about travelling to Shiponje or the Dogana roundabout. Please disregard this information! Because the Intercity Bus Terminal is no longer located near the Dogana roundabout. Instead, please travel to new address above to get to the Intercity Bus Terminal.
Taking a bus from Tirana to Saranda
From the Intercity Bus Terminal in Tirana, you can take a bus to Sarande. The bus journey from Tirana to Saranda takes 5 hours. And a bus ticket from Tirana to Saranda will cost you 1300 LEK (approximately 10 euros).
The busses from Tirana to Saranda depart daily between 5:30 AM and 22:00 PM. There are bus departures from Tirana to Sarana at 5:30 AM, 6:15 AM, 7:30 AM, 8:30 AM, 9:45 AM, 12:30 PM, 16:00 PM, 21:00 PM and 22:00 PM.
Of course, before you travel to the Intercity Bus Terminal in Tirana, it is best to check the up-to-date bus timetable online. You can find the bus timetable from Tirana to Saranda on the website of Gjirafa Autobus (Bus timetables in Albania on Gjirafa autobus website).
There is no need to buy a bus ticket online. Moreover, you cannot pay with a credit or debit card. Albanian people pay their bus ticket in cash to the driver of the bus. So make sure to bring some Albanian Lek in cash to the bus station.
How to get from Saranda to Ksamil?
Once you arrive by bus in Saranda, you can transfer onto a bus or taxi to get to Ksamil.
To get from Saranda to Ksamil by bus, you must take the bus in the direction of Butrint. The bus to Butrint departs in Saranda’s city center from The Nene Theresa Square (In English: Mother Theresa Square).
The bus from Saranda to Ksamil & Butrint costs 100 LEK (approximately 0.80 euro). And it will take you about 10-15 minutes to get to Ksamil by bus. Just let the bus driver know, that you would like to get off the bus in Ksamil.
The bus from Saranda to Ksamil & Butrint departs roughly every 30-60 minutes between 6:30 AM and 17:10 PM.
There are bus departures at 6:30 AM, 7:00 AM, 8:00 AM, 8:30 AM, 9:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 11:20 AM, 11:45 AM, 12:30PM, 13:00 PM, 13:30 PM, 14:30 PM, 15:30 PM, 16:30 PM and 17:10 PM.
By taxi, it takes roughly 10 minutes to travel from Saranda to Ksamil. And a one-way journey by taxi costs approximately 10 euros.
How to get from Tirana to Ksamil by taxi?
A taxi from Tirana to Ksamil costs 175 euros. This price indication is based on the price list from the official Tirana airport taxi service.
The official Tirana airport taxi’s are yellow coloured, they are stationed outside the Tirana airport terminal and they are operated by Taxi Tirana Airport – Auto Holiday Albania.
Obviously, a taxi trip from Tirana to Ksamil is pricey. Because a taxi trip costs 175 euros, compared to 10-11 euros that you spend if you travel with the local busses. At the same time, taking a taxi is much more convenient and it saves you all the hussle of getting to the bus station and transferring busses.
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Can I take an Uber from Tirana to Ksamil?
You cannot take an Uber from Tirana to Ksamil, because Uber did not launch in Albania. Although, there was some news in 2015, that Uber would come to Albania, but they have not launched yet.
However, you can download several taxi apps, which work in Albania. These three apps are a good alternative to using Uber in Albania.
1) UPs Taxi app
UPs taxi does not own the taxis, but instead it connects the customer with the taxi drivers in the nearby area. The app is available in English.
You can download the UPs taxi app from the Play Store here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.upstaxi.taxi.rider
You can download the UPs taxi app from the Apple store here:
2) Speed Taxi app
Speed Taxi is a licensed taxi company in Albania. So if you request a taxi via their app, you will be picked up by one of the branded Speed taxi cars with a driver.
You can download the Speed taxi app from the Play store here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=al.speedtaxi.app&hl=en
You can download the Speedtaxi app from the Apple store here:
3) Taxi.al app
The Taxi.al app is similar to Uber, since private taxis and drivers register on their website. And if you request a taxi, your request will be passed to a driver nearby. In most cases, you will settle the bill in cash with the driver.
You can download the Taxi.al app from the Play store here:
You can download the Taxi.al app from the Apple store here:
How to get from Tirana to Ksamil with a rental car?
You can easily get from Tirana to Ksamil with a rental car. If you plan on flying to Tirana International Airport, you can rent a car in the airport terminal building. Here is a list of car rental companies and their email addresses:
-Hertz (www.hertzalbania.com or email@example.com)
-Sixt Rent a Car (www.sixt.com or firstname.lastname@example.org)
-Enterprise rent-a-car (www.albaniacarrentals.com or email@example.com)
-Eurocar rentals (www.europcar.com.al or firstname.lastname@example.org)
-Albania Airport Rent a Car (www.albaniarentalcars.com or email@example.com)
-ARA Auto Rental (www.ara.al or firstname.lastname@example.org)
-Green motion (www.greenmotion.com or email@example.com)
-Pepa Rent Car (peparentcar.al or firstname.lastname@example.org)
-RCA Rent a car in Albania (www.rca.al or email@example.com)
-Sicily by Car (www.sicilybycar.al or firstname.lastname@example.org
For an average car rental, you can expect to be charged roughly 20 euros per day by the car rental company. Obviously, high-end cars or 4-wheel drive cars are more expensive. However, you do not need to rent a 4-wheel drive car in order to drive to Ksamil beach.
How to drive from Tirana to Ksamil?
You can drive from Tirana to Ksamil via two possible routes, which are:
1. Coastal road to Ksamil
2. Inland road to Ksamil
The first option, is driving from Tirana to Ksamil via the coastal road. The coastal road leads along the beaches of the Albanian Riviera. The coastal road is a very beautiful and scenic route. You will enjoy many stunning views of the beaches of the Albanian Riviera, the Ionian Sea and beach villages.
At same time, it does take slightly longer to drive along the coastal road. It will probably take you 6-7 hours to drive from Tirana to Ksamil via the coastline.
The second option, is driving from Tirana to Ksamil via the inland route. The inland road is the faster route to get to Ksamil, as it takes approximately 5 hours to drive from Tirana to Ksamil. However, if you choose the inland road, you will miss the beautiful views of the Ioanian Sea.
If you choose to drive along the coastline, you will drive from Tirana via Durres, Kavaje and Fier to Vlore city. In Vlore city, you can get on the motorway along the coastline to Sarande. And from Saranda, you will drive slightly further south to Ksamil. The coastal route is absolutely stunning, you will have stunning views from the Llogara Pass and see many the gorgeous beaches of the Albanian Riviera.
If you choose for the quicker inland route, you will drive from Tirana via Durres and Kavaje to Fier. Then from Fier, you will take the motorway via Tepelene to Gjirokaster. And then from Gjirokaster, you can drive to Sarande. And then from Sarande to Ksamil.
Driving to Ksamil: Road conditions and Albanian Drivers
One of the most frequent asked questions I get about driving is, whether the road conditions are good or not in Albania. Basically, the roads between Tirana and Ksamil are in a good condition.
Regardless of whether you drive from Tirana to Ksamil via the coastline or the inland road. These roads all lead to popular touristic attractions and have recently been renewed or maintained by the Albanian government.
However, if you plan on renting a car in Albania, you must ask yourself if you are an experienced and confident driver. The traffic in Albanian cities can be chaotic and some Albanian drivers do not follow the rules of the road. Although, the Albanian police has been closely monitoring drivers in Albania, you must be cautious.
If you come to the conclusion, that you are not as confident to drive and you have some concerns about driving in a foreign country. I strongly urge you to book a tour in Albania or book a car with driver. I guarantee you that in Albania, you will meet some drivers, who break the rules. And if this makes you feel stressed and uneasy, then please do not rent a car.
Booking a tour from Tirana to Ksamil
Ksamil beach is without a doubt the most beautiful beach in Albania. However, if you plan on travelling from Tirana to Ksamil, it is worth booking a tour. Because there are many touristic highlights that are located between Tirana and Ksamil.
For instance, you can start by making a tour from Tirana to Berat. Berat is a UNESCO World Heritage city with beautiful historical houses. It is absolutely worth spending a day strolling through Berat city and exploring the hill-top castle.
On the next day of your tour, you can visit the Apollonia archeological park, which has impressive ruins from the ancient period. And then afterwards, you can travel to Vlore city to get to the Albanian Riviera.
On your third day of your tour, you can visit the Albanian Riviera. There is a coastal road, which connects Vlore city with Sarande city in the south. And along the route you can visit many gorgeous beaches, enjoy views from the Llogara Pass and visit sights like the Castle of Ali Pasha in the Bay of Porto Palermo. And after exploring the Albanian Riviera, you can reach Ksamil in the evening.
Moreover, even if you prefer staying in a hotel in Ksamil for your entire holiday. Then it is still worth booking a tour, because there are other touristic highlights surrounding Ksamil.
From Ksamil beach, you can travel to the Butrint archaeological park, which is a UNESCO heritage site. Moreover, you can also visit the Blue Eye of Albania, which is a gorgeous natural spring. And Gjirokaster city is a UNESCO heritage city with beautiful historical houses close to Ksamil.
How to get to Ksamil from Tirana airport?
The only direct way to get to Ksamil from Tirana airport is by taking a taxi. A taxi from Tirana airport to Ksamil will cost you 175 euros.
Unfortunately, there are no direct busses to Ksamil from Tirana airport. If you wish to travel by public transport, you can take a taxi to the Intercity Bus Terminal in Tirana (Address: Terminali i Autobusave Nderqytetas Zona Jug, Veri dhe Durres, Kthesa e Kamzës, Rruga Kastriotet, Kashar, Shqiperi, Tiranë). And then take a bus from the Intercity Bus Terminal in Tirana to Saranda. And then take a taxi from Saranda to Ksamil.
How far is Ksamil from Tirana?
Ksamil is roughly 300 kilometers from Tirana.
By taxi, it will take you 5 hours to get to Ksamil from Tirana.
By car, it will take you 5 hours if you drive via the inland road via Tepelene and Gjirokaster. However, if you prefer to drive by the coastline, it will take you 6-7 hours to drive from Tirana to Ksamil.
By bus, it will take you roughly 15 minutes to get to the Intercity Bus Terminal from Tirana’s city center. Then, it will take you 5 hours to travel by bus to Saranda. And then it will take you another 15 minutes to get on the bus from Sararanda to Ksamil. Let’s say it will take you 6-7 hours by public transport.
Can I get from Tirana to Ksamil by train?
You cannot get from Tirana to Ksamil by train, because there is no rail connection.
Actually, the reality is that the Albanian people do not travel by train. Because the trains are in a poor condition and in desperate need of refurbishment. Therefore, the Albanian people prefer to travel with a furgon mini-bus or by car.
The train network in Albania was constructed and intensively used during the communism regime in Albania between 1944 and 1991. However, when the communism ended, the Albanian people broke down the railway network, because it was a reminder of the communism.
Since the fall of the communism, the rail network has not been expanded, updated, refurbished or maintained. There are very few active trains in Albania and there are no trains to Ksamil.
How to get to Ksamil islands? You can get to the Ksamil islands by boat, by kayak or by swimming from the beach of Ksamil. There are four little Ksamil islands in front of Ksamil beach. The closest island can be reached by swimming. Or you can rent a boat or kayak to get to the further islands. The highlight are the twin islands of Ksamil, which are connected to each other by a thin strip of land.
What is the nearest airport to Ksamil? The nearest airport to Ksamil is Corfu airport. Corfu is a Greek island in front of the Albanian coastline. You can fly to Corfu airport on Corfu island and take a ferry boat to Saranda. Then from Saranda, you can take a 10-minute taxi ride to Ksamil.
How to get from Corfu to Ksamil? You can get from Corfu to Ksamil with a ferry boat. On Corfu island, you can travel to the Corfu Port. From the Port of Corfu, you can take a ferry boat to the Port of Saranda. Then from Saranda, you can take a short 10-minute taxi ride to Ksamil.
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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