Wondering what to do in Himare Albania? There are so many fun things to do in Himare!
Himarë, Albania is a stunning coastal town located on the southern coast of the country. I visited Himarë during my month-long trip to Albania and was delighted by its beauty and charm. The beaches are breathtakingly gorgeous, with crystal clear waters surrounded by mountains that provide an incredible backdrop for your holiday.
Himare might not be on most people’s radar, but for backpackers who have made their way to this part of the world, it’s evident that there is no shortage of things to do in Himare!
🏝️ Short on time? I recommend this half-day trip to Himara, Albania from Saranda. You’ll get to experience a great mix of culture and history and visit one of the most beautiful beaches in Himare!
From exploring ancient ruins and castles dating back centuries to enjoying delicious Mediterranean fare at local restaurants or relaxing on one of the many beautiful beaches – Himarë has something for everyone.
With its unique combination of history, culture and natural beauty, you can trust that your time spent in Himarë will be both memorable and rewarding!
Let’s dive into what to do in Himare!
Himare, Albania Essentials
🏨 Where to stay in Himare: Rea boutique hotel – I love the views from this hotel! It’s great value for money too.
📌 Best Himare tour: Check out this Half day trip to Himare from Saranda
🚙 Best day trip from Himare: Visit nearby Gjipe Beach
🚗 Rent a car: Public transport can be unreliable – consider renting a car
💸 Get insured for your trip to Albania with Ekta Travel insurance
Himara or Himare?
You may be a little confused about the name as Himare (or Himarë) is sometimes referred to as Himara. Both are the same place, with Himara being the older version of the name. This name dates back to when the town was first founded by the Chaonians and named Chimaera.
You will see Himare, Himarë, and Himara used interchangeably online, on road signs, in guidebooks and maps etc. But don’t worry, it is all referring to the same place!
Where Is Himare?
Himarë is located in the southwestern part of Albania, along the Ionian Sea. It is a beach destination within the Albanian Riviera, which stretches from Vlora to Saranda.
Is Himare Worth Visiting?
Yes! Himare is worth visiting. It’s a stunningly beautiful beach town with plenty of history and culture nearby. With its crystal-clear waters, secluded beaches, ancient ruins and fortresses, Mediterranean cuisine, and a laid-back atmosphere – it has something for everyone!
I spent a few days in Himare and I honestly regret not staying longer. It’s a great base for exploring the nearby beaches of the Albanian Riviera and also has a really fun nightlife and small resort town kind of vibe. The sunsets in Himare were absolutely incredible too.
15 Best Things To Do in Himare Albania
1. Enjoy The Himare Beaches
At its heart, Himare is a beach town, so it goes without saying that one of the best things to do in Himare is to simply enjoy the Himare beaches.
The top beaches in Himare are all conveniently located within walking distance of each other. This allows you to easily visit and explore each of them.
The beaches in Himara are really nice. The turquoise water is some of the clearest I’ve ever seen. I remember swimming out really far to where the water was very deep and I could still see all the way to the bottom!
Here are a few of my favourite Himare beaches:
Plazhi i Himares (Himarë Beach)
Himare Beach is the main public beach in Himare and boasts crystal clear waters and a long sandy stretch of beach. You can rent sun loungers here for cheap, making it a great spot to relax and soak up some sun!
Aside from swimming and sunbathing, you can also take part in some of the many water sports activities available like kayaking, sailing and snorkelling.
Spille Beach Albania
Spille Beach is my favourite beach and the best beach in Himare and it is the first northernmost beach. It’s a great spot if you’re looking for some peace and quiet as it’s mostly used by locals.
I spent a lot of time here during my visit as it has an incredibly laid-back atmosphere and stunningly beautiful views, which was super relaxing.
There is also a small jetty where you can take a water taxi to Gjipe Beach. It’s also a very clean beach.
Sfageio Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Himare and the best place to catch an epic sunset.
This small beach is tucked between Himare’s main beach and the cliff, making it an ideal secluded spot for a peaceful afternoon.
You can enjoy drinks from the beach bar whilst relaxing on the beach or taking in the stunning view of the sunset.
2. Explore Himara Old Town
Himara Old Town, also known as Himara Fshat, is the charming old town of Himare.
It’s situated at the top of a steep hill above the new town. You can take a walk up to the top by passing through winding cobblestone alleyways, ruined and abandoned houses and scenic viewpoints. It’s a great place to explore and soak up the history.
At the top of the town lies the Himare Castle, which offers excellent views of Livadhi Beach and is an ideal spot for a sunset picnic.
3. Visit Himare Castle
Himarë Castle is an ancient fortress that dates back 3,500 years and can be found on the top of a steep hill above the main town.
The castle was built by the Greek tribe of the Chaonians and has been renovated over time with some stunning churches such as the Church of St. Sergius and Bacchus and the Church of St. Mary Kasopitra.
From its vantage point, you can enjoy panoramic views of Livadhi Beach as well as amazing sunsets. Himarë Castle is definitely worth visiting for its historical significance as well as its spectacular views!
4. Take A Day Trip To Porto Palermo
Porto Palermo is a small fishing village located just outside of Himare and is home to a stunning fortress that dates back to the early 19th century.
This fortress was built by the famous Albanian leader Ali Pashë Tepelena, who used it as his base for many years.
Today, visitors can explore the fortress and enjoy the stunning views of the bay or take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront.
It’s also worth stopping by for lunch at one of the many traditional seafood restaurants in the area, where can sample some of the best seafood dishes in Albania!
5. Go Beach Hopping
The Albanian Riviera has so many gorgeous beaches all within easy reach of Himare. I visited Gjipe, Dhermi and Jale Beach from Himara.
Gjipe Beach is the furthest beach from Himare and is surrounded by steep cliffs. It’s a great spot for swimming and admiring the stunning views of the surrounding area.
Dhermi, on the other hand, is much more popular with tourists as it offers a beautiful white sandy beach and plenty of cafes and restaurants to choose from.
6. Kayak to Filikuri Beach – The Secret Beach
One of the most fun activities to do in Himare is to rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard and head out to explore Filikuri Beach, one of the area’s hidden gems.
Filikuri Beach is located just off the coast and can only be accessed by Hiking, boat or swimming. The beach is completely secluded, giving you the opportunity to explore a secret paradise.
It’s an amazing experience and definitely worth doing if you’re in Himare!
7. Party At The Beach Clubs in Himare
The Himara nightlife is excellent. There are many excellent beach bars and clubs to choose from, as well as plenty of lively bars along the main promenade.
If you’re looking for a wild night out, head to Locca Lounge where they have an incredible selection of cocktails, the best hookahs (shisha) and great music that you can dance the night away to!
8. Take A Boat Trip
One of the best day trips to do in Himare is to take a boat trip over to Ksamil, which is located just off the coast. On your way over, you’ll have the opportunity to admire some stunning views of the Albanian Riviera.
You can also take a water taxi to some of the small hidden coves and caves around Himara.
9. Go For A Coastal Hike To Livadhi Beach
There are some great Himare hiking spots. My favourite hike in Himare is to Livadhi Beach.
Livahdi Beach is a charming destination on the Albanian Riviera that boasts of its unspoiled beauty. It has a couple of hotels and restaurants, alongside some cabana-style beach bars that offer picturesque views of the pristine waters.
A fun way to get there is by hiking from the main Himare beach. The hike takes about 45 minutes and passes by some of the most gorgeous viewpoints you will ever find.
Livadhi Beach is also a great spot for wild camping, so be sure to bring a tent and enjoy sleeping under the stars.
10. Take Part In Xhiro With The Locals
Don’t be surprised if you notice large crowds of people coming out for a walk along the promenade around sunset time. The reason for this is that in Albania, it is common for people to take an afternoon nap and then go for a walk with friends during a time that is referred to as “xhiro.”
It’s a great way to experience the culture of Himare and hang out with the locals, so why not join in?
11. Try Some Traditional Albanian Food
No visit to Himare is complete without sampling some of the amazing local cuisine.
Some of the dishes you have to try are tave kosi (a lamb dish with yoghurt and rice), pule me perime (chicken with vegetables) and byrek (savoury pies filled with spinach or feta).
You can also get some great Mediterranean and Greek-style food in this part of Albania.
There are many excellent restaurants that line the promenade and overlook the beach, perfect for a sunset dinner.
12. Snorkel In The Crystal Clear Waters
I can’t even begin to describe just how clear the water is in Himare. It’s so beautiful and something you need to experience with your own eyes.
One of the best ways to do that is to go snorkelling. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, Himare has plenty of spots where you can grab a snorkel and some fins and explore the wonders of the sea.
13. Find The Submarine Bunker
If, like me, you are fascinated by Albania’s cold-war-era history then you will want to visit the submarine bunker at Porto Palermo.
Built during the rule of Enver Hoxha, this underwater base was once used as a secret military facility.
While it’s not possible to enter the bunker, you can admire it from a distance atop a nearby cliff. It’s a really interesting part of Albania’s history and is worth a quick visit if you are visiting the nearby Porto Palermo castle.
14. Go Stand Up Paddleboarding
If you’re looking for a fun and relaxing way to explore the Albanian Riviera, then stand-up paddleboarding is an activity that you must try. You can find SUP rentals at numerous locations along the Himare coastline.
Take in the stunning views of the coast as you paddle your way around some of the smaller coves and bays. It’s a great way to get some exercise and have a fun day out on the water.
15. Enjoy the view from a rooftop bar
There are a few bars and restaurants along Himare’s main promenade that have really nice rooftop terraces. These spots are great for enjoying some delicious cocktails while taking in the stunning views of the sea.
Most places also offer Mediterranean and traditional Albanian food, so you can make a night out of it.
One of the best spots for sunset cocktails is UMI Sushi & cocktail bar. The terrace is really cute and has fantastic views out over the water.
Day Trips From Himare
So now that you know what to do in Hamare itself, here are some ideas for nearby day trips.
Gjipe Beach is a secluded cove located about 30 minutes drive from Himara. It’s only accessible by foot or boat, making it a great spot to escape the summer crowds and enjoy some peace and quiet.
There is also an amazing canyon here that you can hike and climb your way through for an awesome adventure.
Dhermi is a small seaside village located about 30 minutes drive south of Himare. It’s known for its stunning beaches, clear blue waters and vibrant nightlife.
There are also some great restaurants and beach clubs here where you can relax all day.
One of the best day trips you can take is from Himare to Ksamil. Ksamil is one of the most popular beach destinations on the Albanian Riviera.
The beaches here are simply stunning and the crystal clear waters make them perfect for swimming and snorkelling.
There are also some great beach bars and restaurants in Ksamil where you can enjoy a cold beer or two while soaking up the sun.
If you are looking for a bit of culture and history, then Butrint is an excellent choice. This ancient site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it’s easy to see why. It’s filled with ancient ruins and the remains of many civilisations, making it the perfect spot to explore the past.
The ruins are really well preserved and there are a lot fewer tourists here than what you would find in similar ruins in nearby Greece or Italy. When I visited, we basically had the whole place to ourselves!
Saranda is the biggest town on the Albanian Riviera. It’s a lively resort town with lots to see and do. There are several great beaches here.
Saranda’s main appeal is its beautiful promenade that stretches along the waterfront and is lined with bars, cafes and restaurants. It’s a great place to spend the day exploring and sampling some of the local food.
You can also take a short 30-minute boat trip from Saranda over to Corfu, which is a great way to see how the nearby Greek island compares to Albania.
Tours in Himara
Tours are a great option if you are short on time and want to make the most of your trip or if you are a solo traveller who wants to meet new people. They are also a great way to travel stress-free, knowing that someone else has taken care of all the logistics for you.
Here are a few of my favourite tours to Himara:
Best Restaurants in Himare
Wondering where to eat in Himare? Here are my favourite Himare restaurants
I love Souvlaki – Greek restaurant right by the beach. Cheap and tasty food with nice views.
UMI Sushi – I came here for cocktails and really enjoyed the atmosphere on the rooftop terrace.
Restaurant Odissea – Cute little restaurant with nice sea views.
Restaurant Piazza – I had some really good pasta here. It’s located in a good spot right on the promenade.
Where To Stay In Himare
Best hotels in Himara
Prado luxury hotel – A beautiful luxury hotel. The perfect place to relax.
Rea boutique hotel – I love the views from this hotel!
Arxontiko Hotel – Friendly and welcoming staff and a beautiful location
The Albanian Riviera has some great spots for wild camping. There’s nothing like sleeping out under the stars!
Livadhi Beach is a great spot for camping as is the main beach in Himare and nearby Gjipe beach.
Just make sure to be respectful of the environment and leave no trace.
🏕️ Like the idea of wild camping but feeling nervous about giving it a go?
How to get to Himare, Albania
Travelling to Himare by Car
Himare is a 3.5 hour drive from Albania’s capital city of Tirana and a 1 hour drive from the popular resort town of Saranda.
Driving in Albania is not for the faint-hearted but it definitely the most convenient and fastest way to get around.
Travelling to Himare by Bus
There are two buses a day that leave from Tirana to Himare. The first bus leaves at 5.30 am and the second is at 1 pm. Tickets cost 1000 LEK (~€8).
There are regular furgons that travel between Saranda and Himare, they depart from the crossroads by the old synagogue ruins in Saranda and leave when full.
You can also try hitchhiking, I often found that this was the best way to travel around the Albanian Riviera.
Check out my full guide to getting around Albania without a car.
🚙 Public transport in Albania can be unreliable. If you don’t have time to wait around or go with the flow then I strongly suggest renting a car
Best Time to Visit Himare, Albania
Himare weather is mild and pleasant, with warm summers and mild winters. The temperatures during the summer months range from 25°C – 32°C, making it the perfect time for sunbathing and swimming.
The mild winters mean that Himare can be enjoyed year-round. However, the best time to visit Himare is during the summer months from June – August when the weather is at its warmest and there are plenty of activities to keep you entertained.
FAQs: What To Do In Himare Albania
Is Himare worth visiting?
Yes, Himare is definitely worth visiting. It’s a beautiful beach town with some stunning beaches that are perfect for sunbathing and swimming. There are also plenty of activities to do, from hiking to wild camping and exploring the local area.
How many days to spend in Himare?
I suggest spending at least 2-3 days in Himare. This will give you enough time to explore the town and its surroundings. There are also plenty of restaurants and cafes to enjoy, making it the perfect spot for a relaxing break or beach holiday. I spent 2 full days here and wish that I had stayed longer.
What is the difference between Himare and Dhermi?
Himare and Dhermi are two different towns. They are both some of the most popular beach towns on the Albanian Riviera. Both offer stunning beaches, with Himare Beach being a long stretch of sand and Dhermi boasting some crystal clear waters.
Himare is slightly busier than Dhermi, but still much quieter than other beach spots in Albania.
How do I get from Himare to Tirana?
The easiest way to get from Himare to Tirana is by car. It’s a 3.5 hour drive, so renting a car or taking a private transfer is the most convenient option. There are also buses that run from Himare to Tirana, although these can be unreliable and take a lot longer. Hitchhiking is also an option, although you should only do this if you are experienced in hitchhiking and feel safe doing it
Should I stay in Himare or Sarande?
Whether you should stay in Himare or Sarande depends on what you are looking for. Saranda is a great base if you’re looking for nightlife and restaurants, while Himare is much quieter and perfect if you’re looking for some rest and relaxation. If you have time, I would suggest staying in both! This way, you can experience the best of both towns.
Final Thoughts: What To Do In Himare Albania
Himarë, Albania is a stunning beach town located on the southern coast of the country.
From exploring ancient ruins and castles dating back centuries to enjoying delicious Mediterranean fare at local restaurants or relaxing on one of the many beautiful beaches – Himarë has plenty of fun things to do and amazing adventures to be had.
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