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Corfu to Saranda for one night

I went to Corfu by myself for 4 nights in late October, stayed at the old town, and went to the Saranda for one night.

The ferry to Saranda is easy. The terminal located at the end of the port, last stop of the airport bus, you have to buy ticket from the agent at the town, there have no counter inside the port for Saranda. You can buy it from the website, but it said you still need to go to the agent to print it out, so just buy it a day before. It cost the same.

The morning/fast ferry only take 25 min, but since you still need to go though the custom, and people may line up because their ID card, so end up it's always late. Albania is one hour faster than Greece.

I cannot find many info about Saranda/Albania, so I book the closest hotel from the terminal, which end up it's the smartest decision I made.

Hotel Mano is literally across the street from the ferry, when I arrived, I asked to leave my bag and a map to point me to the bus to Gjirokastra, which is only 5 min away, I rush to the bank for some change, but too many people. The money exchange places still closed. The news stand across the bus stand maybe have the worst rate, but I only exchange 20 Canadian, so the most I lost is a dollar. Better than using Euro. And I just made the 10:30 bus without waiting.

It's the bus go to Tirana, next to the Friendship Square, going downhill, cost 300 Lek, take one and half hours.

They will drop you off at the Gas Station across the road, you will see the Castle at the top of the hill. Don't just depend on the driver or the ticket seller, he forgot to let me know, when I see the castle, and ask and too late, he drop me off the next gas station and I need to hitchhiking back.

After the visiting, I have no idea where to find the bus stop to go back, asked a local, she said down the road, and I see a bank and go in and get some change, and ask the bus stop, very friendly and took me outside and point it to opposite the local said, it's another gas station.

On the way I stop by "blue eye", this time is a mini bus, I sat behind the driver and show him the name "Syri I Kalter", after one hour and he drop me off. It's around 5:00, still have sunlight, and I am the only one there, it's a must see to me.

Luckily I don't need to wait long when I finish, the mini bus go to Saranda, when we arrive, I ask how much, and he only change me 100 Lek.

I saw someone said they paid 300 Lek from Saranda to Syri I Kalter, which I think is overcharge, the fare should be base on the distance, seen to me each half hour should be 100 Lek, because also the one hour ride from Saranda to Butrint cost me 200 Lek.
(But the driver also change me 300 Lek from Gjirokastra to Syri I Kalter)

I booked the last ferry (the slow one take 90 mins) back to Corfu the next day, which leaving at 4 pm, so in the morning I went to Butrint, spent 2 hours at the site, and come back still have time for lunch.

The reason I see all the thing in such a short time is because Hotel Mano, it's a good hotel, clean, room is big, great view,owner and staffs are friendly, and save my time to find, I highly recommend to the first timer. Also the first bus stop to Butrint is 2 min walk from the hotel, at the end of the road, you don't need to walk to the Friendship Park again.

If I have more time I will go to Tirana for sure, Albania is a very good surprise, people is friendly and price is good, if you go to Corfu, Saranda should be a must.

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