Vlore’s coastline is made up of several beautiful beaches, each unique and unforgettable, especially if you explore them by boat. Yeap, that definitely makes a difference to your summer adventure.
But, with various choices along the port, how do you know which boat tour is the right one for you? Our guide will help you decide. Come with us and experience a daily trip around Vlore with the boat that guarantees fun, good food, lots of drinks and a few hidden gems around the coastline, the fabulous Aquamarine Adventure!
It’s 9:45 am and we have already arrived at the port of Vlore. It didn’t take much time for us as we were accommodated at a hotel near by, in order to take it slowly this morning and to enjoy our breakfast as one should. Just a few steps and as we enter to the port, we see other tourists heading on the same direction, which we assume takes you to the boat. Indeed, as we go close to the dock, there we see this beautiful boat, easily recognisable because of the name on the front: AQUAMARINE.
Is this our boat? – My cousin Ilva asks.
Sure it is, I answer.
We are not alone. Our cute pineapple float is coming with us to enhance our experience at the beaches we will visit. We meet our friend Altin Serani , who I used to call a pirate because of his job on this boat. He welcomes us in. There are other tourists who are getting last minute tickets just at the entrance point and asking for the additional services offered onboard too. Each tickets costs 2500 Leke and it includes the visits on the Karaburun Peninsula, on the Sazan Island, the largest in Albania, the fruit buffet, dancing and games throughout the sailing. I assume I’m the most informed around here about this experience. It couldn’t be otherwise, right?
It’s 10 am and we are ready to depart!
The deck is full of people and the adventure is about to begin! As we set sail, every traveler gets comfortable on the first and the upper deck, grabs a drink from the bar and listens to the daily program by the central speaker. There are Albanian, Swiss, Polish, Italian and even Egyptian tourists onboard today and it feels like an international expedition. Families, friends, kids.. everyone seems to find something entertaining to do, until the fruit arrives. The staff offers this nicely looking and delicious pineapple, melon, watermelon, banana, cherries, apple and orange on this open fruit buffet. The watermelon stick is our favourite and its juice feels just like summer by the sea. Nothing fresher than a cold and juicy piece of fruit under the hottest sun.
You got them hips don’t lie? Well this is the place to show them off. We are heading to the Karaburun Peninsula and everyone seems to have come to party because the rhythmic music saves noone. Edi, who seems to be a bartender and a trip director, is apparently even a very good dancer. Alda, the other staff member joins him to guide everyone with the right moves. Ilva joines right away the crowd while I’m taking pictures and videos of the dancing floor and making my moves behind the camera. Trust me, you would’t want to see any of them!
Here we are at the Saint Vasili Beach. The trip so far seems to have lasted a few minutes but it’s already 11 am and time for a good dive into the clear waters of this beach. As a matter of fact, you get two options while the boat docks at this beach.You can get a special speedboat trip to the cave of Haxhi Alia, one of the most legendary pirates of the Mediterranean Sea who lived in the 16th century in the Karaburun Peninsula. It costs 1000 Leke and it lasts almost 1 hour. The second option you get is to relax on the beach, swimm or go to the Saint Vasili bar just by the beach, behind the umbrellas. Getting a place for two costs 1000 Leke too and you can enjoy it until the boat leaves, around 2 pm.
Aquamarine Adventure rests a bit while we get ready to swim. This beach looks incredible and the water is crystal clear, so we decide to stay here and enjoy it to the maximum. We jump in the water and it’s so warm that you want to live here for the rest of your life. There is no wind, no waves and it feels like the most perfect moment to love our lives. The water is so transparent that you want to drink it. Of course, we take our float for a swim too and relax like there’s no tomorrow!
While enjoying the beach and probably feeling hungry because it’s already 1pm, you should consider your options regarding your lunch: you can get onboardhttps://www.instagram.com/aquamarine.adventure.vlore/ and take the fish or meat menu for 1500 Leke, you can order at the St. Vasili restaurant ashore or you can always eat whatever you brought from home. Since we want to experience everything on the boat, we decide on the first option.
My fish is delicious, so fresh and so tasty. As a matter of fact, it was caught not further than this early morning and brought to the boat for our lunch. Let me tell you, it’s hard to go back to frozen fish after this. I poured some virgin olive oil on everything, as I like to do and enjoy it so much. So, I highly recommend it for the ones who will have the lunch onboad.
Time for another attraction: Haxhi Alia Cave!
Although the best option to explore it is to take the small speedboat ride that actually enters the cave, we are happy to sail near by with the big AQUAMARINE. The entrance of the cave looks like a giant door and I start thinking of those pirate ships that went into this mysterious place after coming back from a successful conquest. Did they bring any gold here? Did they hide any treasure among the corals hidden for so many centuries? I guess I have to read more about Haxhi Alia and his ventures.
Next stop: Sazan Island! It’s almost 4 pm and we are ready to enjoy another beach. Not like the first one though. This one is wild, untouched, mysterious. You get two free options to explore the island. First, you can get the free tour to the top of the island to visit the old ghost town. Keep in mind that you need strong sandals or shoes because of the difficult terrain. You also need to get water or anything you want to drink along the tour. The other option is to enjoy the wild beach.
Guess which is my favourite option? Yeap, the beach. I really can’t stay away from this blue waters. They call me, they want me. And I’m here to please them. We put our towels on the ground and go for another round of swim. It gets interesting once there is wind and some light waves to play with. I’ve always seen this island in a great distance as the sun sets on Vlore, but being there, it feels like a continent. So wide and high, and with so much to hide. Sazan has been a military area for many years, far from the normal island life, and still, the only two habitants of the island are the two soldiers guarding what’s left there.
Just when you think the journey is almost over, the next entertainment starts. Games! Edi explains the rules and besides the participants, everyone gets around to watch the games and celebrate with the winner. Meanwhile, I walk around the deck to enjoy my last minutes of joy on the sea, where there is nothing besides the dark blue and the horizon.