One of the short day trips we took from Sarandë in Albania was to Blue Eye Spring (Syri i kalter), a natural phenomenon of a clear blue pond that bubbles up from a 50-meter deep pool. As Blue Eye is only 20km away from Sarandë, we considered three options on how to get there:
- The first was a day tour for €15 per person, which includes round-trip transport with an hour to spend at Blue Eye.
- The second was to rent a car for the day for €37.
- By far, the cheapest option was to take a shuttle bus which was 200 Leke each way, a total of €3 return trip.
Here’s How to Take the Bus from Sarandë to Blue Eye:
- Get on a shuttle bus headed in the direction of Girocaster and get off in the middle to get to the trail, which takes you to Blue Eye.
- The shuttle bus departs a block away from Friendship Park in Sarandë.
- The bus has about 20-seats — our shuttle was full.
- Be sure to tell your shuttle driver that you are getting dropped off at Blue Eye. Also keep an eye out for your destination via GPS — we always use maps.me.
- The price is 200 Leke (€1.60) one-way to the highway entrance of Blue Eye. You pay the driver directly.
- The ride is 20 km along highway, approximately a 30 minute commute.
- The entrance to the trail is well marked with a big sign.
- A short walk along the trail will take you to a ticket checkpoint for cars and pedestrians.
- Entry is 50 Leke (€0.40) for pedestrians.
- Blue Eye is a 1km walk from the ticket checkpoint, approximately 20 minutes.
- The path is an unpaved and unshaded dirt road.
- Walk until you get to the parking lot where you’ll see cars, busses, motor bikes, and taxis.
- From the parking lot, it’s another 30m over a small pedestrian bridge to Blue Eye.
The Blue Eye spring is a small pond at the end of a river. You can walk along the edge, or climb up to a small viewing platform to see the eye from a few feet above. There were a few souvenirs booths set up for tourists to buy Albanian swag — like scarves and magnets with the Albanian flag on them. There’s also a restaurant that you can eat at. Signs say not to swim, but people were wading in anyway. One brave guy, from the Ukraine, actually jumped off from the top of the platform! We spent about 30 minutes admiring the view and were ready to leave after that.
I read some reviews online about how Blue Eye was a pain to get to, but we felt like it was super straightforward to take the bus there.
Had we rented a car or taken a private tour just to come here, we probably would have been disappointed by the price. But because the bus was so quick and easy, and we got in a bit of exercise walking into the park, we felt like it was a morning well spent to see something unique.
On our way back to Sarandë, we were fortunate enough to be picked up by a family driving into town. Had we taken the bus, we would have just waited on the side of the highway, the opposite side of where we got off, for the shuttle back into Sarandë.