Dhermi, Albania, is a place I have wanted to visit for several years. My sister’s husband’s family has a home in Dhermi, and we already knew from pictures and stories that Albania is beautiful. So after traveling for 5 months, we were super excited to see my sister, brother-in-law, and niece and finally meet up with his family in Dhermi. They were so kind to host us at their family home and show us around.
Dhermi is where you can go and relax on a sunbed at the beach for hours (Kindle, cocktail, or cold beer in hand), go hiking in the rocky coves along the sea, or up on the limestone cliff hilltops to get a bird’s eye view of the city.
Dhermi, Albania is unlike other places in Europe we have visited where you can sunbathe on the beach or hike along the coast; here, the beaches are not crowded. You can peacefully sunbathe without having to hear the conversation or music of the person lying next to you.
When you hike along the sea, you may see a person or two sunbathing or swimming in the sea, but for the most part, you get the sense you are on an island somewhere in the middle of nowhere. This is your own private beach or hiking trail.
There are plenty of local restaurants with typical Albanian dishes to choose from, like fresh seafood, grilled meats, soups, grilled vegetables, fresh salads, stuffed peppers, and baklava, in addition to local wines and plenty of draft beers to choose from.
You can also find great Greek and Italian food! There are several restaurants serving up great Italian pasta dishes and wood-fired pizzas, and others serving gyros, souvlakia, dolmathes, Greek salads, and tzatziki. Although the restaurants were great, we were spoiled with many home-cooked meals compliments of my brother-in-law’s mother and her sisters.
Driving in Dhermi can be a little challenging due to some poor road conditions in some places (potholes, gravel roads in places, blind spots, steep inclines, lack of traffic lights/signs, etc.) coupled with a lack of guardrails in some places throughout the hilly cliffsides. The views, however, are spectacular; mountains, views of the Ionian Sea, and an endless coastline. We flew into Tirana and took 2 buses to get to Dhermi; one from the airport to the central bus station and another straight to Dhermi. The total trip took about 4 hours. The buses were very comfortable and clean and had air conditioning.
Dhermi is a “must visit” on your travel list! Problem is, unless you actually go to see and experience Dhermi firsthand, there is no photograph you can see or blog post you can read that can encompass all the beauty and wonder that is Dhermi. Simply put, Dhermi is a hidden paradise; endless, unspoiled nature surrounded by unimaginable mountainous views and crystal clear turquoise water of the Ionian Sea.
Traveled July 2017