This Secluded Beach With Unmatched Beauty Is The Best Rated In All Of Albania

When you think of the perfect place for a warm beach vacation, you probably think of the Caribbean or the south of France. Maybe it's the total paradise of Italy's Amalfi coast, the tropical escape of a Costa Rican beach, or the shores of a Greek island. You may not be thinking about a beach in Albania. However, this country on the Balkan Peninsula has a lovely long coast and great beach weather. Along the shore of the city of Vlorë, right across from Italy's city of Lecce, is a beach that was rated the best in Albania and one of the top 50 beaches in the world by Big 7 Travel. Gjipe Beach is growing steadily more popular, and there are plenty of good reasons for this. Gjipe has turquoise waters and a wide shore with plenty of space for a ton of beachgoers — and it sits at the junction of two dramatic mountain cliffs. 

Gjipe Beach takes a little work to get to if you don't have a 4x4, but it's absolutely worth the trip. You can camp here, explore the area's caves at low tide, and even see some bunkers from the Cold War era. Let's take a look at what to do at this beautiful Albanian beach and what you need to know before you make the trip. 

What to know about Gjipe Beach

Gjipe Beach sits between the towns of Himarë and Dhërmi on what is known as the Albanian Riviera. You can drive there and park in the lot, just over 1.5 miles from the beach. The beach isn't immediately off the road, so you'll have to hike down to it on a flat, dirt path (shown in the picture below), which can take about 25 minutes. A 4x4 can drive right down to the sand, as long as you're comfortable with steep cliff driving. You can also take a bus between Himarë and Dhërmi and request a Gjipe Beach stop. Then you'll walk to the parking lot and continue to the beach. You even have the option of taking a boat or kayak in from the water. 

If you're planning a visit, spring and summer have highs between the low-70s and mid-80s Fahrenheit, with lows in the high-50s to high-60s Fahrenheit. The sun is pretty direct, and this is the Mediterranean we're talking about. You should make sure to bring sunscreen and a hat, especially if you plan on spending the entire day. If you need a break from the sun, you can always walk back to the tree line or lounge in the shade of the cliffs. In the summer, you'll find beach bars that sell drinks and seafood. They're not always there, however, so bring in what you need. There are several places to rent umbrellas and chairs, so you can leave yours at home.

Gjipe Beach activities and camping

In addition to sunning yourself on this gorgeous beach and admiring the forested mountain views, you can wander along the coast at low tide to explore several small caves. Don't do this at high tide, as many of them are inaccessible and unsafe. If you don't mind some rocks and boulders, you can hike up between the two cliffs, though after a bit, it becomes more rock climbing than hiking, with some ropes in the area. Please use caution. The location is also prone to flash floods, so skip this if there's going to be a storm. As you wander the area, you may see some old bunkers from the Cold War era as well. 

Gjipe Beach is a great place to go camping. The campground, which is walking distance from the shore, is called Gjipe Eco. There is a separate entrance for the camp, along with security and even a currency exchange. In addition to ocean-view campsites, there is a breakfast served daily and a Greek restaurant. Breakfast consists of vegetarian dishes, juices, and cheese, and you can eat at the restaurant for lunch and dinner. The campground even sells bathroom and shower passes for beachgoers. You can check availability on booking sites directly from Google Maps. Overall, it's worth swapping your next Greece beach vacation for this underrated country..