“What’s good to see in Albania?” we asked one of our former hosts in Turin (Italy), whose family is originally from Albania… “Lots of things! Beaches, mountains, castles, the World Heritage cities of Berat and Gjirokaster, and the Blue Eye…” Blue Eye? What could that be? We looked on Internet, in search for the answer and found some amazing pictures… It’s decided, we are going to visit the Blue Eye!
Blue Eye, a touristic trap?…
Dropped by the mountain, somewhere on the road linking Gjirokaster and Sarandë, we started a small walk (marked Syri i kaltër) which took us to a lake stuck between two mountains. There, guards were patiently waiting for the tourists: everybody has to pay 50LEK/person (0,38€ at the time I’m writing these lines) to go ahead… The cost is certainly ridiculous, but we are already annoyed to have to pay to see a natural spring!
Decided at all costs, we paid our entrance fee and continued our walk, fully loaded with our backpacks, towards the spring. And after 1.5 km of walking, we felt our goal approaching – noticing a lot of tourists with cameras around their necks, restaurants and souvenir kiosks, and above all a general excitement… Could we fall into a real tourist trap?
A bewitching show
Too late to turn back! We took a few more steps over a small bridge, then turned on a dirt track along the water, finding ourselves very close to the Blue Eye – a pure spring of water that gushes out of the rocky bottom forming the famous “blue eye” in the blue-green river. The visit was quick, but the show was indeed bewitching, rich in color and of an unnameable beauty. It even made us deeply carved to dive into it… but we restrained ourselves: here, swimming is forbidden. We finally found comfort by filling our bottles at the spring of the Blue Eye. Fresh, pure, the water wasn’t only beautiful: it was also good!…
Entrance fee: 50LEK / person
Access: by car or by hitchhiking (22 km from Sarandë and 44km from Gjirokaster).
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* Post written according to our personal experience *