Being a non EU vessel, we needed to clear out of the EU and reset our 18 month customs clock, and we had heard that Albania was now welcoming cruisers and it was on our way to the Ionion Islands, so we gave it a try. It was actually very nice, once we had gone through the check in formalities and moved down to the marina in the south of the bay.
Albania has for a long time been a dubious destination for cruisers, but it is a beautiful country which can only benefit by exposure to the western yachts visiting it's shores.
The check in dock in Vlore was in much need of maintenance. The check in was handled by an agent for a fee of €50. He could not gaurantee that we would not be charged the same again if we went into Sarande on our way dowwn to Greece.
We actually had a very nice time in Orikum Marina in the south of the bay. The locals were very friendly and helpful. We hired a taxi driver that took us high up into the moutain reserve which was very beautiful. Howard [ Just Imagine ] 03-May-2011
Check In dock (Formalities)
Coming from Brindisi, we tied up between the ferry and an old tug on the rough dock with much rusty rebar sticking out. In fact we had to tie our lines to the rusty rebar.
An Agent by the name of Arthan took our ship's papers and passports and went off to clear us in. This cost to us about €50 to clear in. He brought back our papers, but nothing official to show that we had checked in, which was a bit of a worry.
We then left the dock and headed south to the Orikum marina.
When we left a few days later we had to come back to this dock, and it took abot half an hour to check out, but did not cost any more money. We doid get some sort of a form returned to us at check out.
They could not tell us if we would need to pay €50 again in other ports down the coast, but they did say we could anchor in Porto Palermo.
We considered stopping in Sarende, but carried on the Greece instead.Howard [ Just Imagine ] 06-Jun-2010
Check In dock (Town Dock)
Orikum Marina (Marina)
Quite a pleasant, "new" marina. It was quite difficult to find. You may want to check your waypoint as the entrance is not apparent until you are lined up to make the approach from the North East. You come in all the way toward the wall and then make a hard left to follow the wall into the marina cut.Howard [ Just Imagine ] 28-Jun-2010
The marina cost €34 per day for 10 meters and had electric and water with tailed moorings. Quite modern looking fortress hotel buildings on shore with a nice clean shower block in the center.
It is situated in a quite remote area, with sheep and cows grazing on the beach, but not without a certain charm.
Beach bar (Bar)
We walked out on the beach past the grazing sheep to one of the beach bars where we were treated to a very warm welcome from the local owners. They actually gave us a bottle of the owners home made wine when we left.Howard [ Just Imagine ] 03-May-2011
Taxi ride to the mountains (Excursion)
Luigi from Orikum marina, arranged a wonderful taxi ride with a driver called Luan. It cost us about €50 or €60 for a several hour trip, leaving mid morning from the marina, and driving up through the mountain reserve to one of the highest points, where we could look down on the Greek islands of Corfu, Erikoussa and Orthoni.
Luan then took us for a splendid roast lamb lunch. He joined for lunch and gave us recommendations on what to order. His English was sparse, but we managed to communicate.Howard [ Just Imagine ] 28-Jun-2010