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How To Take A Day Trip From Corfu To Albania By Ferry

I’m on a roll with my Greece travel guides, and today’s post is extra special. This blog post is going to cover everything you need to know about traveling from Corfu to Albania by ferry. If you’re interested in reading more about Corfu Old Town recommendations specifically, I also have this blog post. This Corfu to Albania day trip guide will go into detail about obtaining tickets, finding the ferry port, the high-speed hydro-foil ferry experience, customs, and more. Since Albania is only a 30-minute ferry ride from Corfu, this is one of the most seamless day trips I’ve ever taken and is one that belongs at the top of your bucket list!

Disclaimer: This blog post is written in collaboration with adidas. I have linked a few of my favorite products in this blog post, but as always, all opinions written below are my own.

Is Taking A Day Trip From Corfu To Albania Worth It?

Yes, and here are three reasons why I think so.

You Can Visit A New Country

Let’s start with the “why”. You may be wondering why I wanted to do this, or why you should do this too. First, assuming most of you haven’t yet visited the Balkan country of Albania, this would be a new place to explore! Something about me is, if I can get to a new place — ideally a new country, in just a day… I do it. So, that was my top priority.

It’s An Up & Coming Vacation Destination

Secondly, I’ve heard incredible things about the Albanian Riviera. This part of southern Albania is extremely up and coming. It’s so much more affordable than the French Riviera, for example, but has just as beautiful of a coastline. There were tons of beach clubs and resorts being built when I visited, so I have a feeling this place will gain popularity in the coming years. Plus, the plethora of daily ferries from Corfu to Albania that bring tourists over will certainly continue to contribute to the area’s growth and prosperity.

And Most Importantly, It’s Affordable!

As mentioned in the above paragraph, this part of Europe is SO affordable. I think the area’s affordability should be a main draw for visiting, especially if you’re coming from one of the Greek islands, which can be pricey for tourists. I spent less than 30 Euro during my full day here. If you want to spend the night, you can expect to pay around $45 USD for a nice, mid-range hotel room.

Corfu to Albania ferry

Corfu To Albania By Ferry: Obtaining A Ticket

Now that I’ve covered the “why’s” for taking this day trip from Corfu to Albania let’s hop into the logistics! The first steps visit are 1) pick a day that works for you from Corfu 2) check the weather to confirm it’s a good day to visit 3) make sure you have your passport ready to go and then 4) purchase a ferry ticket.

Corfu to Albania ferry

Which Ferry Is The Right Ferry?

There are two types of ferries from Corfu to Albania — a high-speed, passenger only, hydro-foil that can get you to the country in about 30 minutes and a slower, bigger ferry that can take up to 1.5 hours. I would only recommend this second option if you’re bringing a car to Albania. Assuming you are visiting the area as a tourist, I really don’t think a car is necessary and you’ll be just fine on foot, with a tour group, or via the public bus (more on this below!).

Once you’ve determined which ferry option is the best for you and yours (hint: the fast one!), it’s time to purchase a ticket. There are two companies that sell tickets for the ferries from Corfu to Albania: Ionian Seaways and Finikas. They are practically the same company, and the boats are very similar. Each blog you read is going to suggest something different depending on which ferry the author chose. I ultimately chose Ionian Seaways because it was 1-2 Euros cheaper at the time of booking than Finikas, but they really are so similar, you can’t go wrong.

Corfu to Albania by ferry day trip

Purchasing Ferry Tickets For A Corfu To Albania Day Trip

You can purchase the ferry tickets from the websites directly or through the site Ferryhopper. Make sure you choose one of the earlier morning times with a late afternoon / evening return to maximize your day trip from Corfu to Albania. I took a ferry out at about 9 am Corfu time and returned at about 6 pm Corfu time. Catch the earliest ferry, which is usually at 8 or 9 am, and arrive in Sarandë in the morning.

Pro-tip: See how I mentioned “Corfu time” above? This is a MAJOR detail to flag. Although the journey is just 30 minutes and a few nautical sea miles in length, there is actually a time change between Corfu and Sarandë. Albania is one hour behind. This means that if you leave Corfu at 9 am and travel for 30 minutes, you’ll actually dock in Sarandë at about 8:30 am, not 9:30 am. Make sure you adjust your phone time because when you leave Sarande at 16:00 (4 pm) like I did, that is Albanian time. We left at 16:00, but arrived in Corfu at 17:30 (5:30 pm) because the time zone skipped ahead an hour. Confusing, I know.

Once you have your passport ready, a round trip ticket purchased (which I would do in advance to secure the date + time you want), you’re ready to travel!

Corfu to Albania by ferry day trip

How To Find The Ferry From Corfu To Albania

I stopped by the Ionian Seaways ticket office on the way to the port to pick up physical tickets and change my return time. I think you definitely do need a physical ticket to board (they were ripping everyone’s), so be sure to swing into the office for ~5 minutes during your day trip. The Finnias and Ionian Seaways offices are right next to each other at Ethn. Antistaseos 4, Kerkira 491 00, Greece.

Go To The NEW Port

On travel day, you’ll want to walk or taxi to the NEW PORT in Corfu. Make note — NEW PORT! There is also an Old Port in Corfu with some boats in it that is about 10 minutes (on foot) closer to the Old Town. For reference, when I mapped the walk from my apartment in Corfu Old Town to the port, I assumed it was a 15 minute walk. Turns out, the ferries from Corfu to Albania are actually docked a bit further down in the New Port, and the walk ended up being closer to ~27 minutes. No biggie — just note this.

Corfu to Albania day trip ferry port

Arrive Early

The next tip I have for you is to ARRIVE EARLY! When your ticket says to arrive at the port a full hour ahead of time, they aren’t messing around! You will have to go through customs at the ferry terminal. Also, since it is a bit difficult to find, I would allow for extra time. Additionally, I found that they started boarding my ferry at around 8:40 am for our 9 am departure and we left closer to 8:55 am, so definitely don’t be late.

Customs For Your Day Trip From Corfu To Albania

Once you arrive to the New Port, you’ll want to look for the giant coral building within the port. If you’re coming from Old Town, it’s on the far-left side. You can’t miss it — it really is the only big building on the inside of the gates near the boats. Find the entrance that says, “to Albania”. Once you enter, you’ll need to show your physical ticket and passport. They will stamp your passport here before you can proceed to the waiting room. Put your return ticket in a safe place for the way back from Albania to Corfu!

Corfu to Albania day trip

The waiting room has a small store where you can pick up waters / snacks and a bathroom. At about 15-20 minutes from departure, boarding will begin. Again, you’ll need your physical ticket to board but it’s a free-for-all with seating. I sat in the way front on the way there, and actually sat outside in the back on the return. I recommend both! The ferries are old and a bit musty, but overall felt safe and the ride was very smooth. Plus, the ferry ride from Corfu to Albania is so short, so you really can’t complain!

Corfu To Albania By Ferry: What To Do When You Arrive In Sarandë

Once you arrive at the Sarandë port, you’ll be herded into another terminal building to go through customs AGAIN! This is the second of 4 times you’ll have to wait in a customs line for this day trip from Corfu to Albania. Once to leave Corfu, once to enter Albania, then again when leaving Albania, and a final time when re-entering Corfu. Don’t worry, the line moves fast.

Sarande, Albania day trip from Corfu

After you clear customs, you’ll be at the far end of the Sarandë beach promenade. Walk out of the building to the right to begin your adventure! Note: The promenade is at least one mile in length, so be sure to pack some athletic shoes for your day trip from Corfu to Albania!

Albanian Riveria day trip

Exchange $$$ For Local Cash

Pro-tip: Before you get too carried away with the souvenir shops, cafes, and buses, you will NEED to exchange some cash. Cash is KING in Albania! Although Albania is a member of the EU, it is not on the Euro. The currency here is called Lek. You’ll need at least 200 Lek for each way on the bus, plus 1000 for the archaeological site if you choose to tour it (again — cash only), and some more for goodies and food. I exchanged 30 Euro which equaled about 2,000 Lek and felt this was the perfect amount for me.

If you plan on eating 1-2 full meals and shopping more / buying drinks, I would maybe exchange 50 Euro. I only snacked (~budget core~). There are a few exchange centers on the same road as the Sarandë port, and none of them have fees. You just hand them your Euro, and they will hand you the equal amount in the local currency.

Once you have your Lek, you’re ready to explore! I cover my recommendations for how to spend one day in Sarandë, Albania in THIS blog post so this one isn’t 5,000 words long! This guide also covers Corfu Old Town in detail.

Final Thoughts On The Corfu To Albania Day Trip

As a reminder, keep track of the time change for your journey back and allow at least 45 minutes at the port. For our 4 pm ferry, the security guard let me in at 3:15 pm. There was no line for passport control, so I just hung out for a little bit at the dock. The journey back was equally as seamless, and passport control in Corfu was quick and easy. You’ll get another passport stamp too!

That’s all for my informative guide about traveling from Corfu to Albania by ferry. Next up, I recommend reading this blog post covering how to spend a day in Albania on this day trip! I hope this blog post answers any questions you have and encourages you to plan a spectacular day trip of your own!

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