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Syri i Kalter (The Blue Eye) is one of those rare, almost unreal places. You know, places you won’t believe exist on Earth. Like The salt flats in Bolivia, Antelope canyon in Arizona, the glowworm caves in New Zealand and the lava beaches, glaciers, volcanos and waterfalls in South Iceland.
In this post I’ll share all the info you need for planning a day trip to the Blue Eye, including directions on how to get there. Let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
WHAT IS SYRI I KALTER (THE BLUE EYE)?
Pretty intense, that’s what it is.
When you look into the centre of the Blue Eye, you’ll understand how it got its name. The extremely blue (and absolutely freezing) water looks like the pupil of an eye and is surrounded by the vibrant greens and turquoise of the iris.
What makes it even prettier is the surrounding crystal clear water that reveals the rocks and vegetation at the bottom.
Syri i Kaltër is a natural phenomenon and the initial water source of the 25 km long Bistricë River. And you know where it leads to? The Ionian Sea, a.k.a the dreamy beaches in Albania.
The Blue Eye is located beneath a small metal balcony that was built so you can get a closer look.
From above, you have a great view, but you can’t see the bottom. No one knows how deep it is. Some say at least 50 metres, but no one has descended deeper than that before.
HOW TO GET TO THE BLUE EYE, ALBANIA
Now, you have three ways of visiting the Blue Eye:
- By car (the easiest)
- By bus/furgon ($2 each way from Gjirokastër – runs hourly in the summer)
- By taxi ($30 from Sarandë there and back)
By car: The easiest way to reach the Blue Eye is by car from either Sarandë or Gjirokastër. If you have a car, you can also explore the rest of Albania’s beautiful sights (trust me, it’s worth it).
By bus: You can also take a bus. It will drop you off at the main road where you’ll need to walk 2 km. But don’t worry. There are signs and only one road, so you cannot get lost.
From the main road, after crossing the bridge (where you’ll pay a small fee – $1.90) and following the gravel road, you’ll come across a parking spot and a footpath that leads to the Blue Eye. It’s very easy to find.
When you need to go back, just wait at the road on the opposite side of where you were dropped off. Once you see a bus with a sign in the window headed for Saranda/Sarandë or Gjirokastër (depending on where you’re heading), simply wave at them. Blue Eye is a common stop, and waving at the side of the road is the way to get on a bus in Albania. Just so you know 🙂
By taxi: You can also hire a taxi, which will cost you around US$30 from Sarandë for the drive there and back. It takes about 30 minutes, and the driver will wait for you at the parking lot.
GORGEOUS NATURE IN SOUTH ALBANIA
While you’re there, make sure to check out the area around the Blue Eye. It’s quite beautiful. It’s filled with oak and sycamore trees, and in autumn you’ll get views like these ↓