The port town of Sarandë is situated in the southeast part of the country of Albania. In the ancient times, the name of this town was Onchesmus. According to the famous Albanian Historical Writer Neritan Ceka, the name of Sarandë comes from the 15th century, when 40 monks and soldiers were decapitated by the Turks because they wouldn’t change their religion. So, the locals and the church declared them to be saints. The origin of the name of Agii Saranda comes from two Greek words – Agii means “saints” and Saranda means “forty.” Today, the city is only called Sarandë.Lying next to the Ionian Sea, the weather of Sarandë is nice and sunny most of the year. The city of Sarandë is built in amphitheatric style with three parallel roads. Four series of step stairs lead from the top of the hill of the town down to each promenade. You can find nice hotels like Hotel Butrinti or Hotel Selvia and delicious restaurants along the promenade.
History of Legends
The legend has it that, the ancient inhabitants of Sarandë area were offsprings of the Greek Hero Achilles. According to one of the many legends, in the 12th century B.C. Helenus, son of King Priamus of Troy, sailed west to establish a new settlement. On his journey, he landed in the island of Corfu and decided to sacrifice a bull to the Olympian god Apollo, who was one of the six god protecters of Troy. During the ceremony, the bull escaped from the knife of Helenus wounded and swam across the Ionian Sea to the mainland, where he died from his injuries. Following the bull, Helenus took this as a sign of Apollo and built a miniature town of Troy, giving to it the name “Vouthrotos,” which means in the ancient Greek “the wounded bull.” Vouthrotos is now called Butrint and is located 26 km away from Sarandë.Sarandë has stony beaches and places to explore, including the ancient archaeological site of Butrint and the hypnotic Syri i kaltër (Blue Eye) Spring. Between Sarandë and Butrint, the beaches and islands of Ksamil are perfect for a dip after a day of meandering.