Discovering the Untouched Beauty of Grama Bay

Grama Bay, nestled along the Albanian Ionian Sea Coast, is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of history, geography, wildlife, and tourism opportunities. This secluded bay, part of the Karaburun Peninsula and within the Karaburun-Sazan Marine Park, is renowned for its pristine beauty, crystal-clear waters, and rich cultural heritage. The following article delves into the specific aspects of Grama Bay, highlighting its significance across various dimensions.

Grama Bay


Southern Europe, along the Albanian Riviera south of the Karaburun Peninsula.


Grama Bay's history is as captivating as its landscapes. The bay has served as a quarry since ancient times, with its stone used in the construction of nearby cities such as Orikum and possibly even transported to Italy.

The bay's walls are adorned with over 1,500 inscriptions, ranging from ancient Greek to medieval times, bearing witness to the passage of mariners who sought refuge or gave thanks to the gods for safe passage.

Notably, Byzantine Emperor John V Palaiologus is among the historical figures who left their mark here during a voyage in 1369, highlighting the bay's importance as a maritime sanctuary.


Geographically, Grama Bay is a marvel. It is located at coordinates 40°12′56″N 19°28′24″E, with a maximum width of approximately 100 meters and an average depth of around 200 meters.

The bay is part of the western Ceraunian Mountains along the Albanian Riviera, characterized by its rugged coastline, steep cliffs, and pebbled beaches.

Its isolation and the challenging terrain surrounding it have preserved its untouched beauty, making it a coveted spot for adventurers and nature lovers.

Grama Bay


The biodiversity in and around Grama Bay is of global significance. The area is home to the Mediterranean monk seal, one of the rarest seal species in the world, which finds refuge in the bay's sea caves.

These caves, along with the surrounding marine and terrestrial ecosystems, contribute to the ecological balance of the region and provide habitat for numerous globally threatened and endangered species.


Despite its historical and natural allure, Grama Bay remains relatively untouched by mass tourism. Accessible only by boat or through a challenging hike from Palasë, the bay offers a tranquil escape for those looking to connect with nature.

The pristine beach, clear waters, and the opportunity to explore the inscriptions and surrounding landscapes attract a niche group of tourists seeking adventure and serenity.

The bay's inclusion within the Karaburun-Sazan Marine Park further emphasizes its ecological and recreational value.

In conclusion, Grama Bay is a testament to Albania's rich cultural heritage and natural beauty. Its historical inscriptions tell tales of ancient mariners, while its geography and wildlife offer a glimpse into the Mediterranean's ecological diversity. For those willing to venture off the beaten path, Grama Bay promises an unforgettable experience that combines the thrill of exploration with the peace of unspoiled nature.

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What are the activities to do in grama bay?

In Grama Bay, visitors can engage in a variety of activities that cater to both adventure seekers and those looking to relax amidst nature's beauty. The activities include:

  • Boating and Sailing: Taking a boat tour from nearby locations like Vlora or Dhërmi is a popular way to reach Grama Bay, offering a scenic journey along the Albanian Riviera.
  • Hiking and Camping: For the more adventurous, hiking to Grama Bay presents a challenging yet rewarding experience. There are unofficial marked trails of certain difficulty levels for those who wish to explore the landscape intimately. The area is also suitable for camping, allowing visitors to stay overnight and enjoy the serene environment.
  • Swimming and Snorkeling: The crystal-clear waters of Grama Bay are ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Visitors can explore the underwater world, including the coral reefs near the base of the cliffs, and enjoy the refreshing emerald hues of the sea.
  • Exploring Historical Inscriptions: Grama Bay is home to over 1,500 rock inscriptions from various historical periods, dating back as far as the 3rd century B.C. These inscriptions, left by sailors and quarry workers, offer a unique glimpse into the past and are a must-see for history enthusiasts.
  • Cave Exploration: The bay and its surroundings offer the option of exploring natural caves, adding an element of adventure for those interested in geology and natural formations.
  • Water Sports: Various water sports and activities are available, including kayaking, jet skiing, and more, provided by local operators in the area.
  • Relaxation and Leisure: Simply relaxing on the beach, enjoying the sun, and taking in the breathtaking views of the dramatic rock formations and emerald waters is an activity in itself. The secluded nature of the bay makes it a perfect spot for those seeking tranquility away from crowded tourist destinations.

These activities make Grama Bay a versatile destination that appeals to a wide range of interests, from historical exploration and nature appreciation to adventure sports and leisure.

What is the best time of year to visit grama bay?

The best time of year to visit Grama Bay is during the early spring and late autumn months.

This recommendation is based on the weather conditions, which can be quite warm from May to October, making the cooler months more ideal for hiking and exploring the area comfortably.

Additionally, considering the popularity of Grama Bay during the summer, specifically in July and August. visiting in the shoulder seasons can also offer a more secluded and peaceful experience, away from the peak tourist crowds.

How to reach Grama Bay?

To reach Grama Bay, located on the southern coast of Albania along the Ionian Sea, there are several methods of transportation and routes you can take, depending on your starting point and preference for travel:

By Air and Ferry:

  • The nearest airport to Grama Bay is Corfu International Airport in Greece. From there, you can take a taxi or rent a car to the ferry port in Corfu.
  • Ferries run regularly from Corfu to Saranda, Albania, and the journey takes about 1 hour.
  • Once you arrive in Saranda, you can take a taxi or rent a car to Grama Bay.

By Road:

  • If you are starting from Tirana, you can take a bus to Himara and then hire a taxi or take a shared minibus to Grama Bay.
  • Alternatively, you can rent a car and drive along the scenic coastal road from Himara to Grama Bay, which takes about 45 minutes and offers stunning views of the sea and mountains.

By Boat:

  • You can take a boat from Dhermi, which is one of the main ways to reach Grama Bay.
  • It is also possible to take a speedboat or join a group boat tour from Palasa or Dhërmi to Grama Bay. The distance from Palasa to Grama Bay is about 10 nautical miles, and it can be traveled in 15 minutes by boat.

By Hiking:

  • For those who prefer an adventurous approach, there is a hike from Palasë to Grama Bay. This hike is approximately 13 km one way and takes around 6 hours to complete. It is recommended to carry an ample supply of water, around 4 liters, and to consider the weather, as it can be quite warm from May to October.

Tips for Travelers:

  • Research and plan ahead to ensure you have the necessary travel documents and understand any travel restrictions.
  • Be aware of local customs and language, and learn a few basic phrases in Albanian.
  • Consider the time of year and weather conditions. The best time to visit Grama Bay is during the summer months, between June and September, when the weather is warm and dry.
  • If traveling by road, be prepared for steep and winding roads.

Additional Information:

  • Grama Bay is a secluded location, so it is advisable to bring necessary supplies such as food and water, especially if you plan to stay for an extended period or hike to the location.
  • The bay is known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and historical significance, including over 1500 inscriptions from various historical periods on its cliffs.

Please note that the information provided is based on the available search results and may require further confirmation with local travel agencies or transportation providers for the most current details.

What are some other beaches to visit in the area?

In the area surrounding Grama Bay, there are several other beautiful beaches worth visiting, each offering unique landscapes and experiences. Here's a list of some notable beaches in the vicinity:

  1. Radhimë Beach
  2. Pepperon The Beach
  3. Prinos Beach
  4. La Plaia
  5. Bora Bora
  6. Barracuda
  7. Gjipe Beach
  8. Dhermi Beach
  9. Jale Beach
  10. Drymades Beach (Dhërmiu i Zi)
  11. Livadhi Beach
  12. Borsh Beach
  13. Shën Andre Beach
  14. Golemi Beach (Golem Beach)
  15. Vlore Beach

These beaches offer a mix of sandy shores, pebble beaches, and crystal-clear waters, making them perfect for a variety of activities such as swimming, sunbathing, and exploring the natural beauty of the Albanian Riviera.