The Blue Eye “Syri i Kalter”

2013-06-15 09.45.04This natural, deep spring embodies the clear, vibrant blue color which is seen in many of Albania’s water bodies. The way in which the water bubbles up to the surface helps create the illusion of an eye, with the dark-colored center as the pupil, and the surrounding blue water appearing as the iris. The spring is reported to be about 45 meters deep, but some say it goes even further.

During Albania’s communist days, the Blue Eye was one of several places reserved only for the communist elite to visit, and was kept off-limits to the general public. The Blue Eye or “Syri i Kalter” as it is known in Albania, is located just off the road between Saranda and Gjirokastra. If you are driving from Sarandë towards Gjirokastra the turn will be on your left-hand side, about eight miles from Sarandë.

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2013-06-15 09.52.25We stopped here on the way to Gjirokastra. The drive into the park is rather uninteresting, but about 5 minutes into the drive you arrive at a hidden paradise. The first thing you will see is a lovely restaurant on the river, you must drive another 50-60 meters to arrive at your destination and park the car. Once you park the car, by another lovely restaurant, you will walk through wooded  paths along the river, which are well-defined and arrive at the Blue Eye. The nature walk is only a preview of the prize! The spot is beautiful, a bit surreal, the clearest of waters welcomes you and you are pretty much mesmerized by it. It’s a beautiful thing to see!

After your stop here and on your way back to your car be sure to take a break at the cafe bar, it’s location is soothing and relaxing, sitting on their porch, listening to the water rushing in, surrounded by beautiful nature is just something you don’t want to miss. I highly recommend stopping at the Blue Eye if you’re in Saranda or Gjirokastra!

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