Himara

Himara, originally uploaded by jhoolko.

We only stopped in Himara out of necessity. We were in Dhermi, loving it, when we realized that we were going to run out of cash and there was no ATM in sight. Nobody accepted any kind of card either, so we had to decide whether to leave Dhermi earlier than expected and move on, or head out in hopes of finding an ATM quickly, then coming back to enjoy the beach (and amazing woodfired pizza). We chose option #2.

We hiked out of Dhermi at about 8am, up the winding, nicely paved street from the beach to the main road. From there we hiked another 20 minutes or so until we reached a fierce bend in the road right at the entrance to old Dhermi. There was a little hotel being built and a cafe, shaded by trees, and we decided to stop there and have a coffee and wait for a furgon to go by. There was also a great natural spring that came out of the ground right behind the cafe, so in addition to the shade of the trees we had the sound of rushing water, as well as a little fountain that had been built where people could fill up their water bottles. Furgons heading north would stop at the fountain and people would get out, fill their bottles, and wash up in the fountain that ran along the side of the road. After about 15 minutes we caught a southbound bus and hopped on.

Himara is closer than what they tell you in Dhermi. Maybe 25 minutes in a furgon. 35 max. When we got there we asked a woman in a market about a bank and she pointed us towards the beach. On the road that runs along the water there are at least four banks with ATMS, so ignore whatever the people in Dhermi or the guidebooks tell you. You CAN get cash in Himara and it’s a heck of a lot easier and cheaper and shorter than heading back to Vlora.

And the view wasn’t bad! We were in a rush to get back to Dhermi, which we eventually did by taxi for 2,000 lek or so, but the beach in Himara itself was rather nice. Especially a little to the south of the town, there was some really clear beautiful water. I noticed that almost 100% percent of the time the beaches directly to the south of the towns were the nicest. That was certainly true in Vlora and Himara, and driving down the coast I saw the pattern continue. Generally the in-town beaches weren’t the best, Dhermi being the exception since it wasn’t really a town at all.

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