I heard waters running from a distance, as I crossed the wooden bridge and I was mesmerised by what stood in front of me. Crystal clear waters flaunt sparkling white pebbles, its bright green plants and fish that lived below. Dragon flies, butterflies and birds roam the waters edges making it a serene place.
A few meters up the stream I got the Blue Eye spring, or in Albanian Syri i kaltër, by far one of the best highlights in Albania. Why is it called the Blue eye? Because it looks literally like the iris of the eye, with its deep blue hypnotic pool surrounded by different shades of blue.
The Blue Eye is a natural phenomenon, it bubbles up from itself and feeds into the Bistrica River. No one knows how deep it actually is, divers have descended 50 meters but no one can figure out its actual depth.
The best thing you can do here is soak in the beauty and let relaxation mode take its course if you manage to get there before the crowds. Ideally, however, is not to go before 8 am because the intense colours this spring displays are hidden when the sun is not shining upon it.
If you are courageous, you can have a cold swim in its 10 degrees waters. Well I’ve tried putting my feet in and I couldn’t feel my legs in a few seconds, so I chickened out. But there were people swimming!
A great way to see the spring is to rent the paddle boat that is rented at the restaurant at 300 Leke per 30 minutes.
You can also have a picnic there however there are 2 restaurants in the vicinity, one of which is over the spring surrounded by beautiful views. They offer a variety of food between 600-2000 leke.
The Blue Eye spring is normally a place to visit for a few hours before returning back to the city. However, you can sleep there. Both restaurants offer 4 person cabins for only 4050 Leke including breakfast. But if you are road tripping and got your own tent, like I did, or you’re driving a camper van you can sleep for free!
If you do not have your own transport, the bus travelling between Gjirokastra and Saranda can drop you off at the entrance, where you have to walk a 2 km gravel road.
The entrance to the Blue Eye spring is 50 Leke per person, 100 Leke for the car or 50 Leke for a motocycle.
Make sure you don’t miss out on this ridiculously goregous highlight when visiting Albania.