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Old 28-11-2011, 23:41   #1
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Sarande, Albania

In late October we called in at Sarande, Albania on our way from Sibari, Calabria to Lefkada, Greece. We are a non-vat paid boat registered in Guernsey so follow the rules for non-EU boats.
We called an agent, Agim Zholi (+355 692 566576 and agimzholi*at*yahoo*dot*com) as we passed the heel of Italy and he was waiting for us at the quay in Sarande the next morning. He speaks good English, took our paperwork and passports, returning with our inward clearance and shore passes within 30 minutes. My wife travels on her South African passport and had no Albanian visa. The authorities had no problem with this. Sarande is a commercial port and has no marina. Mooring is alongside a quay wall tucked into the corner of the harbour and is inside the secure area. When I asked, I was assured that leaving the boat unattended presented no problems (as indeed was the case).
We found the people friendly enough, especially when we had committed a couple of words of the local language to our memory. The town had basically anything you needed food and restaurant wise but limited chandlery ability.
Checking out also took less than 30 minutes (again done by Agim). Costs were Euro 70 inclusive of 2 nights port fees and an Albanian flag.
All in all, an easy, pleasant and cost effective way to get out of the EU. We will return next year and do some inland travelling.

Cheers,
Jacobite
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Old 29-11-2011, 03:32   #2
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Re: Sarande, Albania

Hi Jacobite,
Really appreciate you sharing this with us. Not a lot of first hand info about Albania is shared across the cruising world, so look forward to hearing more of your experiences when you next visit.
Cheers
JOHN
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Old 29-11-2011, 09:17   #3
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Re: Sarande, Albania

Just this Sunday at the Cruising Association in London I listened to a great talk on cruising Albania in 2010, and talked to some folks who ahd been there in 2011. Both really enjoyed it. Their experience matched jacobite's in terms of get an agent (cheap and well worth it) and it being friendly and secure.

There is only 1 marina in Albania and it's not very nice. Otherwise it's all port walls and anchorages.
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Old 29-11-2011, 09:23   #4
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Re: Sarande, Albania

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Originally Posted by swagman View Post
Hi Jacobite,
Really appreciate you sharing this with us. Not a lot of first hand info about Albania is shared across the cruising world, so look forward to hearing more of your experiences when you next visit.
Cheers
JOHN
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Old 01-06-2012, 17:38   #5
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Re: Sarande, Albania

Hi Jacobite, we too are a non-vat paid boat (Canadian registered) and need to get out of the EU for a few days, which we plan to do in late July/early August this summer. Your post is great and I hope Agim is still there. If there is anything else you think we should know we'd really appreciate hearing it. We'll be coming from Italy, likely straight to Sarande with a family of 4 Canadians on board...then out to Greece afterwards. Cheers!
Marina
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:08   #6
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Re: Sarande, Albania

Agim is still there as I know someone who was there last month. Unfortunately we will not get to do more visiting this year as I am presently sitting in Port of Spain, Trinidad (have been dragged back into the traces and enjoying it!) so am busy to organise Jacobite from Palma to Martinique in Nov/Dec.
I am sure you will enjoy Sarande - basic but nice.
And afterwards - so much to enjoy in Greece (hide in August - too hot and crowded). I had a previous boat based in Lefkada for 5 years (and another 5 years in Athens) in the late 80's so was a bit nervous about returning and introducing my wife to it. No worries. Yes, more boats about - yes, economic strife, - yes, the often quirky Greek ways - yes (in the east) the Meltemi which often blows like stink -but!!! it is beautiful and fun.
Don't you just love boating.
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:40   #7
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Re: Sarande, Albania

As go today Agim is still here and still waits at the quay for you!! It was a breeze here on everything. I am here for a few days or weeks who knows. You can stay here as long as you want now if you get a job!! Yes u can work here too. May be a winter consideration if I can find the right place to park. The quay is brutal. Plus I scraped the coast guard boat trying to get side to. It was quite windy and raining. Oh and I'm new to sailing, I'm singlehanding a steel 40,000 pound vessel!! They were and have been great so far. Only downside is he has had people coming over trying to get work in the boat and its a little awkward. I haven't asked for help like that but he is a definite jewel! Even took me to lunch and paid!! Wow. Thanks for the lead guys!!
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Old 07-11-2013, 00:47   #8
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Re: Sarande, Albania

Jacobite-- thanks for the posting -- we are a USA boat and need to get in and out of the EU and are planning to head to Albania next june or july - and then on to Greece and will winter over in Turkey next year -- it sounds like we could leave the boat there for a bit while we do some inland travel and explore the country --
enjoy the carib

just our thoughts and opinions
chuck patty and svsoulmates
in port yasmine hammamet tunisia for the winter
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:50   #9
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Paperwork is a little bit too thorough for me here. Seems like big brother is all over you. Having said that it served its purpose. As for turkey be sure you have your yachmasters license onboard as it is a requirement to travel in turkey. My friend whose a live aboard and been sailing for forty years just had to pay a couple of hundred euros for the piece of paper. Fortunately he knew someone who didn't make him take any courses to issue it. The charge was because he works for a company that required it. Fair winds
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:02   #10
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Re: Sarande, Albania

cjwelch -- thanks -- but we are not yachtmasters -- did our training in the usa -- via asa -- we'll see i guess

just our opinion and thoughts
chuck patty and svsoulmates
in port yasmine hammamet tunisia for the winter
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:53   #11
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Re: Sarande, Albania

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Originally Posted by jacobite View Post
Checking out also took less than 30 minutes (again done by Agim). Costs were Euro 70 inclusive of 2 nights port fees and an Albanian flag.
All in all, an easy, pleasant and cost effective way to get out of the EU. We will return next year and do some inland travelling.

This is just a reminder how simple and easy things were before more and more regulations were introduced for no visible benefit.

I heard that Albanian coast has not been well marked, did you have any issues with that? Was the GPS info accurate enough?

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Old 08-11-2013, 03:34   #12
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Re: Sarande, Albania

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Originally Posted by Cjwelch View Post
Paperwork is a little bit too thorough for me here. Seems like big brother is all over you. Having said that it served its purpose. As for turkey be sure you have your yachmasters license onboard as it is a requirement to travel in turkey. My friend whose a live aboard and been sailing for forty years just had to pay a couple of hundred euros for the piece of paper. Fortunately he knew someone who didn't make him take any courses to issue it. The charge was because he works for a company that required it. Fair winds
Not so, unless there's been some dramatic change. We've spent the past seven years both in Turkey and in Greece and have never once been asked for any evidence of competence. I've only just acquired an ICC since we're travelling to Albania, Montenegro and Croatia next year and you ARE sometimes asked for it in the latter two countries.

GORDON KNIGHT
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Old 08-11-2013, 05:26   #13
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Re: Sarande, Albania

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cjwelch -- thanks -- but we are not yachtmasters -- did our training in the usa -- via asa -- we'll see i guess
Licenses usually will be asked at charter comps, but itīs unimportant if ICC, ASA, RYA or whatever. you can get an ICC by ASA
International Sailing Proficiency Certification for Chartering from ASA
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