Albanian Residency

Stela hosted artists and writers in a seaside Saranda villa. 

How long is it for? You can choose to stay for five to fourteen days anytime from 9/24 – 10/14.

How many people  will be there? The house can only hold six at a time.

Can I have visitors? Sure, but talk to Stela first.

How do I get there? The easiest route to Saranda is via Corfu, Greece. There is a 30-minute ferry that goes from the island of Corfu to Saranda. A passport is required. Otherwise, take a plane to Tirana, Albania. There, busses to Saranda run throughout the day. In 5/6-hours and for around $7, these busses will deliver you to Saranda city center. When you arrive, Stela will pick you up for a short walk to the villa. Travel expenses and tickets are your responsibility until I win the lottery.

Do I need a VISA? Not if you have an American passport. Per the US Department of State: “Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond your stay. You may enter the Republic of Albania as a tourist without a visa.”

Where are we staying? In my grandpa’s villa, in a neighborhood known locally for its fruit trees. We have two persimmon trees, one fig tree, one lemon tree, a grapevine, a backyard that needs scaping and saving, a balcony, a rooftop terrace, and a paved veranda.

What should I bring? Bring 2 weeks' clothing. The days are warm and sunny, but the nights get chilly. Bring a swimsuit. Bring hiking boots. Buy a towel (have a feeling we will be low).

Anything else?  We have access to the only cinema in town, which is on the waterfront. The owner is my mom’s close friend and is happy to let us take over programming. There’s nothing scheduled in all of October.
Saranda is an ancient port town on the coast of Albania. The length of the town is a 20-minute walk. It is a very cheap place, and most transactions are cash based.

For tourists passing through the Albanian Riviera, Saranda is known for its historic remains and its nature. Other visitors come to enjoy the vivid local culture, contemporary myth, and recent communist history. Much of this history is still being discovered. The city – and the country – has been open to the west for only 27 years.

“This is a place where Roman troops traveled, this is a place where Normans traveled, this is a place where Ottomans traveled. World War I, World War II. There are many stories to be connected to this area.” Auron Tare

“For 50 years, we were totally isolated under a very brutal dictatorship. It was a Communist country but not like others, meaning we were isolated from both the East and West…Our Communism was more like North Korea. During this isolation, we were told every day, every night, everywhere, that our biggest enemy was America [which] became this strictly forbidden apple that everybody wanted to bite.”
Edi Rama, current Prime Minister