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The Ionian island of Corfu, Greece is a popular stopover for summer travelers passing between countries due to its many ferry connections. The huge island is conveniently located between Italy and Greece (as well as other Balkan countries). It offers routes from Corfu to Saranda (Albania), many Italian ports, as well as a few Greek islands.
Considering the fact that flights to the Balkans are not as abundant as those to Western Europe and popular resort destinations, you can imagine the popularity of taking the ferry from Corfu to some stunningly hidden gems along the Balkan coastline during the summer months.
One such option is taking the ferry from Corfu to Saranda, Albania. With a travel time of anywhere between 35 minutes to over 2 hours, you can choose the option that best suits your travel style. Regardless of how fast your ferry is, you’ll pass through stunning scenery complete with densely forested islands and sandy, seemingly desolate beaches.
We’ve covered everything you need to know about taking the ferry from Corfu to Saranda for your next epic summer vacation.
Table of contents
- What Ferry Lines Travel from Corfu to Saranda?
- Where Can I Purchase Tickets for the Ticket from Corfu to Saranda?
- How Long is the Ferry from Corfu to Saranda?
- How Much Does the Ferry from Corfu to Saranda Cost?
- How Does Passport Control Operate on the Ferry from Corfu to Saranda?
- How Many Times Per Day Does the Ferry Travel from Corfu to Saranda?
- Is There Food at the Ports in Corfu or Saranda?
- Can I Bring My Car on the Ferry from Corfu to Saranda?
- Can I Bring My Pet on the Ferry from Corfu to Saranda?
- Remember – There is a Time Change Between Greece and Albania!
What Ferry Lines Travel from Corfu to Saranda?
There are several ferry lines that operate between Corfu and Saranda. The most popular and well-known line is Ionian Seaways, which has been in operation for over 20 years. This ferry line offers daily service between the two ports, with multiple departures each day.
Other ferry lines that operate between Corfu and Saranda include Finikas Lines and Joy Lines. These lines offer less frequent service than Ionian Seaways. However, they may offer cheaper fares or more departure times that fit your schedule.
When planning your trip, be sure to check the schedules and fares of all ferry lines operating between Corfu and Saranda to find the best option for you.
Where Can I Purchase Tickets for the Ticket from Corfu to Saranda?
If you are traveling during the high season, we recommend that you purchase your tickets from Corfu to Saranda online. This can be done a few days before the scheduled ferry departure.
Even in September, we had a hard time finding a spot on the early morning ferry when trying to purchase at the port on the day of our travel.
Your best bet is to purchase online in advance! You can compare all the ferry routes for your day of travel at Direct Ferries. Alternatively, you can book with the ferry operator directly.
You can also book in-person at the various ferry operators. However, you should try to arrive a day or two in advance to secure your spot.
How Long is the Ferry from Corfu to Saranda?
The ferry from Corfu to Saranda is a short but beautiful journey. The crossing takes between 35 minutes and upwards of 2 hours depending on which ferry you choose. The views of both the Albanian and Greek coasts are stunning, with gorgeous sunsets if you’re traveling in the evening.
This is a popular route for tourists visiting both countries, as it is an easy and affordable way to travel between them. There are several ferries operating per day, so you can easily find a time that suits your schedule. And once you’re in Saranda, you’ll be able to enjoy all the wonderful beaches, restaurants and attractions that this lively seaside town has to offer.
Take a quick taxi or bus ride to the seaside village of Ksamil, nicknamed the ‘Maldives of Europe’ for its stunning white sand beaches with clear, turquoise waters.
How Much Does the Ferry from Corfu to Saranda Cost?
The ferry from Corfu to Saranda costs around €20-40 for a one-way ticket. The exact cost depends on the ferry line you choose as well as whether you opt for a high speed ferry or the slow boat.
The above picture is of the high-speed boat, which looks like a boat on skis, as it doesn’t entirely touch the water. For one trip we took the fast boat, and for another we took the slow boat. Either are fine, so long as you plan accordingly! You have better views from the slow boat.
How Does Passport Control Operate on the Ferry from Corfu to Saranda?
Greece is a European Union member, as well as a member of the Schengen States. Albania is neither of these, and so passports are required to cross the border between the two countries.
You will need to arrive at customs an hour prior to your scheduled ferry departure in order to ensure enough time to get through. It can get unbearably hot during the throes of summer, even worse if you don’t make it on time and are stuck waiting in line outside, baking under the intense Greek sun. Your best bet is to arrive a little earlier than you need to and wait inside to avoid having to stand out in the heat if, like me, you’re particularly sensitive to it.
Be sure to get your snacks and drinks before you pass through or you’ll have to pass through again (and wait in line, again).
After the ferry docks in Saranda, you’ll pass through passport control on the Albanian side.
How Many Times Per Day Does the Ferry Travel from Corfu to Saranda?
During the high season, both Finikas Lines and Ionian Seaways have three ferry crossings per day, so six in total. Joy Lines operates 14 crossings per week, with the number on each day varying depending on the day of the week.
There are fewer crossings in the winter, so if you’re traveling during the off-season, be sure to look at the ferry schedule and timetable in advance.
Is There Food at the Ports in Corfu or Saranda?
In both the Port of Corfu and the Port of Saranda, there is a small cafe inside the passport control building. In both instances, the cafe is outside of passport control, so be sure to get what you need before you get in line.
They have non-alcoholic drinks, coffees, beer, wine, liquor, pastries, sandwiches, and other portable options. The ham and cheese pie in Corfu was surprisingly good (so much so that I am still thinking about it!).
Can I Bring My Car on the Ferry from Corfu to Saranda?
Yes! You can bring your vehicle on the ferry. However, if you are renting a car, be sure to check with the rental agency ahead of time with regard to taking the vehicle into a non-EU country, as many rental agencies don’t allow it.
Can I Bring My Pet on the Ferry from Corfu to Saranda?
Yes! You can bring your furry friend with you on the ferry as well. Be sure to specify this when booking your ticket if the option is available. Some lines, such as Finikas Lines, don’t charge pet fees.
Remember – There is a Time Change Between Greece and Albania!
Don’t make the same mistake I did – I booked a ferry ticket for 19:00 which was scheduled to arrive at 19:15. Amazing! I found the only 15-minute ferry from Corfu to Saranda! Wrong. I didn’t realize that there was a 1 hour time difference between the two countries, making my journey 1 hour and 15 minutes.
That would have been all well and good, save for the fact that I had scheduled a ride in Saranda to take us to Ksamil, and I didn’t pack any snacks (at dinnertime, no less).