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The Blue Eye, or Syri i Kalter in Albanian, is a stunning natural beauty spot in Southern Albania, located close to the port city of Saranda. It is the source of the Bistricë River that meanders through some beautiful Albanian countryside.

Here’s a brief guide on how to get there from Saranda:

  1. By Car: The journey follows the mountain pass (SH99) route to Gjirokaster and it is very scenic. The drive should take roughly 30 minutes depending on traffic.
  2. By Bus: There are modern shuttles providing direct tours from Saranda to the Blue Eye and back. They depart every 30 minutes. There is also a minibus, or “Furgon”, that will take you close to the Blue Eye.

Upon arrival, there is a small entry fee and a dirt track of roughly 2km leading towards the river. The Blue Eye spring is just a short walk from here. It’s a must-see when visiting the Albanian Riviera.


The Blue Eye, or Syri i Kalter in Albanian, is a natural spring that is nothing short of magical. Its beauty is so captivating that it has become a major tourist attraction. The spring is more than 50 meters deep and pumps fresh water to the surface with an enormous power. The water is ice-cold, maintaining a temperature of around 10 degrees Celsius throughout the year.

The Blue Eye is a freshwater pool that strikingly resembles a human eye1. The dark underwater cave at the center looks like the pupil, and the bright blue water surrounding it appears like the iris. This resemblance is what gave the spring its name, Syri I Kalter, which translates to “the blue eye” in Albanian.

The spring is described as “magical and hypnotic” by the Lonely Planet and “breath-taking and mesmerizing” by Atlas Obscura. The sight of the water flowing to the surface has a calming effect, and the bright blue color is so vibrant that it’s hard to believe it’s all natural. The water is so clear that it looks like a gigantic aquarium, allowing you to see all the underwater plants, stones, fishes, and tree branches.

The Blue Eye is a Vauclusian spring, meaning the spring water comes from a deep, almost vertical cave. It is one of the most powerful springs in South-East Europe. The average discharge of the spring is 6000 liters per second, but at high water, the spring has a discharge rate of 18,400 liters per second. The spring is the source of the Bistrice river, which leads to the Ionian Sea.

Visiting the Blue Eye is like stepping into a fairy-tale. The emerald blue water spring, the dragonflies fluttering around, and the serene surroundings all contribute to an almost otherworldly experience. It’s a place where nature’s beauty is on full display, offering a unique and unforgettable adventure.