Saranda & Monastery
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Approximately 6 Hours
Begin your day with a drive to Lekuresi Castle, set on a strategic hill point overlooking the town of Saranda, southeast of the town center. It was built in 1537 by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. The castle was initially built to protect the city of Saranda from invaders accessing the coastline by boat. From the castle you have great views of Corfu and Ksamil islands.
A panoramic drive brings you to the Mesopotamian Monastery. Although restoration of the interior of the monastery is still underway, a brief stop allows you to view the exterior. Capture photos of this fine example of a Byzantine Fortified Monastery, built in the 12th century.
Next up is the Blue Eye Spring -- well worth visiting. This hypnotic pool of deep blue water is surrounded by electric-blue edges like the iris of an eye, and is enveloped in thick woods, adding to the mystical nature of the spring and its surroundings. According to the legend, it was home to a twelve-headed dragon who jealously held back the spring waters from the thirsty villagers.
Enjoy lunch at one of the famous restaurants in this area, serving homemade local delicacies.
On the scenic drive back to Saranda, you'll learn more about the ancient Illyrian city of Onchesmos -- today's Saranda.
Wear comfortable walking shoes.