Lighthouses of Albania

Albania faces west on the Adriatic Sea and Strait of Otranto south of Montenegro and north of Greece. The country gained its independence from the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire in 1912. After World War II it was governed by a repressive communist dictatorship and generally closed to visitors, an isolation that came to an end after the Communists were pushed out of power in 1992. Although it remains one of Europe's least known countries, tourism is developing rapidly, especially on the southern coast.

Durrës and Vlorë are the major ports. At various times in the past the Albanian language has been written in all the major scripts of the region including Greek, Cyrillic, and Arabic, but since 1908 it has been written in the Latin script with the addition of the letters ë and ç. The Albanian word for a lighthouse is far; kep is a cape or headland, gji is a bay, and ishull is an island.

Aids to navigation in Albania are maintained by the hydrogrpahic division of the Albanian Naval Force (Forca Detare). Under a 2004 agreement between Albania and Italy, the Italian Navy has provided technical and equipment assistance to Albania in upgrading its aids to navigation.

Historically, many locations in Albania were better known by their Italian names, shown in curly brackets {}.

Information on Albanian lighthouses is very scarce, so reports and photos from visitors would be welcome.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume E of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 113.

General Sources
Online List of Lights - Albania
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
World of Lighthouses - Albania
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Weitere europäische Leuchttürme auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard views posted by Klaus Huelse.

Kep i Treporteve Light, Vlorë, May 2007
Panoramio photo copyright Leonard Xhaxho
permission requested

Vlorë County Lighthouses

Sarandë Area Lighthouses
* Sarandë (Gjiri Sarandës, Lëkurës) {Santi Quaranta} (2?)
2010. Active; focal plane 215 m (705 ft); three white flashes every 30 s. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical rubblestone tower with an aluminum lantern. Leonard Xhaxho's photo is at right, and Trabas has Douglas Cameron's photo, but the lighthouse is too new to appear in Bing's satellite view. Fiona McEachran has a photo of the lighthouse not yet completed in November 2009. This lighthouse is a short distance south of the 16th century Lëkurësi Castle, now the site of a popular restaurant. Located on the heights above Sarandë (Saranda), a port and tourist center facing the north end of the Greek island of Kérkyra (Corfu). Site open, tower closed. Admiralty E3742.3.
Kep i Qefalit (Cape Kefali)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 147 m (482 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. Post mounted on a building, according to NGA. A view of the cape shows a communications tower, but the light is not seen; Bing has a satellite view of the station. Located atop a precipitous cape about 25 km (15 mi) northwest of Sarandë. Site status unknown. Admiralty E3741; NGA 14372.
Kep i Palermos {Porto Palermo}
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 113 m (371 ft); white flash every 8 s. 10 m (33 ft) square stone tower. Lightphotos.net also has a view from the sea, a more distant view of the station from the sea is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a prominent cape about 15 km (9 mi) southeast of Himarë. Site status unknown. ARLHS ALB-001; Admiralty E3734; NGA 14368.

Karaburan Peninsula Lighthouses
* Kep i Gjuhezes
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 58 m (190 ft); white flash every 6 s. 4 m (13 ft) mast atop a partially ruined concrete foundation. A photo is available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. NGA describes this as a 47 m (154 ft) "white post and bunker." Located on the northwestern tip of the Karaburun peninsula, south of Sazan Island. Site open. ARLHS ALB-008; Admiralty E3732.5; NGA 14338.
Sqepi i Sevasinit (Shen Vasilit)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 75 m (246 ft); three white flashes every 8 s. 6 m (20 ft) octagonal cylindrical stone tower, unpainted. A distant view is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a rugged east coast of the Karaburun peninsula about 8 km (5 mi) north of Orikum on the west side of the Gji i Vlorës. Site status unknown; a dirt road passes the lighthouse but it looks like a steep climb up to the tower. ARLHS ALB-015; Admiralty E3732; NGA 14352.
Sarandë Light
Gjiri Sarandës Light, Sarandë, July 2010
Panoramio photo copyright Leonard Xhaxho; permission requested
Gji Dukatit (Kep i Pasha Liman, Sqepi Orikum)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 8 m (26 ft) square masonry tower with gallery, painted white. The light can be seen on the cape at the left in a view of the harbor, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a headland sheltering the Pashaliman Naval Station in Orikum, at the southern end of the Gji i Vlorës. Site status unknown. ARLHS ALB-013; Admiralty E3731; NGA 14360.

Vlorë Area Lighthouses
Kep i Kalaja (Kalase)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); one long (1.5 s) white flash every 10 s. Described by NGA as a 6 m (20 ft) "white square tower." The cape is actually occupied by a taller white building that appears to be a signal station or harbor control building. A photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a precipitous headland on the south side of Vlorë. Site status unknown. Admiralty E3729.5; NGA 14351.
[Vlorë East Mole]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 8 m (26 ft); green flash every 3 s. 6 m (20 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery. Entire lighthouse is green. A view along the pier and a view from shore are available, and Bing has a satellite view. This harbor is the terminal for ferries crossing the Strait of Otranto from Brindisi, Italy. Located at the end of the east breakwater of Vlorë. Site status unknown. Admiralty E3729; NGA 14348.
[Vlorë West Mole]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); red flash every 3 s. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery. Entire lighthouse is red. A photo (third photo on the page) is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of the west breakwater of Vlorë. Site status unknown. Admiralty E3729.1; NGA 14350.
Triporti South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 8 m (26 ft); two red flashes every 6 s. 6 m (20 ft) round stone tower with gallery. Tower unpainted, gallery painted red. Filippo d'Anselmi has a distant view, and Bing has a satellite view. NGA calls this the west breakwater. Located at the end of the south breakwater at a small harbor about 6 km (3.5 mi) northwest of the main Vlorë harbor. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty E3727.6; NGA 14346.
Triporti North Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 8 m (26 ft); two green flashes every 6 s. 6 m (20 ft) round stone tower with gallery. Tower unpainted, gallery painted green. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. NGA calls this the east breakwater. Located at the end of the north breakwater at a small harbor about 6 km (3.5 mi) northwest of the main Vlorë harbor. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty E3727.7; NGA 14347.
Kep i Treporteve
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) 2-stage stucco-covered stone tower; upper portion octagonal, lower portion square. The lighthouse is unpainted. A building near the lighthouse may be a keeper's house. Leonard Xhaxho's 2007 closeup photo is also at the top of this page, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the northeast side of the entrance to the Gji i Vlorës, about 8 km (5 mi) east of Sazan Island and the same distance northwest of Vlorë. Site status unknown. ARLHS ALB-007; Admiralty E3727; NGA 14344.

Sazan Island Lighthouses
Ishull i Sazanit (Sazan Island) {Saseno} (2?)
Date unknown (station established by the Ottoman Empire in 1871). Active; focal plane 193 m (633 ft); white flash every 10 s. 12 m (39 ft) round tower attached to a 2-story keeper's house. The lighthouse can be seen very distantly in a photo and second photo of the island, and Bing has a satellite view. At the highest available resolution, one can see a skeletal tower standing next to the historic lighthouse. However, it also appears that the light may be mounted on the west corner of the old lighthouse. More information is needed! Sazan Island, known as Saseno in Italian, is located strategically in the mouth of the Gji i Vlorës, Vlorë Bay. The island was occupied by Britain after the Napoleonic Wars. In 1864 it was ceded to Greece, but since the Greeks did not occupy it the Ottomans did so, building a lighthouse in 1871. Greece finally took over the island in 1912, but ceded the island to Italy after World War I. The Italian Wikipedia article for Saseno states that the present lighthouse was built by Italy. Sazan was occupied by Albanian partisans in 1944 and Albanian ownership was confirmed in 1947. Located atop a steep slope on the northwestern side of the island. Accessible only by boat, and the island, site of a former Soviet air base, is a restricted military area. Site and tower closed. ARLHS ALB-004; Admiralty E3723; NGA 14328.
Kep i Jugor
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); white flash every 6 s. 8 m (26 ft) square cylindrical stone tower. The lighthouse is unpainted. A photo is at right, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the southern tip of Sazan Island. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty E3726.5; NGA 14337.
Kep i Jugor Light
Kep i Jugor Light, Sazan Island, July 2011
Panoramio photo copyright Xhovani; permission requested

Fier County Lighthouse

Vjosë Lighthouse
Vjosë (Vijose, Lume Vijose) (1) (?)
Date unknown. Inactive. An abandoned round masonry tower, at least 15 m (49 ft) tall. Endangered and leaning. A 2007 photo shows the tower at the water's edge, and Google's satellite view shows it on the beach. The active light (focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 3 s) is on a 10 m (33 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white, about 80 m (260 ft) east of the old tower. Curiously, there doesn't seem to be any record of the old tower being used as a lighthouse, but it's hard to imagine that it's anything else. More information is needed! Located just north of the Vjosë River entrance near Bishan. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ALB-011; Admiralty E3721; NGA 14324.

Durrës County Lighthouses

Durrës Area Lighthouses
Kep i Lagit (1)
Date unknown. Inactive. Approx. 8 m (26 ft) octagonal cylindrical white stone or concrete tower. KavajaOnline.com has a photo, the same photo is available on Panoramio.com, and Google has a satellite view. The active light (focal plane 71 m (233 ft); one long white flash every 6 s) has been moved to a much higher location; the old light had a focal plane of only 13 m (43 ft). The form of the new light is not known. Kep i Lagit is the promontory at the south end of the Gji i Durrësit (Durres Bay), about 15 km (9 mi) across the bay due south of Durrës. Located on the point of the cape. Site status unknown. ARLHS ALB-014; Admiralty E3719; NGA 14320.
Durrës East Mole
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); green flash every 5 s. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower mounted on a large square concrete base. Tower painted green (?). No closeup photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of the east breakwater. Site status unknown. Admiralty E3714; NGA 14316.
Durrës South Mole
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); red flash every 5 s. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower mounted on a large square concrete base. Tower painted red. No closeup photo available, but HD Media Production has a view from the sea, Gabriel Gruda has another view from the sea, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of the breakwater quay of Durrës harbor. Site status unknown. Admiralty E3712; NGA 14312.
* Kep i Durrësit (Durrës) {Durazzo}
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 126 m (413 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 14 m (46 ft) octagonal cylindrical stone tower with gallery. The lighthouse is unpainted white stone. Tim Partlett's photo is at right, and Bing has a satellite view. Kep i Durrësit (Cape Durres) is a headland sheltering the harbor of Durrës, Albania's principal port of entry. Located on the heights above the palace of King Zog I, which is one of the best known attractions in Durrës; visitors report it is possible to walk a short distance uphill from the palace to find the lighthouse. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ALB-002; Admiralty E3711; NGA 14304.
[Kep i Palit]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); flash every 10 s, alternately red and white. 3 m (10 ft) stone tower, painted green. No photo available, and the location of the tower is not clear in Google's fuzzy satellite view of the cape. The Albanian Naval Force has a base at an artificial harbor in the lee of the cape. Located on a sharp promontory on the northwest side of Durrës. Site and tower closed (military base). Admiralty E3708; NGA 14300.
Kep i Durrësit Light
Kep i Durrësit Light, Durrës
photo copyright Tim Partlett; used by permission
* [Kep i Rodonit (Cape Rodoni) (4?)]
2007 (station established by the Ottoman Empire in 1884). Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft) (?); two white flashes every 10 s. 3 m (10 ft) light mounted on a short mast. A photo is available, and the shadow of the post is barely visible in a Google satellite view of the cape. NGA lists a 10 m (33 ft) skeletal tower, painted white, and earlier lists included a 10 m (33 ft) white "column," and this column. Rodonit is a sharp, mountainous cape that projects about 8 km (5 mi) into the Adriatic Sea in northern Albania. We need more information on this historic light station; we don't know if anything survives of the Ottoman lighthouse. Located on the heights above the cape. Accessible by a hiking trail. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ALB-016; Admiralty E3705; NGA 14296.

Shkodër County Lighthouse

Shengjin Lighthouse
Kep i Shengjinit (Cape Shengjin) (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); red flash every 5s. 18 m (59 ft) "pile on roof of building," according to the 2009 NGA list. Besnik Saliu's photo of the cape shows the 4-story building, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a cape sheltering the harbor of Shengjin, a town about 20 km (13 mi) east southeast of the Montenegrin border. Site status unknown. ARLHS ALB-017; Admiralty E3702; NGA 14280.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Montenegro | Southeast: Northern Greece | South: Ionian Islands

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Posted October 12, 2006. Checked and revised November 23, 2014. Lighthouses: 18. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.