Velipoja is a nice sandy beach area situated on the estuary of the River Buna (the only
navigable river of Albania), where it flows into the Adriatic Sea while making border with
Montenegro. Velipoje offers to the tourists the unique possibility to enjoy a
seaside line with very clean water and rich sand - 14 km long, and in average 200 meters wide. The beach
naturally regenerates every year through the floods by the sea waves during the winter period, ensuring always a
high content of salt and iodium in the sand.
Velipoje has a mild climate (average temperature 6-7C) the summer is relatively hot (July’s average temeperature is
24C and max 48C). The best period for going to the beach starts from early May and lasts until late
The administrative unit of Velipoja
has a population of around 10,000, spread over several small settlements, the largest of which is the commune of
Velipoja. Its economy is based on agriculture
(arable land and livestock, sheep and cattle), some fishing, and chiefly tourism. The scenery is largely
unspoiled: a mixture of sea-coast, river estuary, heathland, thick pine woods, farmland, and high mountains. It
has been remarked by visitors that the heathland to the north of Velipoja is very reminiscent of Scottish
scenery. A nature reserve lies within the commune. The area is a prime site for birdwatching, game shooting and
fishing. The long, sandy beach is a popular attraction in summer with more than 1 million tourists visiting the
area each summer season.
The national road connecting Velipoje
with the rest of the country is fully paved and in good conditions. Travelling from Tirana, before entering
Shkoder, the roads makes a turn left and Velipoje beach is about 25 km from there. Two roads are under plans -
the first will connect Velipoje with Shengjin, Lezhe, shortening significantly the road distance from Tirane to
Velipoje in about 1h drive. The second, will connect Velipoje with Ada Bojana in Montenegro, making Velipoje
directly accessible to tourists to and from Montenegro, just 5km from Velipoje area.
The Commune of Velipoja started to be inhabited after the 60s of the
last century, despite that historical data show that Velipoja's population dates in more recent periods such as
the XV century. The existence of mogilas (cone shaped graveyards, built with stones) found in the hills of
Luarzi and Maja e Zeze, the ruins in the shore of River Buna and other archeological findings demonstrate an
The River Buna and the surrounding territories , such as the
Island of Franc Jozef, the reservoir of Velipoja, the Lagoon of Viluni, the beach of Baks-Rrjoll and the marsh of
Domni are natural protected areas.
In recent years, several projects have been instituted with the aim
of conserving the environment (including the marine life of the Buna) and the encouragement of ecological
tourism. There have also been recent efforts to develop fish farming. The area has many small hotels and guest
houses. There is a market, where local farmers sell their produce. In the commune, there is a church-sponsored
kindergarten, several primary schools, two secondary schools, and one gymnasium. There is also a small theatre
and a thriving local football team, KS Ada Velipojë and ground.
Velipoje has a considerable number of restaurants, with a
picturesque view of nature and the sea, where you might try different cooking styles such as Albanian, Italian
and of various Balkan countries. Food is fresh as it comes directly from fishing or from the villages in the
area. Local products used for cooking are delicious and prices in the restaurants are affordable.