SH8 road offers spectacular views of the Albanian coast
SH8 is the name of a scenic coastal road offering spectacular views along the Adriatic and Ionian coasts of Albania. It’s one of the world's best coastal drives.
Built in the 1920’s, the road is totally paved. It’s 158 km (98 miles) long, running north-south from Fier (the seat of Fier County and Fier Municipality) to Saranda or Sarandë (a municipality in Vlorë County, in the southern part of the country and one of the most important tourist attractions of the Albanian Riviera).
Sandwiched between the Ionian Sea, the road tops out by Llogara Pass at 1.043m (3,422ft) above the sea level. The newly surfaced road ascends rapidly from sea level to the pass. The latter can be quite dangerous as the road is narrow at spots, high elevation means constant braking or frequent gear changes, tight turns and lack of barriers at some places.
To drive the road without stopping will take most people between 3 and 4 hours. The road follows the rocky cliffs and blue waters of the Adriatic, with charming hotels and popular beaches along the way. The typical Mediterranean coastal road that follows will prove very satisfying. However, don't be surprised to see old aged ladies in black carrying heavy loads of wood for the winter, people riding on donkeys, shepherds walking undisturbed with their flocks of sheep, or just cows chilling for the sake of it - all along the main road. Once arriving at your destination, congratulate yourself for becoming a true Albanian driver.