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Located on the Albanian Riviera, a few kilometers south of Himarë, the pretty bay of Porto Palermo is a good option for snorkeling in the area. The small peninsula located in the center of the bay, on which stands a fortress, indeed offers lively rocky bottoms. Scorpionfish, sand steenbras, starfish, sea urchins live on shallow waters, where they are easy to spot.

Porto Palermo Beach, Albania
The southern shore of Porto Palermo headland.

How to get to Porto Palermo snorkeling spot?

Porto Palermo bay is located about ten minutes drive south of Himarë. The snorkeling area is located around the small peninsula in the center of the bay, on which stands Ali Pasha fortress. You can park near the monastery.

Porto Palermo snorkeling map, Albania

Water entrance for snorkeling Porto Palermo

Water entrance is from a sandy beach or rocks.

Porto Palermo snorkeling exploration tips

You can snorkel both north and south of the isthmus, but avoid the boat mooring area on the north side (see map).

Black scorpionfish in Porto Palermo
Small black scorpionfish are occasionally seen in the rock scree.

Starting from the shore, the water is shallow for a few tens of meters and then increases rapidly. The seabed is mainly rocky but offers varied underwater landscapes, including small drop-offs, ridges, and scree areas. In places, a few patches of Posidonia are found.

Sabella in Porto Palermo
An orange sabella noted in the rocks.

The rocks are called home by many sea urchins, as well as by red starfish, sabella, fireworms and a variety of small algae. During your snorkeling, you will encounter various fish species. Wrasse, mullet, blenny, sand steenbras and red mullet are in particular very common. In the scree, small black scorpionfish are sometimes sighted.

Bucchich's goby in Porto Palermo
A Bucchich’s goby in Porto Palermo.

In Porto Palermo, as often along the Albanian coasts, the fish are quite small.

Palermo Bay is generally very calm, with no particular current, and offers excellent underwater visibility.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

The Porto Palermo Restaurant is on the other side of the road, facing the peninsula. The north beach, made up of sand and small pebbles, has umbrellas and beach beds. There are also a few beach beds on the more rocky south side.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth10ft/3m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersLow
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyYes

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.