Free shore access
This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee.
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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 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.
Water entrance is from a sandy beach or rocks.
You can snorkel both north and south of the isthmus, but avoid the boat mooring area on the north side (see map).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Small rocky bay with a great diversity of fish
Free shore access
Rocky cove with a diversity of fish.
Shallow rocky and grassy seabed
Rocky beds visited by loggerhead sea turtles
Preserved rocky islet with a diversity of fish
Free shore access
Rocky shore with a diversity of fish