Earlier this month, two Albanian ministries signed a cooperation deal to turn the southern Sazan Island into a tourist destination. The agreement was signed between Albanian Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism and Trade and the Ministry of Defense according to the news.
Sazan Island, the largest island off the coast of Albania, has a surface area of 5.7 square km. The island is actually a military facility with no civil population, but now Economy minister Milva Ekonomi, will take place because of constant requests of Albanian tour operators, travel agencies and those trying to offer more destinations to tourists seeking to explore Albania. Minister of defense Mimi Kodheli told reporters after signing the agreement that tourism as a significant sector of the Albanian economy.
“Due to the fact that many military bases are located in prominent places of particular natural beauty such as the seaside, we should make it possible for tourists to visit them thus making their stay more appealing.”
The island, once a fortified and isolated enclave, actually has bunkers and tunnels designed to withstand nuclear attacks. Something of a mystery for even many Albanians, the base once was occupied by as many as 3,000 military personnel. Sazan Island sits at Albania’s most western point, a fortress once used by Italy’s Fascist regime during the 1930s for controlling the “Otranto Strait”. Today more than half of the island’s surrounding marine area forms part of the Karaburun-Sazan National Marine Park.
Despite what ministers say though, Albania’s Adriatic coast has hundreds of resort possibilities. From Durres to the South and Sarandë, hospitality companies have enough trouble filling hotels as it is. Even despite the so-called “Albanian Riviera’s” lustrous beauty and uniqueness, tourism executives have had a tough time since the economic crisis hit. So it appears Sazan has yet another “mysterious” episode to be discovered by history.