Albania defense ministry opens Sazan Island for tourists

Published on : Friday, April 7, 2017

Sazan IslandDuring the summer, Albania’s Defense ministry has agreed to open Sazan Island, a military base still under its management, for the tourists. Defense Minister Mimi Kodheli on Wednesday signed an agreement with her colleague, Economy Minister Milva Ekonomi, to allow visits from May until October.

 
This deal is important for the Albanian economy, since many tour operators have insisted that visiting the island would be a popular attraction. However, she didn’t explain how the tourists would be taken there or provide other details of how potential tours would be managed. The island, once a fortified, isolated spot, has bunkers and tunnels designed to endure nuclear attacks. It remains a mystery to most Albanians although more than 3,000 military personnel living there once.

 
During the 1930s, Sazan, Albania’s most western point, was first used by Italy’s Fascist regime. According to Kodheli, “No doubt Sazan Island is a tourist attraction due to its position.” He added that the site also has diverse varieties of flora and fauna that could attract interest of researchers.

 

The defense minister said that the government is considering letting tourists visit two other naval military bases close to the island ” Pashe Alimani and Orikum ” with archaeological sites found there. Some 4.7 million tourists visited Albania in 2016. Tourism remains the main income source for Albania.

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