Syri I Kalter
Syri i Kalter (the name is in Albanian, in English means “blue eye”) is a karst spring located on the western slopes of Mount Mali Gjerë in Albania. It has a capacity of 6 m³/s, making it the richest source of the country. The water flows at a temperature of 12.75 °C, the depth of the source has not yet been established. Against the background of the clear rocks, the spring assumes a dark blue color which gives the name.
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The blue eye is another wonder of southern Albania, it lies on the road between the towns of Saranda and Gjirokastra, further inland. The water in the inner source is a very dark blue, like the pupil of an eye, and a lighter color of blue as an outer ring – the iris, which gives the impression of a blue eye. It is said that the source of the blue eye was prohibited to the population in the days of communism, only to be totally available to members of the government party in Albania. Although it is possible, in theory, swimming and diving, the water maintains an average temperature of 10 degrees centigrade, which actually makes it difficult to bath more than a foot. Some visitors even like to throw stones in the center of the source blue eye, just to see the rock coming back to the surface after a while. Another pleasant, and perhaps more satisfying, site activity, is the lunch at the restaurant, located near the source of the blue eye. The restaurant is built on a balustrade above a river flowing fresh spring water, creating a cool breeze. The restaurant serves traditional Albanian food, such as roast lamb and grilled fish. Another option is to have a picnic in the designated area near the source of the eye blue. There are some tables in a wooded area, providing a pleasant shade.
Getting there: There is no public transport to the source of the blue eye. Located on the main road between Saranda and Gjirokastra, about 3 km from the place indicated by a sign that says ‘Tourist Attraction’. The short road that leads to the source is quite scenic as it runs along a beautiful lake. There is a parking just to get close to the source of the blue eye.
Sources: wikipedia.org, balkantravellers.com