It should not be confused with the Albanian coastline as a whole which includes both the Riviera and the mostly flat coastline of central and north Albania.
Traditionally, the region begins south of Llogara National Park, continues down along the coast through the villages of Borsh, Himara, Qeparo, Piqeras, and ends at Lukovë. The Albanian Riviera was proclaimed as the 2012 Top Value Destination by Frommer's.
The region gained international attention after the 2009 reconstruction of the coastal road SH8, the 2010 tour stop of DJ Tiesto in Dhermi, and the filming of a Top Gear episode featuring a breath-taking car pursuit along the winding coastal road.
The area is a major nightlife, ecotourist, and elite retreat destination in Albania. The region features traditional Mediterranean villages, ancient castles, and Orthodox churches. In fact, the landscape alternates between mountain passes, turquoise beaches, underwater fauna, caves, and orange, lemon and olive plantations.
In 48 BC during his pursuit of Pompey, Julius Caesar set foot and rested his legion at Palase. He continued onto Llogara Pass in a place later named Caesar's Pass.
As part of the regional master plan, the World Bank and other institutions are financing local infrastructure projects, including the renovation of roofs and facades of traditional houses overlooking the Riviera and the construction of water supply and treatment plants.
The Riviera includes beaches of the following settlements:
- Qeparo Borsh
Accommodation consists mainly of guest houses or bed and breakfasts and wood cabin complexes. There are a few camping areas, beach clubs and resorts while the rest of the coast is mostly unspoiled. Some owners of these facilities organize tours along the coast and the nearby area as part of their accommodation packages. These include visits to cultural sites, and sailing, paragliding, hiking, kayaking, and underwater diving activities. Below are some historical and natural landmarks:
- Ali Pasha Castle
- Borshi Castle
- Kaninë Castle
- Lëkurësi Castle
- Porto Palermo Castle
- Castle of Gjon Boçari
- Ceraunian Mountains
- Ksamil Islands
- Gjipe Canyon
- Kakome Bay
- Llogara National Park
- Butrint National Park
- Karaburun-Sazan National Marine Park encompassing part of the surrounding waters of Karaburun Peninsula and Sazan Island near the Bay of Vlora.