Some 70 foreign tourists found themselves unable to disembark onto Sazan island, off the coast of Vlora.
After setting sail for a tour excursion from Vlora, the Ministry of Defense did not allow the ship to anchor on the island. This is despite the fact that the Ministry of Tourism has ordered the opening of the island as a destination for visitors.
This is the third time this year that the ship and its passengers have not been able to disembark.
Sazan is Albania’s largest island and sits on the border between the Adriatic and the Ionian Sea. It has been a military base for most of its history, from the time of Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines.
During the Cold War, the Soviets built a submarine base and chemical/biological weapons plant on the island and surrounding areas. The island is now uninhabited but it is home to a small Italo-Albanian naval base, lots of abandoned buildings, tunnels, and bunkers. There is also a villa that used to be frequented by Mussolini.