Sazan from Vlora
Sazan Island (Albania)
|Location||Bay of Vlora; Adriatic Sea|
|Area||5 km2 (1.9 sq mi)|
Sazan or Sazani (in Italian Saseno; in Greek Σάσων, Sason) is a small island, strategically located at the entrance to Bay of Vlora in Albania. It has an area of 5.7 km², and has no population. It is the largest island in Albania. It is a military facility and sometimes it can be seen by eye from Salento's coasts.
Known in ancient times as Saso.
In modern times, the island originally belonged to Venice, and became part of the British protectorate of the Ionian Islands following the Napoleonic Wars. In 1864 it was ceded to Greece with the rest of the Ionian Islands. Following the end of the Second Balkan War in 1913, Italy and Austria pressed Greece to evacuate the southern part of modern Albania. Finding the island too unimportant to risk war with Italy, Greece evacuated the island which was in turn occupied by Italy on 30 October 1914, which posted a military commander there. This was later ratified on 26 April 1915 by the secret Treaty of London.
After World War I, Albania formally ceded the island to Italy, 2 September 1920 as part of the Albano-Italian protocol.
Sazan Island is the largest island in Albania and also the most western point in Albania. It has a great position being located where the Adriatic and Ionian Seas' meet. The island has a length of 4.25 km and a width of 2.7 km. Its surface area is 5.7 km2. The island has three high points, the highest being 337 m above sea level is in the north of the island. Sazan Island has a coastline of 15 km.
Sazan has a climate unusual in Albania due to its maritime location. It is not a Mediterranean climate, more subtropical on account of its warm winter temperatures and its hot summers. The climate and vegetation resemble those of the south of Crete, Tunisia and even parts of Egypt. The flora is different from that of the rest of Albania in that it is subtropical.
Sazan Island contains 7 species of amphibians of which 3 are rare species. The island contains 15 species of reptiles of which 13 are rare species. Some of these amphibian and reptile species include the:
The Vipera ammodytes is found on the mainland nearby but is absent from Sazan Island. The absence of this viper until presents a high scientific interest because it proves the formation and separation of the island before this species appeared.
During most of the Italian occupation, postage stamps of Italy were used. However, in 1923, eight of the current stamps of Italy were overprinted "SASENO". They are not particularly rare, and cost collectors about 8-10 US$ each, although uses on cover are harder to find.