In close proximity with the city of Saranda is situated the ancient Illyrian city of Onchesmos that used to be a harbor for the ancient Illyrians around the 1st century B.C. Around the 4th century B.C. the inhabitants had equipped the entire city with surrounding walls.
The investigations have shown that in the interior of the wide walls have been found house remains, water cisterns, and a Christian church of the fifth and sixth century before Christ that contained beautiful colored mosaics. Such mosaics are preserved even today in the city museum.
Other important remains used to be the Christian Monastery of the 40 Saints from which the city of Saranda inherited its name.