Durres is a versatile port city with both a modern and ancient appeal. If fun in the sun is in order look no further than the waterfront, where Albania’s largest and liveliest beach buzzes with activity in summer. Durres is also replete with Roman and Byzantine heritage – you can discover the remnants of Albania’s biggest amphitheatre here, while both the city defences and forum date back 1500 years.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to go to Durrës in Albania is from april until september, in which you have a pleasant till hot temperature and barely till mediocre rainfall.
Top Places to Visit in Durres
- Durres Amphitheatre
Surely one of the greatest pieces of ancient architecture in Albania, if not the Balkans, the Durres Amphitheatre was built in 100AD by Hadrian and was only rediscovered in the 1960s. It was used for about 300 years and back then it could as many as 20,000 spectators. This grand scale is part of what makes the landmark special, but archaeologists are also intrigued by how the building demonstrates the Roman transition to Christianity.
2. Durres Castle
This monument consists of a single tower and wall, and is referred to in many guides as the Venetian Tower. It dates way back to the 4 00s, during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius I who was born in this city.
3. Durres Beach
Albania’s most popular destination for a day by the sea, Durres Beach stretches out for more than ten kilometres along the city’s waterfront. The urban part of the beach is crazy in the summer, when it’s packed with people from all walks of life. There are all manner of things going on, from games of table football to water sports events.
4. Spille Beach
A few short kilometres south of the city, just after Kavaje, is this natural beach that offers a contrast to the hectic waterfront at Durres. Spille is for those who want a more relaxed day by the sea and attracts fewer visitors, making it easy to find a spot to yourself at any time of year. Despite the seclusion and natural setting, all the services you could require are on offer. You can rent chairs and parasols for extra comfort, and throughout the day fruit sellers will sell fruit fresh from the market.
5. Krujë Castle
If you’d like you to witness the scene of a momentous event in Albania’s history then head northeast to Krujë Castle, popularly named after the Albanian national icon Skanderbeg. As the Ottoman Empire conquered the surrounding region this fortress stood firm, holding out against Mehmed II’s armies in three successive sieges during the 1400s. To give you an idea of its national importance, the castle is on the back of Albania’s 500 Lekë banknote. Inside the gothic building is an exhibition devoted to Skanderbeg, and you should also take a moment to bask in the rugged upland beauty of the setting 550 metres above sea level.