If you find yourself in Albania’s quirky capital in the heat of summer, you know how hot it can get! As much fun as it is exploring Tirana, it can be nice to get away and cool off by the ocean. This is where the tiny town of Durrës comes in-
Only a 40 minute drive from Tirana, Durrës is situated on the Adriatic coast. When I traveled there with my husband, it felt like a hidden gem.
Not only is it incredibly affordable- but the beach is quiet, the water is warm, and there are tons of cute restaurants. It is also small, charming, and very walk-able. We took the public bus there, and it was easy to explore on foot after arrival.
Things to Do:
*Beach Time– Most hotels will include your own beach chairs and umbrella with your stay, but there are also places where you can rent a chair for the day. The main beach, “Durrës Beach”, can get a little crowded in the summer. Despite this, it still has a relaxed vibe and enough space for everyone to spread out!
*Historical Sites– In the town you can visit the Durrës Amphitheatre, built in 100AD by Hadrian, and only discovered 60 years ago! You can also check out the “Durrës Castle”, a small monument that consists of a single tower and wall (the “Venetian Tower”). It dates back to 400AD, during the reign of the Byzantines. There is also a “Byzantine Forum” that seems to just be a lot of old marble ruins and columns, but could interest you!
*Shop the Promenade– One block away from the beach is the main road, and there are many small shops and boutiques you can spend time browsing. You can also get a good view of the main Mosque of Durrës from there.
*Outdoor Dining– We ate at Trattoria Pane, Gusto di Mare, and had breakfast at Kreperi Teuta. The further you get from the sand, the better value the restaurants!
*Lodging– We stayed at “Vila One Beach Hotel” and had a great experience! For $60/US per night, we had a great room with quality a/c, a balcony, and ocean view. Beach chairs and umbrellas were also included. We would definitely recommend a stay here!
As always, all reviews and opinions are my own. However, should you choose to book any of the excursions or hotels listed above, please know that I may receive a small commission at no charge to you.