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Durrës - The sea is calling

Roots, Adi Dule, Durrës, Albania
Roots, Adi Dule
The call of the sea rises above the din of the big city. You can’t ignore it especially when it is only 36 km away from Tirana. Durrës borders the Adriatic coast and it’s the natural choice for an afternoon spent outdoors against the backdrop of sea, sun and blue skies. Don’t forget your suntan lotion and lunettes de soleil, bien sur.  By the way, Durrës is pronounced du rosh.

There are a few sculptures along the seaside promenade that stand out against the stunning coastline. One of these is Roots (above) by a local artist. 

Roman Amphitheater, Durrës, Albania
Roman Amphitheater
But there’s more to Durrës than suntanning at the beach or sipping a nice cold drink at a café. There is the Roman Amphitheater from the 2nd Century AD which was only discovered in 1966. It could seat 15,000 or so spectators in its heyday.  

Venetian Tower and the statue of Redon, God of the Sea
The Venetian Tower, which has been restored, was part of a fortified castle from the 5th century and rebuilt in the 13th century after a major earthquake destroyed the walls. There are still sections of the fortifications that remain and can be seen in the background. Note the statue of Redon, the Illyrian god of the sea by the sculptor, Ilirjan Xhixha.

Byzantine Forum
Not far from Freedom Square are the remains of the Byzantine Forum and thermal baths surrounded by residential and commercial buildings.

Byzantine Forum and Thermal Baths
Corinthian columns have survived over two millenia so we can appreciate them today.

Vollga Waterfront at Durrës
Back to the call of the sea, I enjoyed my aqua therapy session before flying out of Albania which won me over with its mountains, lakes, lagoons, coastal areas, friendly people and delectable seafood.

The Fisherman, Vollga Waterfront
These whimsical pieces of sculpture are scattered throughout the city. It’s a joy finding them.

Headless female torso
This female torso overlooks the Fisherman and the calm blue waters of the Adriatic.

 Seaside Promenade
This photo was taken on a weekday and too early in the season so there were few visitors around.

Sheshi Liria or Freedom Square
The Roman Amphitheater is just above Freedom Square. On the plaza are the Alexander Moisiu Theater and the Municipal Hall. 

Durrës Municipal Hall
How to get to Durrës:
Durrës is about 36 km from Tirana and is served by a number of bus companies. You can check or  for schedules and fares. If there are several of you traveling together, it might be economical and easier to take a taxi. Rail service between Tirana and Durrës is set to launch in early 2025.

I took a private tour to Durrës with Albania on tour with Eddy. As a solo traveler, it’s often difficult to reserve a tour for one person. I was glad a friend recommended Eddy to me and I was able to travel extensively and comfortably in Albania, North Macedonia and Kosovo. You may reach Eddy through WhatsApp 355 69 919 9085. Or contact him by email at

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Images by TravelswithCharie

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