I spent one morning taking a bus from Tirana to Durres Albania beach resort. Durres, Albania is a coastal/beach resort city of over 100,000 that is about 30 miles from the capital Tirana. The best thing about it is that its easily reachable for a day trip from Tirana on a local bus for only 150 lek which is about $1.33, and the same price on the way back. The trip only takes about 35 to 40 minutes via highway. You can also watch the video i filmed in Durres on my Youtube Channel for more of a visual and audio tour here and read a little more of my life in another post on Albania, here.
A few logistical concerns… on the bus to Durres.
Just be advised that at present time the bus and the weather outdoors in Albania is a little hot and sunny, so you may need to dress appropriately or rent an umbrella at the beach or even cool off in the water. I took a long walk from the Qyteti Studenti neighborhood near the University of Tirana to the north south bus station. If you are not a fan of walking you can take a local bus or a taxi cab at extra cost, but I decided to tough it out before the sun got too hot. Now on the bus, i was forced to put my expensive backpack under the bus and not in my lap or near my feet, this was not cool. I think next time I will just take a towel, as well as a smaller bag with a few personal items to avoid having to stow my bag (to avoid theft of my expensive items).
Now for the good news for my visit to Durres! There are a few cool sites to see in Durres, namely the beach resort, and if you want to take a swim its an easy ride! Its the beach, one of my favorite places. There are some nice chairs and some small restaurants. The water is easily swimmable. The coolest historical site is the amphitheater and ill detail that site below. I chose to hit the beach for awhile and to walk the entire length of the beach 3 to 4 miles but probably I would have been better off going to the amphitheater first then heading to the beach due to the heat.
Now on with the Amphitheater. If you go to the center of town near the port of Durres, you will see a sign near some of the public buildings on the location of the Roman Amphitheater which was built all the way back in the 2nd century AD and used to the 4th century. Its the largest Roman amphitheater in the Balkans, about 200 feet wide. An interesting fact is that it was not rediscovered underneath the ground until the 1960s. It is basically a ruin now that is being restored, but very cool looking, see images below….
Once you visit the amphitheater, you can see that there is a fresco painting that was created in a Christian chapel in the 4th century after the Romans stopped using the amphitheater, this is very cool indeed! Enjoy.