King Zog's Palace, Durres, Albania, ReadyClickAndGo


When you’re cruising the Adriatic Sea one of the most popular cruising stops in Albania is Durres. The cruise ship port is in the heart of the city, so when you disembark you won’t have to travel far to see the sights of this friendly and relaxed place.

Durres is not only Albania’s largest sea port on the Adriatic Sea, but also the oldest city in the country. Durres was founded in 627 B.C. as a Greek colony so it has a huge amount of history surrounding it. Many ancient monuments around the city have been preserved although earthquakes have damaged many sights and many are overgrown with weeds. What remains of the city was built by Ottomans, Venetians and Byzantines Be sure to read the plaques for your history lesson, especially if you didn’t buy a tour.

Durres Archaeological Museum has a large collection of preserved artefacts from the Greek, Hellenistic and Roman periods that were excavated from the region rather than shipped in from other museums.

King Zog’s Palace is a must-see, named after the 19th century king who was more like a president in terms of modern politics than a royal figure-head. He was noted for removing the last remnants of serfdom from the kingdom, as well as banning the wearing of the veil for women. You can’t actually go inside the palace as the military currently occupies it, but you are allowed to walk up and enjoy the views. Be sure to bring your camera as there’s a lot of good photo opportunities here.

After visiting the Palace you’ll want to head down to Currila Beach. While it’s not exactly a spa retreat, you can still have a lovely picnic while admiring the view. There are some cafes along the edge if you’ve forgotten to bring your picnic basket.

The Roman amphitheatre, built in 2nd century A.D., is the largest of its kind in the Balkans. Built in the second century, it could hold up to 20,000 people. Check with the tourist office to see when it opens, though you can see everything fine through the gates as well. If you are visiting when it’s open you might like to walk through the tunnels if you have a torch. Don’t miss the Roman Baths either, as well as the Mosque of Fatih. The Mosque was originally built by the Ottomans in 1501, when they captured the city, and was completely renovated in 1990.

You can have a nice walk around the Old Town area and its city walls, sadly they have not been restored over the years so look quite dilapidated, but a vaulted gateway gives you entry to the city and a pretty garden.

A day trip in Durres, Albania, is a delightful way to step into the picturesque past. For more information about shore excursions in Albania please email or check our website at




About the author: Tara


The travel professional with years of experience in the travel industry – in guiding, reservations, operations, contracting, customer service and product development – and have travelled extensively in Asia and Eastern Europe not just on holiday but also for work, inspecting hotels, visiting attractions and seeing exactly what each destination has to offer. The only way I could do this properly was with my own guide, car and driver and this inspired me to create my own range of customised private day tours for other people to be able to explore in-depth and learn to love their destination as much as I do.