The history of Durres comes alive on this exploration of its ancient landmarks, including a Roman amphitheater where gladiators fought, a forum, and the city’s Byzantine walls.
Depart from the pier and as you drive through the ancient city of Durres, you will notice several archaeological remnants that hint at its storied past. Founded by the Greeks in the 7th century B.C. and later occupied by the Romans, Durres developed as a major trading area.
Before long, you will arrive at the Roman amphitheater, which was erected during the reign of Hadrian in the 2nd century A.D. One of the largest amphitheaters in the Balkans, the 20,000-seat structure wasn’t excavated until the 1960s, when several chapels adorned with Christian mosaics were also unearthed. Wandering the site offers a fascinating glimpse into the past, as do the nearby Byzantine defensive walls, which date to the 5th century. They were once bordered by a moat, limiting access to the inner city by drawbridge only.
You will also see the remains of a circular forum constructed around the same time. Some of its carved columns still stand, offering further insight into this period. A different and more contemporary side of Durres awaits you in the Ethnographic Museum, where Albanian folk costumes and crafts are on display.
Finally, before returning to the pier, you will enjoy a panoramic view of Durres from atop the Sky building, where you might toast the setting with a traditional Konjak Skenderbeu brandy.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2 1/2 hours of easy to moderate walking and includes some steps to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned only to participate to the extent of their personal stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.