Durrës becoming more and more attractive for tourists from Northern Europe
Durres beach Albania
The coastal town of Durres may not be the favourite destination of many Albanians who have grown tired of it, but it is becoming a magnet for tourists from Northern Europe who have booked some of the best hotels and resorts for the next four months.
Closed to tourists for almost five decades during a communist dictatorship, Albania has a rather late tradition with tourism compared to its regional competitors, but quality investment and services over the past decade and a mix of natural and cultural heritage present since ancient times have qualified Albania as "the last secret of Europe" and a destination to visit.
"This is the first group of tourists from Scandinavia and we expect more from Sweden and Norway. People from Scandinavian countries are very interested in seeing Albania and we wish them a wonderful experience," said Rolf Castro-Vasquez, director of Tirana International Airport, the only airport in the country.
Charter flights will regularly connect Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, and Helsinki to Tirana from May to early October 2018.
New direct flights to Tirana: a great test for the emerging Albanian tourism industry.
In addition, direct charter flights from Poland, Hungary, and Russia, as well as new regular flights from Israel and a new low-cost airline that will connect Tirana to London, are very promising for this season in Durrës.
Among the tourists there are also ethnic Albanians from Kosovo or Macedonia, who represent almost half of the tourists in the country; this fraction is often referred to as "patriotic tourism".
With a coastline stretching 62 km along the Adriatic, Durres is the largest beach destination in Albania and also boasts a lot of history dating back to the ancient Romans and Greeks, as well as ancient Illyria, the predecessor of present-day Albania.
The port city of Durres is one of the busiest cities in the country during the summer when it is stormed by dozens of thousands of tourists enjoying its beaches and cultural sites.