Despite its fair share of fascinating museums, art galleries, street art, parks and religious buildings, Tirana can be easily visited over a long weekend. One of the best things to do here in the spring and summer is to spend a day, or at least an afternoon, at the beach. Read our list of the seven best beaches near the Albanian capital.
The most beautiful beach near Tirana, located only one hour and 15 minutes by car from the capital, is Kepi i Rodonit, a rocky cape north of Durrës, the second largest city in Albania. Some of the most beautiful beaches on the Adriatic are hidden away here, along with a small Byzantine church dedicated to Saint Anthony and the ruins of a castle built in 1463 by Skanderbeg, the Albanian national hero. Kepi i Rodonit, reachable only by car, is the perfect place to escape the crowds in the summer months.
Spille Beach is a six-kilometer-long sandy beach south of Durrës with a lovely promenade, a forest of pine trees, palms, and restaurants where you can get excellent fresh fish. It is just one hour from Tirana, and to get there you have to go to Durrës and then follow the indications for Kavajë. Spille is one of the largest beaches in Albania and is preferred by families with young children.
North of Spille, Gjeneralit Beach is a small but beautiful beach near Kavajë with clear waters, mostly frequented by locals. Gjeneralit is not very easy to reach, because the road there is not one of the best in Albania, but this also means that is not very crowded like other neighboring beaches. Once found, it is totally worth the effort.
Golem is one of the most popular beaches in Albania, frequented by the inhabitants of Tirana and people from the neighboring countries of Macedonia and Kosovo. The reason why it is often crowded is that Golem is near Tirana, only 50 minutes away by car, and is very easy to reach. Of course, this also means that during the summer months it is always crowded.
Located on the road between Tirana and Kepi I Rodonit, Gjiri I Lalëzit is one of the most beautiful beaches along the Adriatic Sea in Albania. It is surrounded by a forest of pines, and you are well advised to enjoy it right now because there is a plan to transform it into one of the largest summer resorts of Albania with several villas.
Shëngjin is one of the most popular summer destination in northern Albania, not far from the town of Shkodra. It is a beautiful beach frequented mostly by locals and Kosovars. North of the city, there is Rana e Hedur, a stretch of sand perfect for families with children. A plus here is that only a 30-minutes drive from the beach you will find the famous farmhouse and restaurant Mrizi i Zanave, one of the best places to enjoy typical Albanian cuisine.
If you have extra time, you can consider heading to the beach in Velipojë, located north of Shkodra near the Montenegrin border. Velipojë is more than two hours from Tirana, but it is one of the most famous beaches on the Adriatic coast. The beach is situated on the estuary of the Buna River, which constitutes the natural border with Montenegro.