Albania Roman Ruins

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apollonia archeological park

Albania should be first on the list for anyone interested in ancient history particularly. The wealth of well-preserved Greek and Roman ruins found within the country are testament to the earliest civilizations that settled this region of the Western Balkans. Cradled in coastal woodland or nestling on rolling hills or fertile, sun-baked plains, the landscape today remains fundamentally unchanged from when these ancient civilizations constructed their towns here so the views you gaze across will be largely the same views that have seduced individuals and whole civilizations through the centuries – quite a thought!

Among Albania’s historic sites, the most important and interesting are: Berat Castle; Apollonia Archaeological Park; Orik Archaeological Park; Butrint; the Roman Amphitheatre of Durres; Antigone; Adrianopol; and Bashtova Fortress.

Berat Castle

berat castle

One of the main cultural centres of the country and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008, Berat is notable for its unique style of architecture which has been influenced by successive civilisations through the centuries and is still inhabited to this day. Essentially a fortified, walled city, Berat Castle contains a number of churches and mosques that house an important collection of murals [1] and frescos [2]. Walking along its cobbled streets and narrow, winding alleyways untouched by time, is to step into the past, treading in the footsteps of feet through the ages. From Berat Castle, you can see across the whole of Berat’s old and new city areas and surrounding countryside of fertile rolling hills. Known as the “Town of a Thousand Windows” due to the many large windows of the old decorated houses overlooking the town, Berat is justly renowned for its unique beauty and intriguing blend of old and new.

No visit to Berat would be complete without sampling the town’s delicious traditional food, as well as the local wine which is produced at the nearby vineyards. Believe us when we say the seductive charm of Berat makes this, truly, a difficult place to leave!

Apollonia Archeological Park

apollonia archeological park

Dating back to Illyrian times, Apollonia became a major city in the ancient Greek and Roman Empires before an earthquake in the 3rd Century AD heralded its decline. At its peak, the city is believed to have held around 60,000 inhabitants. Housing an impressive collection of artefacts, monuments and ancient ruins, Apollonia’s stunning situation on the banks of the Vjosa River near the town of Fier, and its close proximity to the crystal blue waters and seafood of the southern coast, make it a scenic and easily-accessible excursion well-worth visiting.

Orik Archeological Park

orik archeological park

Orik Archaeological Park is situated on the southern bay of the coastal town of Vlore, on the Albanian Riviera. The ancient city gained prominence during Caesar’s war on Pompeii in 48-49 BC as the site where attacks against Pompeii were planned and prepared. Bordered by the wild Karaburun Peninsula, Orik’s blend of sea, mountains, culture and history make it a particularly alluring site to explore.



The largest, and widely considered the most important, archaeological site in Albania based on the breadth and diversity of its antiquities, Butrint was declared a UNESCO [3] World Heritage site [4] in 1992 and a National Park [5] in 2000.

Inhabited since prehistoric times and referenced by the Roman writer Virgil, Butrint has a long and unmatched historical pedigree and the sheer variety of treasures to uncover and learn about as you explore the site really must be seen to be believed. It is truly phenomenal!

Amphitheater of Durres

roman amphitheater of durres

Situated in the centre of the city, the Roman Amphitheatre of Durres is the largest ever built in the Balkan Peninsula [6], once having a capacity of 20,000 people. Dating back to the 2nd Century AD, the scope of its ambition and the sheer manpower and effort required for its construction are incredible. The amphitheatre has withstood two powerful earthquakes over time, sustaining just some damages – a tribute to Roman engineering and structural values!

The Amphitheatre houses several galleries at different levels that serve as museums exhibiting a variety of rare mosaics and paintings and other artefacts of significant cultural value.



Near the city of Gjirokstra, along winding roads of scenic views in the south of Albania, lies the ancient Greek city of Antigone, now a National Archaeological Park

Antigone’s most impressive feature is its walls, portions of which survived destruction by the Romans and remain standing to this day. The walls completely encircled the hill on which Antigone was built which towered 600 metres above sea level. Quite a feat! In the city centre, an entire ancient street is exposed while the small, early Christian church contains a mosaic floor curiously decorated with a depiction of a human with an animal head, resembling the Egyptian god Anubis [7] or SaintChristopher [8].

If you consider yourself a bit of a ‘foodie’, there is great news: Once a year, in the atmospheric ruins of Antigone, the Antigone Annual Culinary Exhibition takes place, showcasing a wide array of delicious traditional specialities, all made from local organic produce.



Build during the Roman Empire and located in the Drino Valley, Adrianopol is a well-preserved and typical Roman city with theatre, stairs and remnants of walls and ramparts. The surrounding greenery adds a natural charm to this archaeological find.

Bashtova Fortress

bashtova fortress

Bashtova Fortress is a medieval fortress [9] located on the fertile, flat ground of Central Albania [10]. Currently under consideration for inclusion as a UNESCO [3] World Heritage Site [11], the fortress is rectangular in structure with 9-metre high walls supported by towers that stand 12-metres tall. The interior courtyard contains a number of well-preserved archaeological traces.

If you are passionate about history, archaeological parks, and roman ruins, Albania is a great destination to live the past in the know. Limitless Albania plans a detailed personalized tour from north to south with all the listed Albania Roman Ruins. When are you planning your visit? Send us your request and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

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