Butrint has been the site of a Greek colony, a Roman city and a bishopric. Following a period of prosperity under Byzantine administration, then a brief occupation by the Venetians, the city was abandoned in the late Middle Ages after marshes formed in the
area. The present archaeological site is a repository of ruins representing each period in the city’s development. It was registered in the World Heritage list of UNESCO in the year 1999.
Located in the south of Albania approximately 20 km from the modern city of Saranda, has a special atmosphere created by a combination of archaeology, monuments and nature in the Mediterranean. With its hinterland it constitutes an exceptional cultural landscape, which has developed organically over many centuries.
- Butrint constitutes a very rare combination of archaeology and nature. The property is a microcosm of Mediterranean history, with occupation dating from 50 000 BC, at its earliest evidence, up to the 19th century AD.
- Prehistoric sites have been identified within the nucleus of Butrint, the small hill surrounded by the waters of Lake Butrint and Vivari Channel, as well as in its wider territory.
- As you enter the site the path leads to the right, to Butrint’s 3rd-century-BC Greek theatre, secluded in the forest below the acropolis. Also in use during the Roman period, the theatre could seat about 2500 people. Close by are the small public baths, where geometric mosaics are buried under a layer of mesh and sand to protect them from the elements.
- Deeper in the forest is a wall covered with crisp Greek inscriptions, and the 6th-century palaeo-Christian baptistry decorated with colourful mosaics of animals and birds, again under the sand.
- Beyond are the impressive arches of the 6th-century basilica, built over many years. A massive Cyclopean wall dating back to the 4th century BC is further on.
- The top of the hill is where the acropolis once was. There’s now a castle here, housing an informative museum. The views from the museum’s courtyard give you a good idea of the city’s layout, and you can see the Vivari Channel connecting Lake Butrint to the Straits of Corfu. There are community-run stalls inside the gates where you can buy locally produced souvenirs.
Best Time to Visit
The best times to visit Butrint are the months of May, June and September.If you visit during the summer months go as early or as late as possible, as Butrint is now a well- established tour-bus destination.
If you are planning a Travel to Albania then you must know that Albania is a welcoming country with untouched natural areas, protected wildlife and numerous archaeological riches from various civilizations. In the tours of Albania the Capital, Tirana will be on the top, with its colorful painted buildings, merits a prolonged visit, especially the Skanderberg Place, around the Ethem Bey Mosque and the National History Museum. In another Sightseeing of Albania Gjirokastër is famous tourist attraction, which is in the centre of the country and has been designated as a World Heritage site by UNESCO due to its medieval houses with (flagstone) roofs, its cobbled streets and the 11th Century castle. There is also a weapons museum and an ethnographic museum. Close by, the town of Berat is another popular destination due to its white houses, its castle, Byzantine churches and the Onufri Museum. On the southern coast you will discover creeks and cliffs, with beaches in between that are for the most part deserted.