Monday Memory: Butrint

At the southernmost end of Albania, near the Greek border, and just a short hop across the Adriatic from the Greek island of Corfu, is Butrint, one of the country’s two world heritage sites.

Albania: Butrint

Like Carthage, Butrint is an archaeological site. Butrint was known as Bouthrōtón by the Greeks and as Buthrotum by the Romans. Then, during the centuries, Butrint switched from Bulgarian, Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman rule, and finally to Albanian in 1912.

As ruins go, Butrint is – or was, I should say, I was there in 1992 – not very well looked after: looting was rampant and the ruins weren’t really protected or even managed. A few years later, Butrint was placed on UNESCO’s list of world heritage in danger. That looks to have been improved during the 22 years since. Since 2000, the ruins have been part of Butrint National Park and the site was removed from that unwanted listing in 2005.

Getting to Butrint

Getting to Butrint is easy. The site is located about 30 km from the seaside town of Sarandë.

Sarandë again, is easily accessible from Corfu by ferry or hydrofoil (90 min and 30 min, respectively), or by road (about 47 km, one hour) from Igoumenitsa in northern Greece. Note that the road isn’t in very good condition, so plan for lots of time if you choose this way.



unesco logo

Butrint is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Here are more UNESCO World Heritage sites around the world.


18 Responses to “Monday Memory: Butrint”

  1. Sand In My Suitcase 1 April 2014 0340 #

    Timely post! We’ve just been reading about Butrint – a stop on a small-ship cruise we’re considering :-).
    Sand In My Suitcase recently posted..Snapshot Story: Vancouver cherry blossoms blooming!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 1 April 2014 2110 #

      Hope you go :)

  2. Corinne 1 April 2014 0735 #

    You know me, I gotta go! Can’t pass up a WHS. Thanks, Sophie

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 1 April 2014 2111 #

      Yeah, I like visiting world heritage sites, too :)

  3. Vera Marie Badertscher 1 April 2014 1832 #

    Sophie, given the information on their website, maybe you should plan a return trip. It says they been engaged in restoration for the past 12 years, and the map in the downloadable leaflet shows an interesting array of structures.

    Thanks for this little known site.
    Vera Marie Badertscher recently posted..Part II: Where The Authors Are: Tucson Festival of Books 2014

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 1 April 2014 2113 #

      Yes, this is a heritage site I should see again.

  4. Mette 2 April 2014 1956 #

    In clear weather we can see from Puglia to Albania, and i’ve always wondered what’s on the other side. Now I know. Thanks.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 23 April 2014 1616 #

      Ooh, would be cool to take a boat directly across.

  5. Muza-chan 3 April 2014 0754 #

    Interesting :)
    Muza-chan recently posted..Old Japanese stories, the origin of Sake

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 23 April 2014 1616 #


  6. Turkey's For Life 3 April 2014 1106 #

    Wonder how the site looks today. We’re really curious about Albania because of all of its Ottoman history, too. Must get there one day. Should you feel the need to visit southern Turkey’s UNESCO World Heritage Sights, be sure to drop by and see us. We live VERY close to Xanthos and Letoon. :)
    Turkey’s For Life recently posted..Going To Izmir? Well, Of Course You’ll Go To Sevinç

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 23 April 2014 1634 #

      Those sites are very much on my list. Thanks for the invite.

  7. ben 13 April 2014 0320 #

    Butrint is a very interesting place to visit. I heard so much about it.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 23 April 2014 1635 #

      Good to hear.

  8. Steve 13 April 2014 2026 #

    dangit i didn’t make it that far south when i was albania a few months ago. next time i guess!
    Steve recently posted..How Much Did 5 Months Travelling in South America Cost

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 23 April 2014 1635 #

      I’d like to see northern Albania.

  9. Dan 17 May 2014 0234 #

    I Loved Butrint. Such a cool place with the water table rising up to swallow part of the ruins

  10. Butrint has some serious history! I wonder how it looks today. Thanks for sharing!
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..CALIFORNIA: Hiking The John Muir Trail

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