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.
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.
Butrint is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Here are more UNESCO World Heritage sites I have visited around the world.
World at a Glance is a series of short articles here on Sophie’s World, with a single photo (though not today) – portraying curious, evocative, happy, sad or wondrous, unexpected little encounters.
Timely post! We’ve just been reading about Butrint – a stop on a small-ship cruise we’re considering :-).
Hope you go 🙂
You know me, I gotta go! Can’t pass up a WHS. Thanks, Sophie
Yeah, I like visiting world heritage sites, too 🙂
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.
Yes, this is a heritage site I should see again.
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.
Ooh, would be cool to take a boat directly across.
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. 🙂
Those sites are very much on my list. Thanks for the invite.
Butrint is a very interesting place to visit. I heard so much about it.
Good to hear.
dangit i didn’t make it that far south when i was albania a few months ago. next time i guess!
I’d like to see northern Albania.
I Loved Butrint. Such a cool place with the water table rising up to swallow part of the ruins
Butrint has some serious history! I wonder how it looks today. Thanks for sharing!
It’s only recently that we’ve taken a close look at the list of World Heritage sites in Turkey and now we have a minor obsession with them – we’ve even created a page and map so we can go to visit more of them. Albania has been on our radar for a while now and we hope to make it there sooner rather than later…and cross off some more UNESCO sites, too! 😉 Glad this site is now being more carefully managed.