Butrint, ancient Buthrotum, a port from Hellenistic to Ottoman times, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in south-west Albania. Situated on the Straits of Corfu, and surrounded by a picturesque lagoon, it is one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in the Adriatic Sea region.
Following twelve years of archaeological excavations and major investment in site management, the site and its museum make it an exceptionally attractive place to visit. A short ferry or hydrofoil trip from Corfu will bring you to the Albanian port of Saranda, from where you can reach Butrint, 20 km to south, by either bus or taxi.
The Butrint National Park
The archaeological site of Butrint is located within the Butrint National Park. The importance of Butrint to Albania’s cultural heritage was first recognised in 1948 when it became a “site of historical importance.”
In 1992 Butrint was designated as a World Heritage Site – a status that identifies cultural and natural sites of outstanding universal value.
The National Park was established in 2000 affording Butrint full protection within Albanian Law. The original 26 sq km of the park boundaries were in 2005 expanded to 86 sq km.
The Park Director, Raimond Kola and the Butrint National Park staff can be contacted by phone on +355 852 4600 or by email at email@example.com
The Venetian Republic purchased Butrint, with the island of Corfu, in 1386 from the Angevins Kings of southern Italy. The main importance of Butrint for the Venetians was the strategic advantage of having an outpost on the mainland and the financial value of the fisheries in Lake Butrint.
Despite its vital strategic value, Butrint functioned essentially as an outpost on the mainland administered from Corfu and under the jurisdiction of the governor of that island. The Venetian presence at Butrint was in effect an enclave on the Ottoman mainland, and hence the fate of the city was often determined by the relations between these two empires.
After the fall of the Venetian republic in 1797, and the French occupation of the Ionian Islands, Butrint was occupied by Ali Pasha of Tepelena, marking the end of the Venetian presence on the mainland. However, the antiquarian studies developed through the Renaissance would form a lasting legacy for Butrint, and the site became a key theatre of interest, first for painters, artists and grand tourists, then for archaeologist.
The Butrint National Park is open all year round from 8 a.m. until dusk. The museum is open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. You should allow about three hours to visit the Park.
700 Leke for non-Albanian
500 Leke for non-Albanians in groups of more than ten
200 Leke for Albanians
Please ensure that you receive a ticket and keep it on you for the duration of your visit.
Guidebooks in English and Albanian are on sale at the Park ticket office. These include guides to the monuments of Butrint and to the environmental trails around Butrint, as well as guides to other nearby archaeological sites and to trekking in southern Albania.
Photographs are permitted, though in the museum strictly without the use of flash.
Boat trips run regularly to Diaporit across Lake Butrint and Ali Pasha’s castle at the mouth of the Vivari Channel. Please ask for details at the ticket office.
Articles from The Official Butrint Website