Butrint is an archaeological national park in Albania and a UNESCO World Heritage site, renowned for its ancient ruins dating back as far as the 7th century BC. In fact, classic mythology says that exiles moved to Butrint to escape following the fall of Troy.
Originally part of an area called Epirus, Butrint has been occupied by the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines and the Venetians. As a result, Butrint offers a wealth of incredible archaeological structures, including a well preserved Greek theatre, fortifications which have been changed by each civilisation which occupied it, Roman public baths inside which lies a paleo-Christian baptistery and a 9th century basilica.
One of Butrint’s earliest sites is its sanctuary, which dates back to the fourth century and sits on its hill or “acropolis”. The sanctuary was named after the Greek god of medicine, Asclepius, and was a centre of healing. Butrint was abandoned during the Ottoman era when marshes started to emerge around it, however, many of its historical treasures remain intact and attract tourist from around the globe.
The great thing about Butrint is the ability to trace the development of a succession of eras through its sites and structures, making it a microcosm of history. With so much to see, including an onsite museum exploring the site’s history, a visit to Butrint National Park usually lasts around three hours.
The nearest port to Butrint is Saranda, which is 19km away. Signage for Butrint is quite poor so you might want to take a tour guide. Regular buses travel from Saranda bus station to Butrint going via Ksamili, taking approximately 45 mins. (ticket costs 100 leke). Buses & furgons also travel between Saranda and Gjirokastra (1.5 hours) and Tirana (8 hours). From Corfu, take a ferry from Corfu Town to Saranda, which takes approximately 1hr, 40 mins. or the Flying Dolphin hydrofoil service which takes 0.5hr. Greece is 1hr ahead of Albania in time zones. You’ll need to take your passport and complete the visa procedure (also true when leaving Albania before which you’ll need to go to the police office at the port to hand in your visa document). Some tour companies operate coaches from Saranda to Butrint although check ahead or you can get a taxi – although make sure they’ll pick you up afterwards as well and agree a fee in advance.
Butrint is open daily, 8am until dusk and its museum is open 8am-4pm. Admission costs 700 Leke for non-Albanians, 200 Leke for Albanians and 500 Leke per person for non-Albanian groups of more than 10 people.
+355 852 4600
Just as empires rise and fall so do entry fees and opening hours! While we work as hard as we can to ensure the information provided here about Butrint is as accurate as possible, the changing nature of certain elements mean we can't absolutely guarantee that these details won't become a thing of the past. If you know of any information on this page that needs updating you can add a comment above or e-mail us.