Butrint National Park - Atlas Obscura

Butrint National Park

Butrint, Albania

A scenic UNESCO site that doubles as a habitat for various forms of wildlife.  


Butrint, located on the southern coast of Albania, is an ancient city that boasts a rich history and a unique blend of influences from various civilizations throughout the Mediterranean area.

The site was first settled by the Greeks in the 7th century BCE and then became part of the Roman Empire in the 2nd century BCE. Over the centuries, Butrint was also influenced by the Byzantines, Venetians, and Ottomans. This mix of civilizations and diverse types of architecture makes Butrint an exceptional archaeological site, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1992.

What’s truly special about Butrint is its well-preserved state, allowing visitors to witness the layers of history that have shaped the city. From temples, basilicas, and theaters to defensive walls and castles, there is a rich array of structures to explore. The ancient theater, which dates back to the 3rd century BCE, stands out particularly showcasing the fusion of Greek and Roman architectural styles.

Moreover, Butrint is not just a historical marvel, but also an ecological treasure. The hilly landscape within a protected area on the edge of Lake Butrint and the Vivari Channel makes it a significant habitat for various bird species and other wildlife. Visitors who want to combine archaeological exploration with nature walks can find great opportunities in this national park, which covers almost 9,500 hectares.

Know Before You Go

From outside the ferry terminal in central Sarandë, where the boats from the nearby Greek holiday island of Corfu arrive, there is a public bus to Butrint departing once an hour. The ride takes about 30 minutes.

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August 11, 2023

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