Butrint National Park

Europe

Butrint  national park comprising about 90 square kilometres is in the south West of Albania.It is centered on a hill and is now  a World Heritage park since 1995 under the care of Unesco.What makes  it so important is its archaeology combined with its freshwater lake which is drained by a channel flowing into the Ionian sea and creating some vast wetlands and islands along its course. Situated about 15 kilometres from Saranda it is easily accessible by a pleasant narrow road which has an excellent view of the sea all the way along and which also overlooks olive and orange plantations.

Because of its proximity to Corfu it inherited the ancient Greek influence and later the Roman culture. Thus it is now an archaeological centre with a vast combination of antiquity and beauty. It shows an ancient Amphitheatre, the Temple of Asklepios, an ancient Baptistry and the Walls of the old city. It contains artifacts and structures from the Bronze age up to the nineteenth century. There is the old Roman Theatre, a Basilica, and Venetian castle. And all is set in natural woodland and wetlands.  So it is a great combination of historic monuments and natural environment composed of woodland and waterlogged  areas and lakes. It has a complex ecosystem from the adjoining lake and wetlands. There is a Training School for students of archaeology and conservation. It is also a Theatrical  and Concert centre. Its archaeological sites  attract  more than 100,000 tourists and visitors annually.

Once you are in Albania it is easy to get to Butrint. You can enter through the international port of Saranda from Corfu . You can enter from Greece when you cross the border at Ioannina or you can enter through Tirana.You will need a passport but you don’t need a visa to enter.

The National Park is open to the public every day from 8.00 a.m. until it gets dark and admission is cheap.You can visit all of the archaeological sites and go for a boat trip on the lake. You can go for long guided walks around this internationally famous park. You will see not only its ruins but view magnificent natural landscapes in a rich uncultivated natural environment. The coastal wetlands and open grazing lands provide for rare birds unseen elsewhere, hundreds of rare insects, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. Here you will also have the  opportunity to see the threatened wolf and tortoise and the white tailed eagle.

 For travelling around you can use a bus or hire a taxi.There are hotels available within a short distance from the park.