A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Butrint is an archaeological site that is unique because of its beautiful combination of historic ruins and pure nature. Dating back to the 10th and 8th centuries BC, the area was home to various civilizations, most notably the Greeks and Romans.
About 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) from the modern summer town of Saranda, where local and foreign tourists crowd the beaches in the high season, Butrint has quite the opposite feel, nestled quietly into the Mediterranean landscape. The earliest archaeological evidence shows that inhabitation took place around the 10th and 8th centuries BC, and by the 4th century, the city grew in importance as it became a major center for the Chaonians (a Greek tribe), with close ties and access to the Corinthian colony of Corcyra (Corfu).
The construction of a theater and agora took place during this time, but it wasn’t until Butrint became a Roman protectorate in 228 BC that it grew significantly. In 44 BC, it was declared a colony by Caesar as a reward for soldiers who had fought for him in Pompey, and by 31 BC, Roman Emperor Augusts further developed the city, doubling its size with the construction of an aqueduct, Roman bath, a forum, and houses. As was normal at the time, a destructive earthquake shook the city and was the main cause of its decline, even though it continued to exist well into the late antique era.
Nowadays, the archaeological site is anything but abandoned, with plenty of visitors who bask in its historic beauty. A testimony to its various eras, the historic structures reflect the time of the Greek colonies all the way to the Middle Ages. One of the most intriguing sights is the ancient Greek theater, which excites visitors with its well-preserved state. The beautiful mosaic floor of the baptistery (an ancient Roman monument that was adapted to Christianity) is also a highlight.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.