hidden europe 51

Exploring the Butrint Region

by hidden europe

Picture above: Lake Butrint in the south of Albania near Sarandë (photo © Marsel Tefa / dreamstime.com).


Take the back-door route from Sarandë in Albania to Igoumenitsa in Greece to discover a little-visited region of the southern Balkans.

Butrint, just 16 kilometres south of Sarandë, is reached via the road built in 1959 for Krushchev’s visit. It is a pretty drive with views across the Gulf of Sarandë to the Greek island of Corfu. At one point the road runs by the shore of Lake Butrint on the left; it then follows a narrow isthmus, skirting the slopes of Mount Sotira, to reach the Butrint archaeological site which lies by the Vivari Channel. Watch out for the old Venetian tower on your left just before you reach Butrint. Buses run at least hourly between Sarandë and Butrint.

The main village along the way is Ksamil which lies in a gorgeous location just north of Mount Sotira. The village was founded as an agricultural collective in 1966, specialising in olives, lemons and tangerines.

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