We often try to find time to fit in some local culture when visiting a new town, a museum here or a castle there, however ancient ruins are something we never truly feel enthusiastic about visiting. But we had read good things about the ruins at Butrint, set within a national park and thought why not. Worst case we’d at least have the national park to look at.
How old is old?
According to Unesco, ‘Butrint has been the site of a Greek colony, a Roman city and a bishopric. Following a period of prosperity under Byzantine administration, then a brief occupation by the Venetians, the city was abandoned in the late Middle Ages after marshes formed in the area’. The earliest remains here date back to 6 BC.
At ancient sites, we find it so hard to wrap our heads around the fact that what we’re looking at is over 2000 years old. And most of the time, the ruins are in such a state, it’s left to you to imagine what life would have been like in Greek and Roman times. Not a period of history we know a lot about.
The ancient ruins at Butrint were in varying states of disrepair, but the site is well preserved. The setting within a national park made for a nice visit, as the trees throughout the site were beautiful.
After walking amongst the ruins we headed to the castle at the top of the site. From here, there are amazing views back across the valley and over the water.
There’s also a small museum showcasing some of the archeological finds and statues from the grounds, and it’s here in the courtyard you’ll meet the ‘Goddess of Butrint’. A perfect example of classic Greek beauty that would cause men to wobble at the knees.
Butrint is a popular day trip destination from Corfu, so get there early to avoid the crowds.