ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE: buthrotum
Bitola is one of the oldest towns in North Macedonia and is nestled in a picturesque environment of nearby mountains and the Pelister Natural Park. Besides the unique architecture, amazing city attractions and the famous food specialties, one of its highlights is the archaeological site of Heraclea Lyncestis, which is named after the Greek god Heracles.
Located in the South of Albania, the city of Saranda was built on the slopes of three hills on the coast of the Ionian Sea. It is a popular summer destination for foreigners and locals alike, having approximately 280 – 300 sunny days a year. The town’s beautiful beaches with crystal clear water will satisfy even the most discerning visitors.
Saranda’s promenade is busy and bustling with people, especially in the evenings. Take a stroll down the promenade and enjoy what the city has to offer. Don’t miss Lekursi Castle from the Ottoman period, which offers a spectacular view of the city and beaches, and the Greek island of Corfu.
The ancient town of Butrint is just 18 kilometers from Saranda. Its reputation was already well established in Antiquity when the famous Roman poet Virgil had his hero Aeneas utter these famous words upon entering Buthrotum, “I see here a little Troy.” Today, Butrint is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in part because of its preserved ancient architecture and natural Mediterranean setting. This attraction and rich natural heritage can also be seen from a boat ride on the lake of the Butrint National Park.
In the nearby Ksamil village, you will find a great beach, definitely one of the most loved and popular destinations in the Albanian Riviera. It is very easy to get there, buses from Saranda go regularly, or you can reach it by car in about 15 minutes from Saranda.
Where to sleep and eat
Hotel Mediterrane ****
Hotel Mediterrane is a great hotel just 500 meters from the main road and the beach. The comfortable and well decorated rooms, with beautiful sea views, will make your stay pleasant, especially for families with children. In the courtyard of the hotel there is a swimming pool, restaurant and bar where cold drinks and cocktails are served during the summer. In addition to the children’s pool, a special attraction and entertainment are provided in the area where there is a playground and a large cage with birds. This hotel has a great space for events and business meetings, but also for parties and weddings. The restaurant in the hotel has an excellent chef who prepares specialties from sea urchins, shrimp, various cheeses, salads, crabs and sea bream, as well as a wide variety of delicious meat dishes.
If you enjoy quality food in an attractive environment, we recommend the Lekursi restaurant. The restaurant is part of Lekuresi castle, which was built in the first half of the 16th century by Suleiman the Great. From the top of the hill where the restaurant is located, you will have an amazing view of the city and the sea. Italian specialties such as pasta, risotto, fresh sea fish and a large collection of cheeses are at your disposal. The restaurant is known for its delicious traditional lamb dishes. For wine lovers, there is homemade Lekursi muscat white and red, but also an extensive range of other great wines. The enjoyment of your meal will be complemented by live music during the summer months of the season.
HOW TO REACH BUTRINT
The tourists, who come here from Greece, reach the border of Kakavi in two ways: from Ioannina and Igumenitsa.
You can fly from Athens to Ioannina, and then the roadway from Janina to Kakavi takes around 40 minutes by bus or taxi. When you reach Kakavi, you follow this itinerary: Kakavi-Gjirokaster-Jergucat-Qafe e Muzines-Sarande. Through Qafe-Bota, the itinerary is Igoumenitsa-Qafe Bote-Sarande, but the roadway is narrower.
Two itineraries: Tirana-Durres-Fieri-Vlora-Dhermi-Saranda; Tirana-Durresi-Fieri-Mallakastra-Tepelena-Gjirokastra-Saranda
Saranda can be reached directly from Corfu (Greek “Kerkyra”) via a ferry. (http://www.ionian-cruises.com/lines.php)
Via SH8, the road that runs along the Albanian coast; Via the road leading north from Konispol (a town close to the Southern border with Greece); Via SH4, the road leading west from Kakavia (Kakavia is a border town which lies on the South-Eastern Greek-Albanian border). Albanians from Kosovo and Macedonia follow this itinerary to reach Saranda: Strufe-Qafe Thana-Librazhd-Elbasani-Rrogozhina-Fier.
Tel: +355 69 226 6969
Address: Butrint, Sarande