Here is how to get from Butrint to Saranda and what to do in both places. Plus, of course, you’ll know how to get from Saranda to Butrint!
The Albanian Riviera is a stunningly beautiful place to visit. Packed with amazing beaches, watersports, chill-out areas, and lots of other things to see and do, it’s a part of the country that more and more people are starting to visit.
Of course, every country needs to be explored, and if you’re lucky enough to be visiting the southern part of Albania any time soon, you should definitely make sure that you get out and about a little and experience as much as you can. One very easy trip, and one which everyone can take on their own steam, is between Saranda and Butrint.
These are two beautiful areas that have plenty to see and do, respectively. Saranda is undoubtedly one of the most popular resorts in the area and sits on the edge of the Ionian Sea. Slopes of olive groves edge down to the beautiful beaches that the resort is known for, with a bustling promenade and countless bars and restaurants to enjoy.
Butrint is a very short distance away from Saranda and is a natural hotspot. A much slower pace of life can be found here and a more authentic vibe, but it’s a fantastic spot to spend the day, and you’ll find some delightful beaches here, too. To add to the appeal, this is also a UNESCO-named archaeological area of importance.
Before we get into how to get to and from the two spots, let’s check out a few things to do in each first.
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Things To See & Do In Saranda
The huge curve of beach in the center of town is the artificial beach, and it’s a sand and pebble combination. The sea here is unbelievably clear, and during the summer months, the beach can become very busy. You can do watersports, sunbathe, enjoy the scenery, and there are many bars and restaurants in easy reach too, just over the road on the promenade.
The Albanian Riviera is undoubtedly known for its beaches, and this is often considered one of the best. It’s less-visited, however, which means you’ll have a bit more space to yourself! With huge soaring cliffs and clear water, it’s an excellent spot for swimming and simply chilling out.
Ruins Of Saranda Synagogue
Many years ago, there was a sizeable Jewish population in Saranda, and the ruins of the old synagogue remain today. It’s ample space, and you’ll see many mosaics, pieces of art, and the old buildings that once made up the entire complex.
Dating back to the earliest reaches of Albanian history, Lekuresi Castle once looked over the entire city. You’ll have to head up the hills to check the castle out, but it’s a fantastic spot to see. Much of the castle is in ruins nowadays, but the view from the top is jaw-dropping – on a clear day, you can see right over to the Greek island of Corfu.
Just outside of the city and into the countryside, you’ll find this stunning natural spot. A delightful and cooling natural spring, the water is as blue as it’s possible to get as the sunlight hits the surface. The area around the spring is also worth exploration with trees and hills. There is a large lookout point so you can take photographs.
Monastery Of Forty Saints
Some of the oldest stories in the entire country can be found here, dating back to the 400s. The monastery is named after the 40 martyrs who were banished from the country and sent to Siberia. They were banished because they refused to give up Christianity. The monastery was named after them. Some of it is in a state of disrepair, but you can explore much of it regardless. However, you’ll need to gain permission from the local town hall if you want to go into the crypt.
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Things To See & Do In Butrint
Butrint is much smaller and less touristic than Saranda, but it’s a beautiful change of pace. It’s a UNESCO-listed area, and it is packed with old ruins that date back to around 800 BC. With Roman, Byzantine, and Venetian rule in the past, you can explore the ancient ruins of a Roman temple and theatre, basilica, and the old central square with plenty of Greek architecture. Be sure to check out the central museum, too, as the building itself is in a medieval tower dating back to Venetian times.
The Temple of Asclepius, the Acropolis, the huge column, and many mosaics are a must-see, and head to the castle for panoramic views over this ancient town. If you’re a believer in legends, Butrint is suspected to be the submerged city of Atlantis, as many artifacts and buildings still remain underground to this day.
How To Get From Saranda To Butrint (& Butrint To Saranda)
The good news is that getting between the two locations is very easy and will take only half an hour or so. There are a few transport options, so let’s check them out.
Saranda To Butrint By Car
You can hire a car or take your own if you have it. Simply follow the SH98 highway for around 28km, literally until the road runs out! You can’t take a wrong turn, it’s impossible, and the journey should take you between 20-30 minutes, depending upon traffic.
Obviously, reverse the advice for your journey back in the opposite direction.
From Saranda To Butrint By Bus
It’s effortless to use the bus between the two towns, which is the most commonly used option.
Head to the ferry terminal in the center of Saranda, and you’ll find the bus station. This is where the bus to Butrint departs and returns to. The bus goes to Ksamil first and then continues on to Butrint from there.
The bus takes around 45 minutes at the most and departs hourly in both directions. You will pay 100LEK one way.
The first bus leaves Saranda at 5.30 am, and the last is at 9.30 pm. Buses from Butrint to Saranda depart at the exact times.
Saranda To Butrint By Taxi
The other option is to take a taxi if you don’t want to drive or use the public bus network. This is another straightforward option, and it’s pretty cheap considering the distance. You can find any taxi in Saranda that will take you to Butrint and the same in the opposite direction.
Make sure you speak about the price before getting into the taxi to secure your price. The journey should cost you between 300-500LEK one way and will take between 20-30 minutes, depending upon traffic.