The timeless words of Shakespeare were brought to life once more in the magical setting of Butrint, a historic melting pot of Greek, Roman and Hellenistic ruins in the South of Albania.
This diversity of cultures didn’t just stop at the architecture this year – the festival returned once more in 2017 with theatrical troups from China, Georgia, Greece and of course, Albania performing in the ancient amphitheatre.
Perfomance Highlights for 2017:
13th July 2017 - Opening Ceremony by Antique Theatre Butrint
14th July 2017 - “Variations on themes from The Bald Soprano” by the Albanian Dance Theatre Company
15th July 2017 - "A Midsummer's Night Dream" by Thesis Theatre Company, Athens
16th July 2017 - "The Blue Canary" by Migjeni Theatre, Shkodra
17th July 2017 - "Much Ado About Nothing" by the Professional State Youth Theatre, Tbilisi Georgia
19th July 2017 - "Richard III" by National Theatre of China, Beijing
The ancient city of Butrint
Butrint has a beautiful Grecian theatre in the centre of the UNESCO site, with stone stairs built into the hill it sits on. The glow of the lights and the sky full of stars make it a wonderfully romantic setting to listen to Shakespeare.
The air is heavy with history in Butrint – it’s a site of great archaeological interest. With its history dating from over 50,000 years ago, legend links Butrint with ancient Greek stories including the beautiful Helen of Troy, and the divine Medea. It is also said that King Philip V of Macedonia was defeated by the Romans here, and that Julius Caesar established his colony here.
The best time to visit Butrint is between May and October: the ruins are covered in flowering flora and fauna, and the weather is warm enough to extend your trip to exploring the Albanian Riviera. Even during high season, the ruins are never crowded.
The ruins are about a 30 minute drive from Saranda. You can either take a taxi, which costs about 1400 Leke (or 10 Euros), or use the regular shuttle bus service departing from the main townsquare roundabout (the bus costs 1 Euro).
Opening times and cost:
The site is open all year round from 8am to 6pm.
Admission fees to the archaeological site are:
You can ask for a guided tour at the entrance, or explore the ruins on your own if you wish - there are plenty of information panels situated around the site.
During the summer season (June – September) boat services provided by local fishermen offer tours to isolated monuments such as Ali Pasha’s Castle.
Butrint isn't the only highlight of South Albania. The Albanian Riviera offers plenty of cultural relics, stunning unspoilt beaches and natural wonders. Your ideal trip would be a seven day stay in the luxury hotel of Santa Quaranta Resort, located in Saranda where beaches, islands and ruins are at your fingertips.