unesco sites in albania, butrint, berat, gjirokastra, ohrid, durres, apollonia, natural heritage, cultural heritage

UNESCO Sites in Albania and Where to Find Them

July 27, 2021
Fun Facts

Although Albania is a small country, it is home to many significant tourist sights. They have been recognized as an important part of the cultural and natural heritage even by UNESCO. Here is a list of UNESCO sites in Albania and where to find them.

butrint, unesco. albania

Butrint is one of the most important archaeological sites and the oldest UNESCO World Heritage site in Albania. Located in the south of Albania, only 17 km away from Saranda, you will find a beautiful combination of nature and history. Butrint used to be a Greek colony, a Roman town, and later on, it became part of the Byzantine Empire. For a short period, it was also ruled by the Venetians. Today, it offers remains from each period as a reminder of the history and enriches the list of cultural attractions in Albania.

Historic Center of Berat
berat, albania, unesco

Berat is one of the fortified historic cities in Albania that has been preserved up to this day. It dates back to the 5th – the 6th century B.C., and it used to be an Illyrian settlement. Today is the pride of Albanian architecture. The City of 1000 Windows beautifully shows the coexistence of the eastern and western worlds and is a cultural treasure of Albania.

Historic Center of Gjirokastra
gjirokastra, albania, unesco

Gjirokastra became a UNESCO site in 2005. The whole city is a museum. It is a must-visit destination, starting from the castle, which dates to IV century A.D. and is the biggest in the country, to monumental cobblestone houses. What is otherwise known as Stone City will present you with a piece of Albanian history and culture. Do not miss this memorable experience.

Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid Region
ohrid, ohrid lake, albania, unesco

This Instagram-worthy destination with beautiful scenery must definitely be on your “To visit” list. Despite its undeniable beauty, Ohrid lake is also known as the oldest lake in Europe, dating back to 1.36 million years ago. Another reason why it is part of UNESCO is the incredibly rich culture that this region has. Before, Ohrid was recognized as the Jerusalem of the Balkans due to having 365 churches. Today, you can enjoy the remains and artifacts of this history.

Durres Amphitheatre
durres amphitheatre, unesco, albania

One of the most beautiful Roman Amphitheatres in the world is a gem for Antiquity enthusiasts. Located in Durres, Albania, it is widely known as a pearl in the Balkans. The Durres Amphitheatre originates after the 2nd century B.C., and some of its remains continue to be underground even today. For that reason, it is one of the most important cultural heritage sites in Albania.

The Ancient City of Apollonia
apollonia, albania, unesco

Situated near the Fier region in Albania, the ancient city of Apollonia is a fascinating archeological site. In ancient times it used to be a Greek colony dating back to the 6th century A.D., and then it was a former Illyrian bishopric. Not only it holds an incredible cultural value, but it is also a beautiful site that history enthusiasts and other tourists alike enjoy visiting.

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