Albania has many fascinating archaeological sites to explore.
Apollonia was an important Illyrian city with a school of philosophy in the the fourth century AD.
Now it is mostly buried over two hill tops and surrounded by olive trees. When an earthquake caused its harbour to silt up it declined and was forgotten. But it was rediscovered and partly excavated in the nineteenth century. A good start to our exploration of Albania.
Apollonia Museum Displays
Butrint is near the Greek border and is the largest archaeological site in the Balkans. It was inhabited from pre-historic times until the middle ages so the ruins are from different eras. There is a lot to see and the scenery is fabulous. With sunshine as we walked round this was our favourite place.
Saint Nicholas Monastery Church
A quick stop at mesopotam church . Dedicated to saint Nicholas it was built on the ruins of a pagan temple in the thirteenth century. It has a double apse making in unique and is also known for its fabulous dragon icons.
This ancient city is on a hill and was probably founded by Greek settlers. It was surrounded by walls and had a large theatre with its remains still visible. It was hard to find out much about the history of this place but it was very beautiful with wildflowers and views down into the valley.
All these places were peaceful with very few tourists but guides to point out the highlights for you. There are huge numbers of wildflowers everywhere and we even found goatherds sitting in the outer ruins. This made for a lovely experience and its a shame more tourists don’t visit. But then I guess that would spoil it!