Skip to content

Lake Butrint and Vivari Channel EarthCache

Hidden : 10/27/2008
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Size: Size:   not chosen (not chosen)

Join now to view geocache location details. It's free!


How Geocaching Works

Please note Use of services is subject to the terms and conditions in our disclaimer.

Geocache Description:

During our 10-days holiday on Corfu in August 2008 we visited Albanian Saranda and historical place Butrint. The road joining these two places, which is incredibly narrow, takes round Lake Butrint. Because no cache is placed in this spectacular area we decided to create Earthcache there.
If you interested in spectacular places we can recommend you our three Earthcaches that we decided to create on Corfu: Pantokrator, Pantokrator II and Bella Vista to Paleokastritsa.

Enjoy this spectacular countryside!

Lake Butrint is placed in a seaside wetland complex in the south-western part of Albania, famous for its archaeological monuments (ancient port of Buthrotum), historical significance, and natural richness. The core area is composed by a tectonic lagoon of 1600 ha that is surrounded by forested hills and mountains and complemented by saltwater and freshwater marshlands. The maximum depth of Lake Butrint is 21 metres. From a geomorphology point of view Lake Butrint is contained to the Ionian zone.
The catchment of Lake Butrint is defined by Bistrica River in the North, Mile Mountain in the west and the Pavllo River in the south. The lake has a tectonic origin while its water regime is typical of coastal lagoons. It joins the Ionian Sea through the channel of Vivari (3600 m long, 60-100 m wide and up to 5-6 m deep). During high tides (approx. 15-20 cm), the sea level rises and as a consequence the saline water penetrates into Lake Butrint. The opposite phenomenon happens during low tide. A small amount of continental water, deriving from Bistrica and Kalasa rivers, enters the lagoon in its northern side.
Lake Butrint has mesotrophic waters with eutrophic tendencies in certain risky areas. The limnology of the lake is divided into two distinct layers. The upper layer (approx. 8 m in depth) is rich in oxygen. Its concentration is about 8-9 mg/lit on the surface and reduces to zero by the depth of 7.5-8m. Salinity fluctuates with seasons: from 15.00 gr./l in winter till 33.00 gr./l in summer. The values of pH oscillate Information Sheet on Ramsar Wetlands (Ris): Butrint (Albania) 4 between 6.5 and 9.5. The organic matter is about 2–10 mg/l. Water temperature fluctuates from 14°C in winter till 25°C in summer. The lower layer is rich on sulfuric gas. Its concentration increases with depth and reaches the highest level at the bottom of the lake (>5.0 mg/lit). Salinity remains nearly the same throughout the year (35.00 gr./l). Temperature has a relative homothermy of 18°C throughout the whole year. No animals are found in the lower layer. Lake Butrint is surrounded by different ranges of mountains and hills: Mile mountain range to the east (845 m), Sotira to the west (240 m) and Stillo to the south (240 m). This higher terrain compliments the lower wetland areas by providing environmental corridors and areas where there is less human disturbance for wildlife. The coastline is much refracted, with many peninsulas, islands and small deep bays. From a morphological point of view it is divided into two main types: high abrasive coast and low accumulating coast. Butrint is characterised by mild Mediterranean climate. The annual average temperature is 17.1°C. Temperatures fluctuate from 9.7°C in January to 25.1°C in August. Rain precipitation is relatively high, over 1,500 mm per year.

Lake Butrint and Vivari Channel

Additional historical information
Very close to Lake Butrint there is placed a historical area Butrint. Butrint occupies the small Ksamili peninsula between the Straits of Corfu and Lake Butrint. Due to such a strategic position on the Mediterranean Sea, there were many military operations for the control of the area from the first Peloponnese war (V Century B.C.) until the Napoleonic wars (XIX Century).
Butrint was controlled by the Tribe which was part of the Greek Epirot Federation. Colonists from Corcyra settled in Butrint around the IV Century B.C. within a century of the Greeks arriving. Butrint had become one of the ancient world’s major fortified maritime trade centres with its own acropolis.
Butrint then came under the control of the Illyrians anxious to control the maritime trade and during the third Macedonian War in 167 B.C. the city was conquered by the Romans. The Romans used the port as a supply base for military campaigns in Epirus and Macedonia in the II Century B.C. and area was afterwards ‘romanised’. With the creation of the Byzantine Empire in the East, Butrint was therein enveloped and remained part of the Empire until the latter’s fall at the hands of the Turks in 1453. Barbarians, Vandals, Slavs, Goths invaded the city, the Slavs settling there from the VII Century until the Byzantines expelled them in the IX century. With the defeat of the Venetians by Napoleon’s army in 1797, this coveted city briefly became part of the French Empire until 1798 when fortune changed again and it was seized from the French by the Albanian lord Ali Pasha of Tepelene. Butrint remained part of the Ottoman Empire until 1912, when Albania became an independent state.
From the XII Century however, Butrint was in decline. A catastrophic earthquake in 1153, the conquest by the Venetians, the subterranean infiltration of water and the subsequent epidemics completed the ruin of the city and forced the inhabitants to flee. Throughout the occupation by the Ottoman Empire, from the 15th to the 20th centuries, the city remained in deep slumber. The waters covered Butrint in mud, and abundant vegetation completely hid the city from view until the 1920s when Mussolini, tracing Aeneas’ footsteps, ordered the first excavation of the area. Butrint was designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1992.

For more details please click here: or

Butrint - Historical site

How to get the earthcache coordinates
The Earthcache “Lake Butrint and Vivari Channel” is reachable using car or bus and road from Saranda. Drive carefully because the road is very narrow! You can park very close to earthcache coordinates. The Earthcache is also reachable using boat. The Earthcache coordinates brings you close to the Vivari Channel.
The Earthcache “Lake Butrint and Vivari Channel” coordinates also brings you close to the main entrance to the Butrint historical area. If you want to enter you will have to pay some money. Although to approve finding of this Earthcache you do not have to enter Butrint historical area we highly recommend visiting this magnificent spot.

How to get the reference point coordinates
The reference point of the Earthcache “Lake Butrint and Vivari Channel” is reachable using car or bus and the same road from Saranda to Butrint. Drive carefully because the road is very narrow! The Reference Point of the Earthcache is probably also reachable using boat and your foot. The Earthcache coordinates brings you close to Lake Butrint.

Approving the finding
To approve the finding of this Earthcache you need to:
1) Using profile e-mail me which lithologic basis is under Lake Butrint and Vivari Channel. Please select one of the following possibilities: slate, conglomerate, magmatic rock, dolomite, limestone or soil.
2) Using profile e-mail me if the Vivari Channel originated naturally or if it was created by humans.
3) Using profile e-mail me which type of the water (salt or fresh) in Lake Butrint and Vivari Channel.
4) Using profile e-mail me what is the altitude above the sea level of Lake Butrint and Vivari Channel.
5) Upload in the log photo from the “Lake Butrint and Vivari Channel” earthcache coordinates N 39° 44.634 E 020° 01.143 with you and the Vivari Channel behind you (see spoiler) or with you in from of the entrance gate. Any other photos from the historical area with you are welcomed.
6) Upload in the log photo from the reference point coordinates N 39° 47.470 E 020° 00.530 (or its near surroundings) with you and Lake Butrint behind you. If you travel by bus you can take a photo inside the bus with Lake Butrint and a bus window behind you.

Please feel free to log your finding and to send your answers for approving questions at the same time. If your answer will be incorrect we will contact you for its correction.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

1) hfr vagrearg 2) hfr vagrearg 3) gnfgr vg be hfr lbhe oenva 4) ybbx ebhaq ubj gur punaary naq ynxr ybbx yvxr naq hfr lbhe oenva 5) gnxr n cubgb ng gur rnegupnpur pbbeqvangrf (frr fcbvyre) 6) gnxr n cubgb ng gur ersrerapr cbvag pbbeqvangrf

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)