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The Albanian Alps self-guided tour covers the capital Tirana as well as the north’s two most interesting cities and valleys.
It’s a point-to-point trekking adventure that changes lodging every day/night using the minimum number of transfers. Your hosts are handpicked for being excellent examples of hospitality, authentic traditions, vision and engagement.
Traveling by yourself gives you the opportunity to meet and interact with natives and get to know local customs and history in a natural way. Meeting friendly and welcoming malisores (highlanders) is guaranteed.
The hikes are ideal for walkers of average fitness levels and with basic orientation skills. Different routes and extensions are described in detail and marked on maps to cater for the ones looking for a more demanding hiking experience.
The effective walking time per day is about 4 hours on average, with the exception of one longer transfer hike from Theth to Valbona across the Valbona pass.
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“Albanian Alps: Theth & Valbona” Highlights
trip price per person starts from 375€ (assuming two travelers on a 5-day tour)
private trip: 1-4 persons
June to September
Please note that August can be very hot
The itinerary covers Albania from the capital Tirana to much more relaxed but lively Shkoder, historical hilltop castle town Kruja and two of the most remarkable valleys in the Dinaric Alps: Thethi and Valbona. Both are dominated by towering mountains, gushing rivers and traditional alpine stone houses. Leaving the mountains behind you will enjoy a not less beautiful scenic ferry ride across the Koman Lake.
After your rendezvous with our driver at the airport the journey continues to Shkoder, the North’s dynamic hub to the mountains. Explore the city on foot or bike, visit one of the many sights, join a workshop and sleep and dine in a traditional Ottoman-style house turned into a hotel.
Leaving the city behind transfer along your preferred route through either Boga Valley or Kiri and Shala towards Nderlysa on the next day. You can choose between different walks and will stay in a farm-style guesthouse next to swimming spots.
If you haven’t done so on the previous day visit the beautiful “Blue Eye“, a hidden karst spring, and the almost deserted Kapreja Valley, before you continue on a bridle path to Theth. On your way you may visit the hydro-power station, Grunas canyon and waterfall or a historic lock-in tower. Overnight with an Albanian-Kosovan family in the village center near the often pictured church.
Considered the highlight of many visitors you hike from Theth to Valbona Valley on day four. At above 1800m feel on par with the surrounding peaks and stay with who’s been described by New York Times as a “Balkan cowboy with jeans and glorious Sam Elliott mustache”.
In more dramatic and inaccessible Valbona Valley ascend along a glacial valley perched between mountains to a meadow below Mt. Rosni (2524m). Stay in the first hotel that opened after the crisis 1997 with a visionary activist Albanian-American couple.
Early morning transfer to and ferry ride on Koman Lake with an unique vehicle. Head for the beach, a slow food restaurant or right away to the interesting hilltop city and castle of Kruja. Sleep well in a comfy hotel overlooking the revived bazaar close by the castle.
Transfer to Tirana where you can visit the National History Museum or what is known as the capitol’s balcony by taking the cable car to Mt Dajti. Join a local for a walking tour of the colorful city and discuss Albania’s state of affairs over a sumptuous dinner in one of the many fabulous restaurants. Not tired yet, join the nightlife in Blloku district.
Depending on your departure time keep exploring the city or head right away for the airport with many unforgettable memories of the last secret of Europe. Don’t want to leave and rather spend more time at the South’s beaches – we help you find the right spot.
Effective walking: 3.5 h
Distance: 6.5 km
Ascending: 500 m
Descending: 500 m
Effective walking: 4 h
Distance: 12 km
Ascending: 325 m
Descending: 325 m
Effective walking: 3 h
Distance: 9 km
Ascending: 375 m
Descending: 100 m
Effective walking: 7 h
Distance: 12 km
Ascending: 1125 m
Descending: 725 m
Effective walking: 5 h
Distance: 10.5 km
Ascending: 700 m
Descending: 700 m
depending on your departure time:
→ You like to extend your holidays? Let us know and we help you find the right place at one of the beaches at the Ionian coast.
The idea behind our self-guided tours is to leave you as much freedom and offer plentiful options to personalize your trip as possible:
Optional (see the booking process for more details):
At your own:
Didn’t find what you were looking for? Get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to tailor a tour that suits your needs, organise transport or accommodation, or simply give advice for your independent visit to Albania.