This trek is for active and adventurous people who enjoy hiking and love to get to know the local people and their culture. We will hike the classic pass of the Albanian Alps that has linked the two most known valleys of the area – Valbona and Thethi – for centuries. The approximately 7-8 hour hike between these two authentic villages takes you past refreshing springs of water, spectacular views and unique natural beauty. This hike is not the only highlight of the tour; you will also experience the local culture by staying in village houses, then take an amazing ferry ride on the beautiful lake of Koman.
You can either join one of our scheduled departures (please see the calendar at the right) or you can book this tour as a private departure.
|TOUR:||Majestic mountain trekking from Valbona to Thethi|
|TYPE:||Guided hiking holiday|
If you wish to do this tour on a different date, please contact us via the enquire now button. We have guides who can speak Albanian, English, Italian, French, German, Italian, Dutch or Spanish.
Level of the tour: Challenging
This tour’s difficulty level is challenging, and demands you to be in excellent physical shape. The paths are not always in the best of conditions and markings can be scarce. Day-treks may have big ascents and descents. Changing weather conditions (even in mid-summer) can play an important role when trekking in remote areas, and may cause changes in the scheduled route.
Normally, the treks are between six to eight hours a day. Prior trekking experience is an advantage, but not necessary for those who are in very good shape. During the hikes, you are required to personally carry your own day rucksack. The main luggage will be transported on a mule/ horse or vehicle.
What to bring:
Breathable light-weight waterproof gear (gore-tex, sympatex, etc), fleece/wool pullover, wind-stopper jacket, gloves, small backpack with rain coverage, cap, sun block, mosquito repellent, head lamp, hiking poles, water bottle, sunglasses.
Terrain during the hikes
This trail is characterized by lots of descents and ascents. The route passes over engraved relief representing alpine terrain with steep slopes, mountain river valleys carved into the mountains, rocky peaks, belts of mountain pine, etc. However, the chosen paths are mostly well trodden underfoot and safe.
Good to know:
Central Shkoder, to be specified at booking confirmation
Central Tirana, to be specified at booking confirmation
The hike from Valbona to Thethi is accompanied by a mule/horse that carries the luggage. It is therefore important that you use a bag for your luggage, not a suitcase. You will carry your own day backpack. From Thethi to Boga, a vehicle will transport the luggage to Boga, and from there we drive back to Tirana.
We reserve the right to modify the hiking route, in case of presence of snow.
Children joining this tour should have experience with hiking. An adult need accompany children under 18.
The “OA” tours are Land Only; the prices do not include your flight, nor transport to and from the airport to hotel. You must make your own way to the starting point of every tour. If you would like us to arrange a transfer for you from the airport to your hotel or from your hotel to the beginning point of the tour please let us know at booking or contact us via the enquiry
Day 1: Through the Canyon of Lake Koman, and into the Albanian Alps
Early in the morning we will depart on a scenic drive from Shkoder, to reach the docks in the dam of Koman. The homonymous lake beyond it, was artificially created in the 80’s after the construction of the third hydropower dam that interrupts the canyon of river Drin.
The spectacular boat ride through gorgeous landscape that will follow from there, is a not-to-miss highlight of Northern Albania!
Once reached the docks of Fierza, we will stop for a tasty lunch in a traditional restaurant nearby. The trip will continue by car through the narrow valley of Valbona – one of the most beautiful valleys of the Albanian Alps.
Our transfer ends in the charming village of Valbona – Rrogam, where we will be hosted in a comfortable local guesthouse. The location of the house is the ideal starting point for all kinds of hikes in the surrounding mountains. Free time to explore the village at own pace, while the steep and jagged limestone peaks above the village are embraced by the sunset light.
The Valbona Pass
Today we hike on a ‘classic’ trail of the Albanian Alps that for centuries connected the glacier valleys of Valbona and Theth via the 1860m high Valbona Pass. The pass becomes possible to cross on foot from the end of May, when the snow melts enough to let people and animals through.
Indeed, we will use horses to carry the luggage to the next guesthouse, and start walking towards the end of the valley. Once past the last houses of Rrogam, the trail steepens up towards a plateau sided by rough slopes and a winding narrow trail that leads to the Valbona Pass.
On clear days the col is a superb panoramic spot from where to admire the jagged peaks of ‘Bjeshket e Namuna’ – the Accursed Mountains. We than start to descent towards the village of Thethi (850m), again passing through dense woods and grassy meadows where we will stop for picnic.
In the afternoon we will relax in Thethi, the best-preserved alpine village of Albania. We will stay overnight in one of the traditional houses and enjoy the extraordinary hospitality.
Thethi is the most known village of Northern Albania. The small village has been described by several well-known writers, that were impressed by its stunning and rather inaccessible location in the middle of vertical mountains. Still today, most of the houses or ‘kulla’ are built in grey stone and roofed with wooden planks. Traditions remain strong and authentic.
We will walk down from the house (850m) and visit the attractions of the village, including the Church, Kulla e Ngujimit (a tower house used in the past by men as a shelter against ongoing vendettas), the Waterfall of Thethi, and peer at the rocky narrows of the Grunasi Canyon from the wooden bridge of Grela. Near the canyon are found stone-walled terraces dating from the late bronze era, revealed only in 2007. We will have our picnic lunch in a panoramic spot nearby, for than returning on foot to the village, and start a scenic drive via Thore Pass and the Boga Valley back to Tirana.