This trek is for active and adventurous people who enjoy hiking and love to get to know the local people and their culture. You 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.
This tour can be booked via the Book this Tour button.
|TOUR:||Self Guided – Majestic mountain trekking from Valbona to Thethi|
|TYPE:||Guided hiking holiday|
|PRICE:||195.00 Euro per person|
|DEPARTURE DATE:||June – October|
*Self Guided tour
A self-guided tour is a self-governing tour where one navigates a route oneself as opposed to an escorted tour where a tour guide directs the route, times, information, and places toured.
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:
Shkoder, to be specified at booking confirmation
Shkoder, 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.
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 our local driver will come to pick you up and you 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, you will need to find our driver outside the docks. The trip will continue by local 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 you 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.
Transfer length: 136Km (including boat ride)
Duration: 5h (including boat ride)
The Valbona Pass
Today you will 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, you 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. You than start to descent towards the village of Thethi (850m), again passing through dense woods and grassy meadows where you can stop for picnic.
In the afternoon 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.
Cumulative gain: 936m
Cumulative descent: 936m
Highest point: 1852m
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, after that return on foot to the village, and start a scenic drive back to Shkoder.
Transfer length: 191Km
Length/Duration: 6.3Km/6-8 hours
Cumulative gain: 372m
Cumulative descent: 372m
Highest point: 1021m