Albania
Destination
Challenging
Difficulty level
2 to 5 days
Duration
Self-guided tours, Small group departures, Tailor-made tours
Tour types
Trekking, Walking and hiking
Activity type

This tour is for adventurous travelers with open minds who like staying in the traditional houses of the native Albanian highlanders, the “malesore”. The tour covers some of the most scenic parts of northern  Albania and includes a world-class ‘Boat Trip on the Spectacular Lake Koman’, a trek through the beautiful ‘Valbona Valley’, and a visit to the ‘Thethi Valley’. You will hike about 6 hours per day and all the overnight stays are in local guesthouses – that also prepare traditional meals.

You will get to experience the best of rural Albania, set high in the Albanian mountains, and admire the spectacular view of one of the largest lakes in Europe from the ruins of the Rozafa Castle.

Special highlights of this tour are:
Lake Koman: The ferry trip on Lake Koman is an outstanding experience. The lake is narrow and winding, and stretches along the bed of the Drini River. The lake was formed after the construction of a dam in the 80’s. The steep cliffs on both sides create a spectacular landscape reminiscent of Norwegian fjords.

Valbona Valley: This is probably the most beautiful valley of Northern Albania. The turquoise waters of Valbona River flow in the middle of a spectacular border of steep mountain peaks. This is the jewel in the crown of the Albanian Alps.

Theth Valley: A hidden paradise in the heart of the Albanian Alps, the Theth Valley is the starting point for all treks to the highest peaks and passes in the region. It leads to Montenegro in the North, Kosovo in the East and the city of Shkodra in the West.

DEPARTURE/RETURN  Shkoder
CODE: SGW 5.1
TYPE:  Global trekking holiday
LEVEL:  Challenging
PRICE:  259.00 Euro per person
DATES: May – October
NIGHTS: 4
DAYS: 5
START/FINISH Shkoder
ACCOMMODATION: Local guesthouses
DEPARTURE TIME To be decided
INCLUDED
Full board accommodation in local guesthouses, based on shared rooms
Transfer as per itinerary based on local transfers
 Luggage transportation by horse and horse porter acting like local guide for the Valbona Pass

Road – Book & vouchers

NOT INCLUDED
Drinks & Snacks
The transfer from Fierza Docks to Valbona Valley
Airport pick up/ delivery.
Breakfast on day 1
Lunch & Dinner on day 5
Bank transfer fees
If you wish to pay by credit card, there is a 4.5% service charge

 

 

Essential Info:

Level of the tour: Challenging
This tour is physically challenging, and demands you to be in excellent physical shape.
Normally, the treks are between six to eight hours a day, so preliminary 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 you own day rucksack. The main luggage will be transported on a mule/ horse or vehicle.

Terrain during the hikes:
This trail is saturated with lots of descends and ascends. The route passes over engraved relief representing alpine terrain with steep slopes, mountain river valleys incised on the mounts, rocky peaks, belts of mountain pine, etc. However, the chosen paths are mostly well trod underfoot and safe.

What to bring:
Breathable light weight waterproof gear (gore-tex, sympatex, etc), fleece/wool pullovers/wind-stopper jackets and gloves, small back-pack with rain coverage, cap, sun-block, mosquito repellent, head-lamp, hiking poles, water bottle, sun glasses/block.

Land only
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. Please let us know at booking if you would like us to arrange an airport transfer for you.

Good to know

Pick-up location
Central Shkoder, to be specified at booking confirmation

Drop-off location
Central Shkoder, to be specified at booking confirmation

Children policy:
Children joining this tour should have experience with hiking. An adult needs to accompany children under 18.

Luggage transport
From Valbona to Thethi you will have to carry your own backpack.

Hiking route
We reserve the right to modify the hiking route, in case of presence of snow.

FAQs
Do I have to carry my luggage?
All luggage transport will be taken care of by Outdoor Albania, except the crossing between Valbona and Thethi. During this crossing you are responsible of getting your own luggage to the destination. For the rest of the tour, the only thing you will be carrying is your day back pack. There is an option to rent and use a mule or horse for carrying your luggage from Valbona to Thethi; However, please make sure you bring a bag and not a suitcase. (the mule/horse luggage carry, is not included in the pricing).

Can I book a single room for the local village house trek?
On this tour, we use local guesthouses where you share a room up to about 5 persons per room. Therefore with the set departure tours, there is no possibility for booking a single room.
It will be possible for private tours and tailor-made tours to book a single room, in in this case we will make sure there are either no other persons sharing the room with you, or we will use small hotels.

Are Airport transfers included in the tour?
Our set departure tours do not include the airport transfers, if you wish to book an airport transfer, please mention this at your booking form.
The price from the airport to Tirana or vise versa is 30 euro (max 3 pax) and the price from the airport to Shkoder or vise versa is 110 euro (max 5 pax). In case you need a transfer for more than the maximum amount of pax, please contact us for prices.

Does this tour have a guaranteed departure?
For the local village house trek we need a min number of 5 participants to guarantee a departure. You can can check our departure dates and see what departures are guaranteed. 42 days prior to departure we will let you know if there are enough participants to run a tour, in case there are not enough participants you can either choose to cancel or pay a small group supplement.

Do I need to be an experienced hiker?
This tour is physically challenging, and demands the participants to be in excellent physical shape.
Normally, the treks are between six to eight hours a day, so preliminary trekking experience is an advantage, but not necessary for those who are in very good shape. During the hikes, participants are required to personally carry their own day rucksack. The main luggage will be transported on a mule/ horse or vehicle.

What is the terrain like during the hikes?
This trail is saturated with lots of descends and ascends. The route passes over engraved relief representing alpine terrain with steep slopes, mountain river valleys incised on the mounts, rocky peaks, belts of mountain pine, etc. However, the chosen paths are mostly well trod underfoot and safe.

What should I bring along on this hiking trip?
Breathable light weight waterproof gear (gore-tex, sympatex, etc), fleece/wool pullovers/wind-stopper jackets and gloves, small back-pack with rain coverage, cap, sun-block, mosquito repellent, head-lamp, hiking poles, water bottle, sun glasses/block.

What time does the tour depart?
Departure is from Shkoder, you will be picked up at 6.30 a.m. from your (central) Shkoder accommodation.

Ending of the tour
The expected ending of the local village house trek is on day 5, at around 5:00 p.m. in Shkoder. (Please know that these are approximate times, in case you need to be in time for an after tour activity, please let us know at booking).

Can I bring my kids along to the local village house trek?
Yes you can bring your kids to the local village house trek, but do be aware that the hike from Valbona to Thethi takes about 8 hours. There is no way to make this hike any shorter.

In case your question is not answered yet, after reading the FAQ, please feel free to contact us via the enquiry form.

1

Through the Canyon of Lake Koman, and into the Albanian Alps

Early in the morning you 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!

At the end of the navigation, step out of the boat with your luggage in the dock of Fierza, find a local van parked outside and sit in to drive for about one hour through the narrow valley of Valbona – one of the most beautiful valleys of the Albanian Alps, where you will be hosted in a comfortable local guesthouse.

2

The Mount Rosi Meadows

Your first hike will start from the guesthouse towards the secluded hamlet of Kukaj, with the aim to discover the small hidden valley above the two houses.

A winding shepherd’s trail through forest, will take you in the middle of green alpine meadows underneath the rocky dome of Mount Rosi, known by the locals as ‘Pllana’ or ‘Buni i Brahimit’. Here you can have a picnic lunch and admire the dramatic peaks of Grykat e Hapta across the valley, and Jezerca the highest peak of the Albanian Alps, towering above the steep couloirs of Paplluka mountain. 

The walk can be extended further to reach the pass Qafa e Rosit (2000m) that marks the border with Montenegro, and gaze at the spectacular Accursed Mountains at sight.

On the way back we advice you to stop for mountain ‘çaj’ at the wooden terrace of one of the houses, before returning to the guesthouse in Valbona for dinner and overnight.

3

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.

After breakfast, be ready to leave at 07:45hrs, load the luggage on horse led by a porter that will act as local guide, salute the hosts and start hiking towards the end of the valley for about 6km until leaving behind the last houses of Rrogam.

In the afternoon you will relax in Thethi, the best-preserved alpine village of Albania, overnight in one of the traditional houses in the valley and enjoy the extraordinary hospitality.

4

Explore Thethi’s attractions

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.

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.  After the picnic lunch, you may then return to the same house as the night before or you may decide to continue your journey and discover The Blue Eye of Nderlysa. The way is marked following the Shala River. On return to Nderlysa, an arranged transfer will return you to Thethi for a second overnight stay. 

5

Departure

It takes about 3,5 hours from Thethi to Shkoder. 1/3 of the road is bumpy, be prepared for the first part of the ride.

Arrival in Shkoder. Tour ends

Local Village House Trek
This tour is for adventurous travelers with open minds who like staying in the traditional houses of the native Albanian highlanders, the "malesore" theti albania hiking
The tour covers some of the most scenic parts of northern Albania hiking
You will hike about 6 hours per day and all the overnight stays are in local guesthouses Albania hiking
You will hike about 6 hours per day and all the overnight stays are in local guesthouses Albania hiking