This fascinating, lesser known Mediterranean country has a pristine, rugged and wild landscape waiting to be discovered. It wasn’t until the collapse of the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania in 1991 that the world got its first glimpse of the country within. Our trek is focused in the remote Albanian Alps in the north, where ancient blood feuds and folklore mark its past. We explore the remote regions of Theth and Valbonë on foot, where Agricultural life has remained unchanged for centuries. We then have time to explore the historic towns of Berat and Krujë and delve into the captivating history of this hospitable country.
The tour starts at our centrally located hotel in Tirana, Albania’s trendy capital. Overnight in Tirana.
After breakfast we will drive to Shkodër where we will visit the Castle of Rozafa and the city center of one of the oldest and most historic places in Albania. Our journey continues into the breathtaking Albanian Alps and Theth National Park, an area admired for its rich flora and fauna. After checking into our quaint guesthouse in Theth, we set off on a gentle walk through the valley nestled between the wonderful surrounding peaks, gaining an insight into agricultural life as we pass locals going about their day. We continue to the Roman Catholic Church of Theth, built in 1892, which was once used as a health center during the communist regime. The highlight, however, is a visit to the shutting tower (or lock-in tower) of Theth, known locally as ‘Kulla’. These historic stone ‘lock-in towers’ were used for protection of families that were involved in blood feuds and this is one of the few that remains today. Overnight on Theth.
After breakfast we will visit Theth Valley which is predominantly an agricultural region, where age-old farming practices and horse-drawn carts are still used today. We observe rural life as we begin walking to Grunas Waterfall. From here we continue on to Nderlyse where we find a string of natural water pools and a feature known as the ‘Blue Eye of Kapre’. There is an opportunity to swim here, so don’t forget your swimming things. Overnight in Theth.
After breakfast we walk through some of the wildest scenery into the Tropojë District, known as the home of Albanian folk culture. We firstly ascend through forests and alpine pastures to reach the Valbonë Pass (1800 m), from where we take a few moments to enjoy the spectacular views down Valbonë and Theth Valleys. We then follow a trail which brings us alongside the Valbonë River, passing some beautiful waterfalls along the way. We finish at the quaint village of Rragam, where the minibus will wait for us to transport us to our hotel. Overnight in Valbona.
After breakfast, we drive to Fierza then take a boat through the beautiful Komani Lake (which takes approx. 2 hrs). The boat journey allows us to take in the spectacular scenery whilst we wind our way between high cliffs and towering peaks. Three hydroelectric power plants have been built here at the lake, which produces approx. 70% of Albania’s electricity. We then drive for another 2.5 hrs to Kruje, the center of Skanderbeg’s resistance to the Ottoman invasion in the 15th century. This afternoon we walk to Kruje mountain, at the top we will be rewarded with fantastic views of Kruja and of the Adriatic sea. Overnight in Kruja.
After breakfast we travel to Berat. On arrival, we enjoy a guided tour around the old district of Berat, with its pretty white buildings perched on the hill amid pine forests. Our tour includes a visit to the Ethnographic Museum (a 18th-century Ottoman house) and the King Mosque. We walk through the narrow cobbled streets to finally reach Berat Castle on the slopes of Mount Tomorr, where we are rewarded with breathtaking views. Within the castle walls are dwelling houses and the Onufri Museum (Museum of Iconography). There is free time to enjoy the other sites of Berat or to perhaps absorb the relaxed cafe culture on the promenade. Overnight in Berat.
After breakfast we drive to the Airport. End of our Service.
Tour Itinerary: Hiking in Albania
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