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Hiking in northern Albania

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Albania is a diverse country . While southern part has sunnyย  coast lines, north Albania has vistas liberally scattered with deep river valleys, alpine lakes and national parks, the towering limestone gorges of the Accursed Mountains, or Albanian Alps.

Day 1

I reached Tirana airport in the morning. The Shuttle from Airport took me to my hotel which is not very far from the Citi centre . Spent the rest of the walking around city.

Day 2

In the morning again I roamed around . I tried Byrek (Traditional Albanian pie)ย  for breakfast. Did not have a lot to do but walked nearby attractions like Skanderbeg square , Bunker Art 1, Tirana Castle / Toptani road. After lunch I was picked up from Triana city centre and began our journey to Shkoder. This was the capital during 300 BC and one of the oldest and largest town in Albania . We then visited ancient Rozafa Castle, which rises imposingly on rocky hill and guarded by rivers. The castle is steeped in legend and history predating Roman times with breathtakingly panoramic views.


Day 3

Saturday’s hike: Path of the Sheep
Distance: 7 miles (11km)
Ascent: Approximately 300m
Descent: Approximately 1200m, a steep downhill section
Grading: Challenging/Mountain
Hiking time: About 6 to 7 hours of hiking

We were transferred to Theth National Park for our hike through the scenic Boga Valley. We hiked the famous Path of the Sheep trail that winds up to the mountain ridge and reveals breathtaking views from the Alpine peaks. We spend the night in the remote and idyllic village of Theth.


Day 4

Sunday’s hike: Grunas Waterfall and Canyon, Blue Eye Lake
Distance: Approximately 14 to 18km
Ascent: Approximately 400m/600m
Grading: Intermediate
Hiking time: About 7 hours of hiking

We did a discovery hiking to the most remarkable places in Theth National Park. Our first stop is the impressive 30m high Grunas Waterfall and the popular canyon admiring its fairytale like beauty and vast carbon formations. Our path then follows the crystal clear river and brings us to curious naturally formed stone tubs with pools of lucent waters. We enjoy lunch at the famous Blue Eye Lake – fed by a waterfall, it captivates with its turquoise waters and untamed allure.


Day 5

Mondayโ€™s hike: Theth-Valbona
Distance: 9 miles (14km)
Ascent: 1000 metres
Grading: Challenging/Mountain
Hiking time: About 6 to 7 hours of hiking

This is one of the most popular trails in Albania and a key section of the 192km long “Peaks of the Balkans” trail. Our transverse hike passes through colourful alpine meadows into the heart of the Accursed Mountains revealing far reaching panoramic views over the stunning mountain peaks and lush valleys. This famous trail follows an ancient mule path linking two tribal regions. After our ascent we gently descend to the village of Valbona where we stay for the night, while our luggage is transferred by donkey.


Day 6

Tuesdayโ€™s hike: Mt Rosi (2524m)
Distance: 9-10 miles (14km – 16km)
Ascent: 1600m
Grading: Challenging/Mountain
Hiking time: About 6 to 7 hours of actual hiking

Today we conquer the highest peak of the Bjelik Mountain which lies on the Montenegro border – Mt Rosi (2524m). We hike through lush green beech and pine forests following the right side of the valley. Reaching the top we are rewarded with broad awe inspiring views of two countries – Albania on one side and Montenegro on the other. This was very tough and challenging, only two of us managed to make it to the top.

Day 7

After the challenging hikes we have planned a special treat – a scenic ferry ride through a deep fjord along the mesmerising Komani Lake. We enjoy a leisurely journey on the serene Komani Lake waters and indulge the magical landscapes of the Albanian Alps before returning to Tirana where we spent the night.


Day 8

After breakfast I visited Kruja castle before being dropped off at the airport.