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  • Writer's picturemichaelmarquardt07

The Albanian Alps - from Theth to Valbona

At the end of our 3-month break, we decide to go hiking again. There is no direct connection road between the two presumably most beautiful mountain valleys in Albania, Valbona and Theth. It would take more than 6 hours to drive from one place to other. What could be more practical than to hike from one valley to the other.


We decide to approach Theth over a dirt road. The way there is exciting, but not a problem for our VW bus. On the way there we have to take a break of several hours until the Albanian road workers have finished pouring a concrete wall for a steep section of the road. When we finally arrive, we take a short evening stroll through the idyllic mountain village of Theth. The world is still fine here :-)


Next day our hike goes over a mountain pass and takes about 8 hours. It leads through authentic villages and passes beautiful waterfalls.

View from the Pass into the Valbona Valley Albania, Theth, Thethi, Hiking, National Park
View from the Pass into the Valbona Valley

We stayed in Valbona in one of the many new hostels. The comfort is absolutely sufficient and meets high backpacker standards. As always in the whole Balkans, the food was terrific. In general, you noticed that the hiking season was slowly coming to an end. There were no tourists next to us and only very few locals.


The next day it's the same way back to Teth. Already on the way to Valbona, we occasionally stopped at small, managed huts or cafes. Not really, because we felt the need for a break or a coffee, but rather to talk to the locals about life in the region and the calm tourism season 2020. We also use these short breaks for good conversations on the way back.


Alpenglow on the way back to Theth, Albiania, Valbona, Thethi Hiking, Mountains Albanian Alps National Park
Alpenglow on the way back to Theth




The next day we find out that there are indeed roads that cannot be mastered for our Volkswagen. There is probably a reason that the other tourists book a 4x4 service to the Blue Hole near Theth. Fortunately, the Albanians are not so worried about the number of people in their cars; This way, even if the taxi is fully booked, you can spontaneously find a place in the trunk :-)


Blue Hole near Theth Syri i Kalter Valbona River Hiking Highlight Albania Nature
Blue Hole near Theth

Last but not least, Marion also gained experience with the Albanian health system. The dogs find here simply "to bite into" :-). But raki is also good for the initial treatment of bite wounds. But afterwards we still go to a small hospital to get professional first aid. The risk of a possible infection was just too high for us.

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