Why Albania’s Valbona and Theth Valleys Are a Hiker’s Paradise
Albania’s beautiful alpine landscape is still quite unknown to tourists and that’s exactly why they remain an untouched paradise for hikers and nature lovers. We take a look at the reasons why you should be booking a trip there soon. The most famous, and perhaps most beautiful, hiking trail in Albania is the one from Valbona to Theth, through the Accursed Mountains. It is a not-to-be missed chance to admire one of the most spectacular landscapes of the Balkan Peninsula and to experience the beauty of the Albanian Alps. The hike, called Peaks of the Balkans, because it also crosses over into the neighboring countries of Kosovo and Montenegro, follows an old mule track, is almost 20 km long, and can be completed in one day because it takes a total of eight hours with several stops to enjoy the views and take pictures. Both Valbona and Theth have been declared national parks of Albania and are two of the most beautiful areas of the country.
Lots of Great Accommodation Options
If you’re one of those hikers who also likes a bit of comfort then Albania’s Valbona and Theth valleys have lots of great accommodation options that range from camping grounds with a view of the mountains, to pensions with great restaurants. A lot of the locals have also turned their traditional homes into guesthouses, which means you’ll have the chance to live in a traditional Albanian house with local hosts who know the area very well.
Albania still has a strong rural culture and locals in the Theth and Valbona valleys rely on their own livestock and farms for sustenance. This is why the food in Albania is simply excellent because all the ingredients are acquired by the farmers themselves. That means everything you eat is natural and freshly prepared and always delicious. Tomatoes are fragrant, meat is fresh, and the cheese is homemade.
Beautiful Untouched Nature
If you need to spend some quality time with nature, Albania is the perfect destination. With the sun constantly shining, you’ll be alone with the mountains, forests, streams, birds, and alpine pastures. We recommend taking a lunch with you on your hike so you can take a break at an altitude with a great view and take off your shoes to enjoy it.
Not Too Many Tourists
As mentioned, Albania is still not entirely developed in terms of tourism, which means that during your hike you’ll be able to enjoy your solitude and connection with nature without being disturbed by groups of other hikers and tourists. Of course, you will inevitably come across a few foreigners from Europe, but not so often that it will be an intrusion.
Great Hiking Paths
Apart from the amazing six-hour Valbona Pass that crosses to the Theth Valley through the mountains, the two valleys have their own selection of marked hiking paths that lead to the peaks of the surrounding mountains. You can really spend a whole week in Albania hiking on a daily basis and returning to a warm room and meal in the evening.
A very important factor for hikers are the weather conditions and Albania has uninterrupted sunshine throughout the summer, even late into October. That means you can definitely plan your hike without having to worry about any sudden changes in weather. A lot of the marked hiking paths are only closed between November and May, which means that you can go hiking in Albania anytime except the winter.
Super Friendly Locals
Albanians are an exceptional people that are always smiling and open to helping you even if they don’t speak any English. The shepherds in the mountains will want to take a photo with you and every local you meet will greet you with a smile. At the guesthouses your hosts will make you feel like you’re at home with their deep sincerity.