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Hiking Pleasure in the Northern Albanian Alps

North-Albanian Alps

Time travel to the haunted mountains

8 Days / 7 Nights
Mountain Hiking
Hiking Pleasure in the Northern Albanian Alps

Follow in the footsteps of Karl Mays and explore the gorges of the Balkans. In northern Albania you will find dramatic mountain landscapes, unspoiled fairytale forests and a warm welcome in the picturesque mountain villages. Your hiking tour begins in the 2500-year-old Shkoder, crossing the fjord-like Koman Reservoir into the heart of the enchanted mountains, where caravan trails lead you to the two most beautiful valleys of the Albanian Alps. The final leg of your journey takes you to the lively capital Tirana, which is sure to captivate you. Bright blue skies, endless green beech forests, rugged limestone peaks and the sincere openness of the mountain farmers as well as their hospitality characterise this journey in a mountain world that is still little known.

You begin your eight-day mountain hiking tour in the historical town of Shkoder. The 2,500-year-old town is still considered the regional administrative centre and offers plenty of opportunities to walk in the footsteps of times gone by. From the Rozafa Fortress a dreamy view of the region awaits you. After a boat ride and a wonderful hike along a crystal-clear river, the first day of hiking takes you to the Valbona valley. The circular tour on the following day offers wonderful moments of tranquillity while hiking past the idyllic alpine landscape to the Rama Hut. After you have reached the Valbona Pass on the fourth day, you may choose between a caravan route to the karst field or a tour on shepherds' paths to a remote high alpine pasture on the fifth day. Whichever option you choose, the mountain landscapes and nature of Albania will inspire you. The last two stages take you first from Theth to the picturesque village of Nderlysa and finally, after a hike to the blue eye, to the Albanian capital Tirana.

  • Time out in the wild nature of Albania: The hiking routes in this eight-day mountain hiking tour lead you through almost untouched natural landscapes, to remote high alpine pastures and crystal-clear rivers – a wonderful time out is guaranteed!
  • Culture & history in Tirana: In the Albanian capital of Tirana countless historical and cultural sights await. Visit the National History Museum, the Skanderberg Square, the Bell Tower or the Namazgja Mosque.
  • Albanian cuisine and hospitality: The cuisine of Albania has something to offer all tastes – whether filled green peppers, baked cheese with tomatoes, lamb meatballs or puff pastry cakes – these regional dishes are prepared with special love and served with a warm hospitality.
  • Hike to the ‘blue eye’: A natural spectacle awaits you the last day of your hiking tour – the blue eye, also known as Syri I Kaltër. This special sight is in a mountain lake, which is fed by an underground spring and carries crystal clear water to the top. The water temperature in the mountain lake is around 12 degrees – so cool refreshment after your hike is assured.

Our eight-day mountain hiking tour in the Northern Albanian Alps is assigned to our level of hiking 'Mountain Hiking'. Daily stages of around 3.5 to 6.5 hours await you on this hiking tour. With a good basic fitness and experience in mountain hiking, this active holiday will be an unforgettable hiking adventure in Albania.

Itinerary at a glance

Wildly romantic nature, untouched forests, and clear lakes await you in northern Albania. Shkoder and Tirana are two highly interesting cities, and wherever you go, you can expect the country's typical cuisine and hospitality!

Shkoder embodies the long and volatile history of a country situated at the border of two major cultural environments. The castle Rozafa steeped in legend, was built by the Illyrians, from there you can enjoy maginficent panoramic views across the biggest lake of the Balkans and the foothills of the Albanian Alps. Experience the mediterranean flair in the busy pedestrian area of North Albania’s capital and sample delicacies of the local cuisine.

Transfer through the gorges ‚Drinschluchten’ to the ferry dock in Koman in the early morning. You get attuned to your hike ahead during the boat ride lasting several hours. The route through the Valbona valley leads you to your comfortable accommodation for the next two nights, through beautiful beech forests and along a crystal clear river with several opportunities for a swim.

Today’s route gives you a lovely overview of the entire valley. You walk along mule tracks across colorful meadows up to an idyllic alpine pasture located high above the valley. Marvel at the majestic peaks and their sheer beauty. During the optional extension of the tour you reach the Montenegrin border and on the way back you stop off at some mountain farms.

Short transfer to the starting point of today’s hike, where everything is moved onto a packhorse. Then you ascend through open woodland to the Valbona pass, the only connecting route between the two villages. At the ridge you can enjoy panoramic views across both valleys, and on the way back you descend through ancient beech forests in the shade down into the valley, right in the center of the Alps.

After breakfast it is decision time: will you go for the steep caravan route leading to a karst field at the end of the valley or will you choose the shepherd’s route to a remote high-alpine pasture with a view across the entire valley? Both routes actually offer spectacular views onto the surrounding peaks. At the end of the tour you return to your accommodation.

During a sightseeing tour of the village Theth you get to explore the special places and landmarks of the valley, the Catholic church, the vendetta tower, the Grunas waterfall, ravine and terraces. After that a bridle path leads you downstream into the traditional village of Nderlysa, where you get to enjoy the unspoilt scenery, for instance whilst indulging in a refreshing swim.

In the morning you set out for a karst spring called ‚the blue eye’, located in a wild-romantic neighboring valley. After lunch transfer via the Thoria pass, first stop at Shkoder and then onwards to Tirana. In the afternoon you explore the vibrant capital with its exciting mix of cultures and religions.

Departure or extension

Route information

Mountain Hiking

Due to the walking times, the terrain and the condition of the paths a good basic fitness level and some experience in mountain hiking is required. Walking times vary daily, and range between 3.5 to 6.5 hours maximum per day. Enjoy the fantastic views onto the mountain world and the crystal clear waters amidst nearly unspoiled and wild nature and scenery.

Prices & Dates

Category: 2x mid-range hotels, 5x simple & cozy inns

*Single room is only possible on the 1st and 7th day

Prices per person in EUR

Services & Information

Further details about this tour


  • Accomodation as already mentioned
  • Breakfast
  • 5 evening meal (2x Valbona, 2x Theth und 1x Nderlysa)
  • 6 lunch packages
  • Luggage transfer (1 piece of luggage per person, max. 15 kg)
  • Transfers according to program
  • Transfer from/to airport Tirana
  • Carefully elaborated route description
  • Detailed travel and tour documents 1x per room (German, English)
  • GPS-data
  • Service hotline


  • Transfer arrival/departure Podgorica, costs EUR 85 per person, payable in advance

Arrival / Departure

  • Tirana airport. Organized transfer from/to the airport Tirana included.
  • If you have a valid Schengen visa or a residence permit in a Schengen state, you do not need a visa to stay in Albania. Otherwise, please contact the nearest embassy.
  • Please note that a valid passport is required for this trip.

Things to note

  • Tourist tax, if due, is not included in the price
  • Minimum number of participants: 2 people
  • Further important information according to the package travel law can be found here!
  • This tour is a partner tour.
Lisa Schlager

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