Explore and Hike Northern Albania in 5 Days

Discover the beautiful landscape and hidden culture of Northern Albania on a self-guided hike through its breathtaking scenery. 3 days off work.

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Explore and Hike Northern Albania in 5 Days

Discover the beautiful landscape and hidden culture of Northern Albania on a self-guided hike through its breathtaking scenery. 3 days off work.

Albania has gone from a virtually unknown region to a well-established stop on backpacker routes in barely a decade. However, it still remains relatively unknown, with hidden gems throughout its landscape. This self-guided trip takes you to some of the most popular sites in Northern Albania, from a medieval church to a lake nestled in the bottom of cliffs. These popular sights take you away from the tourists and crowds in central Europe, letting you hike and explore the beautiful Albania mountains in peace, getting a sense of the local way of life. This self-guided trip includes:

  • 5 days exploring Northen Albania
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • All meals on the trek
  • Airport transfers
  • Local transfers and ferries
  • Maps and routes

Perfect for:
Beginners and experienced trekkers alike, who want to explore breathtaking landscapes while immersing themselves in a new culture.

What to Expect

Wednesday: Arrival in Podgorica

As you arrive into Podgorica in the morning, a transfer will be waiting to take you to Shkoder where you can settle into your accommodation.

On your first night, you will have a tour of the medieval Rozafa Castle and learn more about the history and culture of the region. The history of this castle dates back to 4th century B.C., so it’s definitely worth checking out.

1,5 hours driving

Thursday: Shkoder - Komani Lake - Valbona

It’s an early start leaving Shkoder, as you make your way over to the Komani Lake. The beautiful scenery of the lake makes this one of Albania’s hidden gems, and an absolute must for any travelling through the area.

As you cross the breath-taking scenery, through the narrow, rocky and wild cliffs, you will eventually arrive at Fierza, where the owner of the guesthouse will be waiting to take you into the valley of Valbona. You’ll arrive in Valbona in time for lunch at 13:00.

Once you’ve enjoyed some of the local delicacies, you can hike to one of the nearby waterfalls to stretch your legs after a day of travelling.

Your overnight and dinner will be in a family-run guesthouse in Valbona.

3 hours scenic ferry ride, 3hours hiking

Friday: Valbona - Theth

Wake up bright and early to begin your hike to Theth.

The hike to Theth is absolutely gorgeous, taking you through a wide valley, and up a steep ascent to the Valbona Pass (1759m) before taking you through the thick forest into the Theth Valley. The hike to the mountain pass will take three to four hours, and once you arrive, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views over the valleys below you. There are even a couple of small cafes en route, where you can stop for some cold drinks in the sun.

When you’re ready, head back down to your accommodation, where dinner will be served for you.

6-7 hours hiking, 900m elevation

Saturday: Theth - Shkoder

Enjoy a lazy breakfast or get up early to hike to one of the many spectacular waterfalls around. If you dare, you can even take a swim in the ice-cold water. Your host will suggest different routes depending on what you want to see. Return to the guesthouse, enjoy your lunch and start your journey back to Shkoder.

On your way back, you will stop at the mountain pass “Qafe Thore”, which offers breathtaking views across the valleys and lakes below. Take in one last view of the Albania mountains, and continue back.

Spend your last night in Shkoder however you want; the food, culture and history of the town mean there is always something going on.

1,5 - 5 hours hiking (optional), 3 hours drive

Sunday: Departure

Make the most of your last Albania breakfast before your transfer takes you back to the Podgorica airport, and back to reality.

1,5 hours driving

Accommodation

In Shkoder you will stay at the newly refurbished hostel “The Wanderers”. It provides a social and comfortable atmosphere in a historic building, located within minutes of the city center on one of the most beautiful streets in the city. The rooms will be on a 2- or 3-bed sharing basis.

On the trek, you’ll stay at small family-run guesthouses. Depending on availability, you’ll stay in a private room or alternatively in a 4-6 person dorm room.

Dates & Prices

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

Sorry, no group trips are currently planned, book a private trip or get a quote.

If you can't find a private trip that suits you, ask for a quote.

Prices include

  • Accommodation
  • Airport Transfers
  • Local Transport
  • Meals As Described
  • Routes & Maps

Trip Photos

Location

View map

Skhoder is one of the oldest and most historic places in the Balkan peninsula. This culturally rich town was founded in 4th century B.C., with ancient buildings still in place today. Its narrow streets and ancient houses are now united with stone walls and modern buildings, making it the perfect first stop on your trip.

The Valbonë Valley National Park, or ‘Gem of Albania’ as it is known, is located in the Albanian Alps. This unique and spectacular park has the highest biodiversity value of the country’s mountain mainland, as is particularly famous for its dramatic cliff landscape, forests, and wildlife.

Start point?
You’ll fly in to Podgorica Airport (TGD) in Montenegro where your host will be ready to meet you and transfer you to Shkoder in Albania in time for dinner. Your transfer will meet the flight scheduled to land by 10:45 in the morning. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Finish point? Your host will take you from your final Albanian accommodation to Podgorica Airport in preparation for your flight home. You will arrive at the airport around 11:00. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Getting there and away?
Podgorica Airport (TGD) in Montenegro is served by international flights from all over Europe. You can get any flight that suits you, but make sure they fit the times above to take advantage of the included transfers. Your host will contact you before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen circumstances such as erupting Icelandic volcanoes, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Flights to/from Podgorica
  • Refreshments/beverages
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • Dinner on first and last night in Shkoder

Self-guided trips are perfect for singles, couples and small groups who want the rewards of an independent adventure without the hassle of planning it all. Everything is organised for you, but you still have the flexibility to make it your weekend. Challenge yourself or take it easy—it’s up to you.

This trip runs with a group minimum of 2.

Unfortunately not. Since this is a self-guided trip we suggest to travel at least with one more person.

This trek is great for beginners and experienced trekkers alike. The hike to Theth is fairly easy, however, it should not be underestimated due to the elevation gain of 900m on Day 3. Therefore a general level of fitness is recommended.

Food is a delicious mix of local Albania food, from goat or lamb meats and cheese to fresh salads, fruit, yoghurt and pita.

Yes, absolutely! Just let us know at booking.

  • Backpack
  • Hiking gear
  • Waterproof wear
  • Walking boots
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera

Albania has a Mediterranean climate but the Valbonë Valley National Park has a much more mountain climate and is the coldest area of the country.

Summer in the mountain areas is generally quite cool, however, temperatures can to their hottest of 30-35°C in July and August. In the nighttime temperatures can drop down to 10°C.

The temperatures drop significantly however in the winter, from December to February, occasionally reaching lows of −10 °C to −20 °C. From late October to the end of March, you will also see snow in the mountains.


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