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This trip is for the intrepid travelers who want to explore the Albanian Alps and get a sneak peak of the infamous Balkan Trail.

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On this beginner trail, you will enjoy splendid views on this scenic hike in the Valbona and Thethi National Parks on the edge of 2 magnificent valleys, as you hike across the Valbona pass.

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You will also get to experience the traditional mountain lifestyle and warm hospitality of the locals.

Upon your arrival in Tirana, you will be picked up by a Wild Guanabana representative and transferred to the beautiful village of Shkodër. After checking in to your rooms and getting settled, you have the choice to go swim in one of the villages at the Balkans biggest lake or visit the Rozafa Castle. In the city the cafés bustle with people who flock for a stroll to the pedestrian area. Lined with bourgeoisie town houses, reminder of the cities rich past, Shkodër has a certain Italian atmosphere to it. When daylight fades you can choose between restaurants that offer carefully crafted traditional meals. Tomorrow you start into the Albanian Alps!
You rise early for the transfer through a scenic gorge to the Koman Dam (55km/1:30h). The picturesque reservoir loops similar to a Norwegian fjord through sheer rock walls and is considered a highlight of the Alps. The custom made ferry stops at several points to pick up locals from remote villages before arriving at Fierze (46km/3h). After lunch you travel by minibus past traditional villages, composed of wooden shingle-covered stone houses, into the highlands and the Valbona National Park (35km/1:15h). On a first warm-up walk you continue on foot along the crystal clean stream and on quiet berry-lined trails through the forest to the secluded Xhemes Lake for a swimming break. The walk ends at your cozy accommodation in a small hamlet. You will have itchy feed when you see the jagged peaks from the terrace, tomorrow will be the day.
Refreshed you start our hike to Kukaj, an isolated hamlet where only two families reside, below bunkers that once protected the border are now scattered in the riverbed. The windy path takes you over lush meadows ablaze with the colors of a wide variety of spring flowers to a shepherd hut on 1.650m. In the communist period when this was a no-go area and the building used as a military barrack. Admire the wild and romantic jagged mountain scenery, sample fresh milk products should the shepherd be present or opt to climb higher to an ancient crossing at the Montenegrin borde. At 2.040m a weathered border pyramid is a reminder of the isolation Albania once endured, from here views reach to the most dramatic parts of Montenegrin Prokletije. Catching a last glimpse at the Alps highest peak Jezerca (2.694m) you descent on a different path to another guesthouse. When daylight fades you can watch the alpine glow over dinner in the idyllic garden, no surprise many women are named after the beautiful valley.
Accompanied by a mule that carries your load you set out for the transfer hike across Valbona Pass (1.811m) – another highlight and highest point of your journey. After passing the village Rragam few steep segments need to be tackled, you can pause regularly near springs and on colorful meadows to take a breath and enjoy the splendid views. Reaching the pass the surrounding peaks appear on par and sweeping views of both valleys fascinate even the seasoned traveler. Enjoy the picturesque landscape during a lunch break ahead of the descent to Theth. The fairy-tale beech forest provides cover from the sun in the afternoon for you, by the time the woods thin out Mt. Arapi (2.217m) is visible and soon the upmost houses of the village are reached. Spread below are the different hamlets, on a broad path we reach another inviting guesthouse in the center of the village.
A walk through the village and the green gardens reveals the full extent of Theth. We visit the iconic church, well-kept fields and dive at the lock-in tower that offered protection for men threatened by blood feud into the history of the “kanun”. It is the perfect place to elaborate on the highland law code of Leke Dukagjini, its origins, impact and present day relevance. Onward along the water channels we ascend the plateau of the famed waterfall at which’s base often a rainbow appears. On a cliff above the river archeologists discovered stone-aged terraces, we rest here, enjoy our picnic lunch and gaze into the adjacent 50m deep Grunas Canyon. Along the river a well-worn bridle path takes us downstream to Nderlysa where we stay on a farmstead. You can use your free time to sample mulberries, grapes and plums in the garden, harvest corn and milk sheep with the family, learn to cook a typical dish, explore the surroundings or swim.
If time permits you can further explore the city prior to your departure. Before your flight, you can stroll through town and view its rich cultural history and vibrant present. You can visit the colorful bazaar and park that forms the green heart of Tirana. Two former nuclear shelters open their doors to visitors, the museum turned headquarters of the secret police, National History Museum and socialist period art gallery make up just a few of city's sights.Immerse yourself in the buzz of Pazari i Ri (the bazaar), walk into the Marubi photo library in Albania’s past, visit one or more of the many museums in the vicinity or enjoy an espresso with the locals. The last day presents you yet another side of diverse Albania, one that stands in stark contrast to the rural areas visited in the past days. Your journey ends with a transfer to the airport (30min) where our driver wishes you farewell and safe trip home.


On this trip we will be staying in a variety of different types of houses. Most of our stay will be in family run guest houses along the trail which have a cosy feel to them and you will enjoy the serenity and friendliness of the people there. The most memorable nights will be spent in shepherd and mountain huts where you will get to experience their way of life in all its forms. In the city you will be staying in comfortable and cozy hotels, with no heating but enough warm blankets. Most of the accommodation is either in a double room basis or dorm style in some cases. Single rooms might be a bit difficult and unavailable in some areas but please tell us in advance so we can check the availability.



Food will be cooked by the families in the guesthouses or by the shepherds in mountain huts which will give you a taste of delicious home made food. We can cater to most diets so please let us know in advance if you have something in specific so we can make sure it is taken care of.



Light hiking is the general feel of this trip and it is mostly for you to enjoy the scenery and indulge in the life of the farmers, shepherds and the serenity of being surrounded by mountains. You will be hiking on average around 4.5 to 5 hours so you need to have some basic fitness to be able to enjoy the hike.



The scenery on this trip is simply breathtaking! From a tranquil ferry ride on the Koman lake to hiking through the magical Accursed Mountains, which will keep you in awe throughout the entire trail.



best time to travel:

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


    • Price based on 6 pax
    • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (Breakfast = B, Lunch = L, Dinner = D) 
    • All internal transportation
    • All accommodation on a double room basis or dorm style (hotel in city, mountain huts and family run guesthouses on the hike) 
    • Wild Guanabana Leader to guide you on your journey


    • International flight 
    • Visa Fee (if applicable) 
    • Personal & Travel insurance
    • Single supplement
    • Tips and Gratuity