The Mini Albanian Alps Experience

Albania · November 25 - 29 2020

Travel by boat and then by foot, through the stunning remote mountain landscape from Albania into Montenegro.

Overview

One of the least explored countries in Europe with its gorgeous mountains and ancient history awaits you. Twenty centuries of history in Shkodër with a clash of East and West through religion and culture, combined with Albanian authenticity is making a remarkable mixture. A Catholic church next to a mosk with a communism monument nearby makes up for only part of their incredible history - Shkodër with its lake will surely stun you.
A scenic bus drive and an incredibly beautiful ferry trip later, you’ll be in Valbona Valley. Just stargazing for two nights in Valbona and Theth at 700 meters altitude with virtually no light pollution at all makes this trip worthwhile. Cue in wild rivers and unspoiled nature. Then a hike over the Valbona pass, a waterfall in Theth and trekking over the magnificent Alps to walk back into Montenegro. Mixing up with the locals in cookery classes and/or other activities like cow milking and cheese making. Add unprocessed local food and beverages, unprecedented traditions and lovely welcoming locals, and you got yourself a real treat. The phrase ”hidden gem” is sometimes overused, but Albania is just that for Europe.

Included
  • ALL TRANSFERS
  • ALL ACCOMMODATION
  • 1 night in Shkodra
  • 1 night in Valbona
  • 1 night in Theth
  • 1 night in Podgorica
  • MEALS
  • All breakfasts
  • 1 packed lunch in Theth
  • 1 dinner in Theth
  • ACTIVITIES
  • Lake Koman River Ferry ride
  • Valbona - Theth hike
  • Theth - Plav hike
  • THE SERVICES OF A BI-LINGUAL GUIDE
  • UNTRAVELLED PATHS EXPERIENCE EBOOKLET

Hosts

Highlights

Trekking

Trekking

The trails are comparable to any in the world. Remote, authentic and crowd free, the perfect trip to get away from it all and enjoy the tranquility of the out doors. One of the free regions where it's quicker to walk than drive!

Lake Koman River Ferry

Lake Koman River Ferry

This beautiful, picturesque, 3 hour boat journey takes you from Koman to Fierze. Enjoy the turquoise water, passing mountains and narrow canyons as drift towards your final destination.

Remote Villages

Remote Villages

The lack of accessibility, ensures the remote villages remain authentic and part of one of the most undiscovered places in Europe. Ask about the blood feuds and sworn virgins, some of which still exist!

Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers

Snow blocks the path from village to village until mid June. This melting snow causing the flora to flourish into an array of bright colours scattering the meadows through which you'll walk. Simply stunning!

Location

Albania

Overview

Just north of mainland Greece, Albania is full of outstanding natural beauty and rich history waiting to be explored. From the Romans and Greeks to the Ottomans, past civilisations have left their marks on Albania’s landscape, architecture and archaeology—as showcased in fascinating ancient UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Berat and Butrint, and other dramatic mountain citadels dotted across the countryside. A country of stunning contrast, Albania boasts both rugged landscapes peppered with jagged mountains and traditional villages along stretches of sandy coastline and green pastures. The coastline boasts miles of pristine beaches, beautifully sun-kissed along the Ionian Coast while the north of the country preserves rural traditions and maintains its reputation as a wild frontier.

DID YOU KNOW


  • The highest point in Albania is Mount Korab (2,753 m)

  • Perhaps the world's most famous Albanian is Mother Theresa, the Catholic nun who worked for decades in the slums of India.

  • Albanians trace their routes to ancient Illyrian tribes, who occupied the western Balkans during the second millennium BC. Their language is derived from Illyrian, a melange of Roman and Slavic influences.

The Plan

Day 1: Arrive in Shkoda

Arrival in Podgorica (capital of Montenegro) followed by an airport transfer into Albania to Shkodra, known as the city of birds and bicycles. Here, you’ll check-in to a traditional Albanian guesthouse which is a museum in itself and has an incredible authentic restaurant with local cuisine and entertainment. There will be time in the afternoon to explore the crumbling ruins of Rozafa Castle.

Day 2: Take the Lake Koman Ferry Ride to Valbona

Early morning transfer to the ferry port for the magical Lake Koman Ferry Ride journey. Arrive in beautiful Valbona, check in to your accommodation and spend the rest of the day enjoying the serene mountain setting and the fresh traditional food listening to the locals talk about the legends of the blood feuds and sworn virgins. For those eager for some exercise they can hike up to one of the local stans which offer stunning views of the mountain scenery.

Day 3: Hike to the village of Theth

Morning transfer to the start of the Valbona – Theth hiking trail. You’ll trek through the Valbona Pass over to the remote village of Theth led by a local boy whose horse will carry your bags. The trek lasts approximately 5 – 6 hours. On arrival in Theth you’ll check in to the welcoming guesthouse and enjoy a traditional evening meal.

Day 4: Hike into Montenegro through the mountains

Early morning drop-off at the start point of the trek across the mountains into Montenegro. The trek lasts approximately 6 – 7 hours. You’ll be collected at the end point of the trek and transferred to Podgorica where you’ll check in to your accommodation.

Day 5: Travel to the airport

Transfer to Podgorica airport for the flight home.