From Greece to Albania and then those fearsome mountains
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Apr 3, 2012 7:00 AM Last Post By: PseudonymousBosch
Apr 2, 2012 4:08 AM
Apr 2, 2012 4:45 AM
Apr 2, 2012 7:45 AM
Good to hear that you would like to visit the Albanian Alps, it is wonderful over there! Especially Valbona and the Theth Valley are places you should visit. I know some people who have been hiking there alone, however the paths are scarcely marked and good maps are hard to find.
If you would like to go with a guide or if you would like to pre-arrange your accommodation I would recommend you to contact the people of Shkoder-Albanian-Alps (http://www.shkoder-albanian-alps.com/) . They do tours in Northern Albania but also help with tailor-made requests, arranging accommodation at the local guesthouses, and they provide guides.
I hope you will have a great time in Albania!
Apr 2, 2012 8:13 AM
3Andrew, yes, Albania is a little far from the better known alps (as I realised) but Albania's mountains are also thus known.
Lucy, thanks very much! Any more info very gratefully received.
Apr 2, 2012 8:44 AM
4It's getting better, there are marked paths in the Thethi/Valbona region now, and decent hiking maps too, I got one at the ITB travel fair last month. Guides are still recommended for some routes, and can simply be safer and more fun too. Contact the good people at http://www.journeytovalbona.com/ and http://www.guesthouse-rupa-thethi.com/ and they'll tell you where to get them (I assume at Tirana's English bookstore on the main square as well as in Shkodra).
If you have time I recommend starting in the Kelmend Valley on the Montenegro side, a fantastic road (1-2 buses per day) goes there and there's guesthouses and tourist info now. YOu could then cross the pass to Thethi and stay there a while, then cross another pass to Valbona and from there bus it to Tirana (via the Lake Koman ferry) or into Kosovo.
It's now also possible to hike from Albania into Kosovo or Montenegro. Ask Roze at the Rupa pension, you'd need to announce to a local NGO which day and where you'll cross in advance and they'll sort it out with the authorities. A hike across to Peja would be great.
Plenty of buses from greece go up to Tirana and other towns. A nice route via the southern mountains is the Thessaloniki-Korca bus, then change for a regular bus on to Tirana (or stay a while in Korca, it's lovely).
Andrew - you're usually less sarcastic than that! Albanian Alps is the official English term for these mountains.
Apr 2, 2012 10:00 PM
5Ooops! sorry for the sarcasm. I have been twice to Albania and never heard of the Albanian alps.
Apr 3, 2012 7:00 AM
(0 star Hotel)
From US$8.36 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$154.40 per night
(2 star Hotel)
From US$99.63 per night