Watch clouds descending onto the mountain, shepherds on the plains guiding their herds, and thick forests where deer, wild boar and wolves roam in this mountainside national park high above the Albanian Riviera. You’ll have to drive through this incredible scenery if you take the coastal road south from Vlora to Dhërmi, and this is a wonderful spot to break your journey and enjoy an excellent roast lamb lunch from one of the many roadside restaurants here.
Although the park sits on the main coastal highway, visitor facilities are very limited and 99% of people just stop the car for five minutes at one of the viewpoints out over the sea and then carry on. However, for those with more motivation there are some hiking trails. The most obvious one is the 13.2km round trip to Mt Gika (2045m). The trail starts from the parking area at the pass itself and is vaguely signed. Though fairly short, this is not a very easy trek as it gains a vertical kilometre over just 6.5km of trail. Ask in the restaurants for the latest details on the trail. There are some shorter and much easier signed trails as well.
One of the most remarkable things about the Llogara Pass is that on the southern side the scenery is very dry and almost desert-like, but the moment you cross over to the northern (cooler and wetter) side, huge old-growth forest dominates.