5 Best Hikes in Albania – Hiking in Albania 101
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Last Updated on August 9, 2021
Albania is a country in southeastern Europe, and it has become one of the most popular travel destinations for hikers because of its untouched scenery and beautiful views. There are a total of 5 incredible hikes that every hiker should experience while visiting Albania.
These hikes will take you through some of the most beautiful scenery in the country from rivers to mountain peaks and gorges.
This blog post will provide tips on how to plan your hike, what to bring with you, as well as going to depth about each hike!
Is hiking in Albania safe?
Yes. Albania is a safe country to visit, and it’s safe to hike alone. It’s relatively easy to hire a personal guide who can be your eyes on the ground if you are not comfortable with hiking by yourself.
Keep in mind, that if you go into trails that are not so popular, there are wild bears and dogs, however, it’s not so common for tourists to be bumping into them. The bears mostly live in dense forests right in the north of Albania, and into Kosovo.
What is the best season to go hiking in Albania?
That’s a great question! I recommend taking a hike in Albania during spring, April to June, or in Autumn, which starts in September and ends in December.
Why? Well, December through March is when they have their harsh winters. The temperature can get as low, and there may be snow on the ground that could make it hard for you to trek through with your hiking boots. And if you’re going in July or August then those are months where it’s mostly hot weather so sometimes people might not want to take hikes because the heat can be overbearing.
The best Albania hiking tours to do
If you don’t feel comfortable hiking alone in Albania, there are plenty of guided tours that you can do instead. Check out the best hiking tours in Albania here.
What should I pack for my hike in Albania?
Hiking in Albania can be an incredible experience, but it is important to pack the right equipment. Do not forget your water and backpack! You will also need a camera or mobile phone with GPS if you want to take pictures of the scenery. Bring clothes that are durable for hiking up hills as well as dry quickly – this includes technical clothing made from synthetic materials like polyester (or other quick-dry fabrics). Don’t forget sun protection! Make sure you have enough food before leaving home so that you don’t end up starving when out exploring either. Pack light snacks such as dried fruit or nuts which are easy
List of packing items I recommend
- Hiking shoes, good sneakers or boots (good grip and ankle support)
- Waterproof jacket for rain/wind protection.
- light waterproof trousers with reinforced knees and seat area to avoid wear on the fabric from sitting down. Also good if it rains as you can keep your legs dry under.
- Maps.me app is a fantastic resource to have on your phone which outlines the trials throughout the country without the need for Wifi.
- Torch or headlamp for walking in the dark at night.
- Wool or fleece clothing layer to keep warm during winter months.
- Sun protection: sun hats, sunglasses and high SPF sunscreen
- Waterproof bags that can be clipped on your belt loop so you have easy access to them during a rainstorm.
Now that you’re prepared, let’s discuss the best 5 trials for hiking in Albania.
1. Theth to valbona hike
Distance: About 10.5 miles or 17 km
Hours: 6- 8 hours
Difficulty level: Medium
This is the most popular hike in Albania and the most spectacular, crossing a vast range of mountainous terrain with numerous different geological features.
It is an astonishing experience that will take your breath away at every turn as you climb through woodland, past high mountain meadows and up into dramatic areas of limestone cliffs before descending down to the green Valbona Valley.
This hike takes from 6-8 hours depending on how many times you want to stop for photos, and trust me, that will be a lot! The times will also depend on where your accommodation is from the trial. If you stay at a lodge that’s far from the trail, you may want to consider getting a ride to the start to cut some time off the end.
The nearest accommodation to the start of the trail in theth is Guest House Gjelaj or Marash Rrgalla Guesthouse. And the nearest accommodation option to the trial starting in Valbona is Hotel Margjeka. This hotel was so amazing and they also have one of the best restaurants in Valbona so it’s a great place to stay if you need a hearty bite to eat before or after the hike!
2. Kakome to Krorez Hike
Hours: 1.5 – 2 hours
Difficulty level: Easy/ Medium
This hike is one of the best to do in south Albania. It is relatively easy and takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery along the Albanian Riviera.
The Kakome to Krorez hike takes about 2 hours to complete and is a beautiful walk that hugs the coast. The trail takes you through forests, past bunkers and even 2 monasteries before reaching Krorez beach on the other side of the mountain
You will have to catch a taxi or drive your car to the entrance of Kakome gate. You will see a big closed gate blocking the entrance to the beach. It is safe to leave your car on the side of the road there.
This hike follows a trail uphill, first going past one of the oldest monasteries in Albania, the Monastery of Saint Mary. This peaceful setting is a great stopover before continuing uphill towards the beach of Krorez.
Once you have had a wander around then continue to follow the trail which leads uphill and hugs the side of the mountain. You will reach a second monastery – Manastiri i Krorzes and from there you will descend down to the beach.
3. Hike to the Blue eye from Theth
Distance: 12 miles
Visiting the Blue Eye is a great thing to do for the day. The hike takes around 3 hours and is easy/medium difficulty. If you’re visiting Theth, then you really cannot miss out on this hike. You can walk all the way there which takes about 3 hours or you can take a 4×4 to the entrance of the hike and then walk the last 45minutes to the Blue Eye.
I loved walking the whole trail as you got to see many beautiful views along the way.
4. Hike to Theth Waterfall
Hours: 45 minutes from Theth church
Difficulty level: Easy/Medium
The Theth waterfall hike is one of the best places to go hiking in Albania, and it is one of the easiest to finish. This quick hike is great if you want to explore the local area of Theth and only have an afternoon as it takes approximately 45 minutes to get to the waterfall. Once you do reach the waterfall your breath will be taken away.
5. Peaks of the Balkans trail
The peaks of the Balkans trail goes through 3 countries in total – Albania, Kosovo and finally Montengro. The route is approximately 192km long. A full traverse takes around 10- 13 days depending on how fast you would like to do it and how long you would like to stay in each place. If you prefer doing a guided version of this hike, then this tour is a great one to take!
With the peaks of the Balkan trail, you will stay in each of these places along the way depending on where you would like to start/finish:
- Theth, Albania
- Valbonё, Albania
- Çerem, Albania
- Dobёrdol, Albania
- Milishevc, Kosovo
- Reka e Allagёs, Kosovo
- Liqinat i Kuçishtёs, Kosovo
- Babino Polje, Montenegro
- Plav, Montenegro
- Vusanje, Montenegro
You can find more in-depth information about this hike on this website. This hike is definitely for those who are more comfortable with hiking and have a little more experience than the average person. But this hike is definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity and experience!
Hikes are a great way to explore the natural and cultural beauty of this country. There are some really interesting hikes in Albania, with stunning views that will make you want to keep exploring for days at a time. There are plenty of other hikes to explore in Albania too that I have not mentioned in this post which covers other regions within the county.
Alternatively, if you have other hikes to add to this list, let me know down below!
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