Valbona to Theth day hike in Albania

EVerything you need to know about hiking from valbona to theth , Albania

This was the part of our Balkan trip we were most looking forward to. For me it was the first time doing a hike with a proper backpack instead of a day pack and using my legs as a way of transport towards our next destination. This Valbona to Theth day hike is part of our full Albanian Itinerary – read about the perfect Albanian trip here. 

After our night in Shköder, a car brought us at 6am to Koman. Afterwards, a very scenic boat ride and a taxi trip of around an hour afterwards, brought us to our accommodation in Valbona: Hotel Rilindja. There are only a couple of rooms and there is not much nearby, but you won’t miss this. The food is lovely and the hotel is mainly used by travelers who are there to do the hike. Transport to the trail head and a lunch package can be arranged with the hotel.

Let’s Hike

8 am the next morning, after breakfast, a minivan brought us to the trail head. We decided to choose the more expensive transfer, that brought us a bit closer to the beginning and therefore skip the 2 km walk in an uninspiring environment full of boulders. We started the hike with a cup of coffee at a little hut 5 minutes from the trail head, to start the first climb.

The start of the Valbona to Theth hike
Coffee at the trail in the Albanian Alps
Coffee at the trail in the Albanian Alps
Coffee at the trail in the Albanian Alps

After the first climb, we arrived at another small hut, where we bought a cold coke to prepare for the next steep climb. This part was the hardest part of the track, as you will ascend quite quickly. After this steep way up, you will arrive at the mountain pass which took us about 3,5 hours, including breaks. The whole trail is marked with red/white marks, guiding you in the right direction. During some parts of the trail, you have to be careful to not slip, however, the majority of the ascent is alright.

Preparing for the large ascend in the Albanian Alps
Climbing up a during the Valbona to Theth day hike
Valbona to Theth day hike, a stunning route in the Accursed Mountains
On the way to Theti, Albanian Alps
Almost on top of the Valbona Pass
Almost on top of the Valbona Pass
On top of the Valbona Pass, with a great view

From here on, we started with the descend, where you generally have to be more careful to hold your grip. After around 1,5 hours, we arrived at another hut. Here you could eat traditional pie, build of different layers of pancake. I can definitely recommend trying it!

After this stop, you arrive at a forest area, where descending is relatively easy.

Starting the descend towards Theti from Valbona
A coffee and lunch place during the Valbona to Theth day hike

Be ready for the meadows during the valbona to theth day hike - my favourite bit

After the forest, you will end up in an open field. I loved this view! You will see the mountains in the background and for a moment I really felt like being in a movie.
Discovering the meadows in the Albanian Alps
Discovering the meadows in the Albanian Alps

Afterwards, the joy was over. As a very steep and rocky descend showed up in front of us. Something I really dislike. But at 4pm, when we arrived in our guesthouse in Theth, we could finally say: “WE MADE IT!”. The pictures in this article do say it all, doing the Valbona to Theth day hike is definitely a recommendation when visiting Albania. 

The last descend towards Theth, Albania
The last descend towards Theth, Albania
The church of Thethi, Albania
The church of Thethi, Albania
Relaxing with a view on the mountain tops in Theth

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Valbona to Theth Day Hike

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Discovering the meadows in the Albanian Alps
Valbona to Theth day hike, a stunning route in the Accursed Mountains
The church of Thethi, Albania
Looking up to spot the route of the day hike
On the way to Theti, Albanian Alps