Hiking in Albania: The 5 Best Routes and Advice

Albania is the home of some of Europe’s most magnificent natural landscapes. With towering mountain ranges, verdant forests, and stretching coastlines, it’s a wondrous southeastern Europe and Balkan destination that those with a sense of adventure will never be disappointed by. 

Albania is an underrated destination in Europe for its hiking but has just as much to offer as more famed hiking destinations across the continent if not more. That’s why all those who love to pull up their hiking boots and venture out into the wilderness should undoubtedly consider choosing Albania as their next hiking holiday destination. 

This is why our team at Undiscovered Destinations has rounded up the very best hiking trails in Albania for all those looking for some inspiration on where to go to experience the country’s natural beauty in all of its glory.

Why Go Hiking in Albania?

Over 70% of the country is mountainous, which means that there’s much to discover in the hills and clifftops of Albania. This is exactly why hiking and trekking are some of the most popular activities that visitors and locals alike partake in within the country.

Hiking is also one of the best ways to uncover the sheer beauty of Albania. With winding paths delving deep into forested regions and routes carving through mountainous landscapes that would otherwise be unreachable, hiking is the ultimate way to experience the depths and hidden gems of the country. 

 And as Albania is home to some of the most spectacular natural landscapes in Europe and even the world, this is exactly why you can’t neglect a visit to it if you’re an active or adventure traveller.

Hiking in albanian mountains

Tips for Hiking in Albania

Before you venture on any hikes in Albania, you have to know precisely what you’re getting yourself in for. Whilst hiking may seem like a simple principle, the physical challenges of some routes as well as the conditions and climate you may face means that you have to be all the more ready for any route that you’re planning to embark on. 

This is exactly why we’ve offered our top four tips for anyone thinking of hiking in Albania below.

Dress Appropriately

A simple, but ever so important, tip is that you need to ensure that you’re dressed appropriately for all Albania hikes. Key things to consider at this point are the terrain of the route, or routes, that you’ll be taking and the time of year that you’ll be visiting the country. 

The terrain of most hiking routes in Albania is rough and often uneven or slippery. Thus, ensuring that you have appropriate footwear, such as hiking boots, is critical. 

And when considering the weather, if you’ll be visiting in autumn or winter, when the weather is cooler or at its coldest, you’ll want to make sure you have sufficient layers to keep you warm as well as rain gear given that these are the two wettest seasons also. Equally, if you’re visiting in summer, be sure to keep yourself cool but covered with hats and clothing to protect you from the blistering sunshine.

Check When Trails Are Open

In the wintertime when weather conditions are unpredictable and less favourable, this can make much of the terrain along Albania hiking routes dangerous. This means that many trails can be closed or unreachable during the winter months in Albania. 

Therefore, it’s critical that you check at what times of year particular trails are open if you’re planning on embarking on a hike, especially if you’re visiting in the winter season which extends from October to April.

Mountains in North Albania

Be Conscious of Wildlife

When you’re hiking in Albania, it’s important to be considerate of the natural environments that you’re in and also consider how to be safe in these surroundings. 

For example, ensuring that you’re not venturing off marked paths where native flora and fauna are which could be harmed is important. Equally, you need to be aware of any animals that may be in the wilderness or in villages en route, such as dogs, and ensure that you’re not acting in any way that could threaten or provoke them.

Be Prepared With Supplies

When going on any hike or trek, planning accordingly to ensure that you have sufficient supplies for the full duration of your trip is important. Your supplies should include plenty of water and snacks to keep yourself hydrated and well-fed, as well as sun cream to protect you from the sun. 

We would advise you to make a list in advance of your trip to give yourself a chance to remember everything that you may need before your hike so you are less likely to forget anything.

The Best Routes for Hiking in Albania

Theth to Valbona

Known to be the most popular route for hiking in Albania, the trek from Theth to Valbona takes place through the Albanian Alps, otherwise known as the accursed mountains. 

The Alps mountains in Albania are a true spectacle. With wildflower meadows at their bases and rugged peaks, there’s ample Albanian nature to discover during this route. From Theth to Valbona you’ll trek through the Valbona Pass, the length of which is roughly 30km, or 18 miles, which takes hikers on average 13 hours to complete. 

You’ll hike to heights of over 2,200m as you work your way on foot through this alpine route, with many aspects of the trail being steep and therefore quite challenging to most. Many choose to do the route over a number of days, stopping in Alpine villages and towns en route to truly experience mountain life in Albania. A small group tour in Albania is a great way to do this with other keen hikers and an experienced guide for support and guidance throughout the journey.

So, for those who want to go hiking in these famed mountains of Albania during their next adventure holiday, this is a spectacular route that you won’t want to miss off your list.

Theth to Valbona

The Blue Eye of Theth, Theth

The Blue Eye of Theth is another famed route for hiking in Albania which is situated in Theth, also known as Kapre, in Shkodër. 

During the route, hikers can encounter the breathtaking ‘Blue Eye of Kapre’, which is a glistening turquoise pool with a waterfall. It’s the perfect place to take a mid-hike dip to cool yourself off and feel rejuvenated before tackling the next leg of your journey. 

Hikers will also encounter many waterfalls along this route, as well as alpine landscapes, making for a diverse and picturesque experience sighting the natural waterways and imposing rock formations of this part of Albania. 

The route itself is considered to be moderate, but it is recommended only for those in good physical shape and who are prepared to tackle the sometimes uneasy terrain of Albania’s landscapes. Whilst its elevation isn’t too steep, reaching just under 400m, the route stretches just over 17km in length which takes in total around 7 hours to reach the Blue Eye from Theth and to return.

Maja Rosit, Valbonë

Situated within Valbona Valley National Park in Valbonë, the Maja Rosit hiking route offers some of the best stretches for walking on offer in North Albania. 

The route itself is roughly 17km long and is considered to be relatively challenging due to its steep elevation gain of over 1,200m and its off-the-beaten-track location.

It is known for its beautiful surroundings which hikers can marvel at during their trip here, but also for its fantastic bird-watching opportunities. Dependent on the time of year you visit, you can encounter an array of native and migrating avian species flittering through the natural landscapes, including the Alpine swift, Great cormorant, and Rock partridge.

So, for both keen hikers and nature lovers, this is a splendid route to consider taking to immerse yourself completely in Albania’s wildlife.

Valbona Valley National Park (Maja Rosit)

Mount Gamtit, Krujë

Situated in the centre of northern Albania, in the town of Krujë, Mount Gamtit is a circular trail taking roughly 6 hours to complete and covering around 13km of route, with an elevation gain of 960m. 

Much simpler than the aforementioned hiking trails, this is considered to be a great route to go on with families and younger children and for those who are less experienced hikers to embrace the true beauty of the Albanian outdoors. 

En route, hikers will pass a beautiful lake, which offers a great pitstop for groups to have a picnic, rest, and snap a few pictures. You’ll be surrounded by Albanian mountains during your trip here, as well as verdant areas filled with wildflowers, herbs, and other native plant life which creates an eruption of colour in the spring and summer seasons that is simply breathtaking.

Kryezi Waterfall Trail, Shkodër

And last, but certainly not least, the Kryezi Waterfall trail is a simple walking route that is suitable for all hiking proficiencies. So, it is ideal for families or groups of amateur hikers to explore the landscapes of Albania with ease.

The hike takes roughly 45 minutes to complete and is situated in Fushte Arrez in Shkodër. The route stretches 2.4km in total with a low elevation gain of roughly 84m. The route leads visitors to a swimming hold in the Kyrezi Village in Tirana County. It’s not the most popular of routes despite its ease, and so you’ll more than likely be able to savour a quiet hiking experience whilst you’re on this trail, which is best visited from May to September to experience prime weather conditions.

Shkoder (Kyrezi Waterfall)


Home to a variety of trails to explore its breathtaking landscapes, Albania is a hiking lovers’ paradise and is one of Europe’s best-kept secrets when it comes to walking in the wilderness and exploring the continents’ breathtaking natural beauty. We hope that this guide has offered you useful tips and insight into how to be best prepared to hike in Albania and where the best routes are. 

Here at Undiscovered Destinations, our small group tours offer the opportunity to explore some of Albania’s best mountainous landscapes and natural hotspots. 

Our Albania Explorer Tour, for example, takes visitors on a 9-day expedition to the rugged natural landscapes and beautiful coastline of Albania, where they can learn of its rich culture, heritage, and history from the expertise of local guides. 

You can Get in touch with a member of our team today to start planning your Albania adventure.

FAQs About Hiking in Albania

What is the Best Month to Hike in Albania?

The Albanian hiking season runs from May to October when the weather is better and so conditions are much more suitable for walking. But, if there was one month that stood out the most for hikers to embrace the outdoors in Albania, it would be September. 

September is considered to be the best month to visit the Albanian Alps, where many of the best hiking opportunities in Albania can be found. It is also a great month as the majority of summer tourists have gone home by this point and the summer weather is starting to cool down, offering a much more manageable temperature for hiking.

What is the Best Hike in the Albanian Alps?

The best hike in the Albanian Alps, in our opinion, is the route between Valbona and Theth. Taking visitors on an exceptional route between these two major areas of the country and weaving through the rugged peaks of this breathtaking mountain range, hikers will undoubtedly be amazed by the sheer beauty of this hiking route. 

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