Walking in Albania

Resort:Walking in Albania
Operator: Exodus
Destination: Albania
Price From: £1049.00


Trek in the Albanian Alps and soak up the culture as you visit historic

This fascinating, lesser-known Mediterranean country has a pristine, rugged
and wild landscape waiting to be discovered. It wasn’t until the collapse of
the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania in 1991 that the world got its
first glimpse of the country within. Our trek is focussed in the remote
Albanian Alps in the north, where ancient blood feuds and folklore mark its
past. We explore the remote regions of Theth and Valbon on foot, where
Agricultural life has remained unchanged for centuries. We then have time to
explore the historic towns of Berat and Kruj and delve into the captivating
history of this hospitable country.


* The picturesque regions of Theth and Valbone
* The ‘Lock-in Tower’ of Theth
* UNESCO World Heritage Sites
* Traditional folklore evening


Day 1
Start Tirana

The tour starts at our centrally located hotel in Tirana, Albania’s trendy
capital. Those on the group flight arrive at lunch time and will be
transferred to the hotel (approx. 30 mins drive).
*Standard Hotel*

Day 2
Drive via Shkodr and Rozafa Castle to Theth; short walk around the village

We have an early start this morning and drive to Shkodr (approx. 2 hrs),
where we visit the Castle of Rozafa and the city centre of one of the oldest
and most historic places in Albania. We recommend that you also take this
opportunity to shop for anything you might want for the next three days
(snacks, chocolate etc.) before we head into the more remote regions. Our
journey continues into the breathtaking Albanian Alps and Theth National Park
(approx. 3 hrs), an area admired for its rich flora and fauna. After checking
into our quaint guesthouse in Theth, we set off on a gentle walk through the
valley nestled between the wonderful surrounding peaks, gaining an insight
into agricultural life as we pass locals going about their day. We continue
to the Roman Catholic Church of Theth, built in 1892, which was once used as
a health centre during the communist regime. The highlight, however, is a
visit to the shutting tower (or lock-in tower) of Theth, known locally as
Kulla. These historic stone lock-in towers were used for
protection of families that were involved in blood feuds and this is one of
the few that remains today.

Day 3
Walk to Grunas waterfall, Nderlyse and the ‘Blue Eye of Kapre’

Theth Valley is predominantly an agricultural region, where age-old farming
practices and horse-drawn carts are still used today. We observe rural life
as we begin walking to Grunas Waterfall. From here we continue on to Nderlyse
where we find a string of natural water pools and a feature known as the
Blue Eye of Kapre. There is an opportunity to swim here, so don’t
forget your swimming things.


Day 4
Trek over Valbon Pass to Rragam village; transfer to Valbon, home of
Albanian folk culture

We walk through some of the wildest scenery into the Tropoj District, known
as the home of Albanian folk culture. We firstly ascend through forests and
alpine pastures to reach the Valbon Pass (1800m), from where we take a few
moments to enjoy the spectacular views down Valbon and Theth Valleys. We
then follow a trail which brings us alongside the Valbon River, passing
some beautiful waterfalls along the way. We finish at the quaint village of
Rragam, where the minibus will wait for us to transport us to our hotel.
Expect some rocky mountainous terrain today, particularly as we descend.
*Standard Hotel*

Day 5
Follow a route below Rosi Peak, passing through forest to the ‘White Circle’

Our route today takes us through beech and pine forests down Rosi Peak and
leads us onto the ‘White Circle’, where we enjoy panoramic views of the peaks
and valleys of the Albanian Alps. There is the option to either do the full
length of the ‘White Circle’ or walk as far as the ridge of the ‘White
Circle’, then back down the valley. For those who wish to opt out of the
‘White Circle’ walk, you can instead walk independently in the local area, or
head to the slopes to collect some mountain tea. Please note that the total
ascent/descent is 1000m if doing the full length.
*Standard Hotel*

Day 6
We take a boat on Komani Lake; continue toKruje

After breakfast, we drive to Fierza (approx. 1.5 hrs). We then take a boat
through the beautiful Komani Lake (which takes approx. 2 hrs). The boat
journey allows us to take in the spectacular scenery whilst we wind our way
between high cliffs and towering peaks. Three hydroelectric power plants have
been built here at the lake, which produces approx. 70% of Albania’s
electricity. We then drive for another 2.5 hrs to Kruje,the centre of
Skanderbeg’s resistance to the Ottoman invasion in the 15th century.This
afternoon we walk to Kruje mountain, at the top we will be rewarded with
fantastic views of Kruja and of the Adriaticsea. In the evening we will
enjoy an authentic meal and watch a local musical performance.

*Standard Hotel*

Day 7
Visit the Ethnographic Museum and the King Mosque in Berat

This morning we travel to Berat. On arrival, we enjoy a guided tour around
the old district of Berat, with its pretty white buildings perched on the
hill amid pine forests. Our tour includes a visit to the Ethnographic Museum
(a 18th-century Ottoman house) and the King Mosque. We walk through the
narrow cobbled streets to finally reach Berat Castle on the slopes of Mount
Tomorr, where we are rewarded with breathtaking views. Within the castle
walls are dwelling houses and the Onufri Museum (Museum of Iconography).
There is free time to enjoy the other sites of Berat or to perhaps absorb the
relaxed caf culture on the promenade. Our hotel is situated in Mangalem,
the historic quarter of Berat, where the castle peers down upon the area from
its hilltop.

*Standard Hotel*

Day 8
End Berat

Those on the group flight will be transferred back to Mother Theresa Airport
for their lunchtime flight to London (approx. 2-hour drive to the airport).