Albanian Alps
The Albanian Alps are one of Albania’s best-kept secrets. There are few places on this planet where majestic scenery, spectacular mountains, remote valleys, deep gorges, glaciers, cliffs, rivers, caves and lakes combine with abundant flora and wildlife to offer the intrepid explorer a rare taste of adventure, mystery, beauty and solitude.
Valbona, Vermosh and Thethi are magical places for nature lovers, for sports enthusiasts and for hikers of all abilities. The Albanian Alps are part of the Dinaric mountain range, which extends along the Adriatic coast, reaching its greatest width and highest altitudes in Northern Albania with Mount Jezerca (2694 meters). The Thethi area is the largest carstic area in Europe and is home to unique landscapes.
The Vermosh Valley differs to Thethi and shows evidence of significant glaciations in the wide U-shaped valleys, especially the Valley of Skrapatush. The Valbona Valley lies in the eastern part of the Albanian Alps and is one of the most beautiful natural areas in Albania. The summits around the valley give the impression of being about four thousandmeters high. The valley narrows and widens, and the magnificent landscape can easily leave you lost for words.

Thethi river is fed from several sources and can swell enormously after heavy rains. It joins the "The Black River" (Lumi i Zi) which flows into the Shala River, foaming through narrow gorges with steep cliff faces. The waters of the Shala River flowing between Thethi and Vermosh run into Lake Koman and then into the Adriatic Sea. The waters of the Vermosh River, however, flow in the opposite direction to reach the Black Sea. The Valbona valley is home to the source of the Shoshan River which flows into the Valbona River through a stunning canyon.

The climate is varied. Moist and warm air accumulate in the cool mountains causing high precipitation. In Vermosh there are an average of 100 days with snow a year. In Boga, the average annual rainfall is 3033 millimeters. Up to two meters of snow is normal and at higher altitudes, there is snow also in the summer. There are glaciers in Jezera.

The higher elevations of the Albanian Alps are mostly rugged and steep, while forests still cover the lower valley slopes. The Albanian Alps are home to about 1650 plant species, at least 85 species are rare and endangered and 4 are endemic. The Albanian Alps are also home to many wild animals such as foxes, wolves and bears. In many parts of the Alps, agriculture is still evident and a main source of food for local inhabitants.

The main products of the area include honey, plum brandy (raki), dried mushrooms, herbs for tea and medicinal use, berries, cheeses and yogurt made from sheep milk. Trout are native to Kelmend.

The "Code of Lekë Dukagjini" (Kanun) is a set of  ancient laws, transmitted orally through the generations, codified in the 15th century, but published only in the 20th century. Some of the laws are still in effect today, especially in northern Albania, and give special place to the importance of hospitality and honour. The Kanun also regulated blood feuds. There are still a few isolated cases of blood revenge, but there is no threat to tourists and visitors. Another key concept in the Kanun is hospitality: the guest is to be honoured at all costs, to be greeted and treated with great respect and is offered an abundance of food, drink and comforts.

From Shkodra, a gravel road leads over a pass into the Thethi valley. In winter, until about May, this route is usually impassable. Then, the only possible connection with the rest of the world is through another road south of the valley. Thethi village lies in an impressive valley and is a good starting point for hiking and touring the national park. Thethi village, although remote and isolated for much of the year, is known for its warm hospitality: it has a small hotel and many traditional houses offering private rooms and meals.

Valbona Valley
The National Park of Valbona includes forests, small mountain lakes, alpine meadows, caves and a river with canyons and waterfalls. The road into the Valbona valley is good and does not wind as much as roads to Thethi or Vermosh. The journey by ferry through Lake Koman is particularly impressive. There are some guesthouses and a hotel in Valbona village. There is also a small hotel in Rragam, the last village on the way toThethi.

The Drin &Lake Koman
The Drin is the longest river in Albania. The Black Drin (Drini i Zi) originates at Lake Ohrid and the White Drin (Drini i Bardhë) rises from northern Kosovo, meeting each other at Kukës, northern Albania. The total length of the Drin is 335 kms in total and the combined Drin forms all major lakes in northern Albania. The ferry ride across Lake Koman allows the visitor to see some spectacular scenery, not unlike a Norwegian fjord winding its way between high cliffs and towering peaks. The ferry ride also allows the visitor to make contact with other passengers.

Kelmend is the most northern region in Albania, situated in an area of stunning natural beauty. In addition to the impressive mountain peaks all around, the gorge of Vermosh is really worth seeing. The road leads from Shkodra first to Han i Hotit, the village before the border crossing with Montenegro on the east of the Lake, and then to Vermosh. The journey through the steep valley of Çemi is exceptionally impressive. Kelmend offers different accommodation and there is a small hotel at Lëpusha, a few kilometres south of Vermosh.