Mountaineering in Valbona and Theth: short, intensive, challenging.

Booking code VTWHK14

6 Days € 490

Travel dates:2017-07-22 to 2017-07-27           Reservation

Travel dates:2017-07-31 to 2017-08-05           Reservation

Walking/hiking in two intact nature areas: Valbona and Thethi valleys
Alpine crossing from Valbona to Theth
Unforgettable trip through the picturesque Lake Koman
Summit ascent possibilities: Çet Harusha 2422 m, Arapi 2217 m
The vibrant Tirana and the night life "Blloku" quarter: a new experience
Accommodation in hotels and guest houses.

This short, intensive and challenging tour brings you in Thethi and Valbona national parks which are two of the most beautiful and virgin spots in Albania. Majestic scenery, spectacular mountains, remote valleys, deep gorges, glaciers, cliffs, rivers, caves and lakes will accompany you throughout the journey.

Day 1: Tirana, the vibrant capital, 110 m. After arrival at noon, transfer from “Mother Teresa” airport to the hotel in downtown Tirana. Founded in 1614, Tirana became the capital of Albania in 1920 and is the main cultural and industrial centre of Albania. The city boulevards are marked with fascinating relics of the Ottoman, Italian and communist past. Tirana is a city where fun is guaranteed: lively, loud, crazy, colorful, simply fascinating.
In the afternoon, a tour of the city is planned along with a visit to the National Historical Museum, Et’hem Bey Mosque, Skanderbeg monument, clock tower. Dinner will be provided at a traditional restaurant in Tirana, where you can choose between various dishes on the menu. After dinner you can have a drink in one of the nice bars in "Blloku" quarter, the most vivid quarter of the capital. Then, you will be accompanied to the hotel. Wt 2 h (-/-/D)

Day 2: The wild-romantic Valbona Valley, 500 - 1100 m. After breakfast, we’ll start our trip by car towards north Albania. Then we will take the ferry in Koman along the Koman artificial lake (important to note that the ferry trip depends on the water level of the lake), and eventually leave the ferry in Fierzë, from where the trip will continue by car to Bajram Curri. Afterwards  the road runs through the valley, along the clear waters of Valbona river, surrounded by wild and beautiful natural panorama and the rugged mountain peaks of the Albanian Alps, until the village of Valbona. Along the way you will have time for a snack while the lunch is planned in Valbona.. The accommodation is provided in a simple but clean guest house with shared rooms. In the evening, the program for the next days will be discussed. (B/L/D)

Day 3: The challenging Çet Harusha 2422 m: T4, Wt 8-9 h, Am ↑1490 Dm ↓1320
The path to the summit starts in Valbona and follows the north-western side of the mountain range up to the source of Buni i Ziçit, at 1495 meters altitude. The trail continues through the forest to the saddle, at height from 2,100 meters and then turns to the left toward to the upper south face of Çet Harusha that is covered by alpine meadows. On the mountain summit one can enjoy an impressive panorama over Valbona Valley and the village, several summits such as Jezerca, Rosi, Brijas and a nice view of the glacial valley of Kukaj. After a break on top, the descent follows from the same trail. (B/ L/ D)

Day 4: Over Valbona Pass (Qafa e Valbonës) to Theth. T2, Wt 6 h, Am ↑700 Dm ↓1070
Today's hike starts early in the morning. We walk along the Valbona valley up to Rragam located at 1130 m altitude. After crossing a stream, the trail leads gently uphill through open forest and then begins a rough upward slope. On Qafa e Valbones, in the altitude of 1812 m, the view of both valleys is unique. The descent towards Thethi begins very steep on a gravel path and follows through the forest, becoming smoother. During this trip we will be accompanied by horses that carry our luggage.
T1+, Wt.2h, Am ↑ 40 Dm ↓40
After a short break is planned a cognitive trek through the village. The walk begins with a visit to the church and the "Lock-in Tower" (Kulla e ngujimit). Then we will continue to Grunas Canyon that is 30 meters in height and one meter in width and after that to the Waterfall of Grunas. On the way back, we will visit the mill of Kolaj. The overnight stay is planned in a guest house with shared rooms in Theth. (B/L/D)

Day 5: Ascent of Arapi Summit. T4, Wt.8 h, Am ↑1467 Dm ↓1367
Arapi mountain is 2217 meters high, but with its 800 meter high south wall, the highest in the Balkans, it dominates the National Park of Theth as a prominent rock formation. To ascent the summit we follow the regular walk up-route, which is relatively easy. Beginning from Thethi we take the trail that goes to the right of the river. As we approach Peja Pass (Qafa e Pejës) the trail becomes steeper, running through the rocky blocks. We will continue hiking westward, winding through steep meadows and big blocks of limestone cliffs. Arapi Peak is located on top of a series of diagonal carst plates that are quite impressive. Once over these, our trail winds to the left and back toward the southwest in the direction of the western slope and leads to the top. We will follow the same trail back to Theth. Here are waiting our vehicles that will drive us to Tirana. Dinner is planned in a traditional restaurant "A la carte" in Shkodra. Afterwards we will continue the trip and arrive in Tirana at around 11:00 pm. (B/L/D).

Day 6: Transfer to airport after breakfast, according to the flight schedule.  (B/-/-).

Additional information

If you are coming in a prearranged group, you can pick the date of this tour yourself.

On days 2-5, due to length of walking and climbing, it is impossible to go back to guest house for lunch. Thus, you will be given a daily lunch-packet with you.

Hiking on day 4 will be accompanied by mules / horses that will carry the luggage. Therefore, it is important to pack your belongings in bags and not in suitcases. You will carry only your personal backpack.

This journey starts around noon on the arrival day. If you arrive in Tirana in the evening of this day, it is impossible to participate in activities scheduled for day one. All saved expenses will be reimbursed.

The journey begins immediately after landing at the airport in Tirana where reception is scheduled. If you enter Albania through other border checkpoints and via other routes, we can pick you up against additional charge, enabling your participation in the travel. If this is the case, you should carefully fill in the appropriate field of the reservation form.

Within the travel, the sequence of the daily tours may change depending on weather conditions. Your mountain guide will adapt the program to the weather conditions in the best possible way.

If you wish to travel to Albania a few days earlier or extend your stay by a few days, we are at your disposal to further organize your journey according to your wishes. All related services and costs are not included in the tour price and as such will be additionally calculated. For this purpose you should carefully fill in the field "Comments" in the booking form and explain in detail all your desires through an e – mail message sent to our agency.

Number of participants: 7 people

Included in the price
•   Transfer from and to the airport
•   All trips, whether by bus, off road vehicle and boat according to the program schedule.
•   Entrance fees and sightseeing as per program
•   2 nights hotel accommodation in a double/twin room, with shower or bathtub and toilet.
•   3 nights in guest house in shared rooms, shower/ WC
•   4 x full board (Lunch packet for 4 x lunch)
•   Dinner on arrival day and breakfast on departure day
•   Selected restaurants "A la carte" in Tirana and Shkodra.
•   Transport of luggage by horses on the fourth day (maximum 15 kg per person).
•   Accompaniment by an English-or German-speaking hiking or culture guide during the entire journey.

Not included in the price
Any type of insurance.
All drinks in guest houses, hotels and bars.

€ 20 per day Single room supplement
Tips € 20

Equipment list

Backpack, approximately 30l
Rain cover for backpack
Hiking shoes/boots (category B/C)
Shoes/Sneakers for traveling and sightseeing
Hiking sandals
Telescopic walking poles
Sleeping bag liner
Long legged hiking trousers
Short legged hiking trousers
Waterproof trousers
T-shirts / shirts
Sweater/Jacket: (Recommended Fleece/Wind stopper)
Waterproof jacket
Warm hat
Rain coat
Drinking bottle/ Thermos Flask
First aid kit
Insect repellent