On the morning of my fifth day in Albania, I hit the ground running with a road trip from Shkodër to the town of Theth in the Albanian Alps! Come along with me as I travel to the Albanian Alps for the first time and share my first impressions of Theth, Albania!
My day began in the city of Shkodër at 6:30 in the morning. The team from Travel Albanian Alps and I would be driving three hours into the Albanian Alps to Theth, Albania, one of the most beautiful areas in the country. I couldn’t wait to get there. As we passed through Shkodër, we passed by a neverending bazaar where they sold lots of fruits and vegetables. First, we stopped at Byreke Pica for some byrek, but they weren’t ready yet. So we went on the hunt for some elsewhere!
There were so many bicyclists in Shkodër. Then, we found some byrek at Peta Byreku. We bought eight and took them with us on the road. I was told the views in the mountains are beautiful. It would be about 90 minutes before we reached the entrance to the mountains. The road we were following becomes a rocky road once you reach the mountains, so you need to drive a 4×4 there.
We passed lots of farmlands and businesses along the road, which also leads to Montenegro. Along the way, I dug into my byrek, which was super hot and full of cheese! The road condensed down to one lane as it headed up in the mountains. The road winds through the mountains.
Theth wasn’t inhabited thousands of years ago. When the Ottomans arrived in Albania, people from Shkodër fled into the mountains to hide. After Communism fell in 1991, they returned back to Shkodër, abandoning their houses and lands. When tourism kicked up, they returned to Theth to open guest houses in the mountains!
We make a stop and met some men drinking rakija and water. The mountain scenery was gorgeous. It reminded me of Switzerland! There, I enjoyed another of our cheese byrek. It was cheesy and flaky and golden brown. Then, I had some plum rakija and a strong espresso. The rakija was strong and really good. I had fallen in love with them! I liked the plum rakija more than the grape—the grape is too strong!
Then, we continued our road trip into the Albanian Alps! We drove past some cows and reached the dirt road leading further into the national park. There was a little wooden balcony where we could enjoy a breathtaking view of the mountains. It reminded me of Montenegro and Bosnia. It was very green and full of peaks!
From there, we continued on. The road got worse as we went. I learned that snow sometimes completely blocks this road in the winter! There’s a famous cross along the way near an amazing viewpoint. The cross has been there for at least 200 years! From the viewpoint, you can see Theth nestled in the valley below. We were on a peak in the middle of the valley with mountains all around us!
Within the next year, the road should be paved, which will help cut down the travel time to get there since the roads will be smoother. Then, we stopped at a spot where water trickles down from the mountains. The water comes out a spout shaped like and hand and is ice-cold!
There are about 100 guesthouses in the area along this road. They range in size and variety. Theth National Park is the largest national park in the country. I couldn’t wait to have lunch and explore the area for the next five hours! But you’ll see that in the next video!
What an awesome road trip to the Albanian Alps to visit Theth, Albania! I have to thank my friends at Travel Albanian Alps, Balkan Pearls Tour Operator, and Rental Car Albania for making these adventures possible!
I hope you liked coming with me to the Albanian Alps to see Theth, Albania! If you did, please give this video a thumbs up and leave a comment below. Also, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and click the notification bell so you don’t miss any of my travel/food adventures around the world!
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