On the second full day of my second Albania trip, I headed north from Daias village to explore the beautiful Lake Koman area in northern Albania! Come along with us as we take a ferry ride across the lake and have some rare Albanian mountain food in a remote mountain village in Albania near the Montenegro border!
My morning began on the Lake Koman Ferry, which operates between the towns of Koman and Fierzë. It’s known for its beautiful, scenic mountain lake views and for being pretty unpredictable, as it’s frequented by tourists, locals, and animals!
The ride takes 2.5 hours and is a must when you visit northern Albania! Once we get to Fierzë, my boy Erjan from Travel Media EU and I would drive another hour to Valbona. The only other way to get to Valbona is to drive around the lake. You can only take the ferry during the summer months, and the ride costs 800 leke/roughly $7.66 USD.
We should have brought some food! Pro tip: always bring food on the ferry! Luckily, we found a vendor selling some cevapcici hot dogs. I was starving! I suggest getting here early to catch the ferry. We had to get up at 5:30 in the morning to make it there in time. There were a lot of cars there and you have to book online. It was completely packed!
The cevapcici hot dog was cheap and just OK. Then, we boarded the ferry, which had two decks. The bottom level was for the cars, and the two decks were for passengers. It was actually chilly out, so Erjan and I stood in the sun as the ferry got packed with people because it was a Saturday, and it was the last week the ferry would run for the year. It was also delayed by about 30 minutes. We could also see a local ferry for local villagers.
It got cold out, so we went back inside the car to warm up. It was super relaxing. We had an amazing view of the gorgeous, rugged mountains and trees surrounding us. The Albanian Alps are stunning! There are lots of ancient Roman settlements in these mountains. It reminded me of the ride I took down the Danube years ago!
I met Miri, who told me that the lake is 36 km long and over 100 meters deep. It used to be a river here! Then, we headed up to the captain’s quarters. This ferry left Komen at 9:30 and would arrive in Fierzë at about noon. The ferry from Fierzë to Komen is at 1 p.m.
It was warm in the sun but cold in the shade. Most of the people slept in their cars along the way. Erjan and I both slept for about an hour and arrived in Fierzë. And hit the road again! On the way to Valbona, we stopped at a village near the Montenegro border for lunch!
We passed through the small town of Tropojë in one minute and continued to Çerem village. The landscape reminded me of Theth. Alongside us was a river with crystal blue water. After passing some sheep, we got into an off-road vehicle to continue our journey.
The road was rough and unpaved and led us into a mountain valley that looked almost exactly like Theth or Switzerland. The village was only a few houses and very rustic. We stopped at the Kujtim Cocaj Guesthouse, where there is a restaurant. The guesthouse has two bedrooms downstairs and a huge living space with multiple beds upstairs. They’re building a second wooden guesthouse there, which overlooks the valley.
They were drying wild apples outside. There were lots of bees and flies around them. Then, I went into the kitchen, where they were making byrek, baked beef, a pumpkin pie with corn flour, a unique lakror, and more. They were using an old-school wood oven!
I got some strong raki and explored the garden and valley to see some cows grazing. The cheese that comes from these cows is the best! Back at our outdoor table, we had cheese, yogurt, bread, salad, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, a pepper and cheese tava, three different byreks, lakror, and more.
The cornbread-like bread was amazing, and the beans were hearty and tasty! Next was the lake, which was sweet and herbal and contained some delicious cabbage. I loved the crispy cornmeal crust! It was a little spicy, too!
The pumpkin byrek was full of layers and nice and crispy on the outside. We also had some insane, thick yogurt, which was like a sour cream cheese. I loved it with the byrek! What a combination of sweet, sour, and creamy! The goat cheese was also thick and salty.
I also had a super juicy pepper as well as some peppers and cheese. The ones with the cheese were hot! But it was so organic and healthy. I’d never had a dish like that before! The best thing to do was to dip some bread in the cheese.
Then, we had some thick sheep milk, which had the consistency of yogurt. It was heavenly and chunky! Then, we jumped on the baked beef, which was nice and fatty. I loved it with the thick and creamy sheep milk! This rare Albanian mountain food in northern Albania was one of my favorite meals I’d had in the country so far!
Then, we left the village and saw an amazing waterfall in the mountains. We had wanted to hike there, but because of the delay with the ferry, we only had 2 hours there instead of the 4 we needed. What an awesome experience having rare Albanian mountain food in Cerem, Albania! I have to thank my friends at Travel Media EU and Rental Car Albania for making this adventure possible.
I hope you liked coming with me to Lake Koman and checking out the rare Albanian mountain food in Cerem, 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 upcoming travel/food adventures around the world!