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Visit Albania in 5 treks

Completely unknown a few years ago, Albania is opening up to curious travellers and backpackers in search of adventure. In the heart of the Balkans, the land of eagles or Republika e Shqipërisë, has varied landscapes: a rugged coastline, snow-capped mountains as well as stunning national parks.

The ideal playing field for trekkers, Albania is a land of contrasts, where the sea and the mountains constantly clash. Thanks to its wide open unspoiled spaces and very rich historical and cultural heritage, this little-known country will not fail to amaze you.
With the likes of Lake Ohrid, the Albanian Riviera and Theth, discover this little-known country of southern Europe, while travelling on foot and you are sure to have many unexpected surprises.

5 trekking routes for exploring Albania

trekking in northern Albania: Theth and the Albanian Alps

> Environment: mountain
> Difficulty: medium to difficult
> Recommended period: June to September
> Average duration: 9 days
> Medium elevation gain: 5670 D+ and 5450 D-

Let's go for 9 days of trekking on the famous trail of the Peaks of the Balkans. It is by boat, on Lake Koman, that you will discover the first landscapes of the Albanian Alps which are reminiscent of the Dolomites, with their sharp peaks. Along the Mont Rosi shepherds' trail, enjoy spectacular mountain views. Then begin the ascent of the Col de Valbona, at an altitude of 1,760 metres. Then go up the Thethi Valley, in the heart of the Accursed Mountains, before reaching Vermosh, in the far north of the country. This long mountain hike is for trekkers who already have a little experience of the mountain environment. There are no major technical difficulties along the route, but the elevation gains are sometimes demanding and you will need to be in good physical condition.

5 trekking routes for exploring Albania

Hiking and backpacking in southern Albania

> Environment: mountain, beach, village, nature reserve
> Difficulty: easy to medium
> Recommended period: May to October
> Average duration: 7 days
> Total distance: 35 km
> Total elevation gain: 2895 D+ and 2380 D-

Southern Albania is ideal for backpacking adventures. During a road trip with a mix of cultural visits and hiking, you can go to several UNESCO-listed cities, such as Gjirokaster and Berat. On the shores of the Albanian Riviera, you can enjoy very beautiful beaches to recover from your efforts. You will have the opportunity to go hiking in Llogora National Park, on the ridge line of Mount Çika or in the foothills of Mount Bureto. Along the way, you can visit the beautiful village of Qeparo and the archaeological park of Butrint. Finally, you cannot miss the fortress of Gjirokaster, one of the largest castles in Albania.

5 trekking routes for exploring Albania

Trekking on skis: trip to the mountains of Albania

> Environment: mountain
> Difficulty: very difficult
> Recommended period: December to March
> Average duration: 7 days
> Positive elevation gain: 5850 D+

In the south of the Balkans, wedged between Montenegro and Greece, Albania is a true paradise for ski touring. Indeed, this mountainous country, where the winters are harsh, has everything needed for a successful trek on skis: vast unspoiled expanses, snow-capped peaks and breathtaking landscapes. During this ski tour in the middle of the mountains, starting from Valbona, you will discover the ridges of Grykat e Hapura and descend the slopes of Mount Korab, the highest peak in the country, which rises to 2764 metres above sea level. This itinerant circuit is reserved for experienced skiers and requires very good technical skills.

5 trekking routes for exploring Albania

Easy trek: itinerary on the Albanian Riviera

> Environment: highlands, sea, villages, nature reserve
> Difficulty: very easy
> Recommended period: May to October
> Average duration: 3 days
> Positive elevation gain: 1400 D+

Discover the Albanian Riviera while travelling along the coast. Start your journey with a visit to Gjirokastër, the city of stone, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will then reach the Butrint National Park and the beautiful village of Qeparo. From the hill of Lëkursi, you can see Corfu, very close by.
Among the hikes that you can do during this trip, do not miss the Gjipe canyon, with its sumptuous panorama facing the Ionian Sea. Then visit the Llogara National Park, a mountain paradise covered with pine forests. At 1400 metres above sea level, on the Qafa e Thelle mountain, the view is unforgettable. This itinerant circuit of a few days on the Albanian Riviera is really very accessible and is suitable for beginners experiencing their first trek, alternating between stages surrounded by nature and interesting cultural visits.

5 trekking routes for exploring Albania

Extension in freedom: the ascent of Mount Gjallica on foot

> Environment: mountain
> Difficulty: difficult
> Recommended period: May to October
> Average duration: 3 days
> Positive elevation gain: 2386 D+

Near Kükes, the ascent of Mount Gjallica is a very popular hike in Albania. Reserved for experienced hikers, this summit offers a beautiful panorama of the Albanian Alps. The 30-kilometre round-trip trail begins with a very technical ascent, before continuing along the mountain paths. Some stream crossings are to be expected on the route and the trek leads to mountain hamlets which cannot be reached by car. As you gain altitude, the landscape unfolds before you offering unforgettable views of the Albanian Alps. You will not come across any mountain refuge along this route, so prepare all the equipment needed for a self-sufficient hike with a bivouac.

5 trekking routes for exploring Albania

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