ENVIE D'ALBANIE
The land of the Eagles

8 Days 7 Nights

Group: 6 - 12 People

Albania

9.5 Superb

Description

Northern Albania has enjoyed well-deserved praise from international and local tourists over the past few years. It is slowly but surely claiming its rightful place at the top of the world travel lists. No surprising with fairy tale locations like Theth and Valbona.

“Heaven is here, my man. God, give me no other paradise”. This passage, of the freedom and death of Nikos Kazantzakis, rings especially true when the visitor immerses himself in the national parks of Valbona and Theth. Surrounded by steep mountains, surrounded by nature of the highest magnificence, the valleys of Valbona and Theth may look like a postcard, but it is very real.

The Valbona Valley is made of rivers, spectacular waterfalls and endless forests in the shadow of the surrounding high peaks. This natural wonder offers a rare sense of tranquility and beauty, not to be missed by those looking for awe-inspiring natural treasures.

Theth National Park combines the beauty of the mountains with majestic rivers, breathtaking waterfalls and canyons as blue as you could ever imagine. No image will do justice to its true beauty.

With its rich variety of plant and animal species and breathtaking views, the legendary Lake Shkodra is the perfect place to get in touch with Albanian nature.

2 to 2+

Difficulty

Guide

Experienced English-speaking guide

Treks

No

Outdoor activity

No

Cultural Visits

0 visit

Luggage

Backpack or equivalent 15 to 20 kg max

Hotel

4 ☆

Departure

Tirana International airport

Porting

A small backpack is required for your daily equipment

Transfer of luggage

Vans from one accommodation to the next one

Price Includes
  • Hotels: See list below

  • 7* Breakfasts

  • 4* Lunches

  • 7* Dinners

  • English-speaking guide throughout the stay

  • Birdwatching guide in Narta

  • Transportation

  • All visits mentioned in this program.

Price Excludes
  • All personal expenses of participants

  • Beverages not mentioned above, such as spirits

  • Tips

  • Travel insurance

  • Transportation by air

  • Travel insurance

Hotels

Description

Tour Plan
  • Day 1. Tirana International Airport – Tirana

    Welcome by an English-speaking guide at Tirana's "Mother Theresa" airport. Depart for Tirana.

    The metropolitan capital of Tirana has undergone lightning-fast modernization while much of its Ottoman, Italian and Communist architecture recalls its history and spirit of yesteryear. There are plenty of churches, mosques, museums, galleries and shopping malls to visit, but Tirana is more bountiful when the visitor is carried away by the city's vibe. The best way to discover this city is to take a leisurely stroll through its various neighborhoods and streets to discover its authenticity.

    Visit of Skanderberg Square and the city center with its famous "Block".

    Dinner in a traditional restaurant and overnight at the hotel.

  • Day 2. Tirana – Koman – Fierze – Valbona

    Early departure by vehicle (public transport) to Koman to board the ferry. The story begins with a magical ride on an enchanted lake. Enjoy a magnificent cruise on the Albanian Fjord. The lake is fed by the Drin, Shala and Valbona rivers. It is surrounded by dense forested hills, vertical walls and narrow valleys.

    The combination of specific topography and hydrological conditions contributed to the formation of different habitats. Golden jackal, red fox, European badger, Eurasian otter, beech marten, European polecat are the main predatory mammals. A large number of bird species have been observed in the area, including European kingfisher, common quail, gray heron, cormorants, great spotted woodpecker, goosander and black-headed gull, but also many predators such as buzzards and hawks.

    Arrival 2h30 later in Fierze and transfer to Valbona.

  • Day 3. Valbona – Valbona

    The ornithologist guide will take the  visitors on mountain trails in search of the imperial eagle or the golden eagle which have made these wild and relatively isolated areas their habitat, which they share with a multitude of diverse predators such as barn owls, Tengmalm's owls or even long-eared owls, the lesser scops owl, the European eagle-owl and certain species of hawks and buzzards.

    The forests, grasslands and valley are also home to many passerines and other species accustomed to the region's harsh climate. The capercaillie, a species unfortunately classified as highly endangered, is a regular in these places.

    Dinner and accommodation in a guesthouse.

  • Day 4. Valbona – Theth

    Trek: ~ 7: 00 hours.

    Maximal ascent: ~ 1050 m. 

    Maximal descent: ~ 850 m.  

    Distance: ~ 14.5 km 

    Luggage transfer: Horses.

    The itinerary invites you to climb the famous Valbona Pass (1759 meters) and will follow the old road used by mules and horses to reach the regions of Shala and then Nikaj.  

    The route will offer a magnificent glimpse of Mother Nature's jewels. Sailing between forests, slopes, torrents and neighbouring peaks (Jezerces - 2692 m., Radohimes - 2568 m.) it will pass through the top of the Valbona pass to offer a splendid view of the Theth and Valbona valleys.  

    A variety of flora and fauna will be present. Raise your eyes to the sky from time to time, maybe you are being watched... 

    Dinner and accommodation in a guesthouse. 

  • Day 5. Theth – Theth

    Notable places to visit in Theth National Park include the Theth Church, the prison Tower (Kulla e Ngujimit), the Theth Cave, the Gjeçaj Waterfall and the lake of the Peja Pass, to name a few. name a few. Ismail Kadaré, the famous Albanian author, dedicated his poem "Cursed Mountains" to this valley. 

    Direction a place of rare beauty classified as Albanian heritage, the Grunas waterfall, the last of which is 30 meters high. The hike continues along the Lumi I Thethit river. to reach the Canyon of Grunas where the water has dug its bed in the limestone rock to form a gorge about 2 km long, 60 meters high and between 2 and 40 meters wide. An icy and clear water flows there. 

    Theth National Park is home to virtually the same species as its neighbour. Along the way, the guide will try to make you meeting with the booted eagle, or the merlin or its relative, the hobby. At the beginning of October, the fauna is agitated and active in storing many 'provisions' before the first snowfalls and the rigor of winter. 

    Return to the village of Theth where it will be possible to walk there to admire its cultural sites such as its small church and the Nikoll Koceku tower. 

    Dinner and accommodation in a guesthouse. 

  • Day 6. Theth – Shkodra

    In the northwest of Albania is the beautiful Lake Shkodra, the largest on the Balkan Peninsula, and one of the many natural wonders of this part of the country. Lake Shkodra is also the perfect place for avid birdwatchers, home to around 270 species of birds. Besides various varieties of seagulls and cormorants, the lake is an ideal nesting place for pelicans, cranes, geese, ducks, grebes, bustards, ibises or spoonbills, to name just a few names from the menagerie of feathered creatures that can be spotted here. This proliferation obviously attracts predators and it is possible to observe many harriers, but also the griffon vulture, the short-toed eagle and its cousins, the lesser spotted and greater spotted eagle. The night belongs to nocturnal creatures like owls. 

    After lunch, the guide will introduce you this wonderful environment. 

    Dinner in a traditional restaurant and overnight at the hotel. 

  • Day 7. Shkodra – Kruja

    Founded in the 4th century BC. AD by an Illyrian tribe known as Scodra, Shkodra is one of the oldest cities in Albania. Under Ottoman influence, Shkodra was a place of major importance, notably used as a trading post on the road linking Prizren to the Italian ports, but also a cultural center. 

    Visit of the downtown Shkodra and walk along Kole Idromeno Street (also known as Pedonalja). It's an artistic stroll through time. 

    Visit of the citadel of Rozafa, dating from the Middle Ages and built on Illyrian foundations. From its summit, a 360° view allows you to admire the surrounding mountains and plains, but also the largest lake in the region, which is home to one of the largest ornithological reserves in Europe. 

    Rich in history and tradition, Kruja is the homeland of patriots and the epicenter of Albania's independence from the Ottoman Empire. It was here that Gjergj Kastriot Skanderbeg, Albania's greatest national hero, defended the country from invading Ottomans. 

    Visit the ethnographic museum of Kruja, located in the citadel in a house that belonged to one of the richest families of the 18th century. In a decor of elaborate ceilings and sumptuous murals, it presents objects and scenes of life that allow us to understand how an Albanian family lived in the 18th and 19th centuries. 

    Dinner in a traditional restaurant and overnight at the hotel. 

  • Day 8. Kruja – Tirana International Airport

    Free time until departure to the airport. 

Passport:

A valid passport or an ID (at least 6 months from the start of the stay) is required to enter in Albania

Insurance:

International travel insurance is strongly recommended to cover the consequences of incidents that may occur while travelling, travelling and staying abroad. It is the traveller's responsibility to check with his travel agent or insurer before departure.

Notes:

Participants must bring with them a pair of binoculars or a telescope. 

Depending on the season and/or the availability of restaurants, dinners may be taken in hotels.  

Due to overbooking situation, hotels and restaurants are indicative only. 

 For security reasons and in case of force majeure, the guide has all the authority to adapt or even cancel an itinerary. This is all the more valid depending on the evolution of the weather or for medical reasons. 

The guide being responsible for all the people in his charge and for the cohesion of the group, can at any time adapt the pace of the walk, the effort, the itinerary... in order to avoid the isolation of one or more participants. 

The guide has the duty to respect the environment in which the group evolves. 

The distances, elevations and walking times are given as an indication. 

Good to know: 

This discovery stay includes walks over significant distances and elevations in a natural environment. It is not recommended for children under 15 years old. 

It is advisable to have good walking experience and resistance. 

It is recommended to have good health and physical condition. 

Avoid drinking tap or spring water, unless your guide allows you to. 

Respect the environment in which you operate. He will give it back to you.