Hiking In Albania – 15 Best Albanian Routes Guide

Chasing the Donkey may include affiliate links - if you decide to make a purchase through these links, we receive a commission without any additional cost to you. Disclaimer & privacy policy.
Post author Drita

Written by our local expert Drita

Drita is a shy Albanian girl. Her Mom is from Kosovo, her Dad from Serbia. She loves to travel & share travel trips to help first-time travelers exploring Albania & the Balkans.

Ready to hit the trails? Let me show you the top hikes in Albania!

This Southern European gem offers epic landscapes, from towering mountains to charming villages and stunning coastlines. Plus, it’s budget-friendly with a unique blend of Balkan and Italian cuisine. Whether you’re a seasoned trekker or new to hiking, Albania has something for everyone.

Let’s explore the best hikes in Albania and plan your next adventure!

Albania Travel Blog_Where To Hike In Albania

Located in southern Europe, in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula, Albania is a reasonably small country that boasts some of the most spectacular peaks in Europe.

As should be expected, the best way to really experience the country is on foot, venturing in the impressive paths and hiking trails, as well as in its national parks and alpine landscapes.

Albania, located in the heart of the Balkan Trail, is an exhilarating destination for hikers, featuring hard, moderate, and easy trails, some of them suitable for first-timers and children.

1. Valbona-Theth Buni Shqipes

Hiking In The Balkans - Beautiful landscape of Accursed Mountains viewed from Valbona-Theth
Accursed Mountains
  • Length: 28.3 kilometers
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Elevation gain: 2,179 m
  • Route type: Out and back
  • Location: Tropojë, Kukës, Albania.

Suitable for: Backpacking, hiking, landscape views, river views

One of Albania’s most spectacular hiking trails, often recommended as a magnificent path for those with some hiking experience, is the Valbona to Theth trail (also known as Valbonë to Theth).

Since it is a very famous trail, it can be packed in summer. It is not recommended to take this trail from in any of the winter months until June when all the snow finally melts.

The path takes walkers through the Accursed Mountains, offering you the chance to admire one of the most inspiring scenarios in the Albanian Alps.

A curious fact is that the hike is also known as Peaks of the Balkans Trail simply because it also crosses into two different countries: Kosovo and Montenegro.

The portion Valbonë -Theth (both areas are National Parks) follows an old mule track and is about 20 km. To complete the hike within a day, consider leaving early since it can take up to 8 or 9 hours to complete if you also stop to check the beautiful view and take photos.

Valbonë-Theth to Buni Shqipes has a total length of 28.3 km and is considered a reasonably difficult trail, primarily used for backpacking and hiking.

2. Maja Rosit (Valbonë)

  • Length: 16.7 kilometers
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Elevation gain: 1,243 m
  • Route type: Out and back
  • Location: Valbonë (Valbona Valley National Park), Albania

Suitable for: Hiking, natural landscapes, bird watching, wild flora, dense forests views

It is lightly trafficked, and even when considered a reasonably challenging hike, it is certainly less tiring than the previous one. This route is just under 17 kilometers long and is located near Tropojë, Kukës, inside the Valbona National Park.

Travelers love to venture on this trail to observe the beautiful flowers and the impressive nature, mainly because it offers unique bird-watching opportunities. The best period to face this hiking challenge is between July and September.

3. The Blue Eye Of Theth

  • Length: 11.2 kilometers
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Elevation: 392 m
  • Route type: Point to point
  • Location: Kapre, Shkodër, Albania

Suitable for Hiking, nature views, and Alpine landscapes

Another famous trail in Albania for experienced hikers and trekkers is the fabulous Blue Eye, a fantastic experience in the heart of the Albanian Alps, boasting incredible mountainous landscapes and the well-known Blue Eye of Kapre.

Kapre has gained the title of one of the most picturesque villages in the Alps, but that is not the only beauty you will encounter during the adventure. The Blue Eye is a beautiful collection of waterfalls falling into a natural pool that was formed thanks to the cliff erosion caused by a river.

Although this might undoubtedly represent the best part of the adventure, you will also need to pass the spectacular Grunas Canyon (Theth), another tremendous token part of this trail, to get to the Blue Eye.

Remember: when looking for information about the Blue Eye, remember that there are two different blue eyes in Albania. The one mentioned here and a second one in the country’s south, near the town of Saranda.

Grunas Canyon - Hiking Albania
Grunas Waterfall is a picturesque site inside the National Park of Thethi, Albania

A word on Grunas Canyon: A unique natural place to discover when visiting Albania, the canyon is located on the southern part of Theth National Park, and visiting with a guide is highly recommended.

Grunas is a two km-long ravine with a depth of about 60 meters. To reach the gorge, you must follow a beautiful path next to the crystalline waters of River Theth, a popular place in Albania for canoeing fans.

Brands We Use And Trust


4. Maja Thanasit (Llogara National Park)

  • Length: 7.4 kilometers
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Elevation: 350 m
  • Route type: Out and back
  • Location: Vlorë, Albania

Suitable for Hiking, natural landscapes, scrambling, and mountaineering.

Lightly trafficked and accessible for all types of hikers with at least some experience, this is a relatively short trail perfect for nature trips and discovering unique landscapes, including the Albanian coast and the sea.

The area is rugged and rocky and lacks shade for most of the path; therefore, it is good to pack enough drinks and even a hat. You will encounter thousands of birds, bees, and butterflies on the way, especially during late spring.

Rocky with little shade, so pack water. So many bees and butterflies. You’ll feel like a butterfly queen.

5. Kryezi Waterfalls Trail

  • Length: 2.4 kilometers
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Elevation gain: 84 m
  • Route type: Out and back
  • Location: Vlorë, Albania

Suitable for: Family-friendly hiking, natural landscapes, walking, waterfall, and river views

Perfect for a family adventure, since it’s pretty easy and not too long, this 2.4-kilometer trail is not very crowded and offers excellent outdoor opportunities.

An excellent out-and-back trail in the area of Fushë Arrëz, Shkodër, it will have surprises such as a gorgeous waterfall where it is even possible to swim when the temperatures are high.

The short walk features the best views, and since its altitude gain is not high, it can be walked from the end of April until almost the end of September.

6. Mount Gjallica Trail

  • Length: 31 kilometers
  • Difficulty: Very Hard
  • Elevation gain: 2,386 m
  • Route type: Out and back
  • Location: Kukës, Albania

Suitable for: Backpacking, hiking, running, natural landscapes, wild flora, waterfalls, forest, and river views, walking, and off-trail experiences

Not very crowded and quite challenging, Mount Gjallica is a trail a bit more than 30 kilometers long. It is a gorgeous out-and-back circuit featuring a beautiful waterfall on the way and a few creek crossings. This trail has steep climbs as you approach the summit.

The trail is not far from the area of Kukës, and it features pretty difficult portions, with parts of the trail disappearing at some points to reappear a few hundred meters afterward.

All these features make it a hiking path good only for very experienced adventurers; for the same reason, it is a trail that better serves groups than solo hikers. The track is at its best from May to November.

7. Freskia Marshez Loop

  • Length: 7.4 kilometers
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Elevation gain: 395 m
  • Route type: Loop trail
  • Location: Fushë Arrëz, Shkodër, Albania

Suitable for: Hiking, walking, forest views, scrambling, unique landscapes, and wildlife

The Freskia Marshez Loop is a popular loop trail situated near Fushë Arrëz, in Shkodër. It can be considered a reasonably challenging trail and offers beautiful views of Fushë Arrëz village.

A perfect destination to observe wildlife, the route is popular for walking, trekking, hiking, and exciting exploration trips. The best time of the year to undertake this adventure is between April and October.

8. Theth, Qereç and Curraj i Eperm

  • Length: 20 kilometers
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Elevation gain: 1550 m
  • Route type: Point to point
  • Location: Tropojë, Kukës, Albania

Suitable for: Hiking, walking, off-roading

Relatively tricky and challenging, this point-to-point hiking path is 20 kilometers long and is primarily used for walks and hiking. The trail is rich with sights, passes, and adventurous points.

The trail is rated as complex and better during the hotter summer months, between June and September.

9. Freskia Marshez Loop

  • Length: 7.4 kilometers
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Elevation gain: 395 m
  • Route type: Loop trail
  • Location: Fushë Arrëz, Shkodër, Albania

Suitable for: Hiking, natural landscapes, forests, wildlife views, and scrambling.

Another Albanian loop trail worth experiencing for trained hikers is the Freskia Marchez Loop, located near the village of Fushë Arrëz in Shkodër.

The walking path offers fantastic opportunities to observe both the local fauna and flora, but it is not an easy path and can take more time than a 7-km long trail could take.

An ideal trail for trekking and hiking, the path is at its best from April to October for those who enjoy walking and observing the local nature.

10. Mount Korab

  • Length: 16.3 kilometers
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Elevation gain: 1,666 m
  • Route type: Point to point
  • Location: Dibër, Albania

Suitable for: Hiking, walking, and landscapes

Mount Korab is over 2700 meters high and is part of the Radika Mountains, on the border between Albania and North Macedonia, in the gorgeous area of Dibër. The trail features two different ways; the one that is shorter but steeper is the one you will find on the right.

It is an interesting point-to-point trail that features a mainly meadow terrain with some rocky areas, a river, and two small lakes right at the beginning.

The trail is suitable for all skill levels and is primarily used for hiking.

11. Mount Gamtit

  • Length: 13,2 kilometers
  • Difficulty: Easy to medium
  • Elevation gain: 960 m
  • Route type: Loop trail
  • Location: Krujë, Durrës, Albania

Suitable for: Hiking, lake and wildlife views, rocky and rugged landscapes

A beautiful and child-friendly loop trail a bit more than 13 kilometers long, the Mount Gamtit trail is a good path for those who are just beginning their hiking adventures but are eager to walk for a bit more than just ten kilometers.

It features a gorgeous lake where you can rest and take great pictures, and it is an exciting path to explore the local nature and admire the abundant flowers, herbs, bushes, and inspiring mountainous landscape.

12. Liqeni i Tiranes

It is a perfect Albanian hiking trail for the whole family!

  • Length: 5.6 kilometers
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Elevation gain: 82 m
  • Route type: Loop trail
  • Location: Tirana, Durrës, Albania

Suitable for: Hiking, walking, running, bird watching, outdoor family adventures

Liqeni i Tiranes is the perfect family-friendly hiking trail for small kids who enjoy exploring natural landscapes and unforgettable adventures. Along the 5.6-kilometer path, kids and adults alike can enjoy the fantastic views of a Lake and walk, run, hike, and even rest surrounded by the spectacular landscape. This path also offers excellent opportunities for bird watching.

Since the trail is not far from Tirana and it is pretty short and easy, it can be an excellent day trip idea while exploring the country’s capital.

13. Bovilla Reservoir to Gamtit

  • Length: 10.6 kilometers
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Elevation gain: 1,273m
  • Route type: Out and back
  • Location: Lake Bovilla, Albania

Suitable for: Hiking, views, wildlife

This hike is a wonderful trail for people who love wildlife and nature. The reservoir itself is stunning; the blue hue only intensifies in the summer sun. This climb has two main parts, with the first half a gentle climb and the second part more challenging. However, the natural scenery and views once you’re over the other side is simply jaw-dropping.

The path itself is easy to follow, but they’re old paths used by shepherds, so some of it is overgrown. However, it’s possible to see where to go in good light, and what you see once you reach the top is more than worth it.

14. Dajti Mountain Hike

Dajti National Park - National Parks in Albania
Photo Credit
  • Length: 9.3 kilometers
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Elevation gain: 1,394 m
  • Route type: One way
  • Location: Central Albania

Suitable for: Nature walks, views, and beginners

The view from the top of Dajti Mountain is one of the most sought-after in Albania, and there’s a reason why it’s such a popular trip. We should point out that if you really don’t want to hike or you only want to hike one way, there is a cable car that will take you up, back down, or both. But if you’re going to hike, this isn’t an arduous journey, and it does give you amazing views all the way.

The views from the summit will show you a whole panorama, and on clear days, you can see for miles. This does get quite busy during the summer months, and it can get quite hot; however, if you go early, you’ll avoid both of these problems.

15. Karaburun Peninsula

  • Length: Varies depending upon the route
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Elevation gain: Varies depending upon the route
  • Route type: Out and back
  • Location: Karaburun Peninsula, Albania

Suitable for: Coastal scenery, views, nature, backpacking

There are several routes you can take around the Karaburun Peninsula, and the newest is Brisani Bay to Duk Gjoni Cave. This entire area is easy to navigate, and most is paved clearly. However, some parts are a little overgrown, so it’s essential to wear the right kind of shoes.

This coastal area is full of flora and fauna and stunning coastal views. The fact that it is an easy route to follow and traverse also means that it’s suitable for many people to try, even beginners.

Hiking Albania Tips

Always keep in mind to pack the right equipment, enough liquids to keep you hydrated, lively bars or snacks, a few extra layers, even in summer, and wear comfortable shoes apt for hiking. Remember also that for specific trails, especially the most difficult ones, a walking or hiking stick might make all the difference between an exhausting adventure or a fun, enjoyable one.

Do not face these trails lightly. Avoid flip-flops and heavy backpacks. Do not forget to apply generous sunscreen and use a hat, even in spring. These common mistakes can turn a magical experience into a nightmare.

Also, pack your camera because the views promise to be more than rewarding!

If you’re traveling to Albania soon and walking is one of those pleasant things you enjoy, then keep this travel guide handy to have a valuable reference to the best hiking trails, paths, and loops that you can enjoy in Albania; read on and decide which of these paths to walk!
FAQs About Hikes in Albania


Can you provide more information about the Valbona to Theth trail?

The Valbona to Theth trail is one of the most famous and popular hikes in Albania. It crosses the Accursed Mountains and offers breathtaking views. The trail typically takes around 6-8 hours to complete and is moderately challenging. It’s recommended to plan for an overnight stay in Theth or Valbona unless you’re an experienced hiker planning to do it in one day.

What should I be aware of when hiking in Albania?

When hiking in Albania, it’s important to be aware of the following:

  • Weather conditions: Check the weather forecast and be prepared for changes in any mountainous region
  • Footwear: Wear sturdy, comfortable hiking boots or shoes with good traction
  • Navigation: Trails in Albania may be poorly marked, so consider hiring a guide or using reliable offline maps or a satellite phone for navigation
  • Safety: Hiking in Albania is generally safe, but be cautious, especially in remote areas without cell phone coverage

Being prepared and taking necessary precautions will enhance your hiking experience.

Are there easy hiking trails suitable for beginners in Albania?

Yes, Albania offers a variety of easy hiking trails that are perfect for beginners. Some options include Liqeni i Tiranes and the Kryezi Waterfalls Trail.

What are the best months for hiking in Albania?

The best months for hiking in Albania are typically from May to October, when the weather is more favorable. However, some trails may be accessible year-round, weather permitting.

Are hiking permits required in Albania?

Generally, no permits are required for hiking in Albania. Most hiking trails are open to the public and do not have entrance fees.

Is it safe to hike in Albania?

Albania is considered safe for hiking, but like any outdoor activity, it’s important to take necessary precautions. Stay on marked trails, inform someone about your hiking plans, and be prepared with proper gear and supplies.

What are the most challenging hiking trails in Albania?

Some of the more challenging hiking trails in Albania include Mount Gjallica Trail and Theth, Qereç, and Curraj i Eperm. These trails are best suited for experienced hikers.

Can I go hiking independently, or should I hire a guide?

You can go hiking independently on many trails in Albania, especially the easier ones. However, for more challenging or remote routes, hiring a local guide is recommended for navigation and safety reasons.

What is the best way to get to hiking trailheads in Albania?

Public Transport options to trailheads vary, but often, you can reach them by local buses, taxis, or private vehicles. Research your specific trail for the most convenient access.

Are there any cultural considerations while hiking in Albania?

Yes, when hiking in rural areas, it’s important to be respectful of local customs and traditions. Ask for permission if entering private property, and be mindful of local communities.

What wildlife can I encounter while hiking in Albania?

Albania’s diverse landscapes are home to various wildlife, including birds, butterflies, and sometimes larger animals like bears. Be cautious and avoid disturbing wildlife.

Are there accommodations near hiking trails in Albania?

Yes, there are accommodations ranging from guesthouses to hotels near popular hiking areas like Valbona and Theth. It’s a good idea to book in advance during the peak hiking season.

Hiking In Albania With A Guide

Hiking Albania - Mountains on the north Albania

If this is going to be your first adventure, or if you think you’ve gained enough experience to go from a moderate to a complex kind of adventure and feel ready to face a more challenging trail, it can be an excellent idea to start by contacting a local and official guide who can provide experience and priceless advice when it comes to facing an unknown network of trails in an unfamiliar country.

You can check the following local companies to gather information, ask for suggestions, and even join a hiking adventure with a group. It can be safer and more fun, and you can make new friends on the road, too.



  • Outdoor Albania (the company is in Tirana and organizes active trips that, apart from hiking, also include mountain biking, kayaking, and rafting)
  • Peaks of the Balkans (offers excursions and guided hiking in the Accursed Mountains)
  • Our Own Expeditions Albania (organizes excursions and expeditions in the southern area of Albania)

As you can see, some of the best places to hike in Albania offer some of the most spectacular landscapes of the Balkan Peninsula. Enjoy!


  1. Great blog. I would like to suggest adding a paragraph that in the summer this is a good trek one can do without a guide but the pass is not always accessible as you describe too. In spring for example (may and sometimes June) it’s really important to check whether one can pass the pass and whether there is snow. If the latter is the case do not attempt without a guide and proper equipment, nor attempt the “summer route”. There is a winter route which is not without risks and safer than the summer route. Yesterday a Swiss tourist died, slipped and fell down the abyss. Not the first to get into trouble or pass away. We just did the winter route with a guide and we’re glad we bumped into others and therefore had 3 guides to help us to the top. I think it’s important we inform fellow travelers well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Move This Adventure To Your Inbox & Get An Instant Freebie

Subscribe To Unlock Your FREE Customizable Travel Packing List & All Our Best Tips!