Snow-covered, jagged mountains, so beautiful that it hurts, lush green forests, circling eagles, lonely mountain villages and bumpy pistes that bring you to the felt end of the world. Welcome to Theth National Park!
The national park and its fabulous mountain world is THE top attraction in the Albanian Alps. But tourism – just like everywhere else in Albania – is still limited. In the small mountain village of Theth – the heart of the national park – there are a few simple guesthouses and campsites. But that’s it.
The approach to the beautiful national park and its beautiful main town is very long and arduous – but incredibly beautiful! For the route Theth – Shkodra you need about 4 hours including photo stops. From Shkodra to the spectacular winding curves of the Thore Pass (1,786m), the road is well paved but narrow and often literally single lane. From the top of the pass, the road descends into the Theth valley to a stony, narrow runway, which is at best only cruised by off-road vehicles (4×4 is not absolutely necessary, but high ground clearance is. And you should not love your car too much 😉 ).
Arrived in the small town of Theth with its pretty little guest houses, the beautiful St. John’s Church and the fabulous panorama, one would like to never leave again.
From Theth you can go on numerous hikes (eg to the about 2 hours walk away „Blue Eye“ (Syri i Kalter) – a blue glowing waterfall). However, since only a few hiking trails are marked, the company of a local mountain guide is recommended.
Extreme athletes are attracted by the more than 1,000m high wall of the Maja e Arapit (the „Arab“) – known as the „Matterhorn of the Balkans“. In 2011, a group of climbers managed to conquer the wall for the first time.
Around the village of Theth can be wildly camped everywhere (eg along the wide riverbed). However, our favorite campspot was another place: from the Thore Pass on the way to the village of Theth, after a few kilometers you arrive at a spectacular vantage point with a breathtaking panorama of the surrounding peaks (coordinates: 42.3846038, 19.7566125). From here begins the national park. There is room for one vehicle (maximum two small vehicles) directly at the lookout point (according to the locals, there is no problem camping there at all). Please remember: it gets cold at night and you are completely exposed to bad weather.