One of the highlights of my Albania trip was my time in the beautiful mountain village of Theth. Nestled in the Albanian Alps, Theth is the perfect location to explore the surrounding mountains and valleys. In this article I will answer any questions you might have about visiting and hiking in Theth. If you are planning a trip to Albania make sure you add this charming mountain village to your bucket list!
How to get to Theth
When I was first planning my trip around Albania I originally wanted to drive to Theth. It was the easiest option for me (plus I already had a hire car) however I had no idea what the road conditions were like!
The best way to get to Theth is by jeep. It costs €10 per person each way and you should be able to book this through your accommodation (we booked ours the day before through our hotel). You will need cash to pay (we paid in euros but you can pay in LEK too).
The jeeps tend to leave Shkoder around 7:30am arriving in Theth around 10:30-11am and return to Shkoder at 11am arriving around 2:00pm. They will pick you up from your hotel and drop you off at your Guesthouse in Theth.
Can I drive to Theth?
There is only one road into Theth (coming from Shkoder in the north of Albania), it’s a 3 hour drive with the first 2 hours being on paved roads but the final hour is just on a gravel road weaving around the mountains. If you have a 4×4 you might want to brave the drive to Theth, however I would recommend taking a jeep.
What should I do with my car?
If you have been road tripping around Albania then you are probably wondering what you can do with your car whilst you’re in Theth (I asked myself the same question!). We left our car at the hotel we stayed at the night before for only €2. When booking your accommodation in Shkoder I would check that it has a private parking so that you can do the same.
Getting to Theth from Valbona
Another way to get to Theth is by taking a jeep to Komani Lake and then a ferry up the river to Valbona. Here you can spend the night in a guesthouse before hiking 8-9 hours to Theth (you can also do this journey the other way around). This means leaving your luggage in Shkoder and only taking what you can carry. We only did the trip to Theth and back and explored the Albanian Alps from there.
When to go to Theth
Due to bad weather conditions in the winter, the road to Theth is actually closed during the colder months from November to May. If you are planning a trip to Theth make sure you go during the summer or early Autumn.
Where to stay in Theth
Theth has a number of charming guesthouses which are all around €40-50 a night. We stayed at the Marashi Guesthouse as it is located right near Theth church (which I wanted to photograph at sunrise and sunset), had good reviews and was also one of the cheaper guesthouses.
You will need to pay in cash when you arrive (again we paid in euros), so make sure you bring enough cash with you as there are no ATMs.
What to eat in Theth
Most of the guesthouses will include a breakfast in the price of the room, and you can book a dinner with them for around €8 per person. Our dinner at the Marashi Guesthouse was super tasty and included lots of different homemade local dishes to try. Most guesthouses won’t offer lunch, however if you ask they can prepare something for you.
For your first day in Theth I would recommend bringing your own packed lunch with you (from Shkoder) as there aren’t any shops in Theth. This way you can check in to the guesthouse and leave straight away for a hike. If you aren’t able to bring anything with you then you should also be able to find a few cafés.
Best hikes to do in Theth
Make sure to download the maps.me app if you plan to hike in Theth. You can download the map for Alabania to access it offline. You can also use it to find out where any water stops or cafés are in Theth National Park.
1) Theth to Valbona hike
The main hike to do in Theth is to Valbona (or Valbona to Theth). This takes around 8-9 hours and you will stay for one night in Theth and one night in Valbona (at least), you will need at least 3 full days to complete this loop from Shkoder.
2) Theth to Valbona Peak
If you prefer to stay in one place for longer but you still want to admire the mountains and valleys from the Valbona to Theth hike then you can opt to do the 7 hour return hike from Theth to Valbona Peak.
My personal favourite hike was to the beautiful Blue Eye. This hike takes around 6 hours return (plus add time to chill at the blue eye). You’ll be able to find 2 restaurants in Nderlysaj which is just before the Blue Eye. Here you can refill your water bottle and grab some food if you didn’t have a packed lunch. You can also organise a jeep back to Theth from here if you don’t want to walk the whole journey. Find out how to get to the Blue Eye in Theth.
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The Blue Eye took my Theth away 😍🤣 seriously it was so cold 🥶🤣 :::: I’ve swam in melted glacier water but this was still some of the coldest water I have ever swam in, very refreshing after a 3 hour hike! What’s the coldest water you’ve ever swam in? 💦 :::: FIND OUT HOW TO GET TO THE BLUE EYE IN THETH in my new blog post! (Will link in stories) 💫 :::: EDITING TIP – Use apps to easily add fun final touches to your photos! I added the light rays using the @lensdistortions app! Find out more about editing in my ebook on How to Take Better Photos for Instagram 🙌 :::: #theth #blueeye #thewanderlustfamily albanianalps #albania #visitalbania #balkans #iamtb #natgeotravel #albania🇦🇱 #balkancollective #natgeobalkan
4) Theth Waterfall Hike
If you are looking for a shorter hike I would recommend checking out Theth (or Grunas) waterfall which is about a 30-40 minute walk south of Theth. It is the same path that you take to the Blue Eye so you can also stop here if you’re hiking to the Blue Eye.
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Would you have though that Albania can look like THIS? 😍 before coming here I didn’t really know what to expect, I didn’t know anyone who had visited and also didn’t see much about it on social media, but that made it all the more interesting to experience – no expectations, no check lists, just exploring without an agenda and it turned into an amazing adventure 😁 just packed up for my next trip that will be a big one for me. I can’t wait to tell you more 🙌🏽 ⠀ ⠀ :: ⠀ ⠀ Before & after on @andipresets 🙂
Best Photo Spots of Theth Church
The first time I heard about Theth was whilst I was searching for things to do in Albania on Pinterest. I saw a photo of Theth’s Church and just knew I needed to photograph it!
The best time to shoot the church is about an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset. I recommend finding a guesthouse near the church to make this easier, I stayed at the Marashi Guesthouse which is just a 5 minute walk away.
There are 3 angles to capture Theth Church:
- From the front on the little path. This is perfect for those who love leading lines. Come just after sunrise to get the light shining on the mountains behind the church.
- From the side about an hour or two after sunrise as you can capture the sun poking out of the church.
- From the back both after sunrise for the soft light rays and before sunset for the light on the mountain behind the church.
I hope you have a magical time hiking around the Albanian Alps and exploring Theth! If you are staying in Albania for a few weeks make sure you check out some of the countries best beaches.
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