15 Incredible Hikes in Albania (For All Levels)

The hiking in Albania is one of the main reasons people are drawn to this amazing place. Over 70% of the country is mountainous, which makes for some incredible hiking trails in Albania, along with some amazing views.

Some of the best hikes around Albania are in, or very close to, some of the main towns and cities in Albania too, so you can find a fantastic base to hike and easily also see some of the best attractions in the country.

I lived in Albania for 2 months as a digital nomad, and the stunning scenery I saw on the various walking trails in Albania blew me away. So here are my top 15 hikes around Albania.

15 Best Hikes in Albania

I loved hiking in Albania; it’s one of my favorite things to do there. There are so many different hikes in Albania, and you’ll be able to find a trek, hike, or lovely walking trail no matter where you go. The views over gorges, valleys, and the water (lakes, rivers, and sea) are nothing short of spectacular.

I did lots of hiking in Albania, but I’ve narrowed it down to 15 based on the ease of getting there, the scenery and nature you see on the way, and generally the overall enjoyment.

1. Valbona to Theth (Hike the Accursed Mountains)

This one has to be top of the list. It’s the most famous hiking trail in Albania because it crosses the Accursed Mountains, also known as the Albanian Alps. It’s one of the best places to hike in Albania because you get to see the incredible beauty of this spectacular mountain group.

Valbona and Theth are both national parks in Albania, so as you can imagine, the scenery and nature is incredible.

The hike itself is fairly challenging but offers the best hiking in the Albanian Alps. I’d rate it between moderate to hard as parts of the trail are steep (in both directions), but it’s well-marked. A good pair of hiking boots and poles are recommended for this hike.

View of summit Jezerca in Albanian Alps from Valbona Pass in Valbona Valley National Park during hike from Theth to Valbona

This is one of the best Albanian day hikes and is made even better by a couple of cafes to stop at for refreshments. I’d recommend stopping in at Cafe Simoni.

Trail Details and Information

  • Location: Close to Tropoje, Kukes
  • Length: 30.1 km/18.6 miles
  • Duration: 13 hours
  • Type of Trail: Out & Back
  • Elevation Gain: 2,213 m

2. Mount Gamtit

Mount Gamtit is home to one of the best treks in Albania to avoid crowds. It’s a moderately challenging route close to Kruje in Durrës, which is a fantastic place to explore. It’s also around 1.5 hours from Tirana by car.

Getting to the peak takes around 3 hours, and you’ll be rewarded with a magnificent view over Lake Bovilla. It’s definitely worth the hike up. The markings on the way down are a bit few and bar between, and it leads into a forest that’s slightly difficult to navigate.

It may be worth getting a guide or taking a hiking tour of Mount Gamtit and Lake Bovilla to lead you up to the best views. This tour that starts from Tirana is fantastic. In the summer, you can even swim in the water, which is exhilarating.

Trail Details and Information

  • Location: Kruje, Durres
  • Length: 13.2 km / 8.2 miles
  • Duration: 5-6 hours
  • Type of Trail: Loop
  • Elevation Gain: 958m

3. Maja Rosit

Hiking in the Albanian Alps is a truly special experience, and the Maja Rosit Hike through the Valbonë National Park is no exception.

It’s a popular spot for bird watchers as the park attracts lots of different species. Maja Rosit is also a great place for a solitary and peaceful walk as it doesn’t attract as many visitors as the Theth to Valbona hike.

The stunning Valbona Valley National Park in the Prokletije Mountains of Albania

It’s a challenging walk and pretty consistent when it comes to steepness, with the exception of the last kilometer which becomes quite difficult. The views of the Montenegrin mountains from the top are absolutely stunning. If you’ve got enough energy in your legs and air in your lungs, there’s an option to go further up to Rosni Peak.

Bring lots of water with you, but take comfort in knowing that there’s also a hut offering water and coffee where you can take a little break.

Trail Details and Information

4. Liqeni i Tiranes

This walking trail around the artificial Lake in Tirana is a popular walking trail in Albania and can be paired with a walk around the Grand Park of Tirana which is definitely worth it in its own right.

This is one of the best easy hikes around Albania as it’s mostly flat with excellent facilities. There’s drinking water and a toilet available at the start, and you have a huge choice of cafes and refreshments in the park and around the lake edge.

It’s within the city center, and if you’re visiting in the summer it’s a lovely thing to do in the afternoon or first thing in the morning when the temperature is a little cooler. You won’t need any specific equipment, just a pair of comfortable trainers.

One of my favorite restaurants in Tirana is located right by the trail, Mullixhiu, so treat yourself to some delicious food post-walk.

Trail Details and Information

  • Location: Tirana
  • Length: 5.6 km / 3.5 m
  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Type of Trail: Loop
  • Elevation Gain: 82 m

5. The Blue Eye

The Blue Eye in Shkoder is one of the best waterfall hikes near Albania. It’s not technically a waterfall, but rather a spring, but it’s definitely worth a visit. This blue eye is different from the one just outside Gjirokaster in the South.

Shkoder is a fantastic place for hiking in Albania, and the blue eye attracts many tourists, so you can expect it to be a little busier than others. The trail is closed between November and May, but it’s one of the best summer hikes in Albania.

A beautiful freshwater spring surrounded by lush greenery

The views are amazing all the way up, so you won’t be short of spectacular scenery. There are also plenty of restaurants along the trail, so you can really take it at your own pace and stop when you need to.

It’s a long hike, so bring comfortable shoes or boots, and don’t forget your bathing suit if you’re feeling like you may be brave enough to dip in the freezing cold water.

Trail Details and Information

  • Location: Shkoder
  • Length: 10.6 km / 6.6 m
  • Duration: 5 hours
  • Type of Trail: Point to Point
  • Elevation Gain: 399 m

6. Mount Gjallica

For a tranquil hike through old villages and rustic Albanian landscapes, you must head to Mount Gjallica. You’ll walk through villages and fields, as well as mountainous terrain, so it’s a very diverse hike in Albania.

You’ll also cross a couple of creeks so waterproof shoes are advisable, (if you’re careful, you can probably cross without getting your feet wet). The best time of year to do this hike is between May and November.

The trail can be lost in a couple of places, but if you keep in mind the direction that you should be heading, and don’t veer off on a completely different path, you’ll pick up the trail in no time.

It’s mostly a gradual incline, with steeper climbs the closer you get to the summit. The views over the mountains are spectacular once you reach the top.

Trail Details and Information

  • Location: Kukes
  • Length: 30.9 km / 19.2 miles
  • Duration: 14 hours
  • Type of Trail: Out & Back
  • Elevation Gain: 2, 386m

7. Grunas Canyon

The Theth National Park offers some of the best trekking in Albania, and Grunas Canyon is another of its gems.

Located in the south of the park, Grunas Canyon is a stunning 60-meter-deep canyon that stretches for over 2 kilometers in length. It can only be visited with a guide, so you can be sure that you’re exploring a unique part of this amazing country.

Red bridge in Grunas Canyon, Theth, Albania

The route to the Canyon is stunning, and you’ll be treated to incredible views over the Theth River. The trail isn’t too difficult, with a guide, and is one I definitely recommend if you’re heading to Theth National Park.

Trail Details and Information

8. Kryezi Waterfall Trail

If you’re in Shkoder and want to hike but the Blue Eye trail is a little long for you, then this lovely easy hike to the Kryezi Waterfalls is the perfect alternative.

It’s a short and easy hike that leads to a swimming hold in Kryezi Village. It’s best to visit between May & September, but be aware that parts of the trail can flood if there’s been heavy rainfall. Waterproof shoes are a good idea if you’re visiting in autumn, and remember to take your bathing suit!

This hike is a great option for families as it’s an easy walk and isn’t too long or crowded either. It can be waked between May and the end of September.

Trail Details and Information

  • Location: Fushte Arrez, Shkoder
  • Length: 2.4 km / 1.5 miles
  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Type of Trail: Out & Back
  • Elevation Gain: 84 m

9. Mount Korab

Mount Korab is part of the Radika Mountains on the border with North Macedonia. Its peak is at 2,700 meters, offering incredible views and scenery, and is one of the best hiking trails near Albania.

The 8-kilometer point-to-point route offers two different options through meadow terrain. There’s a shorter, steeper route that takes you to the peak or a longer, more gradual route to choose between. At the fork, take the right-hand option for the steeper route.

Hiking on the Mount Korab in Albania

Whichever route you decide on, you’ll pass by two lakes near the beginning of the trail before tackling some rocky sections and an otherwise open, grassy terrain that’s accessible to anyone with a reasonable degree of fitness.

Trail Details and Information

  • Location: Dibër, Albania
  • Length: 8 kilometers / 5 miles
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Type of Trail: Out & Back
  • Elevation Gain: 80 meters

10. Dajti Mountains

The Dajti Mountains frame the capital city of Tirana and offer some great hiking options just outside the capital. It’s one of my favorite things to do in Tirana.

Head up the Dajti Mountains on the Dajti Expres; the cable car that offers some amazing views over Tirana and the countryside beyond. From the top of the cable car, head to the start of the 5-kilometer trail up Maja e Tujanit.

The trail is largely woodland, and although interspersed with open spaces, offers some shade from the high temperatures in the summer.

At the summit, you’ll have incredible views over the Dajti mountain range. The trail is well-marked by painted white rocks with red marks and, as mountain trails go, isn’t too challenging (so long as the sun isn’t too hot). Take plenty of water and good walking shoes or trainers.

Trail Details and Information

  • Location: Behind the Abandoned Hotel, marked with white rocks and red marks.
  • Length: 5.3 kilometers / 3.3 miles
  • Duration: 2.5 hours
  • Type of Trail: Out & Back
  • Elevation Gain: 425 meters

11. Blue Eye, Sarande

The ‘other’ Blue Eye in Albania, located near the Albanian Riviera, is a stunning, natural wonder in Albania. It’s located in the heart of the Blue Eye National Park, which is home to some great Albania treks.

The main trail through the National Park to the Blue Eye is a straightforward and well-defined route open to all ages and abilities. It’s been newly renovated and is paved for most of the way.

A beautiful freshwater spring surrounded by lush greenery

The out and back trail is some of the most family-friendly hiking in Albania. The trail crosses a small river before reaching the incredible Blue Eye, where you can brave the freezing waters to cool off. There are a few stalls and a restaurant on the route to make the most of this trip.

It’s also one of the best winter hikes in Albania, as many of the higher-altitude hikes are inundated with snow. The location and lower altitude make it a good winter option for keen hikers.

Trail Details and Information

12. Maja Thanasit

This moderate 7-kilometer trail to the summit of Maja Thanasit is one of the most tranquil places to hike in Albania.

The route starts near Vlore, on the west coast of Albania, and reaches the summit of this beautiful mountain. You’ll get incredible views across the surrounding landscape and over the sea beyond.

The trail itself is relatively uncovered on a rocky trail, so the sun can be hot in the peak of summer. Make sure to take plenty of water and sunscreen. You’ll encounter plenty of wildlife in both flora and fauna forms along this peaceful and beautiful Albania hiking trail.

Trail Details and Information

  • Location: Llogara National Park
  • Length: 7.4 kilometers / 4.6 miles
  • Duration: 2.5 hours
  • Type of Trail: Out & Back
  • Elevation Gain: 350 meters

13. Lake Prespa Loop

This beautiful looped trail is one of the best summer hikes in Albania, especially if you’re staying in the east of the country.

You’ll set off near the stunning city of Korce and be treated to a mixture of lakeside views and woodland and forest terrain. The trial is a 10-kilometer loop which is moderately easy and flat. It’s suitable for anyone with some experience of hiking and generally good fitness.

View over the landscape to the amazing trail in the Lake Prespa Loop in Albania

The trail is one of the lesser-known day hikes around Albania, and so you’ll find that it’s not as well-marked as others on this list. It’s therefore perfect for those that love adventures and testing their navigation skills. It’s a lot of fun and offers some beautiful views of this quiet and peaceful part of Albania.

Trail Details and Information

  • Location: Pustec, Korce
  • Length: 10.6 kilometers / 6.6 miles
  • Duration: 3.5 hours
  • Type of Trail: Circle
  • Elevation Gain: 414 meters

14. Freskia Marshez Loop

This is one of the more popular Albania trails near Shkodër and is an enjoyable 7.5-kilometer looped trail.

It’s a challenging hike, with the trails less well-marked than others in Albania. It’s another one to test your orienteering skills but the route is manageable for regular hikers.

For those willing to accept the challenge, the views and the landscape are well worth the effort. It offers beautiful views of the nearby Fushë Arrëz village, as well as plenty of interesting flora and fauna along the route.

Trail Details and Information

15. Hardedaj – Nenreth – Theth

This 5-kilometer point-to-point trail near Shkodër offers some of the most challenging hiking in Albania.

While it’s short in distance, the trail itself is challenging and winds through mountains and forests. You’re unlikely to encounter many others on this hike, and you’ll be treated to some beautiful countryside and views of the surrounding mountain ranges.

The incredible landscape of Theth National Park, Albania

This is certainly one of the Albania trails to be attempted only by experienced hikers, but the commitment is definitely worth it.

Trail Details and Information

  • Location: Near Shkodër
  • Length: 5.3 kilometers / 3.3 miles
  • Duration: 2.5 hours
  • Type of Trail: Out & Back
  • Elevation Gain: 321 meters

Things To Know About Hiking in Albania

Here are a few things to think about before you go hiking in Albania.

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Be Aware of Animals

Many of the trails run through fields and villages. The locals are very welcoming and friendly, but you may meet guard or sheepdogs. Most are unlikely to approach you, but keep your distance and do not provoke them.

Check The Weather Before Heading Out

The weather in Albania can be unpredictable and stormy. Keep your eye on the weather the day before you plan to go hiking in Albania, as well as the day of. If there’s been a heavy rainfall the day before, the trials may become flooded, depending on the time of year.

The Trails Can Be Slippery

Make sure you wear suitable footwear. If you’re hiking in Albania in May or June, and are at a high elevation there may still be snow, so keep in mind how this may affect the terrain. Equally, in Autumn there may have been more rain, so this is also something to keep in mind.

Sattelite Phone is Recommended

A satellite phone is definitely recommended, or download the map to your phone before you leave. Some of the trails disappear and it can become unclear which direction you should go. Have your phone there to use as a backup.

Check the Opening Dates of the Trails

For safety reasons and because of weather conditions, most of the hiking trails in Albania are closed during the winter months (October – April) due to heavy snowfall and ice. So, before you head out, check when the trails are open, and I advise against winter hiking in Albania unless you’re familiar with and have experience with the terrain.

Hiking in Albania: FAQs

Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about hiking around Albania.

What is the most popular hike in Albania?

The Valbona to Theth trail is the most popular place to go hiking in Albania because it crosses the Albanian Alps. The views over the mountain ranges are absolutely incredible.

What is the easiest hike around Albania?

One of the easiest hikes in Albania is the hike around Tirana Lake. It’s more of a walking trail, but it’s a beautiful way of seeing the lake and the Grand Park of Tirana.

Are there any waterfall trails in Albania?

Yes, the Kryezi trail leads to the Kryezi waterfalls and swimming hole. It’s a great hike in Albania for families as the terrain is relatively flat, and it’s a shorter walk.

What should I wear when hiking in Albania?

Waterproof shoes or boots are a good idea, as many of the hikes cross rivers and creeks. If there’s been heavy rainfall (mostly in Spring or Autumn) parts of trails can become slippery, wet, or flooded.

What is the most beautiful trail in Albania?

The Blue Eye trail in Shkoder is one of the most beautiful places to go hiking. Not only will you see some amazing views on the descent, but you’ll also see some of the most turquoise water at the Blue Eye too.

Is hiking in Albania dangerous?

No, hiking in Albania isn’t dangerous, but the trails are sometimes not particularly well-marked and aren’t well-maintained. Make sure you have a reliable map app that you can use without the internet so you don’t get lost or take a guide where you possible.

In Closing

You certainly won’t be disappointed with the hiking in Albania. There’s so much beauty to see in this country; the mountain ranges and beautiful landscapes, the surrounding nature, and animals – you’re sure to have an incredible time and see some amazing sights.

The cities can become very hot in the summer, so going for a hike in Albania’s countryside is the perfect way to escape the heat.

I hope this guide helps you plan your next hike in Albania!

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