Valbona Pass
Valbona Pass
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4.5
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Wajo
Scheveningen, Nederland281 bidrag
jun. 2022 • Par
We planned to do the Valbona Theth Trail with our travel agent back home, on June 2nd, and he pre-arranged it with his local contacts in Valbona. We planned to have our luggage transported by horse. But when we arrived in Valbona, it was said the the Pass was still covered in snow. So the horses could not go up the pass. In the end, “they” offered a trip partially with horses and a carrier would then get the luggage to the other side, where other horses would pick us (luggage, we would have to walk some distance through the snow) again for the descent to Theth. At 2 PM rain was predicted. For some reason we lost confidence in this particular local assistance and decided to go back to Shkoder with the ferry again. A pity…because this hike is supposed to be beautiful.

I have seen another review, where a traveller describes taking the winter trail, also partially through the snow.

It is good to know that this trail can still be snowy in May and (beginning of) June. If you plan to do the trail in this period you should be well informed by local experts. We are not the youngest anymore, our walking condition is quite well but we do not have regalur experience with walking in the mountains. Reasons to be extra careful. One could try to travel as light as possible, so that luggage transport would be no issue. In Japan it would be possible to forward your luggage to a next destination , but I do not know if this would be possible in Albania as well. Starting in Shkoder, leaving your main luggage in Shkoder, and returning to Shkoder could be an option?
Skrevet 1. juni 2022
Denne anmeldelsen er den subjektive meningen til et Tripadvisor-medlem og kommer ikke fra Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor sjekker anmeldelser.

CLMH_13
Amsterdam, Nederland103 bidrag
mai 2022 • Venner
We did the the hike on May 16th after knowing for sure it was safe enough. We pre-arranged everything with our guesthouse owner Linda from Margjeka Hotel which is at the start of the trail in Valbona. On the Lake Koman Ferry we met 4 other young hikers that wanted to join us as we already had a guide. In total we were 6.

We did the winter trail - NOT the summer trail as that one is extremely dangerous with snow. As there is a lot of snow still today, the winter trail is the only option if you want to pass to Theth. But it's not marked so a guide is really a necessity. The winter trail does not let you walk the small narrow path you see on many pictures online. This is the spot were accidents happened the last few weeks.

The route is very similar to the summer route for the most part. The part that is different is the final bit of the ascent up to the pass. This takes you up a steep but walkable snowy slope of the mountain.This is not marked at all, and looking back at it, we did really need our guide to show the way here. The snow is slippery so focus is really needed. And good (waterproof) shoes too of course!

Our guide was David and is a local of Valbona. Even if he didn't speak a word of English, he was super careful with our group. He took good care of us, helped us were needed and looked back to us all the time to wait if necessary.

The end part of the ascent is full of steep rocks. The views from there are splendid. Then, you reach the top. Our guide David left us there to go back to Valbona and we could start the descent to Theth by ourselves as that side of the mountain is already snowless and well marked.

We left at 8.00 AM and it took us 7 hours to arrive in Theth, including small breaks. The winter trail is 17 km, and we walked up about 1000 meters (700 to 1780 m altitude).

Our conclusion is that the winter trail was 100% worth the effort.

A few tips:
- only go if the weather is clear & sunny
- only go with a local guide
- only go with good hiking shoes
- if you go, make sure to let both guesthouses (in Valbona and Theth) know when you leave and when you have arrived
Skrevet 19. mai 2022
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madch82
Amsterdam, Nederland143 bidrag
mai 2022 • Venner
Check if there is snow! If so do not leave without a guide. (Even in June). Taking the normal summer route is extremely risky. There is a safer “winter route”. Swiss tourist lost his life due to wrong route. Slop and fell down an abyss. Don’t go if you don’t feel comfortable. Not worth risking life
Winter route is also steep but less risky.
Skrevet 11. mai 2022
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Yonatan Y
6 bidrag
jun. 2021 • Par
I agree with most of the reviews here, it is a beautiful trail that can be very enjoyable and a great experience for nature lovers, BUT you must check with the locals the snow levels!
We hiked the trail June 15th 2021 and decided to do it without a guide after reading most of the online reviews and tips. Unfortunately this year the snows have not melted and some locals explained to us that we have to do the winter trail and not the summer trail. The winter trail is not marked and you kinda need to figure it out using a map, which is ok. And in fact, on our way we met people that tried to follow the marks of the summer trail but the path was blocked by snow and unpassable...
Here are my remarks for the inter trail:
1. Must have good boots that are also waterproof since you'll be walking a lot in snow.
2. Must be a good climber since this trail is much more steep and dangerous
3. Use a local guide if you can because it is definitely not easy to find your way there since it is unmarked.

Good luck!
Skrevet 23. juni 2021
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_pcamandier
Deventer, Nederland15 bidrag
jul. 2019
We hiked from Valbona to Teth on a Monday then rested and stayed on day in Teth before hiking back from Teth back to Valbona as our car was left behind in Valbona. Proceeding that way enabled us to really enjoy the mountains in North Albania and to see it from both ways. Be aware that this is getting popular and a guide is not necessary if you are doing it during the peak season. Should you need a guide, the place you stay can find you one for 50 euros a day.
Skrevet 4. september 2019
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Liz T 14
Cheyenne, WY3 475 bidrag
jun. 2019 • Par
Wir kamen von Valbona und hätten etwa 3h30' bis hinauf gebraucht, wenn nicht uns die Zeit knapp geworden wäre und außerdem ein Gewitter angekündigt war (das dann auch kam).
Deshalb unser Tip: Früh nicht zu spät aufbrechen. Den Bus nehmen, der durch das Flusstal bis Rrogam fährt. Denn: der Weg vom Ende der Straße bis zum eigentlichen Startpunkt das Wanderweges führt (fast 1h) durch das Flussbett des Valbonë-Flusses und ist nicht so toll - vor allem ist die Blendung durch die weißen Steine des Flussbettes bei Sonnenschein nicht unerheblich.
Skrevet 10. juli 2019
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Nick R
Windsor and Maidenhead, UK10 bidrag
sep. 2018 • Par
A very special hike, we went valbone to theth getting an 8euro lift to the end of the tarmac road, saving 3km of road walk. Steepness and length are moderate, decent hiking shoes/boots ***really*** wise and given that it's mountain terrain do check the forecast take waterproofs, poles, torch etc blah, blah...we met one couple who didn't get down till 9pm,.with no torch they'd have been in trouble as the descent both sides is steep. There are a couple short stretches on the pass itself which are close to very steep drops and one short 6m part is very narrow (60cm). However I don't have a good head for heights but still managed, you just have to go for it. All in all a truly excellent walk with spectacular scenery and easily enough challenge to make you feel you've earned the beer at the bottom.

( We started 8.30am and finished 3pm with 60mins breaks at the 2.cafes. 57yrs old but fit)
Skrevet 2. september 2018
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GreenManKingston
Kingston70 bidrag
sep. 2018 • Familie
For an unfit older couple with superfit kids it was hard work but worth the effort. It was a rewarding day which will live long on the memory of the whole family - helped by having a guide and his horse carry our luggage. A once in a life time experience.
Skrevet 2. september 2018
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Femmy P
10 bidrag
jul. 2018 • Familie
Wonderful trip but be well prepared. Take plenty of water and wear good walking shoes. The first part of the trip from Valbone was beautiful but hard because of the sun and high temperature.on the other side of the ridge we saw all the dark clouds. The descent through the woods was very dangerous. We walked into a heavy thunderstorm. the steep paths in the forest turned into slippery paths. With all its consequences. Also keep in mind that your mobile does not work in the mountains and there are almost no places for shelter on the road to Theth. When the weather is good, this is one of the most beautiful hikes in Europe
Skrevet 28. august 2018
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1tguide
83 bidrag
jun. 2018 • Venner
Trekked this trail from Valbona to Thethi. It was varied in so many ways - rocky river bed at start, climbing up through pastures and woodland to the rocky pass over the top of the mountain range and down into Thethi. No direct roads, so luggage was taken by pack-horses. On either side of the pass about half way up each mountain side, there is a welcome café serving hot and cold drinks. The views throughout the trek were stunning (helped by a sunny day with totally clear visibility). It helps to have a head for heights, as at a few points the path runs very close to sheer drops! Highly recommended for anyone who is reasonably fit and likes a challenge.
Skrevet 27. juni 2018
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