Theth Albania This unique mountain village easily has the most dramatic setting in Albania. Just the journey here is quite incredible, whether you approach the mountains on foot from Valbona or by vehicle over the high passes from Shkodra. Both a sprawling village along the valley floor amid an amphitheater of slate-grey mountains and a national park containing stunning landscapes and excellent hiking routes, Theth is now well on its way to being Albania’s next big thing. An improved – though still incomplete – asphalt road from Shkodra has made access to this once virtually unknown village far easier in recent years, bringing with it the familiar problem of overdevelopment. Come quickly while Theth retains its incomparable romance and unique charm.
Theth Albania Tours
A superb half-day hike from Theth is to the Blue Eye, a natural pool of turquoise waters fed by a small waterfall, up in the mountains to the southwest of Theth. The walk will take you through forests and steeply up into the mountains; in summer it can get very hot, so you’ll probably be keen for a swim when you get to the pool. But, be warned: the water is glacier cold. Are you brave enough?
It’s a popular walk, so a guide isn’t really needed, but do get detailed instructions from your guesthouse. Drinks and snacks are available from near the pool but it’s sensible to take a packed lunch with you.
Avisit to this fascinating 400-year-old ‘lock-in tower’ gives you an idea of the life those condemned by their family ties would lead as they waited, protected, during a blood feud. You can visit two floors and imagine the spartan weeks or even months spent by those poor souls who found themselves next in line to be killed. There are no set opening hours. If it’s closed, ask in nearby houses and someone will come and open up.
This late-19th-century stone-and-shingle church looks incredible in silhouette against the mountains that surround it, topped as it is with a rustic wooden cross. The church was used as the village hospital during the communist era, meaning that most locals over 25 were born in the quaint structure. It is open only when the priest is in town – normally on Sundays.