Heading North: Discovering Shkodra, the Albania Alps, and Montenegro
If you're looking for a unique adventure in the Balkans, heading north from Albania to the Albanian Alps and Montenegro might just be the trip for you. From exploring the ancient city of Shkodra to trekking through the dramatic landscapes of the Albanian Alps and taking in the stunning coastal views of Montenegro, this region is full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered.
Shkodra is a charming city with a rich history and culture. The city is home to an impressive fortress, situated high up on a hill, offering stunning views of the city and the largest lake in the Balkans below. The city itself is easy to explore on foot, with plenty of souvenir shops and old streets to wander through. But for the more adventurous, renting a bike and pedaling around Shkodra Lake to Zogaj is highly recommended. This remote spot is perfect for swimming and fresh fish caught straight from the lake.
If you're interested in photography, be sure to visit the Marubi Photo Gallery, which highlights the work of the renowned Marubi family, who were the first professional photographers in Albania.
When it comes to accommodation, Mi Casa Tu Casa Hostel is the first and best hostel in Shkodra. Guests can enjoy fresh fruits grown in their garden and spend time with their furry friends, including a dog, cats, tortoises, and even a chess-playing "Plako" (meaning: old man) who loves to make friends with travelers. The hostel's owners have recently opened a campsite near Shkodra, which is perfect for those looking to escape the summer heat and explore the nearby coastal village.
The Albanian Alps are a hidden gem that is slowly gaining popularity among adventure seekers. This stunning mountain range offers incredible trekking opportunities for trekkers of all levels. The mountain landscapes, villages, and remote ranges will leave you in awe. Whether you choose to go on a self-led trek or with a tour company, the experience is sure to be unforgettable.
Milingona Hostel is a wonderful place to start planning your trek through the Albanian Alps. Our staff members are knowledgeable about the region.
If you're short on time, Milingona recommends a four-day trek from Shkodra to Valbona Valley, Theth, and back to Shkodra. This trek includes a boat ride on Lake Koman and stunning views of the mountain ranges and villages.
Montenegro is a small but beautiful country located just north of Albania. It boasts stunning coastal views and a rich cultural heritage. There are two popular ways to travel from Albania to Montenegro. The first option is to catch a bus from Tirana to Shkodra and then another bus to the border of Montenegro. Once on the other side, you can catch another bus to different destinations in Montenegro. The second option is to take the direct and speedy service offered by the Old Town Hostel in Kotor, which runs daily between Kotor, Budva, Shkodra, and Tirana.
In conclusion, heading north from Albania to the Albanian Alps and Montenegro is an adventure that should not be missed. From the charming city of Shkodra to the stunning landscapes of the Albanian Alps and the coastal views of Montenegro, this region is full of surprises waiting to be explored. So, pack your bags, put on your hiking boots, and get ready for the adventure!