Saturday, October 1, 2022

Theth beautiful vilage in Albania

Theth is a small village within Shkodër County, Albania. Following the 2015 local government reform it became part of the municipality Shkodër, and has been declared a Protected Historic Center by the Albanian Government. The community is at the centre of the Theth National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Theth is a small village within Shkodër County, Albania. Following the 2015 local government reform it became part of the municipality Shkodër, and has been declared a Protected Historic Center by the Albanian Government. The community is at the centre of the Theth National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Located roughly a three-hour drive from the city of Shkodër, Theth is absolutely gorgeous. As the city melts away and you follow the road that leads to Theth and, eventually, neighboring Montenegro, you’ll be greeted with pristine views of the towering mountains ahead.

Getting to Theth

Further on, as the road condenses down to one narrow lane and winds its way through the Accursed Mountains, the vistas become breathtaking. Some of them would not look out of place in locations like Switzerland—a place I was forcibly reminded of as I made the journey north.

Theth is located in the eponymous Theth National Park, or Parku Kombëtar i Thethit, as it’s known in Albanian. The national park covers only a little over 26 square kilometers, including much of the Shala Valley. But the Albanian Alps are vast, encompassing countless valleys, thick forests, glorious waterfalls, unique rock formations, and much more.

The national park can be nearly impossible to reach in the winter, as heavy snowfall can completely block the narrow road leading from Shkodër. But in the summer, the warm temperatures and lush and wild landscapes make the park a popular destination among travelers.

What to Bring and Wear

I spent two weeks in Albania in August of 2021, which is a great time to visit Theth. Just know that, even though it’s located in the mountains, doesn’t mean it can’t get hot there. In fact, I highly recommend bringing sunscreen and wearing loose, light-colored clothing, as I often found myself baking under the hot Albanian sun. Comfortable shoes, a hat to keep the sun out of your eyes, and a trusty pair of hiking boots, are also musts!

Waterfall Theth

Further down the trail, you’ll come across a stream, and a bit later, a small waterfall trickling over some rocks. It’s just a teaser for what is to come a few minutes later. As you clamber over some nearby boulders, you’ll hear the constant din of rushing water. The source of the sound, Waterfall Theth, is on the opposite side of those boulders and is a true sight to behold. It is the epitome of a picturesque mountain waterfall.The water cascades across high rocks and splashes down into a pool far below. The water may look tempting, but be warned—it comes straight from the heart of the Albanian Alps and is downright icy! I took off my shoes and waded around below the falls, but my feet went numb after just twenty seconds!

Visit the Lock-In Tower of Theth

Rising above the village of Theth is the Tower of Nikoll Koçeku, better known as the Lock-in Tower of Theth. This four-sided stone tower dates back over 400 years and is one of the main attractions in Theth. The tower, which also boasts an alpine roof, is considered an architectural monument. But outside of its architectural significance, it also carries an impressive and fascinating history.The current guide at Lock-in Tower is a man named Sokol. He is a descendant of the Koçeku family, who have owned the tower for centuries. The story of the tower’s history has been passed down through the generations, and Sokol is more than happy to recount it to anyone who’d like to hear it.Lock-in Tower is a well-made defense structure that contains small windows called frëngji, which allowed the people inside to see any enemies approaching the tower or village. The tower also served as a prison for those who followed a set of 15th-century Albanian laws called the Kanun of Lekë Dukajin. The tower was used for defense until the Communist era!

Inside Lock-in Tower

The interior of the tower is very simple. The ground floor is pure rock, but the floors above are made of wood. While you’re on the second level, Sokol may play a beautiful song on a traditional instrument for you!

The décor inside is sparse; outside of some wool seats, low tables, a furnace, carpet, and a small chest, there isn’t much in the way of furniture or decorations on the second and third floors. There is, however, an old rifle on the third level. I also guessed that archers would fire at invaders through the windows.Visiting the tower was an eye-opening peek into Albania’s culture. Even if you don’t consider yourself a history buff, I highly recommend paying it a visit. It’s one of the best things to do in Theth, Albania!

Stay at Logu i Harushave Guesthouse


There are many guesthouses you can stay at in Theth, but I recommend laying your head at its most highly regarded, Logu i Harushave. This large, alpine guesthouse offers sensational views of Theth, which you can enjoy while listening to the sounds of the northern Albanian wilderness. It features rustic, mountain accommodations including 25 rooms and three cottages.The rooms are comfortable and cozy. They feature king-sized beds, and some also have one or two twin beds, which are perfect if you’re traveling with friends or children.

by David Learn

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