How to get from Tirana to Valbona ?
Valbona Valley is one of the best known hiking attraction in Albania and the Balkan Peninsula. Part of the Balkan Peaks Valbona Valley is a National Park in Northern Albania.
The adventure for this tour begins from the moment you start planing it. There is not such a thing as a fixed line toward Valbona Valley. This is when it starts getting interesting ;).
If traveling through Koman Lake, you would need to wake up early in the morning, as the ferry from Koman to Fierza leaves at 9:00 am. If you want to travel independently you can get a minivan that runs most of the days from Zogu i Zi round abound ( Tirana) towards Koman Lake. The ticket per person cost about 20 Euros. Even though the distance from Vau i Dejës to Koman Lake is only 32 minutes, it will take you about 1 h 30 minutes to get to the Koman Dam.
The ride offers a specular view of the the Vau i Dejës Lake and the Albanian Alps, however, it is very narrowed and bumpy. So, unless you are on the passengers' seat, we recommend you better focus on the road.
When you arrive at Koman Lake you can get one of the ferries which both leave around 9:00. The price for the ferry is 5 Euros per person and the ferry rides through the amazing Albanian Alps lasts about 3 hours. If you are traveling with your won car you can get the car on the boat. The price for a normal 5 seats car is about 30 - 40 Euros per car. We recommend you reserve your place for the car at least 1 week in advance, during the high season (June - September), and reconfirm your reservation the day prior to your trip.
When you arrive on the other side of the lake at Fierza Dam, most of the times you would be able to find locals that offer transport from Fierza to Valbona Valley. It would cost you about 5 - 7 Euros per person if they are full. Otherwise, if they have only a few passengers, the local taxies will charge 30 euros per vehicle. The ride is 45 minutes to 1 hour. Ones you enter the Valbona Valley National Park you will agree that it was all worthy. The valley is surrounded with the so called "The Crown of the Albanian Alps" and the view in front of you is breathtaking.
You think this was it with the adventure? Wrong! Now the mission is to find a guesthouse :).
There are several guesthouses in Valbona Valley. The majority of them are old Kulla (Traditional Stone Houses typical of Northern Albania), which have been recently adopted into guesthouses. Locals are very friendly, they offer basic tourisms services, however, they are very welcoming and try to offer everything they can. They normally function first comes first served. So, it may take you couple of tries sometimes to find a bed.
We recommend you spend at least 2 days in Valbona Valley to be able to enjoy it. Travelers that stay longer in Valbona Valley hike to Theth, to Plave in Montenegro, toward Rugova Valley in Kosovo or other Balkan Peaks.
If you have limited time in visiting Albania and the above is too much of a stress for you when on holiday we are here to help you organize everything. Sometimes it is smarter to book a dedicated tour as it saves you time, efforts and money . Traveling in small groups is always more fun !
So when will you start your adventure towards Valbona?
Credits © : Alban Pllaha