Theth is considered to be one of the most beautiful villages right at the heart of the Albanian Alps. Traveling from Tirana to Thethi village is quite an adventure. This article aims to offer you some tips on how to get to Theth and what you should expect during this journey.
There would be three main ways to get from Tirana to Theth;
1) By car,
2) By public transport and
3) By organized tour.
So lets take a virtual tour to Theth for any of the options:
Traveling by car. If you plan to travel with your own car from Tirana to Theth, that is a great choice. However, we have some recommendations; you need to have a big 4×4 wheel drive. Why? Well the road from Tirana to Shkodër is fine with any car (about two hours drive). Even the road from Shkodër to Qafa e Thores is ok, a bit more rural as it goes through some villages such as Dedaj and Bogë. Qafa e Thores is on the top of the mountain and is a great balcony of the Albanian Alps. Here is when the road gets dodgy. The distance from Qafa e Thores to Theth is only 15 km, however, it will take you about 1 h 20 minutes to get to Theth. The ride offers a specular view of the the Albanian Alps, however, it is very narrowed and bumpy (its quite a mission for two cars to swap). So, unless you are on the passengers’ seat, we recommend you better focus on the road. The wild beauty of Thethi village will be your reward of this long but unforgettable journey.
Traveling by public transportation. Lets begin by being honest, there is not such a thing as an official public line that gets you from Tirana to Thethi.However, it is possible and quite an adventure :). You need to go to the Northern Albania bus station (at Rruga Dritan Hoxha) where you can get the bus to Shkoder. The buses run almost every one hour from 8:00 am until 4 pm. You can not book your bus tickets online, however, there is no need. You can book your seats when you show at the bus station. Most likely the bus driver wont speak English, however, with the international body language you would be able to reserve your seats. The price for the bus ticket would be around 5 Euros per person. I would recommend you get an early bus or minivan as the ride from Shkodër to Theth will last at least 3 – 4 hours more.
Geting a ride from Shkodra to Thethi would be a bit more difficult. Why? Well there is no bus or minibus that officially runs every day. The only transport that goes toward Theth from Shkoder are either random tourist visiting the Alps, or inhabitants of Theth who come to Shkoder early in the morning to buy grocery or other goods they need for their guesthouses or won consumption. I highly recommend you get in touch with a local from Theth so you have a secure seat on their car, so they can give you a ride from Shkoder on their way back. Little warning :), most of the locals drive a bit creasy on the dangerous road from Qafa e Thores to Theth. They are used to this bumpy road and feel a bit more comfortable than they should :). They normally charge at least 40 Euros for a 4 seats car, no matter weather there is one or 4 passengers. This is however somehow justified considering the difficult road.
Similarly to Valbona, in Theth you can find different categories of guesthouses. The majority of them are old Kulla’s (Traditional Stone Houses typical of Northern Albania), which have been recently adopted into guesthouses. Locals are very friendly, they offer basic tourisms services, however their are very welcoming and try to offer everything they can. They normally function first comes first served. Only a few guesthouses are exposed for online bookings. We recommend you book your guesthouse before you get to Theth as some days might be booked prior to your arrival. The prices per person vary from one guesthouse to the other. A normal price for guesthouse accommodation would be between 25 – 50 Euros per night FB (including breakfast, lunch and dinner).
By getting an organized tour. 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 🙂 !