Hiking from Theth to ValboneJune 9 in Albania ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C
We arrived in Theth in the brilliantly named 'Accursed Mountains' where we would start a hike to Valbone which was highly recommended as a must see in Albania.
A few hiccups on arrival, including not being able to find our guesthouse and then needing to go into town to look for food and water meant that we accidently walked at least 10km as a warm up for the following day's main hike. Oops.
Nevertheless, we woke up early in the morning to get a good start on the uphill section of the hike before the weather got too hot. That worked out well for the first hour of steep climb but as the ascent dragged on into a fourth and fifth hour we were seriously starting to wonder if we would ever make it to the top, let alone down the other side and on to Valbone. At this point our little blue dot on Google maps seemed to have only moved about 10% of the total distance we needed to cover and it felt like every other hiker in the Balkans had overtaken us at some point.
Thankfully we did eventually bump into a couple going in the opposite direction who told us that we were only minutes from the summit and sure enough we were soon standing on the peak with the most amazing views all around. We took a couple of hundred photos and the long climb finally felt well worth it, as we'd been promised. We gratefully started down the opposite side of the mountain on the downhill slope we'd been dreaming of for the last few hours. The landscape was quite different here, much drier with narrow dusty paths next to sheer drops, in contrast to the muddy forest we'd walked up through. We also found patches of snow still clinging on which reminded us how high we were, although a quick look down to the valley below was enough for that. New aches and pains from walking downhill added to the jelly-legs but eventually we reached the bottom and had the relative pleasure of a last stretch on flat dry riverbed into the town.
All in all we walked well over 20km, including 1km altitude up and down, far more than we've ever done before and completely exhausting but definitely a highlight of our trip so far. It was certainly harder than we bargained for but even more impressive and beautiful than we expected.Read more