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Europe > Balkans > Albania > Northeastern Albania

Northeastern Albania

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A valley in Valbona

Northeastern Albania is a region of Albania.

Cities[edit]

Map of Northeastern Albania
  • 1 Tirana — the energetic national capital. Trees and mountains surround the city. Mt. Dajt is a popular tourist site for a great view of the city.
  • 2 Bajram Curri — gateway to the wonders of the northern frontier, including majestic Valbona valley and the stunning ferry trip across Lake Koman.
  • 3 Kelmend - in the northernmost point of Albania, this region of the Albanian Alps organizes the yearly Logu i Bjeshkeve beauty competition, celebrating the best of Albanian beauty, and local delicacies.
  • 4 Kruje — ancient city of the national hero Skanderbeg, on ridge of a beautiful mountain range; Skanderbeg's castle has been turned into a museum. Kruje also contains an old style bazaar with shops selling traditional goods along cobblestone streets.
  • 5 Thethi — a scenic village in the Albanian Alps.
  • Puke — an alpine town surrounded by a mountainous landscape, chestnut trees, fresh air, and several caves. Visit the Bad Wells (Puset e Keqija) waterfall area, an ethnographic exhibition, Dardhe village, and rest at one of the several guesthouses while enjoying the delicious local cuisine.
  • 6 Elbasan - featuring a castle and delicious food, this area is full of tradition and known as the 'bellybutton of Albania' where the northern Ghegs meet the southern Tosks.
  • 7 Kukës
  • 8 Lezhë

Other destinations[edit]

  • Albanian Alps — In the north of the country, this mountainous complex forms the border between Albania and Montenegro. Rich on rainfalls, sheep, bare rocks and scenic views, it's one of the iconic places in Albania you should see; you can be less than 10 km away from the nearest village and still have a day long trip there.
  • 1 Lure National Park — a 1,280 hectare national park with high mountains, big meadows, and glacial lakes.
  • 2 Mirdita — An easily accessible mountainous region 30 minutes from the northern beaches of Talë and Shengjin.
  • Shishtavec — An ethnic Gorani picturesque village at 1600 meters altitude, south of Kukes along the Kosovo-Macedonia-Albania border. Main attractions here include the Vanave Gorge with numerous canyons ans waterfalls, modest skiing in winter, organic traditional food such as Corbe me te Brendshme, Mish Orizi, Stav Tallomash, and the traditional Fli, and the unparalleled hospitality of locals. Accommodation is available in forms of guesthouses. Shishtavec is an emerging tourist destination of the Kukes region.
  • 3 Shurdhah Island — in the Vau i Dejës Reservoir, which is fed and drained by the river Drin. It is accessible by tourist boat in summer from the Vau i Dejës dam or Rragam. It contains the ruins of the medieval town of Sarda. You can visit the ruins of the 11th century medieval castle, which includes two rings of defensive walls and towers (some sadly submerged in the lake), the remains of a Byzantine church and other early medieval walls. The setting on the steep rocks rising from the lake is especially impressive.
  • Ulza Regional Nature Park — recently declared, this park along SH6 near Burrel incorporates picturesque Ulza Lake which can be enjoyed while kayaking and through exploration.
  • Nikaj-Mertur Regional Nature Park - a newly declared park in the Lekbibaj region, the area features alpine settings similar to the Albanian Alps

Understand[edit]

This is the inland region of Albania to the north of the Shkumbin River. It borders Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia.

Talk[edit]

The native language of the region is Gheg, the northern dialect of Albanian. While the two main dialects of Albanian are mutually intelligible, but due to the fact that the official standard of Albanian was shifted from Gheg to Tosk, the southern dialect, during the rule of Enver Hoxha (1941-1985), the communist dictator of Albania and a Tosk speaker himself, some locals in Northeastern Albania may have bitter feelings about Tosk dialect—so be cautious while smattering your Albanian.

Get in[edit]

  • From Kosovo, Morine border crossing along the R7/SH5 motorway near Prizren
  • From Kosovo, Qafa Prushit border crossing along the M9-1/SH22 near Gjakova
  • From Montenegro, Vermosh/Vjeternik border crossing near Gucinje

Get around[edit]

The best way to get around is by bus or van (furgon). Buses that go from Tirana to Durres cost 100 Lek for example. Inner city buses currently cost 30 Lek a trip. Some buses that leave Skanderberg Square are free with the end destination being the mall advertised on the side of the bus. Sometimes you can grab a mall bus, and get out before the mall somewhere for a free ride! Furgon's cost a little more, from 200 Lek and up if you are heading out of a major town and are used for faster transport and the more windy mountain roads that cannot accommodate a large bus. You can get almost anywhere by bus, with totally unmarked stations all over the Square area.

See[edit]

Do[edit]

  • Visit the wood carving studio of Fran Pali in Puke where he makes handmade wood carved musical instruments himself.
  • Take part in the annual festivals organized in the summer showcasing regional delicacies and handcrafts
  • Hiking and cross country touring

Eat[edit]

  • AMT (At Mhill Troshani) Bio Farm Center, founded by an Italian priest in Kçirë village near Puke, sells locally made medicinal herbs, alpine jams and delicious meats by benefiting local producers. Contact Mr. Dom Giovanni Fiocchi(Facebook Page)
  • Variety of nuts
  • Flija

Drink[edit]

  • Boza, a traditional drink of Kukes made from fermented maize and grain
  • Cornelian cherry juice
  • Birra Puka, a local beer from Puka known for its purity made from crystal clear waters
  • Dhalle, a refreshing Kefir like dairy product like Aaryan
  • Raki

Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

This region travel guide to Northeastern Albania is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!