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Shishtavec is a village in Kukës County in eastern Albania that represents rich unique folklore, endless varieties of customs, traditions, stories, songs, legends and inspiring landscape. At 1,260 metres above sea level, the village is one of the highest in Albania and a well-known ski area. It is 100 km from Albania's capital, Tirana.


Shishtavec in the winter
Info board

Shishtavec is a village in Kukës County of northeastern Albania and actually part of the municipality of Kukës. About half the villages in the administrative unit of Shishtavec are populated by the Muslim Slavic Gorani people and about half are inhabited by ethnic Albanians. If you want to see a different Albania, the one far away from big noisy cities, this is your place. Here you will love the good climate, the natural beauty of birch forests and pastures, mountainous landscapes, the variety of plants, the ski pitches and the horse-riding courts, hunting, traditional sports like wrestling and so on. Shishtavec village has a broad plateau 1260 meters above sea level, where snow is present for almost 6 months a year. Shishtavec plateau is one of the biggest in Albania, with oval shape in Northeast-Southwest direction.

Get in[edit]

Primary Roads of the Village

By plane[edit]

1 Kukës International Airport (Aeroporti Ndërkombëtar i Kukësit Zayed-Flatrat e Veriut / KFZ IATA / ICAO: LAKU). An international airport 3.5 km (2.2 mi) south of the city of Kukës. As of June 2023, only Air Albania offers flights—between Basel and here, starting as low as 4,200 lek. Kukës International Airport Zayed (Q1431804) on Wikidata Kukës International Airport Zayed on Wikipedia. The airport is located 33 km (2.2 mi) from the village.

By bus[edit]

  • +355682925352. The bus leaves Shishtavec (center of the village) at 7:00 in the morning towards Kukes and from Kukes departs at 13:00 from former "Hotel Parku"1 Ish Hotel Parku

By car[edit]

  • SH26 connects Shishtavec with Kukës.
  • Coming from Kosovo, you can take the R113 in Zhur towards Dragash municipality and head towards the border crossing Shishtavec - Krushevë
  • Coming from Mavrovo, you can take the Nicpur Road and head towards, the Restelica-Strazimir border crossing at a distance of 47 km from Mavrovo to Restelice. Once you are in Restelice, you head towards the border crossing Shishtavec - Krusheve and the distance between the two villages is 6.2 km.

On Foot[edit]

The most beautiful hiking trails head to Shishtavec. Check the "Do" section for more.

Get around[edit]

On foot[edit]


Car rental[edit]

Renting a car is possible, in Kukës, but not necessarily a good idea if you are not used to driving here. To reach Shishtavec you don't need an offroad car, but to go around it you will need an offroad car.


  • 1 Morning Stone (Guri i Mengjesit (Murga)). This sandy-rock formation, found in southern Shishtavec is on the list of Albanian natural monuments. This stone, easily visible on the horizon, used to be a reference point since antiquity and the reason behind the name is the fact that during sunrise, the sun's rays create a crown around the structure. It is found at a 1.900 m latitude and for quite some time now, it has turned into a must for visitors coming from all over the world. Horse riding has been a widely practised activity in this area since a long time ago and it continues to this day. Morning Stone, Shishtavec (Q108048356) on Wikidata
  • 2 Vana Gorge (Gryka e Vanave). Vana’s Gorge is a deep gorge between Koritnik Mountain and Gjallica Mountain in Kukës, created by the erosion of rocks from Lumë, part of the Korab-Koritnik National Park. Gryka e Vanave (Q25570097) on Wikidata
  • 3 The Eagle Stone (Guri i Shqipes). Is situated near Borje village in Shishtavec municipality 1580 m above sea level. It constitutes a rocky escarpment, 100 meters long, 80 meters wide and 27 meters high. Guri i Shqipes (Borje) (Q108048365) on Wikidata
  • 4 Novoseja Oaks (Dushkaja e Novosejes). is situated nearby Noveseje village 1410 meters above the sea level. It represents an oak forest of 3 ha, well above the normal alitude where oaks grow. Trees are 4-5 m height, trunk diameter 7-10 cm.
  • 5 The Birch Forest (Pylli i Meshteknes). is located in Shishtavec village, about 30 ha, at 1300-1390 m above sea level with height at 13-17 m, trunk diameter at 20-30 cm aged between 40-45 years. The forest is decreasing year by year because of natural reasons. Mështekna e Shishtavecit (liqeni i Kallabakut) (Q108048641) on Wikidata
  • 6 Novosej Lake (Liqeni Novosej) (As you leave Novosej village, 1.5 km southeast onto the road Novosej - Turaj you will see a beautiful campsite where you can stay overnight. Further southeast you will arrive at the lake surrounded by pine trees and birch trees.). Another attraction in the area is Novosej Lake surrounded by a pine forest.
  • 7 Bosnian Pine of the Loop of Topojani (Rrobulli i Lakut të Topojanit). Mështekna e Shishtavecit (liqeni i Kallabakut) (Q108048641) on Wikidata



  • Guri i Mëngjezit, Shishtavec - Morning Stone, Shishtavec
  • Guri i Shqipes (Borje) - Stone of the Eagle (Borja)
  • Burimi i Kolosianit - Source of Kolosian
  • Dushkajat e Novoseit - Oak field of Novosei
  • Mështekna e Shishtavecit Birch tree of Shishtavec
  • Liqeni i Kallabakut - Lake of Kallabaku
  • Rrobulli i Lakut të Topojanit - Bosnian Pine of the Loop of Topojani
  • Kroi i Bardhe and Teja Highland

Horse Riding[edit]




Celebration during Potato day in Shishtavec
  • The feast of "Saint George" (Festa e "Shen Gjergjit"). (Saint George’s day) symbolises the arrival of spring in the mountain areas. It is celebrated throughout the Shishtavec area, but especially in the village of Borje. The celebration is held on the 6th and 7th of May. The first day belongs to young men who offer tree branches with green leaves to their girlfriends early in the morning. The celebration continues throughout the day with several competitions held between men (throwing stones, pulling a rope, horse riding, etc). On the second day of the celebration (the 7th of May), traditional music and dances are performed until meal time when the lamb is served as the main dish.
  • Immigrants' Day (Dita e Emigrantit). This day, which is celebrated on 1-st of August, aims at the joint meeting of immigrants with fellow citizens. This is a very good opportunity for everyone to get to know nature, traditional clothes, songs, dances, etc.
  • Skiing day which is celebrated in February
  • Patato day (Dita e Patates). The “Potato Day” intend to gather all potatoes producers, processors and dealers from the region in order to increase community responsibility and promote the attractiveness of the Shishtavec area and well known for potatoes production with its unique taste and quality.



  • 1 Stani i Hoxhes, +355692099762.
  • 2 Hotel Bar Restorant Skiatori, +355695210957.
  • 3 Bar Restorant Hotel Izeti, +355697605567.
  • 4 Bar Veranda Bala.
  • 5 Zulfi Cafe, +355682353535.



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