Valbona - Theth hike
Lake Koman Ferry

“Wow!”. This is the first word that comes to our minds when we are talking about this trip.  In this article you will find everything you need to know about the Valbona – Theth hike and the lake Koman ferry.

Our itinerary

Day 1 Shkoder – Valbona

06.40 am   pick up from the information center and drive to Koman. 

09.00 am   Ferry to Fierze 3.30 minutes sailing

12.30 pm   bus to Valbona 

14.00 pm   arrival at the hotel in Valbona

Day 2 Valbona – Theth hike

6.30 am start hiking the trail. The total trail from our hotel to Theth city center is 14 kilometer. 

16.30 pm arrival in Theth. 

We allowed ourselves plenty of time to rest along the trail and climbed up to the viewpoint. We were one of the slowest people I guess, but don’t underestimate the trip. 

Day 3 Theth

We hiked up to the Slender waterfalls and went swimming in a small waterfall near the guesthouse. Slender waterfalls was not worth going there. Very little water and completely overgrown. You can also hike to Blue Eye from Theth. This hike takes 2-3 hours one way. 

Day 4 Theth Shkoder

We got picked up by a 4×4 at 9 am. The ride normally takes 3 hours. 

Lake Koman pictures

how to get there

How to get to Lake Koman/ Valbona / Theth

Most people organize the transport from Shkoder to Theth or Lake Koman ahead. We booked our bus, boat and bus ticket from Shkoder to Valbona at the tourist information office at the big roundabout, one block away from the shopping street. You don’t need to pay in advance. You pay for everything in the bus from Shkoder to the ferry. We paid in Euro because the exchange rate to albanian lek was very bad. The company that handles the transport is called “Rozada Ferry”.

Pick up from the tourist office was at 06.40 am sharp. Pick up from you hotel of hostel is also possible on request. The bus stopped once for a short toilet and coffee break when you are nearly at the pier. The ferry left at 09.00 am sharp for a 3,5 hours cruise from the ferry terminal near Koman to Fierze. At the pier a minibus was waiting to take us to Valbona. This minibus drops you off at the doorstep of the guesthouse or hotel you booked. For us this was very convenient since we booked a room at the hotel closest to the starting point of the trail, but the farthest away from Valbone town center.

Depending on the hotel you might need to walk 1-5 kilometers extra on the day you want to do the hike Valbona – Theth so choose your guesthouse/hotel wisely. 

 

money travel foreign burning backpack

Costs trip Lake Koman/ Valbona / Theth

  • Bus Shkoder to Koman Ferry 6 euro per person
  • Ferry Koman to Fierze 6 euro per person
  • Bus Fierze to Valbona 6 euro per person
  • Bus Theth to Shkoder 10 euro per person

Our tips and tricks

  • Book your transport ahead so you are sure you get a bus and the ferry.
  • In low season you can go to Valbona or Theth without booking ahead, but then you need to search for a hotel when you are already tired so better you book ahead. Booking ahead in high season is a smart idea since the hike is very popular and accomodation fills up quickly.
  • Leave early for the hike! It might be cold but you have the whole trail to yourself.
  • Bring food and a refillable water bottle. There are 4 cafes along the trail but only 2 where open when we were there. You can always fill up you bottle with water so no need to carry too much water with you.
  • In Theth there are not a lot of restaurants to eat because a lot of guesthouses and hotels offer diner to their customers. So be prepared to pay more for food and drinks. We ate at Jezera Restaurant twice but check the bill carefully!! People here get creative and sneaky with prices. We experienced this on four occasions!
  • There is 1 small shop next to Jezera restaurant but prices are high and food options are limited. Nothing is priced so ask for the price ahead, or you will be giving opportunity to charge any price they like!
  • Be careful booking your transport back to Shkoder so you don't end up sitting on a beer crate like we had.
  • The hike can also be done from Theth to Valbone, but to our opinion the hike from Valbona to Theth is easier because there is a very steep incline at the end to go up to the mountain. But for the first part you can walk easily through the river bed. If you do the hike reversed you need to walk the last part through the river bed but there is no shade there and we thought the hike up from Theth is more difficult because of the long hike up.
  • From our hotel to the center of Theth is 14 kilometers
  • The trail is closed from November to May and even in June you can have snow on the trail.
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Where to sleep in Valbona

We only chose this hotel because of the situation of this hotel. This is the most affordable hotel at the starting point of the hike. The hotel itself is big and has very low standards. We booked a 3 bed room and that’s what you get, 3 beds and a bathroom. Small bedroom and a balcony with only 2 chairs. It was already cold at night when we were there (16 September). The food at the hotel was mediocre. Hotel Fusha e Gjes

Costs: 4800 lek (40 euro) for one night for 3 persons. 

 

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Where not to sleep in Theth

We would not recommend this guesthouse. Very difficult to find for the first time! We asked for a pick up from the town center after the hike which they did and that was a nice gesture. By foot it is 250 meter up a very steep hill through the forest so you need to know where you are going. There are signs but not really well pointed out. 

The breakfast was good and very generous. 

We could only use the toilet in our room because the shower was broken. We needed to use the shower downstairs which we shared with the owners and 4 people who were camping here, and completely flooded into the hall.

We paid at the end of our trip, but they tried to overcharge us 10 euro. It was needed to call the son who could translate as the owners don’t speak English and we had to talk for over 15 minutes to get the price we booked according to Booking. 

Furthermore we booked a transfer with them from Theth to Shkoder. They pointed at their 4 x 4 so we booked this for 3 persons for 10 euro per person. There was a 4×4 waiting, but there where only 2 seats in the back and a beer crate with a pillow. We argued for 10 more minutes and pointed out to the owner that we didn’t book this. Because the guesthouse was 500 meters up from the main road we decided to go with him. After 10 kilometers we stopped the car and we got out. We got our luggage and decided to hitchhike. We got very lucky and 10 minutes later we sat comfortably in a very large truck with a German guy. 

 Guesthouse Bec Villi

Costs: 3030 lek (25 euro) per night with 3 persons including breakfast. 

 

Valbona / Theth pictures

Theth village and waterfall pictures

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