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 Country of bunkers, Mercedes cars, and beautiful nature 
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Valbona

N 4227.54', E 1955.366'
2011-09-12
http://www.journeytovalbona.com
Our rating: 7.40
Overall rating:

We went to Albania because of this place. We found its description in a Russian blog. There's very few information about Valbona in the Internet. And at the time of our visit in 2011, the blog mentioned above was the only Russian reference in Google!

Valbona valley is a nature reserve and a quite remote place in the "Albanian Alps" with unusually beautiful nature. Only a dirt road leads here, so not many tourists decide to visit Valbona. But we cannot say that the road is too complicated, the dirt road can be passed by any car. We were the first Ukrainians who visited this place.

Valbona in Albania
Valbona in Albania Yuriy Buriak

Thanks to an American, Catherine, who arrived at Valbona a few years ago and stayed there to live, online resource with information about Valbona http://www.journeytovalbona.com appeared. Together with a local handyman Alfred she organized a small Rilindja Hotel, where we stayed. In Valbona there are several places where you can spend the night. By the way, Alfred is somebody like a local chief. He is a native citizen of the area, but does a lot for development of the region, even makes roads by clearing rocks with explosions. Moreover, he's not rich, everything happens due to hard work and great desire.

Rilindja Hotel
Rilindja Hotel Yuriy Buriak


Map of the Valbona valley in Albania
Map of the Valbona valley in Albania Yuriy Buriak

The main thing why people come here is outdoor recreation and hiking. Catherine made hiking trails in the mountains and marked them. We walked along the two of them.

Catherine made the hiking trails.
Catherine made the hiking trails. Yuriy Buriak


Each route is marked and described.
Each route is marked and described. Yuriy Buriak

This place is so "wild" that in 2011, when spider cameras were installed near the river, many animals were photographed, among which was even a bear. When we walked along the river, we constantly heard the noise of animals in the bushes, it was a little scary.

Just 20 meters from the house on the banks of the river you can find wildlife.
Just 20 meters from the house on the banks of the river you can find wildlife. Yuriy Buriak

We liked everything in Valbona: wonderful nature, nice people, homemade food, rabbit Shoq which came out of the woods and stayed to live near the house, trout which jumped out of the pond onto the ground. We often recall this place and compare it with other places. We'll try to get here one more time, in spring, when the waterfalls are full of water.

Rabbit Shoq
Rabbit Shoq Yuriy Buriak


Give the rabbit something sweet to touch it :)
Give the rabbit something sweet to touch it :) Yuriy Buriak


Pond with trout near the hotel
Pond with trout near the hotel Yuriy Buriak


Valbona in Albania
Valbona in Albania Yuriy Buriak


Valbona in Albania
Valbona in Albania Yuriy Buriak


Valbona in Albania
Valbona in Albania Yuriy Buriak


Our traveling toy saddled the local wolf :)
Our traveling toy saddled the local wolf :) Yuriy Buriak


Valbona in Albania
Valbona in Albania Yuriy Buriak


Valbona in Albania
Valbona in Albania Yuriy Buriak


Valbona in Albania
Valbona in Albania Yuriy Buriak


Our traveling toy helps us look for mushrooms.
Our traveling toy helps us look for mushrooms. Yuriy Buriak


Valbona in Albania
Valbona in Albania Yuriy Buriak


Valbona in Albania
Valbona in Albania Yuriy Buriak


Valbona in Albania
Valbona in Albania Yuriy Buriak


Even in such a lonely place you can find bunkers.
Even in such a lonely place you can find bunkers. Yuriy Buriak


Valbona in Albania
Valbona in Albania Yuriy Buriak


We had to cross the river to take a shortcut.
We had to cross the river to take a shortcut. Yuriy Buriak


Valbona in Albania
Valbona in Albania Yuriy Buriak


Valbona in Albania
Valbona in Albania Yuriy Buriak


Lizard in Valbona
Lizard in Valbona Yuriy Buriak


Valbona in Albania
Valbona in Albania Yuriy Buriak


Valbona in Albania
Valbona in Albania Yuriy Buriak


Valbona in Albania
Valbona in Albania Yuriy Buriak


Valbona in Albania
Valbona in Albania Yuriy Buriak


Valbona in Albania
Valbona in Albania Yuriy Buriak
Getting there: You can get there from Shkodra and Tirana. Information is constantly changing, so check this page. We drove from Velipoja through Shkodra to Koman, then by ferry to Fierze. After that we went to Valbona through the town of Bajram Curri. Asphalt road ends on the turn to Valbona. And there is no pointer, just a wooden plaque, be aware of this.

Tags, Albania: animals, mountains, river

Tags, all countries: animals, mountains, river
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