Theth National Park, Albania

The Theth National Park was named after the tiny village of Theth in northern Albania. Due to its remote location, the most untouched natural landscape in Albania can be found there.

The Theth National Park was founded in 1976 and is located in the north of Albania in the "Albanian Alps". The national park takes its name from the scattered settlement of Theth, which is spread over several steep slopes and has been able to retain its wild and romantic uniqueness due to the difficult accessibility.


The national park offers everything a hiker's heart desires. Breathtaking hiking trails through the mountains, incomparable views of the Albanian Alps, snow-covered peaks and steep slopes leading into deep valleys.

Inwinter, Theth is often cut off from the outside world for months because of its location. Most of the inhabitants have left Theth in the meantime because of the lack of economic prospects. While in the 1980s up to 7,000 people lived in Theth all year round, today there are not even 100.

A glimmer of hope for an improvement of the economic situation is the slowly burgeoning hiking tourism. There are now marked hiking trails, signposts, a hiking guide and precise maps. There are also mountain guides.

In Theth, tourist accommodation with shower and toilet facilities has been built in many private houses with the support of the "Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit". This has laid the foundation for hiking tourism. In the hiking scene - especially in Eastern Europe - Theth is now considered an insider tip. In summer, it can be difficult to find a free room.

The Blood Tower in Theth

Apart from a Catholic church and an old water mill, the most interesting object to visit in Theth is the blood vengeance tower. Until recently, blood vengeance was an integral part of the culture in this region and all attempts to eradicate it were in vain. Allegedly, there are still families in northern Albania who live according to this tradition.

The purpose of the blood vengeance tower was that male family members who were affected by the blood vengeance could barricade themselves in here and lock themselves in until a reconciliation between the families was agreed upon. During this time, you could not leave the tower and were provided with food by the women of the family - women were exempt from the blood vengeance. Scary!

The easy slope to Theth

The village of Theth is primarily accessible only via an unpaved road over the 1630 m high Terthorja Pass, and even that only in the snow-free season. The starting point is the town of Shkodra - via Koplik it is a 65-kilometre drive to Theth. Expect a drive of four to five hours and be prepared for a breathtaking journey with unforgettable scenic highlights. Four-wheel drive is recommended. You can take the same route back.

The village of Theth is accessible only in the snow-free season via an unpaved dirt road with great scenic highlights over the 1630 m high Terthorja Pass, Albania - © FRASHO / franks-travelbox
© FRASHO / franks-travelbox

The difficult slope: Across the Kir Valley to Theth

A second possibility to get to Theth is via the Kir Valley, where a four-wheel drive is absolutely necessary! This route is again about 85 kilometres long, starting from the town of Shkodra, but can only be done with an off-road vehicle with a reduction gear and appropriate driving skills.

But then it's a special kind of treat. Be prepared not to meet a vehicle for hours and expect at least five to six hours of driving time. If you have several days, we recommend splitting the route and taking advantage of the numerous "wild campsites" to enjoy nature. You will not find more untouched nature in the whole of Albania.