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Destination Details

Shkoder, Albania

Theth is in the heart of the Theth National Park surrounded by Albania’s highest mountains, more than 100 caves and beautiful waterfalls. Compared to similar parts of Europe, the Albanian Alps are relatively unexplored by a lot of tourists. Even 10,000 visitors a year is not that many. People come here to access the mountains, but also for a glimpse at a different way of life.During the day the valley is so quiet. Sometimes the only sound was a bell tied to cow several hundred metres away. At night the sky was full of stars.Theth was apparently founded 400 years ago by six brothers. The oldest grave I find in the cemetery is from 1933, but there are a lot of wooden crosses with just names, no dates. The main road in, a poor gravel track over the mountain, is inaccessible without a four-wheel-drive. In winter it is closed, but by then most of the residents will be in Shkodra. Only five families will brave the winter when the valley will be covered with about three metres of snow. The rest will come back in April or May.Most of the buildings are houses or guesthouses, some of which also offer a cafe or bar. There is a school, but no stores. Supplies are brought in from Shkodra, but the families here are very self-sufficient. Every house has a vegetable garden, fruit trees and usually a cow or some sheep.

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