Theth National Park

Visit Theth National Park & Accursed Mountains in Albania

Written By: author image Kyle Cash
author image Kyle Cash
Kyle is the writer behind The Travel Runner. He’s a full-time traveler and adventurer who’s visited over 20 countries, including places like Thailand, Mexico, Vietnam, and Albania.

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Want to visit Theth National Park & The Accursed Mountains in Albania? Discover the best things to do in the Albanian Alps and more with this post.


Theth National Park is a natural beauty.

With a wide variety of natural features, including rock formations, waterfalls, and plenty of flora and fauna, the area is too good to skip.

So, I’ve put this together to save you time. You’ll get all the information you need for your next visit.

Let’s get into it.

Why visit Theth National Park?

Albania is home to some of the world’s most underrated and unknown natural wonders, and Theth National Park is no different.

Theth National Park scenery

This national park in the Shala Valley near the Montenegro border is a must-visit. It features stunning mountains that erupt into the air, aqua rivers flowing between them, and plenty of waterfalls and gorges to enjoy.

You’ll love it even more if you’re the outdoor adventure type. The mountainous park covers an area of just over 10 square miles, and there are plenty of hiking, climbing, and swimming opportunities in this pristine quality forest.

Plus, you’ll find all kinds of wildlife. The park contains incredible animals, from golden eagles to black bears.

And that’s not even to mention the cute and historic villages that dot the area.

Overall, Theth National Park is a can’t-miss area of Albania on your next visit.

How to get to Theth National Park

The easiest way to get to the national park is by starting in Shkoder, in northern Albania.

From Shkodra, you have a few options:

  • Take a bus
  • Hire a taxi
  • Drive yourself

You’ll have to arrange the transportation for the taxi or the bus in the center of Shkodra.

However, if you’re driving, it’s a relatively short drive.

Head northwest out of Shkodra and follow E762 and SH21 to Rruga Nikgjonaj.

There are plenty of signs along the way, so follow them up, over, and back down the mountains as you enjoy the picturesque drive.

In all, the trip takes around two hours.

Hotels in Theth National Park

Depending on the season, hotels can fill up quickly.

So, remember this as accommodation is limited in the national park.

With that said, here are some of the top hotels to check out for your next stay:

  1. Bujtina Terthorja. A boutique hotel that offers luxurious amenities and outstanding views all around you.
  2. Guest house PANORAMA. A contemporary hotel with decent amenities and is just a few steps from trails.
  3. Thethi Paradise. A cute hotel that has comfortable accommodations and easy access to activities.
  4. Royal Land. A luxurious hotel that’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty around you.
  5. Guesthouse “Gjin Thana”. A traditional hotel that’ll give you comfortable sleeping options along with breathtaking views.

Top things to do in Theth National Park

  1. Hike to Valbona Peak and the Valbona Mountains
  2. Blue Eye of Theth
  3. Lock-In Tower of Theth
  4. Visit Grunas Waterfall
  5. Wander the hiking trails
  6. Roam the historical village of Theth

1. Hike to Valbona Peak and the Valbona Mountains

Everyone comes to Theth National Park for the famed Valbona-Theth hike.

You can start the hike in Valbona or Theth, and many opt for starting in Theth.

Although, it doesn’t matter which side you start.

The hike is around nine miles with about 2,500 to 3,000 feet of elevation gain. And it takes most people around seven to eight hours to finish, but you can take your time to soak in the views.

Valbona Peak Viewpoint

And there are a lot of them.

Panoramic views stretch out. Trees and grass line the Valbona Valley’s floor, with colossal stone mountains erupting from it on either side to form a staggering range.

If you’ve seen The Sound of Music, you can picture what it looks like.

You don’t have to hike from Theth to Valbona to see this, though! I walked from Theth to Valbona Peak, turned around, and came back down.

And the views were more than worth it.

If you’re coming to Theth, you have to visit Valbona Peak.

2. Blue Eye of Theth

You see the Blue Eye of Theth in pictures and think, “It can’t possibly look like that in real life.”

But this is one of those attractions that matches the pictures perfectly.

The Blue Eye of Theth is a body of (extremely) cold, beautiful aqua blue water. Visitors come here to cool off and relax next to the water.

Blue Eye in Theth

A small restaurant nearby (and vendors along the way) sells drinks and snacks, so you don’t need to bring much.

You can visit the Blue Eye on a tour, which usually involves a van driver taking you to the entrance point.

Or, you can hike from Theth to the Blue Eye, which I strongly recommend. The trails are apparent and easy to follow. 

And the views you get along the way make the sweaty hike (and the following swim) worth it.

3. Lock-in Tower of Theth

The Lock-In Tower of Theth (Tower of Nikoll Koçeku) is a valuable piece of the cultural and historical heritage of the region.

It’s been around for hundreds of years and once served as a holding area for Kanun prisoners.

Theth Lock-in Tower
Credit | Adam Jones

If you’re unfamiliar with the Kanun, Albanians followed the traditional oral Albanian laws in the 15th century.

Today, however, it merely serves as a landmark for visitors and Albanians.

Great for a short visit; you can pair this with one of the many hikes you’ll be doing!

4. Visit Grunas Waterfall

The Grunas Waterfall is another excellent hike option. The park protects the waterfall, so the area remains clear of trash and as beautiful as ever!

It takes about an hour to hike to the waterfall from Theth, but the calm waters are an excellent reward for the end.

Grunas Waterfall
Credit | Leeturtle

Plus, you’re sure to be joined by other hikers. 

So, bring along some snacks and drinks and enjoy a nice picnic next to this beautiful waterfall.

5. Wander the hiking trails

This one is broad, but you could spend an entire day wandering the hiking trails that run through the park.

And you’d still have some left over.

The author walks on a trail in Theth National Park

The outdoors draw everyone to this area, and the trails are perfect for spending your short trip enjoying the area’s nature. 

You may even get lucky and see one of the endangered Golden Eagles.

There are many resources for finding routes (if you don’t want to wander), but I used Wikiloc and found a lot of good trails.

I’ll also cover some of the best ones shortly.

6. Roam the historical village of Theth

Theth is a beautiful little village.

With a scattering of hotels and houses, beautiful grasslands, dense forests, and gorgeous mountains surrounding you, it’s hard not to fall in love with nature here. But by roaming this Balkan area’s cultural and historical center, you learn more about the region’s historical heritage.

Most of the families in this area have been here for centuries and are proud to call this area home. So, chatting with locals is a perfect way to get even more from the experience and the region.

Nature will always be there, but the people won’t.

Best hiking trails to explore in Theth

  1. Theth to Valbona
  2. Grunas Waterfall Hike
  3. Thethi Paradise Hike
  4. Theth to Blue Eye Hike
  5. Valbona Pass Hike

1. Theth to Valbona Hike

The hike from Theth to Valbona is one of Albania’s most picturesque and memorable hikes.

Theth to Valbona Hike

Starting in Theth, the trail takes hikers through lush valleys and small streams. As you make your way up the mountain, you will be treated to spectacular views of the rugged Albanian landscape. Stop, enjoy the view, and take plenty of pictures.

Once you reach the peak, it’s down into the opposite valley until you reach the small town of Valbona.

You’ll see beautiful forests, occasional animals, and many fellow hikers along the way.

This incredible journey will leave a lasting impression and provide memories that will last a lifetime!

Theth to Valbona Hike Details

  • Distance: 10.5 miles
  • Elevation gain: 3,200 feet
  • Time: 7-8 hours

2. Grunas Waterfall Hike

The Grunas Waterfall Hike is a spectacular outdoor experience.

This hike is a great way to take in the stunning mountain scenery.

You’ll follow the trail through grassy meadows and between tall trees before finally arriving at the waterfall. It’s a perfect hike for a family or someone looking for a relaxing stroll.

The hike is relatively easy and can be completed in just a few hours, making it perfect for beginners and experienced hikers.

Whether you’re looking for an adventure or want to take in some incredible natural beauty, Grunas Waterfall Hike is worth checking out!

Grunas Waterfall Hike Details

  • Distance: ~ 1.5 miles
  • Elevation gain: 100+ feet
  • Time: 1-2 hours

3. Thethi Paradise Hike

Admittedly, this is one I found on Wikiloc.

But, it’s an excellent trail and takes you through the best parts of Theth National Park.

Hike between the enormous mountains, walk along a river and across old bridges, and visit the excellent Blue Eye of Theth. After a challenging hike, dip into its cool (read: freezing) waters and relax next to it.

But you’re not finished. After all, this hike isn’t for beginners.

Also, bring plenty of water as you may only come across a few shops or water springs.

Thethi Paradise Hike Details

  • Distance: 15 miles
  • Elevation gain: 3,300 feet
  • Time: 8-12 hours

4. Theth to Blue Eye Hike

I’ve mentioned this place a few times in this post because it’s one of the most popular attractions in Theth.

Theth to Blue Eye Hike scenery

And that’s because it’s worth visiting. Not only is the water and the area beautiful — which they are — but the hike is equally stunning.

You’ll head south out of Theth, and as you do, you’ll weave in and out of the lush forest, wide open green fields, and over-rushing gorges. I’d even go as far as to say the hike is better than the Blue Eye.

But maybe I was in a great mood.

Regardless, you should do this hike on your visit.

Theth to Blue Eye Hike Details

  • Distance: 5 miles
  • Elevation gain: 900 feet
  • Time: 3-4 hours

What do you want to do in Theth National Park?

The northern part of Albania was my favorite during my trip.

And it’ll be yours, too.

So, let me know what you plan on doing on a visit to Albania!

And, if you want more, check out my Albania Travel Guide page for all my posts about this beautiful country.

author avatar
Kyle Cash Owner
Kyle is the writer behind The Travel Runner. He’s a full-time traveler and adventurer who’s visited over 20 countries, including places like Thailand, Mexico, Vietnam, and Albania.