The flagship region for mountain tourism is the Albanian Alps, the National Parks of Thethi, Valbona and the Region of Kelmendi. The “Accursed Mountains” are both truly spectacular and virtually impenetrable except for a series of high passes that link the small number of farmsteads and homes in the valleys below to the outside world during the summer months.
A national park of 8,000 hectares, it is one of the most beautiful natural areas in Albania. The park lies about 22 km from the alpine city of Bajram Curri. Before entering the valley you will find the spring (vrellen) of Shoshan, located only 3 km away from Bajram Curri.
This spring rushes through limestone fissures on its way to the Valbona River creating an attractive canyon, 2-3 m wide and 50 m deep. After entering the valley, you will pass several picturesque villages. The first, with alpine style houses, is called Dragobia, and it is where the valley narrows. Past Dragobia, at the foot of the mountain where the Cerremi stream joins the Valbona River, is the famous cave where the national hero Bajram Curri was besieged and killed. It was after this event that the city took his name.
Valbona is located 25km away from the city of Bajram Curri and is the most important inhabited center of the valley.It is full of traditional houses that create a picturesque view in symmetry with the natural wonders of the valley, which widens again at this point. In Valbona, there is a comfortable and traditional hotel, or you may have the opportunity to stay at a village home, as the inhabitants’ generosity and hospitality are well known.
The area is also known for its characteristic regional cooking, with specialties such as mazja, flija (a many layered pancake-like dish cooked outdoors over open coals and steamed, often served with local honey), and pitja. Beyond Selimaj, the road continues through the valley with breathtaking vistas with rich colors of both spring life and of the snow that covers the nearby craggy peaks.