If you are planning your winter holiday, look no further than vacationing in the Albanian Alps. Here, you will find stylish accommodation coupled with an immersive local experience. Experiences like these are increasingly hard to find in Europe. Although beautiful hotels and camp sites are available throughout Albania, we absolutely recommend staying in one of the winter guesthouses in the Albanian Alps. Specifically, the guesthouses in Valbona, Thethi, Raze, Boga, Puke and Lepushe are tried and true, each seamlessly marrying comfort with culture.
A kind of adventure holidays in its totality, including travel, accommodation in guesthouses with a tradition of hospitality from the owners, snow activities even though not very sophisticated, life extraordinary experience from the exchange with the local people in these areas.
In the heart of the Alps in north-east Albania lies Valbona Valley. Following the national road to Prizren, Kosovo from Tirana will lead you to the Tropoje region, and once there to Valbone. Although a longer drive, this 5-6 hour trip will lead you up to an elevation of 650 meters, and through some of the most scenic areas of Albania.
In the valley, you will find Kol Gjoni Guesthouse. This traditional house has about 13 rooms and is suitable to host families or group of friends.
In the winter you can enjoy the warmth of the fire-place in the homey environment while listening to live music with ‘lahute’ (a traditional music instrument used in this area) played by the owner of the house, Kol.
Enjoy the many ski activities the guesthouse offers, most notably snow shoeing or skiing. Come back after a day of skiing to a traditional dish.
Your guides will be the sons of the family, both of whom are professional English speaking guides.
The Rilindja Complex is an the ideal place to stay in Valbona. Here, you can choose between staying in a chalet or in the comfort of a recently remodeled hotel room.
One of the first accommodation properties in the area, the Rilindja Complex was instrumental in opening up the region to tourism.
Taste fresh trout fish from their natural fishpond while relaxing and exploring the many types of entertainment found throughout the house.
Ask the owner, Alfred Selimi, or any of his big family if you have any requests or would like a professional mountain guide.
Thethi is one of the most sought out alpine areas in Albania. Located at 700 meters above sea level in the heart of Thethi National Park, it is one of the most pristine areas in the north. A few guesthouses can be found here, each one with a capacity of 6 to 20 rooms allowing groups of up to 30 people. However, this area is most comfortably experienced in early or late winter as the valley is blocked for two months in January and February. The more adventurous traveller could take the 7-8 hour long access road from Shkodra through the Shala Valley to reach Theth during this time. While there, we recommend you stay in one of the winter guesthouses the region offers.
One of the guesthouses with the highest standard of accommodation is the Villa Gjecaj.
Located in the center of the valley, it is the first guesthouse visitors coming up from Valbona will see.
The amenities include 8 rooms, a cozy restaurant with a fire-place and a kitchen with local traditional products.
Bujtina Polia, one the first guesthouses open for tourists lies only 100 meters from the iconic Church in the valley.
The property is managed by two adventurous brothers who would love to show you the area by snow scooter, skis, or snow shoes.
If you don’t want to travel too far from a major city, be sure to check out Razma valley. Just 43 kilometers from Shkodra, Razma can give you an excellent experience of the mountains with little travel time.
In addition to winter sports, Razma offers horseback riding, trekking and hiking.
The Natural Razma Resort is the only property in Razma that has an indoor swimming pool.
This, in addition to its high standards and capacity for big groups, makes it one of the most preferred destinations in the area.
“Rruga e Mullirit” Agriturizem Farm is a village house with 3 rooms in Dedaj, Shkodra.
Because of its size, it is perfectly suitable for family holidays or small friends groups.
Here, you and your friends can cook together, relaxing in the cozy common spaces found on this property.
The Boga Alpine Resort found in the village of Boga, around one hour from Schkodra.
It notably has an outdoor swimming pool, garden and terrace for families and group of friends. On the way to Theth, it’s a great place to stop and relax on your way to the Alps.
Perparim Laci Guesthouse is in the suburban area of the city of Puka in northern Albania.
A uniquely gifted family of alpinists and athletes created this property as a way to share their way of life with others.
The property offers around 10 rooms, homemade dishes, outstanding hospitality and a sense of home.
Enjoy your holidays here with activities like skiing on the nearby ski slope, among other activities offered by the family.
‘Devin’ Agro-tourism Farm is a farm house in the alpine village of Qerret near Puka City.
There are only a few other accommodation alternatives in the area. This means that although close to a city, Qerret is largely untouched by tourism.
This guesthouse has 3 bedrooms accommodating a total of 7 people, an ideal getaway for a family or two.
Guesthouse Alpini is found in the north-west corner of the Albanian Alps in the village Lepushe.
This guesthouse is one of the three main stops on the alpine tour of Valbone, Theth, and Lepushe. It is one of the wonderful spots in the alps. This guesthouse can be visited at any time, and is one of the only still open in the winter.
Furthermore, they offer unmatched hospitality, good homemade dishes, snow hiking and ski activities.
Also in the guesthouse you can see the preparation processes of the dried meat and other winter homemade food. The owner Luigj and his family are always open to host you.
In conclusion, these are just a few of the ideal places to stay in the winter in the Albanian alps. However, they are the cream of the crop in terms of hospitality, cultural immersion and access to winter activities.
What other destinations would you like to visit in Albanian Alps? And what range of prices for accommodation would you be interested in?