After visiting Kosovo last year, I was told that I needed to visit Albania. I started looking up photos–and I was sold instantly. I visited Albania this summer and it was my favorite trip of 2017 hands down. Why? The beautiful nature, incredible hiking, historic cities, warm weather, delicious byrek, and decent prices… What else could one ask for in a vacation? Keep scrolling for beautiful photos of Albania, including photos of the most beautiful places in Albania that we visited. I truly hope this post inspires you to visit Albania.
The photos of Albania that you’ll see here
- Theth to Valbona trail / Valbona
- Assorted countryside (Northern Albania)
- Koman/Kolmani Lake
- E̶v̶e̶r̶y̶ ̶b̶y̶r̶e̶k̶ ̶s̶h̶o̶p̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶A̶l̶b̶a̶n̶i̶a̶ ̶ (Sorry, I was too busy eating to take photos.)
We didn’t get to the beach or the sea (unforgivable, I know!), but I hope to return to Albania in the near future to see more of this beautiful country. If I missed your favorite beautiful place in Albania, tell me where to go on my next trip. (I already have Vlora, the Southern Blue Eye, and Gjirokaster on my bucket list.) Thanks to Rohan & Max, Lavdi, and Cherene for being great company and the subjects in my photos.
Note: All photos are all rights reserved by Karen at Wanderlustingk. If you are part of the media and you would like to share these photos with your audience, you are allowed to share a maximum of 5 photos with credit and a link to my website. You cannot share all 50. I am happy to send HQ photos if you contact me, but if you rehost ALL of my photos without permission, you will be contacted by a photo licensing agency about copyright infringement.
Photos of Theth, Albania
When we were in Kosovo
, everyone told us that we had to visit Theth after going hiking the mountains outside of Prizren.
I hadn’t really heard of Theth at this point, but when I decided that we were visiting Albania, I became obsessed with hiking Theth. I am not the world’s best hiker, but the hiking in Theth is worth the struggle. Anyways, here’s some gorgeous photos of Theth to start off with… (You can organize a trip from Shkodra.)
Beginning of the Theth hike
End of Theth hike and the famous church of Theth
The Kulla is visible
The Kulla / Blood Feud tower upclose
This is the Kulla e ngujimit aka the blood feud tower. Northern Albania has long had its own set of laws referred to as the Kanun, which specifies etiquette to punishments for murders. Historically, this included the ability to have a vengeance killing (although only men can be assassinated; not women, the elderly, children, or sworn virgins). A kulla more generally is a fortified tower, however this one was used to negotiate blood feuds, which can last for generations. Blood feuds were banned during communist times and the tower is now an tourist attraction.
The blue eye of Theth
There’s two blue eyes (Syri kaltër) in Albania: one in the North and one in the South. We didn’t get to the Southern Blue Eye, but the Blue Eye of Theth was absolutely beautiful (although freezing cold).
Crossing a wooden bridge to the blue eye of Theth
It is absolutely amazing. Click below for the video!
Above the Blue eye of Theth is a little restaurant with a wooden platform directly above the water. You have to climb a wooden ladder upwards for one of the best views of the blue eye of Theth!
We were greeted by friendly locals and goats
Nothing like meeting the wildlife… (Ursini’s Viper)
This woman was crossing the river above Theth with a ton of sticks on her back. I was a bit nervous about crossing, but she convinced me that it was fine although Lavdi and I held onto each other for safety.
It’s almost impossible to skip Tirana, Albania’s lively capital. The city is very modern, but I quite liked the Pyramid of Tirana. It was built in honor of Enver Hoxha and designed by his daughter. The Pyramid is partially used for broadcasting now although it’s mostly abandoned at this point. For those who love post-communist architecture, taking photos in Tirana will be a blast.
The infamous Pyramid of Tirana
One of the best parts of the Pyramid of Tirana: Sliding down from the top!
BYREK. If you don’t byrek-fast, you haven’t visited Albania. 😉
Skanderbeg Square, the heart of Tirana
Theth to Valbona and Valbona
The trail between Theth and Valbona is absolutely stunning and I encourage ANYONE visiting Albania to visit this beautiful region. The hike is moderately difficult. I advise not carrying a large bag if possible and wearing proper footwear as the path is quite steep at times.
View from the top of Valbona
Arrival in Valbona
View from our hotel in Valbona
Photos of Berat Albania
Berat is a UNESCO recognized city in Southern Albania and it is absolutely STUNNING. The city is estimated to be over 2,000 years old and you can see the city that many call “The City of A Thousand Windows.” More comically, if you stay in one of the historic guest houses (we stayed in a guesthouse in the Fortress for 30 euros for the night), you can practically walk on someone else’s roof. All the alleyways of Berat are absolutely stunning and Berat Castle (at the top) is the prize for making it there. Be warned that the hill up to Berat Fortress is a steep and long, so don’t overpack or bring your rolling suitcase. Berat has lots of adorable cats.
Berat from across the river
Cherene enjoying the view
One of the many friendly cats that we met
View out the bathroom window (Really!)
Enjoying a Tirana beer in Berat with a view
The cutest shopkeeper that I’ve ever seen.
Entrance to Berat
Photos of Shkodra / Shkodër
Shkodër is one of Albania’s centres of culture and Shkodër is a beautiful city in its own right once you get into the historic city centre. It’s full of adorable cafes, lively bars, and cozy shops. At night, the centre (practically) becomes a catwalk for locals in beautiful outfits going out for dinner/a walk. Those heading to Theth or Montenegro will most likely be passing through Shkodra by bus, so take an extra day or two to explore it properly as it’s more charming than I expected with delicious food.
Countryside in Northern Albania
It’s almost impossible to take a photo of the Albanian countryside without including a photo of a bunker in Albania. There are estimated to be over 173,000 bunkers in Albania due to Enver Hoxha’s paranoia that a war would break out with Yugoslavia or the USSR.
Photos of Kolmani Lake / Lake Kolman
Kolmani Lake is one of the big attractions in Northern Albania. I had assumed the lake had existed naturally a long time and when I looked at beautiful photos of Lake Kolman, I was sold when the organizer of our ride to Theth booked us ferry tickets on the way back. Lake Kolman is actually a reservoir that was artificially formed in the 1980s. I would call the Lane Kolman Ferry more of a tourist boat than a ferry as it goes slowly to allow you to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Albania.
Albanian flag with two headed eagle on it fluttering in the wind
Have you been to Albania? Where was the most beautiful place in Albania that you visited?
Which photo was your favorite?
Psssss Albanians, I’ll be back, so tell me where I should go next in Albania!
If you enjoyed this, I have a post showing off 46+ beautiful photos of Kosovo.