6 must-see destinations in the National Park of Valbona

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Tropoja is commonly known for the National Park of Valbona Valley, which for years now, has turned into one of the greatest tourist attractions of northern Albania.

Euronews Albania is bringing you some of the most unique sites that are definitely worth a visit.

Canyon and Spring of Shoshan

Canyon of Shoshan, Credits: Erblin Vukaj

Around 6 km in the northeast of the city of Bajram Curr, in the Shoshan village at the entrance of the park of Valbona, the river has formed a remarkable canyon in the midst of the mountain massif of Shkëlzen (2,404 m) from the northeast and the Alps, on the west of the mountain known as “Maja e Potkuqit” (850 m).

A visit to this site is to die for and definitely not worth skipping on.

On a bridge rising above the canyon, you can enjoy the breathtaking view of the river of Valbona, whereas if you go a little more downhill, at a site passing the gorge, you can find the perfect spot, where swimming enthusiasts and adventure seekers can have a swim in the river’s crystal waters.

River of Valbona, ‘Travellers’

Close by, you can find the “Spring of Shoshan”, a natural water spring known as a natural monument, where you can also find a hundred-year-old mill known as the ‘Bajram Curri Mill’.

Cave of Dragobia

Trail to Cave of Dragobia

Known mainly from the elegy of renowned Albanian writer, Fan S. Noli, written in the honor of Bajram Curri, who died here in 1925, the ‘Cave of Dragobia’ is a significantly interesting site, that is worth visiting by hiking enthusiasts as well as those interested in exploring the marvels of nature.

Covering a distance of around 2.6 km on uneven terrains, the trail to the cave is relatively easy to cross and it is also visibly marked.

Old Mill of Valbona

Old Mill, Shoshan, Tropoja.

Around 10 km from Dragobia, on the banks of the Valbona river, you can get to the old mill with the same name. The mill was reconstructed several times and can be reached through a pedestrian bridge.

From this bridge, you will be able to enjoy a much better view of the colors, sounds and flow of the Shoshan river, as the distance is much smaller. This site has turned into a favorite attraction for visitors and we can’t blame them.

Lake of Xhema

Xhema Lake, ‘Travellers’

Formed by rainfall as well as melting snow, the lake of Xhema can be reached by a 10-15-minute walk from the main road. The lake in the middle of a small forest offers a beautiful landscape, especially during spring and fall, when the level of water is at its maximum.

Peaks of the Alps

Valbona valley, Photo: Erblin Vukaj

The Valbona valley offers an immense variety of possibilities for those passionate about mountain climbing or hiking, as it has the largest number of peaks with an average height of over 2 000 meters, in all of Albania.

The most notable ones are: “Maja e Çet-Harushës” (2,042 m), “Maja e Çeremit/Gjarprit” (2,213 m), “Maja e Ismet Sali-Bruçajt” (2,235 m), “Maja e Thatë” (2,406 m), “Maja e Peçmarës” (2,424 m), “Maja e Kollatës” (2,554 m), “Maja e Zezë” (2,585 m) and the famous “Maja e Jezercës” (2,694 m).

It is highly advisable that you get coordinated with a local specialized group as experience built up through the years is necessary when going on any rock-climbing initiatives.

In addition, if you aren’t the rock-climbing type and don’t enjoy long hikes either, a simple stroll on the main road in Valbona is still a breathtaking and once-in-a-lifetime experience for just about anyone.

Waterfall of Valbona

Valbona Waterfall, Photo: Erblin Vukaj

Valbona springs from around 5 km on the west of Rragam, the last inhabited village in the valley. The road that takes you there is considered averagely simple and the trip is advised to be undertaken only after the snow has completely melted, in the spring, as at colder times the terrain becomes very difficult to pass.

All in all, Valbona is full of marvels only steps away from one another and simply waiting to be discovered!

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