Road Trip Albania - "Offroad" Track at the Black Drin

Roadtrip Albanien -
Road Trip Albania - "Offroad" Track at the Black Drin

Albania. Now it really starts, I think to myself, and I boldly turn off the asphalt road. The tyres crunch on the gravel and my eyes light up with excitement. About 56 kilometres of track lie before us, which will lead us along the Black Drin through the mountainous landscape of north-eastern Albania. The ride on the 4×4 track along the Black Drin described in the following article was part of our road trip in Albania with our 4x4 camper. In my article you will learn what to expect on the track along the Black Drin. Where is the most beautiful view of the river valley? And where are there nice places to park for the night? (title photo by Dr. Till Pasquay)

Non-solicited, unpaid advertising. This article contains affiliate links*, marked with an asterisk.


Table of Contents and Quick Navigation

4x4 or no 4x4?
The "Offroad" track at the Black Drin
View of the River Valley
Pitches for the Night

Here you can read my main article about our Road Trip Albania - 15 Highlights & Tips and Route.


4x4 or no 4x4?

The route along the Black Drin lies in a sparsely populated, mountainous and impassable area. So I do not expect that we will encounter many other vehicles here. And if we do, it will probably just be the farmer with his tractor, enthusiasts with their off-road vehicles or adventurers with expedition vehicles. Far from it! Already after five minutes the first car is coming towards us. A completely normal car. I drive our camper as far as possible to the edge of the road, greet it friendly and let the car pass by. As soon as I want to go on, the second car is already coming towards us. Then the third. We are welcomed eagerly with waving and loud honking. It is a whole wedding party that comes towards us with ten simple cars. All vehicles that definitely don't have four-wheel drive. I wonder if they're lost.

Roadtrip Schwarzer Drin in Albanien
In curves, the slope winds down to the riverbed of the Black Drin.

In the map on Google Maps the gravel road along the Schwarzer Drin is wrongly entered as a paved road (status 07/18). The parallel running paved road, however, is marked as a gravel road. There one gets quickly confused and ends up on the wrong way. Maybe the wedding party was like that and they turned around after a while. Because I can hardly imagine that they drove the whole distance with their cars. Because as it went on the track became a bit more challenging for us in the 4WD camper to drive - but more about that later.

Pause auf dem Roadtrip auf der "Offroad"-Piste am Schwarzen Drin in Albanien
The "Offroad" track at the Black Drin was a highlight of our road trip in Albania. And also my birthday. Photo: Dr. Till Pasquay

The "Offroad" track at the Black Drin

After turning off the asphalt road (41°57'20.3″N 20°23'18.9″E), the track begins to wind downhill in serpentines. From up here you will always have great views of the river valley. Apart from a few potholes, the track has no difficulties in terms of driving. There are also always places where you can pull over to the right to take a break or let someone through. In the further course of the piste there is an adventurous looking wooden bridge to cross. With a little queasy feeling in my stomach I drive over our camper. Because with full diesel and water tanks we weigh about 4.2 tons.

Die erste Brücke auf der "Offroad"-Piste am Schwarzen Drin - Roadtrip Albanien
The first bridge on the track at the Black Drin was a bit unusual at the beginning of our road trip in Albania.

Later there was a second bridge over the Black Drin to cross (41°53'14.6″N 20°19'09.0″E). The ascent to the bridge was the most difficult part of the whole track. Because coming from the north it is steep downhill. The slope has deeply rinsed ruts. Now there is a right-angled bend leading to the bridge. While I drove on the bridge our camper had a strong inclination and I almost rammed the bridge with the front corner of our living cabin.

Roadtrip Albanien, Schwarzer Drin
The driveway to the second bridge at the black Drin does not look as wilsome as it felt.
Roadtrip Albanien, Schwarzer Drin
We did it! In the narrow bend to the second bridge, our cabin came dangerously close to the bridge superstructure.

On the last section of the track the area is a little more densely populated. Here the runway ended in a road construction site and then continued as an asphalt road. So it is foreseeable that the 4×4 runway will be further extended here and will become shorter in the future, if not disappear completely.


Book recommendation!
Albania Offroad-Guide: Selected Routes for Adventurers by Martina Kaspar*

The Hobo Team introduces readers to the most beautiful and pleasant routes and encourages them to explore the country in harmony with gentle tourism. A revival of the weak regions away from the tourist centres plays a major role in this. Twenty exciting long tours, described and illustrated in detail, and eleven detours to small destinations worth seeing are described in this very helpful guide. The book is an indispensable guide to prepare your off-road road trip in Albania.


View of the River Valley

For the most beautiful view of the river valley you have to make a little detour. But it's definitely worth it. And during the detour you will have the opportunity for a photo shoot of your vehicle on an adventurous looking bridge in the gorge.

Brücke auf dem Weg zum Aussichtspunkt, Roadtrip Albanien, Schwarzer Drin
Another bridge on the way to the viewpoint on the Schwarze Drin

From the main track, first turn right (41°55'52.6″N 20°21'36.8″E) and then go downhill for about 500 meters until you reach the river. Here is a nice place to have a break and also the opportunity to cool off in the water. You cross the Schwarzer Drin over a rusty bridge and go up again on the other bank until you reach the narrow right turn. At the side of the right bend you park your car and continue on foot (41°55'07.5″N 20°20'53.1″E). Above the river, a path leads uphill, parallel to the river towards the west. Follow it as far as possible until you reach the rocks (41°54'59.9″N 20°20'19.2″E). From here the view of the river valley is simply breathtaking.

Roadtrip Albanien, Schwarzer Drin
A great resting place on the way to the viewpoint on the valley of the Black Drin
Aussichtspunkt am Schwarzen Drin in Albanien
View of the valley of the Black Drin - here it was most beautiful!
Stables on the Black Drin. Typical for Albania were the stacks of hay that piled up in front of many farmsteads.
Towards the end of the piste there is another great view of the river valley.

Pitches for the Night

Between the town of Kruma and the city of Kukës we had one of the best sleeping places of our whole tour (42°06'21.1″N 20°20'43.5″E). It was located at an old side road of SH23, directly above the dammed up Drins. From here the view over the Drin was simply breathtaking. While we were standing there, three other cars came by and greeted us all friendly. After breakfast I had a hard time to get away from this beautiful place.

Stellplatz für die Nacht an der Parallelstraße der SH 23 am Schwarzen Drin - Roadtrip Albanien
Our parking place for the night at the parallel road of SH 23 before we continued at the Schwarzer Drin.
Roadtrip Albanien Stellplatz am Geburtstag
Breakfast with a view on my birthday at the parallel street of SH 23 at the Black Drin.

You need camping equipment? Maybe a GPS or new camping chairs? Take a look at Globetrotter*.

Coming from the north, you will always find nice pitches along the piste to the Drin, which are also suitable for the night. But as soon as you have crossed the second bridge, it gets more difficult. Because here the landscape is much more densely populated than in the northern part. There are fields, pastures, settlements and football pitches. The roads through the villages are narrow and we had to circle around quite a bit with our camper here. But when we got stuck in a street because of a parked car, we also got to know the friendliness of the Albanians: the owner of the car was found quickly, the car was driven away and we were offered some pears and water.

During a road trip in Albania you make contacts.

Book Recommendations for Albania

Do you want to know where the journey is going? Then I can recommend this travel guides* to you.

You can order the travel guides at Amazon by clicking on the pictures. If you buy a product via an affiliate link, I get a small commission and you help me to keep filling Fernweh-Motive with interesting articles. The product will not be more expensive for you and you do me a huge favor.


Have you ever been on a road trip in Albania? How did you like it and what were your highlights? Do you have any questions about my article? If yes, then write me a comment!

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Recommendations for further Reading

Do you love road trips as much as I do? Then you might also be interested in my articles about a Road trip with Lada Niva and roof tent in Georgia or about a Road Trip with Land Rover Series II to Iceland.

Road Trip Georgia: in 4×4 Lada Niva from Kutaisi through Svaneti
Mit Land Rover Serie II nach Island - ABC für einen "Offroad"-Trip
With Land Rover Series II to Iceland - ABC for an "Offroad"-Trip

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hallo Mareike,
    Danke, durch deinen tollen Blog haben wir den schönen Blick auf den Drinn gefunden…. darf ich das verlinken?
    Wenn du magst kannst du ja mal in meinem Blog vorbeischauen.

    Grüße Andreas

    • Hallo Andreas,
      das freut mich, ist soo schön dort. na, klar, Du kannst gerne auf meinen Beitrag verlinken.
      Sorry, dass meine Antwort etwas länger gedauert hat, ich war unterwegs in Norwegen.
      Liebe Grüße
      Mareike

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