Roadtrip Albania - with the 4x4-Camper to Theth

Mit dem Allrad Camper nach Theth
With the 4x4-Camper to Theth

Albania. The trip to the mountain village Theth was the first stage of our road trip in Albania with our Iveco camper. The village with only 4.000 inhabitants is situated in the Albanian Alps at an altitude of 742 meters and can only be reached via an unpaved road. The landscape resembles our Alps and the peaks reach up to 2,600 meters high. In my following article you will learn what to see and do on the way. You will also get tips for your roadtrip and recommendations for parking lots for the night.

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Table of Contents and Quick Navigation

Drive from the City of Koplik to Theth
Theth - Tradition and Tourism
What is there to see and do?
Tips for your Road Trip to Theth

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

Drive from the City of Koplik to Theth

From Koplik to Theth it is about 59 kilometres. The route can be roughly divided into three sections:

  • Asphalt road over land about 35 km
  • Narrow asphalt road uphill to the Terthorja Pass about 15 km
  • Terthorja Pass in the Albanian Alps to Theth about 9 km
Roadtrip Allrad Camper Theth
The asphalt road leads about 35 km over land until the hairpin bends begin.

As soon as the first hairpin bend is reached, it actually only really starts. Now the narrow asphalt road leads us in 28 hairpin bends uphill to the Terthorja Pass at 1,630 meters altitude. I constantly change back and forth between second and first gear and am glad that no other vehicle meets me in the hairpin bends. On the way there are great views of the valley. Shortly after the pass, an inn invites you to linger. We enjoy the view of the Cem valley and fortify ourselves here before descending again on a dirt road. Welcome to the Albanian Alps!

Roadtrip Allrad Camper Theth
A well-deserved break at the Terthorja Pass at 1,630 metres above sea level. Photo: Dr. Till Pasquay
Roadtrip Allrad Camper Theth
Hopefully nobody comes across

With our 4x4 camper the road to Theth through the Albanian Alps is a real pleasure. Potholes are no problem and even if the loose gravel causes a tire to spin, three others will grab it. But we especially learned to appreciate the four-wheel drive on the way back: it was raining cats and dogs and the road was muddy and smooth. Sometimes it also means keeping your nerve. Namely when one of the big orange construction site trucks comes along. One of them then has to reverse until the next possible way around allows the truck to drive past. The trucks bring earth and gravel to fill the potholes. In this way they prepare the track for the expansion. Soon there will be one less gravel road in Albania.

Roadtrip Allrad Camper Theth
Roadtrip with the 4x4-Camper to Theth - view over the runway on the Albanian alps

Somewhat different oncoming Traffic

But it wasn't just trucks that came to meet us here. Even a stray carriage suddenly blocked our way. Good that we were two of us. After I had turned the pony with the carriage around and led it to an alternative place, our camper could pass. Then I turned the carriage around again and sent the pony on its way to the village. We had seen the pony carriage before and watched how two half strong boys drove the animal energetically uphill. That was quite right for them, that their pony has run away.

Roadtrip Allrad Camper Theth
Surprise on our roadtrip to Theth in Albania: A masterless carriage comes towards us on the slope. Photo: Dr. Till Pasquay

Ideas for your next Road Trip

Are you looking for ideas and inspiration for your next road trip or for your camping stove? Then I can recommend these books*.

You can order the books 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.

Theth - Tradition and Tourism

The Theth National Park was founded in 1976. It is a beautiful example of a rural, ancient cultural landscape that stretches through the valley. The valley is surrounded by high mountains, mountain forests and pastures. The jagged peaks of several two-thousand-metre peaks also add a crown of dolomite and limestone to the alpine landscape.

In the village itself, the large grey stone houses lie far apart. In between there are vegetable gardens and meadows. A rural idyll, where you can simply let yourself drift during a walk.

Theth in den Albanischen Alpen
The village church in Theth is a popular photo motive

Tourism in Theth is still within acceptable limits. There are programmes that promote the development of sustainable tourism and open up new income opportunities for the inhabitants. This is the reason why there is a small tourist information centre and also numerous overnight accommodation and camping facilities. We have therefore renounced wild camping and placed ourselves on the meadow of a guesthouse. Our camper immediately became a popular attraction for the boss's little children.

Theth in den Albanischen Alpen
View of the tranquil village of Theth - where time seems to have stood still.

You don't want to drive the route to Theth yourself or have only little time? Then maybe the guided 2-day tour from Tirana to Theth*is something for you.

What is there to see and do?

  • Idyllically situated old church from 1892. The church tower was removed during communism and the building was used as a health centre.
  • Blood revenge tower Kulla e Ngujimit: here defendants were able to escape blood revenge for up to 15 days - until the verdict was passed.
  • Museum in the old weir house
  • Corn mill at the river at the village entrance
  • Which we missed, I'm afraid: There are several caves in the Albanian Alps. You can organize a local guide in Theth.
  • There are several hiking possibilities on well marked paths. It is even possible to hike to the Valbona valley. From there you can continue by bus and then take the ferry across Lake Komani. From there you can take the bus back to the starting point. We walked this distance from Theth to the Valbona Pass (1.812 m) and back to Theth and were thrilled by the beauty and seclusion.

Further information about the Albanian Alps can be found here.

Albanische Alpen
The view from Valbons Pass is simply breathtaking. Photo: Dr. Till Pasquay
Albanische Alpen
The hiking trail between Theth and Valbona Pass is particularly scenic.

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

Tips for your Road Trip to Theth

Getting there: The trip to Theth over the Terthorja Pass and the dirt road is only safe during the snow-free period, i.e. between mid-May and the end of September. It is slowly accessible by car. However, neither the vehicle nor the drivers enjoy this, as we were told by two Swedes who drove the track in their snow-white Volvo station wagons.

The gravel road is already being prepared for expansion. Larger potholes are filled here.

Refuelling: Fill up first, because there is no petrol station in Theth or on the piste. The last petrol station before Theth is about 13 kilometres behind Koplik.

Drinking Water: There are several springs along the piste where you can get water. We drank it without having to regret it later. Also down in the valley shortly before the hairpin bends there is a larger spring on the left side of the road.

Pitches for the Night: In Theth itself you can stand at the guesthouses and thus support something for the inhabitants. The season is short, so every guest counts.
There is another nice parking place on top of the parking lot at the Terthorja Pass. If you drive through the parking lot to the end, you can stand relatively unseen.
In addition, several slopes branch off from the asphalt road in the valley towards the northwest. Here you can also find nice places.

Mit dem Allrad Camper nach Theth - Unser erster Stellplatz für die Nacht in Albanien
Roadtrip with the camper to Theth - Our first pitch for the night in Albania
Our pitch for two nights in Theth

Food: There is a small shop in Theth where you can buy food. There are also restaurants and several guesthouses offering food.

What else?If your camper is a bit higher, you should pay attention to low hanging cables in the village.

Book Recommendations for Albania

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

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


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