Photos from Albania

OzOutback
Images of the World
Flag of Albania

In Albania's northern Malësia e Madhe mountains

The village of Theth in the valley of the Shala river has always been isolated in the Malësia e Madhe (= "Big Mountains") in far northern Albania: in winter it is almost inaccessible when heavy snows close the road from Shkodër to Theth. A three hour rough and bumpy ride from the village of Bogë, over the Buni i Thorës pass, offers spectacular views of the snowcapped mountains. During the short tourist season (June to September when it can be assumed the road is open) there are small hotels or home stays overlooking the Shala valley and in Theth.

Mountains near Bogë
 
Malësia e Madhe
 
Malësia e Madhe
 
Mountain view
 
Malësia e Madhe
 
House in Lelys
 
Lelys farm houses
 
Houses in Lelys
 
Mountains near Lelys
 
Derelict houses
 
Suspension bridge
 
Valley near Lelys
 
Syri i kaltër
 
View to farmhouse
 
Malësia e Madhe view
 
Mountains near Lelys
 
Small waterfall
 
Derelict houses
 
Lelys views
 
Sheep farm
 
View to Lelys
 
Hotel near Theth
 
View to Theth
 
Kapllaj Restaurant
 

About 10 kilometres south of Theth, along a rough but spectacular road hugging the slopes above the Shala river, is the tiny village of Lelys where life seems to have been unchanged for centuries. This is truly one of Europe's most remote areas where the age-old traditions of the Kanun of Dukagjin still survives, with its great hospitality to visitors. However, there are signs the area is losing inhabitants as there are abandoned houses, falling in disrepair, a great pity as the style of the houses is typical of the area. From Lelys an hours walk through the glorious mountain landscape leads to the "Syri i kaltër", literally "Blue Eye", a small crystal clear pool with icy cold water and a waterfall.