Albania doesn’t have ski resorts but it does have excellent ski opportunities, and one of the best and most scenic of all is the beautiful Valbona Valley, in the Tropoja District of Northern Albania.
Skiing in Valbona Valley is a discovery journey. Tourists don’t flock here from all over the world – there are no ski lifts to take you up the peak; and no maintenance vehicles on the slopes. But there is a national park, Valbona Valley National Park (Parku Kombëtar i Luginës së Valbonës) – a wild mountainous region, with rich history, and traditions waiting to be discovered. It is a place where travelers are welcomed with a smile, and with the warmest human generosity you’ve ever imagined.
Valbona Valley is a year-round destination, however, winters are more scenic, and wilder – ideal for those with an adventure spirit. The village of Valbona is secluded, with few lodging possibilities for travelers, no stores, post office, doctors, gas station and so on.
If a Journey to Valbona tempts you, you can stay at Alfred Selimaj’s Rilindja hotel, where the restaurant serves up traditional Northern Albanian fare, including whole goats roasted on a spit. There’s a camping on site as well, charging only 5€ per person per night plus expenses for electricity and other services.
Another option, as interesting, is the Quku i Valbonës (‘Valbona Hollow’) guesthouse – a unique experience as well, where guests are treated with delicious traditional meals cooked with fresh ingredients grown at the farm. The prices are mind-blowing: 15€ per person, per night with breakfast; and 25€ per person, per night with 3 meals.
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