Northern Albanian

 

Date of Travel: 1st – 5th October 2018

We crossed the border from Montenegro into Albania, this was surprisingly easy and took no time at all and was free of charge. We crossed using the most southern border at Muriqan into Sukobin which is close to the city Shkodër.

We didn’t spend much time in Shkodër, we just used the ATM to get some Albanian currency called Leke and brought an Albanian sim card as it isn’t in the EU. There are plenty of stalls/shops selling sim cards along the road. We then headed to the promenade for a lovely late lunch around the vast lake Shkodër. This is the largest lake in southern Europe and feels as if your looking out to sea.

Lake Shkodër

We then left Shkodër to drive to Koman so we could go on a ferry trip on Lake Koman. This drive took us around 3 hours as it is an extremely windy, steep and rough road with potholes galore. Remember we are driving Doris our motor home so could only drive 15 miles an hour, maximum!

Be brave…

Please do NOT let the road put you off, the views are absolutely spectacular and well worth it!!!

See, told you the views are beautiful…

I lost count of the amount of times we said wow and beautiful, it truly is breath taking, just drive slow and you will be fine. We spent the night parked not far from the bridge down by the river, we found the spot in the App “park 4 night”. We booked our ferry at 9.30pm for the following day (told you we are unorganised) to go from Koman to Fierze at 9am this cost us €78 for 2 people & Doris, we didn’t have to pay for Alf, our dog.

We booked it using: https://komanilakeferry.com/en/services/

All aboard

Alf, enjoying the views.

Koman Lake = Wow, WOw and WOW!!!

Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t great.  It was pretty cold and cloudy but this did not spoil the beautiful views on the ferry crossing. Sheer mountains, drop dramatically straight into the lake.

The steep mountain edges are mainly unspoilt with a few houses here and there built steep up on the mountain edge. The only possible transport must have been by a small boat followed by a climb. I would love to know how on earth they got the materials up there to build them or how they do their shopping and go about their everyday lives. At parts of the lake the mountains were not quite so steep and there are small communities farming the land. It really was brilliant to see how people live, I could imagine Ben Fogle filming ‘New Lives in the wild’ here.

The trip was well worth the money as the scenery is truly spectacular…

We arrived in Fierze and drove to Valbona (Valbone according to satnav), the road was in great condition unlike the last. Unfortunately, when we arrived in Valbona the weather had got even worse and was now pouring with rain and the forecast wasn’t good for the following day. We decided that we were not going to stay the night as didn’t have the correct trekking clothes and the temperature was going to get down to 6 at night (we are warm weather people). So we went for a quick 45 minute walk through the woods to give Alf a run and had a beer followed by a coffee (same price) in one of the hotels.

Alf and Ian enjoying a walk in the woods.

It was such a shame as once again the views were incredible and had the weather been better, we could have easily spent a day or two here.

We then began driving back down the mountains towards the coast on the SH22 road. This drive is absolutely stunning and is one of the best that we have driven in Europe.  And a bonus, it is pretty much tarmac the whole way and there is very little traffic except for a few goats.

It was now dark so we decided to pull over and sleep in the 1st town we came across called Fushearez.

The following day the spectacular views continued as we made our way down the winding mountains heading for warmer weather.

Miles and miles of sand.

It didn’t take us long to find a huge sandy beach as far as the eye could see in Kune-Vain-Tale Reserve.  Where we spend the rest of the day and night parked directly on the beach for free.

Just Parfect…

What a view to end the day.

 

To continue reading about our road trip, please click on Northwest Albania – Albanian Hospitality

Thank you for reading xxx

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