Valley of Valbona
The Valbona River valley lies in the eastern part of the Albanian Alps. The national park of 8,000 hectares, it is one of the most beautiful natural areas in Albania. The park lies about 22 km from the alpine city of Bajram Curri. The spring of Shoshan is located 3 km away from Bajram Curri . This spring of Shoshan rushes through limestone fissures on its way to the Valbona River and creates an attractive canyon, about 2-3 m wide and 50 m deep. One of the attractions of he valley are also the picturesque villages. The first is Dragobia, with alpine style houses. Pasing Dragobia we will find the famous cave where the national hero Bajram Curri was besieged and killed. Just from this fact the city took his name in his onor.
Valbona is located 25 km away from the city of Bajram Curri and is the most important inhabited center of the valley. It is full of traditional houses and also guesthouses. These create a picturesque view in symmetry with the natural wonders of the valley. In your trip to Valbona you will have the opportunity to stay at this guesthouses. The area is also known for its characteristic regional cooking, with specialties such as mazja, flija and pitja and other traditional dishes as well as the fresh products of the place.
Beyond Valbona, the road continues through the valley with breathtaking view with rich colors of both spring life and of the snow that covers the nearby peaks. The final village before you arrive at the source of the Valbona River is Rrogam. Rrogam is a village surrounded by virgin natural landscapes. The entire valley is resplendent with rare colors and beauty. Until May you can enjoy the contrast of the clean white snow on the treetops against the blue sky.
The flora of the national park includes a variety of plants and trees, the most widespread of which are the silver fir tree. The rest consists of beech woods, walnuts, chestnuts, and wild apple. There are also numerous berries, including wild blueberries and strawberries. The animals in the park include bears, wolves, wild cats, and even herds of wild goats climbing on the cliffs. In the river one can find marble trout, a rare fish found in the crystal-clear waters of the Valbona which has a unique flavor.
The valley, the park, and all surrounding area are known for heavy snowfall, which starts in early November and lasts almost until May. There are many outdoor activities in the national park, such as skiing, mountain climbing, fishing, hiking and trekking throughout the valley and along the various streams (Cerrem, Kukaj), and canoeing along certain parts of the river. Valbona may also serve as a starting point if you wish to climb Jezerca Mountain, the second highest peak in Albania.