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Theth National Park

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Theth National Park is located in the far northern part of Albania near the midway point of the border with Montenegro.  The park covers an area of only 10.15 square miles (26.3 sq km) creating another small park within the country packed with astounding natural wonders.

The Albanian Alps and the Shala Valley are at the heart of the national park.  Generally speaking, the park represents the characteristics of a high terrain landscape with sharp steep mountains.  Along with the mountains of the Alps and the Shala Valley, the area is characterized by thick forests, meandering rivers, beautiful waterfalls, and striking rock formations.

The park is comprised of a diverse ecosystem that changes with elevation transitioning from the oak-dominated lower elevations moving into the beech forests as the elevations change.  The alpine terrain at even higher elevations features junipers, shrubs, and alpine bluegrass.

These diverse ecosystems serve as home to a variety of wildlife species.  The brown bear is the largest and for many the most exciting.  Other popular wildlife includes chamois, roe deer, lynx, wild goat, and the gray wolf.  The lesser kestrel and the golden eagle are two of the more exciting sightings from the 50 species of birds nesting or migrating through the park.

Highlights

The park delivers stunning landscapes that are often highlighted with rugged sharp rock-faced mountains that create some of the most picturesque scenes.  The mountains are the pinnacle attraction of the national park with the incredible mountainous landscapes being the highlight for many people.

Albanian Alps

The Albanian Alps are locally known as Prokletije which translates “cursed mountains.”  The range extends well outside of the park boundaries as part of the larger Dinaric Alps stretching over 621 miles (1,000 km).

The Albanian Alps are situated along the western Balkan peninsula.  The mountains of the Albanian Alps are characterized by steep, sharp rock-faced summits.  They create striking landscapes.

Shala Valley

The Shala Valley is home to the Shale River meandering within the Albanian Alps.  The mountain runoff feeds the river which flows south through the park.  The valley and initial slopes of the mountains overlooking the valley are thick with forest and vegetation.  The water source and protection from the forest make the area excellent habitat for the deer and other wildlife species.

Theth National Park Trails:

The landscapes are the pinnacle attraction in the park and hiking amongst them is a special treat.  There are several trail opportunities for exploring the rugged terrain.  Many of the trails are well-groomed and easy to track.

Park Protection

Theth National Park was created to protect multiple facets of the region.  First and foremost, the park protects biodiversity and differing ecosystems.  Second, the park protects a variety of cultural and historical features investing in the heritage of the country.

The park has been recognized as a Protected Historic Center for the country as well as declared an Important Bird Area and an Important Plant Area by the IUCN.  Protecting both the natural and cultural facets of the park is important to the Albanian government.

Theth Highlights

  • Albanian Alps
  • Shala Valley

Park Map

Sources