Please note that this post may contain affiliate links and any sales made through such links will reward me a small commission – at no extra cost for you.
Visiting the Albanian Alps? Add the hike to Rosni Peak in Valbonë to your travel plans.
When most people plan a trip to the Albanian Alps, there are two famous hikes that they plan on: the hike from Valbonë to Theth and the Theth to Blue Eye trek. But there are actually so many incredible, and challenging, hikes in the Valbonë and Theth area. When we visited Northern Albania to do the Valbonë to Theth hike, we decided to stay two nights in Valbonë and spend one day completing the hike to Rosni Peak. This challenging hike straddles to border of Albania and Montenegro, with epic views throughout.
If you have time in your itinerary (and love hiking), I highly recommend checking it out. Although the trailhead is located right in Valbonë, it is far less popular and trafficked than the more famous hikes in the area. Even in August we passed less than 20 other hikers throughout the entire day.
Thing article will cover everything you need to know about hiking from Valbonë to Rosni Peak (or the Rosni Peak saddle). But first, if you’re planning a trip to Albania, here are some other articles that you should check out:
Rosni Peak: The Basics
- Distance: 10 miles to the saddle out-and-back, plus an additional 2 miles to reach the summit
- Time: it took us just over 7 hours, including 2 longer breaks, to reach the Rosni Peak saddle and back from the Valbonë trailhead. I would give yourself 9 hours just in case.
- Guide Needed? A guide is definitely not required or necessary to hike to Rosni Peak from Valbone. However, here is a guided tour from Valbonë to Theth if you’d prefer though.
- Costs: The hike itself is free with no necessary permits.
- Hike difficulty: moderate to difficult, the elevation gain throughout the hike is consistent
- Ascent: +4,100 feet to saddle
- Currency: Both Euros and Albanian Lek (ALL) are accepted in both Theth and Valbona. As of August 2023, $1 USD is equal to 94 Albanian Lek (ALL). For the sake of this article, all conversions into dollars will be based on the exchange rate at that time.
Prepare for your trip to Albania
Can I hike from Valbonë to Theth and to Rosni Peak in one day?
I personally wouldn’t recommend attempting the Valbonë to Theth hike on the same day. This would equate to over 7,000 feet elevation gain and over 8,000 feet elevation loss in one day.
However, if you arrive in Valbonë the day before your big hike and want something to do. It is worth heading up in the afternoon, even if it is only to the cafe and back. This shorter hike still offers incredible views.
Advance bookings aren’t necessary for any of the transfers to and from Theth and Valbone. We booked everything, including our ferry ride, just one night in advance through our hostel in Shkröder.
What to expect on the hike
The hike length is 7-8 hours on average, just to the saddle and back. If you’re planning to reach the summit, you’ll want to add on extra time.
There is an elevation gain of 4,099 ft (1,249 meters), and then a descent of 4,082 ft (1,244 meters) to the saddle and back.
The hike to Rosni Peak is a tough one! Less than 2 miles into the hike you’ll come to a flatter area in Kukaj. You can stop and grab more water here if you need it.
Following this you’ll have a steady, consistent uphill climbs through a forested area. Eventually the path will swoop left as the view opens up. This is one of the most beautiful parts of the hike in my opinion. You’ll find a small cafe here where you can grab a coffee, soda, water, or snickers bar. Or of course there is beer and raki for those looking for something a bit harder. I recommend those for the hike back down, rather than the hike up personally.
Once you leave the cafe, it is another steep climb up to the saddle. From here you’ll be able to see sweeping views of both an Albania and Montenegro in every direction.
At this point you can decide if you’re going to attempt the summit, or turn back to descend to Valbonë. The climb to the summit isn’t particularly long, but very steep. From what we hear the best views are at the saddle, but unfortunately we weren’t able to see the view at the summit for ourselves, since there was complete cloud coverage on the peak.
Getting to Valbone
If you are are arriving from outside of Albania then you will most likely be flying into Tirana, Albania’s capital city.
To find the cheapest flight options from your city, you can use the search form below:
If you are arriving from a nearby country, such as Montenegro, you will also find buses to Shkoder, the gateway of the Albanian Alps.
You will need to buy a combo ticket for your transfer from Shkroder to Valbone.
This is a minivan + ferry + minivan combo for 2800 lek or $29.72 (as of August 2023). These tickets don’t need to be purchased well in advance. We bought ours the evening before from our hostel.
The journey from Shkroder to Valbone takes approximately 6-7 hours.
First you will take a minivan 2.5 hours from Shkroder to Koman. From here you’ll take a ferry that typically takes 2.5-3 hours. Finally, you’ll transfer in a minivan from Fierze to Valbone. This ride is about 1 hour.
The journey from Theth to Shkoder (or vice versa) is both cheaper and faster.
Advance bookings aren’t necessary for any of the transfers to and from Theth and Valbone. We booked everything, including our ferry ride, just one night in advance through our hostel in Shkröder (Mi Casa es Tu Casa).
There are tons of a multi-day tours that explore Valbone and the surrounding Albanian Alps. This is a great option if you’d like to leave planning all of the little details to someone else.
Here are a few of the most popular tours:
- Day trip from Tirana (or Shkoder) to Theth
- 3-day Guided Hike from Theth to Valbone
- 4-day Kayaking and Hiking trip in the Albanian Alps
What to pack
- Hiking boots or hiking sneakers
- Small backpack — avoid carrying extra, unnecessary weight
- Lightweight breathable hiking clothes
- Snacks or a prepackaged lunch from your guesthouse
- Trekking poles (or a good, sturdy stick works too)
- Sufficient water
- Sunscreen and a hat
- 1 rain jacket (if rain is in the forecast)
- Layers (I always hike with my Patagonia NanoAir)
You’ll also be able to refill your water bottle with spring water, so packing a reusable water bottle is a great way to be sustainable and save money. I travel with two Vapur water bottles. They roll up when you’re not using them, making them perfect for long hikes.
And then of course you’ll want to pack your camera. You’ll want to avoid carrying too much weight so just pack the basics.
Where to stay in Valbone
If you’re planning to do the Rosni Peak hike then I’d recommend basing yourself in Valbonë for two nights. The hike is decently long, so you’ll want to start early.
I recommend choosing a place close to Rosni Peak trailhead so avoid any extra hiking, or needing a taxi.
If you’re visiting Valbone to do both the Rosni Peak hike and the hike to Theth, then I highly recommend spending two nights at Bujtina Albjoni.
The guesthouse is centrally located, just a 5 minute walk from the Rosni Peak trailhead.
The food at Bujtina Albjoni is delicious, and the family running the place is super sweet. You can arrange for a set dinner menu for 9€ per person. I definitely recommend it for a taste of local Albanian cuisine.
🏘️ Book your accommodation
Booking.com will help you to book accommodation in advance and check availability
✈️ Book your flight in advance
To find the cheapest flight options, you can use WayAway and find the most suitable option for you
Heading to Albania? Here are some articles to check out:
- Hiking to the Theth Blue Eye
- Guide to visiting Theth, Albania
- Valbone to Theth hike
- Things to do in Tirana