Local-minded travelers in Albania love to get deep into the heart of Albanian nature and culture. That is why they choose traditional, family-run guesthouses for visits to Theth and the northern Albanian Alps. These wood-shingled stone structures have long endured the harsh winter-weather conditions of the region and now exhibit a visual charm captured by Local Travel Movement partner Outdoor Albania’s co-founder and photographer Genti Mati.
The village of Theth has made its way into the guidebooks as a must-see in the Albanian Alps, and for good reason. The nearby villages of Valbona and Vermosh are also idyllic, photogenic and even less tourist-trodden.
The village of Vermosh is in the northernmost tip of Albania, just a few kilometers from the Montenegran border. Given the population of only a few hundred people, rural serenity is guaranteed.
The whitewashed exteriors and antiquated roofing of traditional guesthouses lend them character and distinction. They punctuate the postcard landscape of the Albanian north.
The families with guesthouses in Vermosh are hoping that their village will follow in Theth’s footsteps as an emerging destination for tourism in Albania. A highlight in Vermosh is the Mitaj guesthouse and nature hostel, where the owner has actually built a treehouse bar on his land.
Various development organizations, such as the German Organization for Technical Cooperation, have worked with the host families in the area to bring their guesthouses up to standard. While travelers must keep in mind that these are very modest, simple and rustic family home environments, they will be pleased to find that the accommodations do provide a comfortable stay.
The village guesthouses of the north are perhaps at their finest in the late summer and autumn. Fall foliage in this region adds an extra layer of enchantment.