The SH75 road is a little-known gem of Albania. Not many people are aware of this route, but it is the most beautiful road in Albania. Only a small part of it passes through tourist routes, and sometimes travelers unknowingly drive on this fantastic road or pass by without exploring it.
SH75 Road: General Highlights
To be brief and concise:
- SH75 is a regional internal road in the central mountainous region of Albania.
- The road traverses only through the Balkan Mountains and does not touch the Albanian Alps.
- Its length is 162 km.
- It starts 17 km away from the well-known ancient Albanian city of Gjirokastër.
- Coordinates of the starting point: 40.258544, 20.054797.
- It ends in the city of Korçë. You can find an overview of Korçë, things to see, and places to stay in the provided link.
- On the most beautiful road in Albania, you will find the small town of Përmet. To discover what to see and where to stay in Përmet, read the article provided. However, this town is interesting to tourists because, within 15 km from it and SH75, you can find:
- The Byzantine Bridge
- Benje Thermal Springs
- And the incredibly stunning Langarica Canyon
- All these places are free and accessible to the public. Read more about this location in the article: Thermal Springs of Albania.
Journey Timing:To travel the entire road from the beginning to the end, it takes about 4 hours, excluding time for stops to take beautiful photos at scenic viewpoints.
- I hope it’s clear that there is no public transport available on this route. Everything mentioned in the article is applicable only to travelers with a car. For information on renting a car in Albania and potential pitfalls, read here.
Journey along the Road: Routes
Below are several route options; choose the one most convenient for you:
- From Gjirokastër, take SH75 towards the hot springs and Langarica Canyon for a full day. Spend the night in Përmet. The next morning, continue your journey along SH75 straight to Korçë or even to Pogradec.
- For avid road trip enthusiasts, it’s possible to travel the road there and back in one day (or two). It’s no secret that mountain views from one direction and the other are entirely different, and SH75 is no exception. If you decide to go all the way there and back, you’ll feel like you’re driving on two different roads on the return journey.
- I recommend dividing this route into two days, with a night’s stay in Korçë. Although there isn’t much to see in Korçë, there is a brewery producing the most popular Albanian beer. Adjacent to the brewery, you’ll find an excellent beer restaurant where you can spend a great evening.
- This option is for those with limited time.
- Instead of traveling the entire road, you can choose to explore only its most beautiful segments. More about this is discussed below.
The Most Beautiful Segments of SH75
It won’t come as a surprise if I say that not all 162 km of this famous route captivate travelers. For example, about 30 km before reaching Korçë, the road becomes rather ordinary.
Important to Know:In reality, there are only two beautiful stretches of road on SH75, each about 20-30 km long. The rest of the journey is occasionally scenic and sometimes ordinary.
- First Segment:
- Starting Coordinates: 40.258544, 20.054797
- Ending Coordinates: 40.313321, 20.191777
- Length: 18 km
- Estimated Time: 30 minutes
- Second Segment:
- Starting Point: 40.145095, 20.497630
- Ending Point: 40.153763, 20.600707 in the town of Leskovik
- Length: 23 km
- Estimated Time: At least 60 minutes, yes, 1 hour for 23 km without stops.
- This segment includes many serpentine roads, and a significant part of the road is gravel.
- Any standard car can pass through, but it will be quite slow.
Important to Know:When planning a route to the town of Leskovik, every navigation system tries to take you through SH80 and SH65 instead of SH75. Although the alternative route may be longer, it is faster. Be attentive; you need to follow SH75.
- The second most beautiful road in Albania is considered the simpler and more accessible route through the Llogara Pass.
SH75: Where to Stay Overnight?
There aren’t many towns along the route, so there are only two options for overnight stays:
- Përmet: If you haven’t yet visited the hot springs, plan to stay here for 1 or 2 nights. A full day is well-deserved for exploring the canyon and the springs. Përmet is the closest town to the springs.
- Accommodation options in the town are limited, with few apartments available, but there are guesthouses that can provide breakfast and other amenities. One of the best options for accommodation is the Funky GuestHouse. It has an excellent rating and is located right in the heart of the main square of Përmet. They can also arrange rafting in the canyon and horseback riding.
- Sotira Farm: This is a unique place that is challenging to describe. They call themselves a hotel, but I would say it’s a camping site, farm, eco-settlement, national inn, all set in a beautiful forest location. Apart from the farm, there is nothing else nearby.
In conclusion, SH75 is rightfully the most beautiful road in Albania. It traverses mountain canyons and gorges, and the views from your car window will constantly distract you from the road. However, the traffic intensity on SH75 is extremely low, with barely one car passing by every 10 minutes. So, free up the memory on your phone and embark on an adventurous journey!
Resources to help you plan your dream trip to Albania
- Flights at the best prices with juicy discounts
- Car rental in Albania (cheaper – only by bus):
- Hotels and apartments throughout the country: Booking
- Tours, excursions and activities (including extreme ones):
- Comprehensive travel insurance: EKTA
- eSIM virtual sim card in Albania
- Taxi and transfers: Intui.Travel