You will learn everything about waterfalls of Albania from this article, things that tourists don’t know and aren’t widely written about. How to get there, entrance fee, and whether swimming is allowed. Of course, there will be plenty of photos, useful information, tips, and recommendations.
- You can find all three waterfalls on the travel map, which includes all the attractions from this guide. The map will help you plan your dream trip and not miss anything.
Waterfalls of Albania: General Information
The topic of waterfalls in Albania is fascinating yet ambiguous. On one hand, Albania is a mountainous country, with 71% of its territory covered in mountains. Consequently, it has many mountain rivers, canyons, and other mountainous features. On the other hand, it’s not accurate to call Albania a country of waterfalls. Yes, there are some, but substantial and waterfall-like ones can be counted on one hand.
In reality, Albania has only three truly impressive waterfalls. While this may not seem like much for tourists to explore, it is significant considering the size of the country. However, there’s one problem: all the waterfalls in Albania are located in remote areas, far from the main tourist routes.
Important to know:If you’re traveling around Albania by car, read the article about road trips in the country. It contains many great ideas and pre-planned options with timings.
Here are some general points that apply to all three waterfalls mentioned in the article:
- Accessible to tourists 24/7
- No entrance fee
- Swimming is allowed everywhere, although the water is cold
- None of the waterfalls are directly accessible by car. You’ll always need to walk from 1 to 5 kilometers.
Useful to know:If you’re planning to visit the waterfalls, read about the comprehensive insurance coverage in Albania. Just to be on the safe side 🙂
The only waterfall in the northern part of the country, precisely in the Alps. It is probably the most straightforward one for tourists who don’t have a car.
Useful to know:Traveling around Albania without a car is quite challenging. Public transportation is below average, and hitchhiking or taking a taxi can be time-consuming or expensive.
- Coordinates of Grunas Waterfall: 42.376442, 19.796705
- The waterfall is located in the mountainous and incredibly beautiful village of Theth.
- It is part of a circular route through the Accursed Mountains, which is detailed in the link provided along with information about Theth. However, the waterfall is not directly on the main route, and many tourists miss it because they’re unaware of its existence.
- Without a car: Take a bus from Tirana to Shkoder (running every hour) – minibus from Shkoder to Theth (runs once a day) – and then walk 3-4 kilometers from the center of Theth to the waterfall.
- With a car, it’s easier; you can drive 2.5 kilometers to the waterfall and then walk the rest of the way.
Attention:The way to the waterfall is not difficult, but the last 500 meters involve a steep ascent of around 170 meters. Nevertheless, even families with children can make it here.
- Surprising content: There is excellent high-speed free Wi-Fi at the waterfall. The network name is written on a nearby rock. You can find all the information about mobile internet and connectivity in Albania there.
Overall, the waterfall attracts plenty of tourists during the season. I recommend coming here after lunch since the waterfall is situated between cliffs, and during the first half of the day, this side remains in the shade. After lunch, the sun will be shining.
Waterfalls in Albania: Sotira
The most remote and least touristy waterfall in Albania. Fewer tourists visit here due to its inaccessibility. Not only is it far away, but the road to it is challenging, and not every regular car can make it. A 4WD vehicle is preferable.
- Coordinates of Sotira Waterfall: 40.755350, 20.165527
- The easiest way to get there is from Berat. Read all about Berat here.
- No public transportation goes there at all
- By car, taking the short route, it’s 35 kilometers or a 2-hour drive. But remember, a full 4WD is necessary.
- If you have a regular economy class rental car, take the detour through the village of Korceva.
- The distance is now 82 kilometers, and it takes around 2 hours or even 2 hours and 20 minutes to reach the waterfall.
- The road is gravelly and not in the best condition, but it’s manageable with careful driving.
Useful to know:The country authorities plan to start repairing this road in early 2022. Knowing the Albanians, it might take them up to 7 years to complete it. If they have fixed it during your visit, please mention it in the comments.
- Leave your car around this place: 40.768378, 20.194279
- Then hike for about 4 kilometers one way, which takes about 1.5 hours.
- The path is not difficult overall, but there’s a steep ascent of 150 meters towards the end.
- If you plan to visit Sotira waterfall from Berat, allocate the entire daylight hours for the trip.
Arguably the most popular waterfall in the country, the easiest way to get here is by car. However, public transportation doesn’t exist, so it’s a favorite spot among independent travelers. Tourist buses don’t bring excursions here; that’s reserved for the Blue Eye 🙂
- Coordinates of the Bogove Waterfall: 40.567649, 20.168579
Important:This applies to all three waterfalls. Use free apps like Maps.me or OrganicMaps, which have all the paths and hiking routes to these waterfalls. Google Maps won’t be of much help. Download the offline maps at home in advance. After that, you won’t need an internet connection.
- It’s convenient to reach the Bogove Waterfall from:
- Berat again – 35 km or 1 hour
- Permet – 65 km or 2:30 hours by car
- Yes, the road is full of serpentine turns, and in some places, it’s gravel. Although, from the Berat side, 95% of the way has good asphalt.
- You’ll leave your car at the parking lot near the small BOGOVA plant. See the photo below. From there, the road goes in the wrong direction; you’ll have to walk according to the offline map.
- The path to the waterfall is easy, only 2 km or 30-40 minutes.
- The path is beautiful without significant elevation gain.
- Important: there are four small bridges over the river along the way. One is already collapsed, and one is almost collapsed. If they aren’t repaired, you’ll have to cross the river twice by wading through.
- I advise coming here in the morning to avoid the crowds.
- Regarding timing: the entire route from Berat and back takes 4-5 hours, half a day.
All the waterfalls are beautiful, and it’s hard to single out one. But the most accessible and closest to all tourist routes is the Bogove Waterfall. Here are some tips:
- Trekking shoes and poles are recommended but not obligatory.
- All three waterfalls have rocky paths, and they can be quite slippery after rain. In any case, wear sturdy sneakers. Flip-flops are not just impractical but also dangerous.
- Bring swimwear, a towel, and some snacks. You can swim everywhere, but there are no places to buy water or sandwiches.
- If you have aqua shoes, bring them too. I swam in mine because all the waterfalls have sharp stone bottoms.
In conclusion: waterfalls of Albania are currently underrated attractions of the country. The reason is simple: they are far from the sea and major tourist cities and routes. As a result, the vast majority of tourists pass them by. Perhaps this is for the best. You have the chance to bathe alone in a real mountain waterfall, just like in the pictures on the internet.
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