Thethi, a national park, is named after it's largest settlement. It is a spectacular area for the Albanian visitor and most likely Europe's last, "untouched" Alpine village.
The history of Thethi and the surrounding Albanian Alps hold ancient connections to Illyrian tribes. Dates of inhabitation are similar to early settlements of other areas of Albania however archaeological discoveries and records haven't fully revealed Thethi's true age. What is considered fact is due to the mountainous isolation of Thethi, local tradition and religious devotion of Catholicism in the last centuries persisted beyond Ottoman Empire attempts to create an Islamic influence. (Additionally the traditions of Thethi were preserved for past Communist leaders wanting a resort area with a traditional Albania feel. Other areas in Northern Albania did not fair well.)
Highlights of Thethi begin with the journey to the area. A usual start is Kopliku, 17km North of Shkodra, which uses paved leading to unpaved access; hiring a 4x4 or local transport are recommended. Along the way visitors enter the Albanian Alps and curve around pristine landscapes, farmers herding animals and tilling by hand, 360 views of alpine snow caps, and crystal clear rivers and occasional waterfalls. (Approximately 3 hours is needed for the journey from Kopliku. Stops include restaurants serving delicious lunches of fresh vegetable dishes, goat meat if preferred, feta cheese, Albanian refreshments, and plenty of fruits.)
Once inside the village of Thethi its surrounding beauty overtakes most visitor. Fields of tall green grass dotted with stone houses, people farming by hand, fresh water streaming in all directions, and mountain life give the visitor a feeling of remote splendor. Many who arrive for an overnight or more leave with a feeling the world did not exist beyond the curved alpine mountains surrounding them. Thethi is a unique experience.
Geography: North Central Albania
Transport: Mini-Bus, Shared Taxi, 4x4 Rental, Tour
Special Note: ATMs are not present in Thethi and surroundings areas.