SH21 is a spectacular and dangerous high mountain road located in the northwestern tip of Albania. The road is 57.2 km long and links the municipalities of Koplik and Theth. The road climbs up the Thore-Pass. Your wheels will be astounded at the wonderful views of the mountains spread out before you! They are terrible for drivers who are prone to vertigo
The road includes asphalted sections (at the beginning) but then, after the pass, the road becomes terrible, bumpy, sandy and gravel. Flat tyre and damage underneath the car are usual in passenger cars. 4x4 is recommended. The road is paved untill well past Bogë, with construction work going on to widen and pave it up to the Thore pass. It has been improved the last times, but the road is still hairy.
The road, going within the Albanian Alps, starts in Koplik, a city and urban municipality, serving as the capital of the Malësi e Madhe District in the northwestern tip of Albania. It ends in Theth, a community in the Shalë municipality, Shkodër District, Shkodër County. The community is at the centre of the Theth National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Do not travel this pass in severe weather conditions. Avalanches, heavy snowfalls and landslides can occur anytime, being extremely dangerous due to frequent patches of ice. It has a well-deserved reputation for being dangerous because of unpredictable snowstorms and blizzards, and driving under these conditions, can be extremely challenging. The rain and the constant traffic of 4x4 have deteriorated the road.
This track can get very muddy and slippery after rain making it challenging to get through. During and after a storm the road may be impassable, even with a four-wheel-drive vehicle. The road encompasses miles of stunning views through twisty hair pin corners, high elevations and steep grades. The road was built in 1936 and is usually closed from November to May.
According to some dangerousroads.org users, in July 2015, the road has been completely paved to Thore Pass. 'The road to Thore pass has been paved recently and they have done a very good job. It is narrow though, with a few turnouts in the newly paved section. 15km to get down in the valley. Nothing too bad, just rough, but it requires a reasonably high clearance vehicle and no fear of heights'.