Nestled between the Adriatic and Ionian coastlines, Albania unveils a mosaic of breathtaking routes that blend the majesty of nature with the whispers of ancient tales. Embarking on a journey through its roads is to venture into a realm where each bend reveals unparalleled splendors.
Drive through SH21, and you'll experience the exhilaration of navigating one of Albania's most magnificent mountain routes, culminating in the Thore-Pass. Not for the faint of heart, the road demands respect but rewards the intrepid with views that seem plucked from the heavens. Further south, the serpentine Llogara Pass in the SH8 coastal road beckons. As you weave through its curves, the Ionian Sea stretches infinitely below, its sapphire expanse punctuated only by the white of the beaches and the lush green of the Albanian Riviera.
Yet, for those who truly seek to dance on the edge of adventure, the raw trail to Gjipe Beach and the challenging trek through Cemit Canyon to Nikc await. These are roads less traveled, demanding skill, patience, and a zest for the unexpected.
In Albania, the journey is as mesmerizing as the destination. The stories aren't just in the age-old ruins or the bustling cafes of Tirana. They're etched in the tarmac, gravel, and sands of its spectacular roads. So, rev up your engine, feel the Balkan breeze, and set forth on an Albanian odyssey where history, nature, and adrenaline entwine.
SH20 is the name of a steep and narrow zig-zag road located in Shkodër County, in the former Kelmend municipality, in Shkodër County, Albania.
Llogara Pass (Qafa e Llogarasë) is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.043m (3,422ft) above the sea level, located in Vlorë County, in Albania. It's one of the best coastal drives in the world.
SH8 is a scenic coastal road with spectacular views along the Adriatic and Ionian coasts of Albania. It’s one of the world's best coastal drives.
SH75 is the name of a truly amazing road. With beautiful landscapes, it’s pretty challenging and one of the most demanding roads Albania has to offer. The road is to be avoided. It is currently in very bad shape. However, if necessary, it is passable.
Thore Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.691m (5,547ft) above the sea level, located in Shkodër County, in the northwestern tip of Albania. The pass is traversed by the infamous Road SH21.
Qafë Thanë is an international mountain pass at an elevation of 1.000m (3,280ft) located on the border of Albania and the Republic of North Macedonia.
Located in the Albanian Riviera, Gjipe Beach is said to be the most beautiful beach of the country. The road is terrifying: steep (up to 9%) with dangerous drop offs. It's best not to look down. One mishap and you plunge off the cliff and into the sea. It’s one of the most scenic coastal drives in the world.
Nikç is a small town at an elevation of 660m (2,165ft) above the sea level, located in the Malësi e Madhe District of Shkodër County in Albania. Be careful: this road is not for the sissies. One mistake can have consequences.
Qafë Botë is an international mountain pass at an elevation of 137m (449ft) above the sea level located on the Albanian-Greek border.
Bredhat e Hotovës Loop Road is an epic adventure in Gjirokastër County, in Albania. The road is in rough shape and requires a 4x4 vehicle.
Qafa e Morinës (Qafë Morinë) is an international mountain pass at an elevation of 563m (1,847ft) located on the border of Albania and Kosovo.
SH36 is a terrible high mountain road located in northeastern Albania. The road is in dreadful condition and requires strong nerves to negotiate it. It’s certainly breathtaking and has a fearsome reputation. The road features more than 40 hairpin turns.
Qafë Shtamë is a mountain pass at an elevation of 1.229m (4,032ft) above the sea level located on the boundary of Durrës and Dibër counties, in northern Albania.
Leqet e Hotit is a mountain pass at an elevation of 684m (2,244ft) above the sea level, located in Shkodër County, in northern Albania.
Mount Tomorr is a high mountain peak at an elevation of 2.382m (7,814ft) above the sea level, located in Berat County, in southern Albania. It’s said to be the highest point in Albania that you can reach by car. The average gradient is 11.36% with sections up to 16%.
Qafë Barit is a mountain pass at an elevation of 968m (3,175ft) above the sea level, located in Shkodër County, in northern Albania.
Located in southern Albania, the Çorovodë-Piskovë Road is a rough gravel track through the mountains. It’s said to be one of the most dangerous roads of the country.
Located in Muhurr, a small town in the Dibër County, northeastern Albania, the Muhurr bridge is 45m long. It’s one of the most spectacular bridges in the world.
Qafë Vranicë is an international high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.630m (5,347ft) above the sea level, located on the border between Albania and Montenegro.
Krraba Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 807m (2,647ft) above the sea level, located in the Elbasan County, in central Albania.
Nicknamed the Journey to Hell, SH40 road is an epic adventure in the heart of northwestern Albania. Avoid driving in this area if unpaved mountain roads aren't your strong point.
Qafe e Malit Shoshit is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.213m (3,979ft) above the sea level, located in Shkodër County, in northwestern Albania.