Shtame Pass is a tragic road in Albania

Qafë Shtamë is a mountain pass situated at an elevation of 1,229m (4,032ft) above sea level, located on the boundary between Durrës and Dibër counties in Albania.

Shtame Pass

How long is the road to Shtame Pass?

Situated within the Shtamë Pass National Park, the road to the summit, also known as Qafa e Shtames, Qafshtama, and Qafë-Shtamës, spans 55.7 km (34.61 miles), running west-east from Fushë-Krujë (in Durrës County) to Burrel (in Dibër county).

How to drive to Shtame Pass?

Designated as SH38, the road to the summit has two distinct parts. The western side, from Fushë-Krujë to the summit, was paved in 2016, providing a smooth drive with hairpin turns and numerous twists. On the eastern side, from the summit to Burrel, the journey becomes extremely challenging. This segment remains unpaved and is open to 4x4 vehicles only, featuring a series of sharp hairpin turns and steep sections.

What happened in Shtame Pass?

Perched high in the northern part of the country, the summit is marked with an obelisk dedicated to Major Abaz Kupi. On April 29, 1997, tragedy struck the pass when an underground bunker complex on the east side became the site of a serious accident. An explosion occurred in the tunnels filled with ammunition and weapons, remnants of a military storage site from the communist era. This unfortunate incident claimed the lives of 23 people.

Pic: Tomas Miller