How To Get To The Albania Blue Eye

Albania, a land of hidden gems, holds a treasure that beckons to the adventurous spirit – the Albania Blue Eye. With its crystal-clear, cerulean waters, this enchanting natural spring invites millennial travelers to embark on an unforgettable journey. Nestled within the rugged landscapes of Albania’s mountains lies the captivating Albania Blue Eye. This hidden treasure backons the adventerous traveler with its surreal beauty. With its mesmerizing, crystal-clear azure waters, the Albania Blue Eye is a must-visit destination for intrepid travelers. This comprehensive guide delves deep into the heart of Albania’s Blue Eye, covering all essentials for an unforgettable journey.

How to get to the Albania Blue Eye
Blue eye spring near Sarande, Albania

What is the Blue Eye in Albania? 

The Albania Blue Eye, affectionately known as “Syri i Kaltër” in the local tongue, is a geological masterpiece nestled within the heart of the Albanian Alps. It is a karst spring, shaped by the erosive power of water over thousands of years in the heart of a karst landscape. Rainwater, dissolving the limestone bedrock, carved a labyrinth of underground passages, ultimately leading to the emergence of the Blue Eye’s strikingly clear and deeply blue waters. Its hypnotic, deep blue waters appear to gaze back at you from the depths, surrounded by luxuriant greenery, creating an almost surreal, ethereal atmosphere, unique to the geological composition of the region.

Schkoder mosque

Where is the Albanian Blue Eye located and how to get there?

The Albania Blue Eye is discreetly positioned in the heart of the Albanian Alps, close to the charming village of Theth. It is worth noting, due to the location of the Blue Eye, most people making their way to the Blue Eye will spend a night in Schkoder. Schkoder sprawls across the foothills of the Albanian Alps and also serves as a major commuting hub in and out of the Albanian mountain region. From here most travelers will make their way to Theth for the hike to Blue Eye. This remote location enhances its natural beauty, imparting a sense of isolation rarely found in modern travel. As such, we recomment staying in Shkodër, the night before you head to Theth.

Albania Blue Eye

What are your transport options to the Blue Eye? 

Depending on your time and budget, there are a few options to reach Blue Eye from Schkoder. We will go through each of these below.

Option 1: Private Transportation to the Albania Blue Eye 

For travelers seeking comfort and convenience, private transportation offers a seamless way to reach the Albania Blue Eye. Numerous tour providers in Shkodër offer private pick-up and drop-off services, making the journey stress-free. Many of these tours include knowledgeable guides who share the region’s history and culture adding depth to your experience. Reputable providers in Shkodër include “Albanian Adventures” and “Outdoor Albania”. Importantly, booking in advance is recommended, especially during peak travel seasons.

Option 2: Public Transport to the Albania Blue Eye 

Budget-conscious travelers can opt for public transportation to reach the Albania Blue Eye. Commencing from Shkodër, a scenic bus journey transports you to the village of Theth, a three-hour ride that transforms your commute into an integral part of your adventure. Once in Theth, your path to the Albania Blue Eye involves a trek through pristine Albanian landscapes. For the budget-conscious adventurer, public transportation offers an affordable and authentic means to reach the Albania Blue Eye. The journey commences in Shkodër, a delightful city located at the gateway to the Albanian Alps, and it transforms into an integral part of your adventure. Travelers seeking to embrace the local experience can choose from one of the top public transport options: the Furgon or the Bus.

Furgon option

The Furgon, a shared minivan or shuttle, is a popular choice for travelers heading to Theth from Shkodër. This mode of transportation provides a comfortable and economical means of reaching the village. Furgons can typically accommodate up to 12 passengers and offer a more personalized experience compared to larger buses.
Cost: The cost of a one-way Furgon ticket to Theth typically ranges from 1,500 to 2,500 Albanian Lek (ALL). This is roughly equivalent to 15-25 USD.

Please note that prices may vary, so it’s advisable to confirm the current rates at the time of your journey. Booking a Furgon ticket in advance is not mandatory, as you can usually find these minivans departing from Shkodër on a regular basis. However, if you prefer to secure your seat in advance, you can inquire at local travel agencies or check with your accommodation provider in Shkodër for assistance in booking a Furgon ticket. Booking in advance is particularly recommended during the peak summer travel season, as seats may fill up quickly.

Bus option

Bus option: Buses provide another convenient and cost-effective choice for travelers making their way to Theth from Shkodër. While buses might not be as cozy as Furgons, they offer a practical means of reaching your destination. Cost: The cost of a one-way bus ticket to Theth ranges from 1,000 to 1,500 Albanian Lek (ALL), which is approximately 10-15 USD. Prices can vary, so it’s advisable to check for the most up-to-date fares at the time of your journey. Booking: Similar to Furgons, booking a bus ticket in advance is not always necessary. Buses regularly depart from Shkodër to Theth, and you can usually find them at the central bus station in Shkodër.

However, during peak travel periods, or if you prefer to secure your seat ahead of time for peace of mind, inquiring with local travel agencies or your accommodation provider can be a sensible choice. Both the Furgon and Bus options offer a genuine travel experience, allowing you to mingle with locals and soak in the scenic beauty along the journey. These cost-effective options are fantastic for budget-conscious travelers who wish to experience Albania’s natural beauty and culture in an authentic way. Just keep in mind that during peak seasons, booking your ticket in advance can ensure a smoother and more comfortable travel experience, especially if you’re eager to embark on the Albania Blue Eye hike without delays.

Theth Albania

From Theth to the Albania Blue Eye 

Once you’ve made your way to Theth, you need to be ready to hike the from here to the Blue Eye. The hike to the Blue Eye from Theth typically takes around 3 to 4 hours, allowing for various paces and opportunities to appreciate the breathtaking surroundings. The trail is well-marked, making it accessible to most hikers, and the journey itself is an integral part of the adventure. We recommend arriving the night before your hike in Theth to ensure you can have an early start, which you will be thankful for especially in the summer months when the sun gets really hot by midday!

While public transportation options are available within Theth, there are no official public transport services covering the route to the Blue Eye due to its remote location within the Albanian Alps. However, your local guesthouses and accommodation in Theth can often assist in arranging for a local guide to accompany you on the hike to the Albania Blue Eye or drive you to a certain drop-off point along the dirt road to reduce down total hiking time. We arranged the night before our hike with our guesthouse to drop us after the first steep climb along the hiking path which helped us get a head start early in the day.

Theth Albania

Where to stay in Theth the night before the hike?

Choosing a guesthouse in close proximity to the hiking trail is crucial. Villa Gjecaj is an excellent choice due to its strategic location, offering a convenient starting point for your Albania Blue Eye adventure. We made sure to pick one which was not too far from the main trail to the Blue Eye. I would recommend using Booking.com as we found a lot of the newly opened Guesthouses in Theth had all listed on here and it was quick and easy to compare cost and locations.

Alternatively, you can choose to arrive in Theth early in the morning and head straight to Blue Eye before heading to your guest house for the evening, although this becomes a long day, and having done this myself, I can recommend staying in Theth the night before to ensure you are fresh and ready for an early start for the hike to the Blue Eye the following day.

Valbona Valley national park

How Long Does hiking Theth to Blue Eye Take? 

The hike from Theth to the Albania Blue Eye typically spans 3 to 4 hours, however this includes rest stops and time to admire the breathtaking surroundings. Having done a range of different hiles in the last couple of year, I can say this one is a moderately challenging trek that is accessible to most hikers.

What to Expect on Your Hike and at the Albania Blue Eye 

Your hike to the Albania Blue Eye is an immersive journey through unspoiled Albanian wilderness. Traverse dense forests, cross charming wooden bridges, and bask in panoramic views of the awe-inspiring Albanian Alps. The path itself it reltaively flat until the last 45 mins where the climb is steeper. The path is clearly sing posted in most areas so it is also easy to follow as long as you look our for the white and red signs every so often (pictured below).

As you approach the Albania Blue Eye, the sound of flowing water becomes more pronounced, building anticipation for the grand unveiling of this natural marvel. Upon reaching the Albania Blue Eye, you’ll be captivated by its striking blue waters, shimmering with astonishing clarity. Take a moment to immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of this extraordinary spring. The immediate surroundings offer an ideal setting for a relaxing picnic or a well-deserved rest.

train signs

Our Insider Tips for Albania Blue Eye

  • Early start – Begin your hike around 7 AM to maximize your day and avoid the midday heat. An early start ensures you can fully immerse yourself in the tranquility of Albania’s wilderness.
  • Guide or No Guide? While the Albania Blue Eye trail is generally well-marked and straightforward, having a local guide can elevate your experience. Guides can offer insightful stories about the area and ensure you stay on the right path. If you’re confident in your hiking abilities and navigation skills, hiking without a guide is an option.
  • Must-Visit Stops Along Your Journey: On your ascent to the Albania Blue Eye, you’ll encounter several captivating spots worth exploring. The Blue Eye waterfall is an ideal place for a refreshing stop and stunning photos. More so,iIf you are one of those travelers that want to cover every worthy spot along the way then don’t miss the Grunas Waterfall and the Lock-in Tower enroute to the Blue Eye!
  • Dining Options Along Your Path: Pack a hearty lunch and snacks to stay energized during your hike. Along the way, you’ll find peaceful spots to savor your meal. Finally, don’t forget to carry an ample supply of water, as the sun can be intense during the day. Although there were some restaurants along the way, from personal experience we found these to be very busy in the summer, with food orders taking a very long time and a lot of menu options being sold out, especially later in the day. If you are traveling in peak season (June to August) and you would rather keep to a fixed time for your hike, then I would say get your guesthouse to pack your lunch the night before (most offer this as an option) and avoid the restaurants enroute altogether.
Albania blue eye near Theth

Some Insta worthy shots at the Blue Eye

  • The Wooden Platform: This iconic platform is your go-to spot for photography. Arrive early in the morning or late afternoon for the soft, warm lighting that enhances the Albania Blue Eye’s allure.
  • The Suspension Bridge: Capture the bridge’s reflection in the water with the Blue Eye in the backdrop during the golden hours. Try either early morning or late afternoon for best light.
  • Underwater Shots: Submerge your smartphone in a waterproof case to capture the depth and vivid colors of the Albania Blue Eye.
  • Long Exposure Magic: Use a tripod for long exposure shots to create a dreamy, flowing water effect. Ideal for waterfall shots near the Blue Eye.

Preparation and Packing Essentials checklist 

 To ensure you’re well-equipped for your Albania Blue Eye adventure, we recommend the following  items to pack for the hike:

  • Sturdy hiking boots or trail shoes
  • Weather-appropriate clothing
  • Sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Nutrient-rich trail snacks
  • A comfortable and reliable backpack
  • Camera or smartphone for capturing stunning photos
  • A basic first-aid kit
  • A waterproof jacket (just in case of unexpected weather changes)
  • Navigation aids such as a map and compass, particularly if hiking without a guide

And with that, we think you are prepared and ready for this beautiful adventure! Please comment and share if you are planning to go to the Blue Eye or have recently been. We would love to hear your thoughts!