heading to Albania in the summer for a bit of hiking and need guidance on whether we should head to the northern mountains/alps and villages or elsewhere. We are taking the ferry from Italy so likely our starting point is Durres/Tirana area.
I second Valbone.
You can catch a bus from Tirana to Shkoda, then the hostels will arrange eveything else.
Breakfast at 6am, collection by a bus at 6:30, that takes you to the Koman ferry, then a bus from the other end to your hostel in Valbone.
The next day the Valbone hostel can arrange breakfast and collection by bus to the start of the Valbone - Theth hike.
Then bus from Theth back to Shkoda, and onwards to anywhere beyond there.
I've heard there is also another great hike starting near Shkoda. It takes in mountain peaks in Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo. I don;t have any details on that, though. about 1 year ago
If you don't want to go away from Tirana you can go in 30 minutes in Krraba village (from the Bus station close to the Faculty of Economics which has buses to Krraba every 30 minutes) and hike towards what is known as Syri i Ciklopit from the center of the village. Make sure to be with somebody who knows the path. 4 months ago