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Tirana - Cape of Rodon - Lagoon of Lezha - Island of Franc Joseph - Cave of Puc (Boga) - Theth

Shko poshtė

Tirana - Cape of Rodon - Lagoon of Lezha - Island of Franc Joseph - Cave of Puc (Boga) - Theth

Mesazh nga Vizitor prej Mon 08 Jun 2009, 21:18

This itinerary offers a diversity of experiences. It starts with visiting the rich ecosystems in the central and northern coastal area of the country,
to continue in a more adventurous streak with a trip to the mountainous and rugged terrain of the Albanian Alps. It thus offers a very interesting
combination of ligattinous and alpine sights.

To reach the Cape of Rodon from Tirana, one travels through a terrain alternatingly even and hilly, north of the field of Durres, from Suketh

towards Lac. The road turns in the direction of the Bize, Drac and Shetaj villages.

The Cape of Rodon belongs to the commune of Ishem. It is the longest in the Albanian coast, entering 7.5 km into the sea. The relief is hilly,

peaking at 220 meters at the hill of the Stone with Horns. Its southern slopes are barren and fall steeply onto the sea, creating a captivating view.
The cape is composed of underwater reefs and is an ideal place for scuba diving. It is one of the most ecologically chaste places of the whole Albanian coast.

Close by one finds the sandy beach of Saint Peter. Here the national hero Gjergj Kastrioti, with the goal of assuring a quick exit to the sea, built a castle,

the walls of which are 400 meters long, spiked by round towers. The construction commenced after the first siege of Kruja in 1450. In 1500 the castle was overrun by Venetian forces.

Owing to the abrasive activity of the seawater, a part of the walls are today under water. The remains of the Church of Saint Peter, regarded as a holy sight

by the natives, can be found in close proximity to the castle.

Traveling in the northern part of the Albanian Western Lowland, one reaches the Islands of Lezha. After the city of Lezha the road turns to the left towards

the coast, precisely where the Drini River flows creating a wonderful natural ecosystem. One finds here the lagoons of Ceka with an area of 235 ha, and the lagoon of Merxhan, 77 ha. The smaller lagoon of Kenalla completes the ensemble to the north. The maximal depth of the lagoon waters is 1.5 meters. Given their high degree of biodiversity, two areas have been declared as reservations. They are: Vaini reservation, in the north of the Lagoon of Ceka, which has lavish hydrophilic vegetation; and the Kuna reservation, in the north of the Lagoon of Merxhan. The latter is particularly beautiful given that Kunja is a sandy island of 150 ha covered with luxuriant vegetation.

The lagoon waters are rich in fish, more prominently in mullet and eel, making fishing an attractive option for visitors.

The lagoons of the Drini river make up one of the most important eco systems in Albania, allowing for the development of ecotourism, seafowl observation, fishing, excursions, etc.. One finds here 6 out of the 15 kinds of amphibians that exist in Albania, 22 our of 33 kinds of reptilians, 70 species of birds, 9 from the duck family, 10 from the stork and other long-legged bird family, as well 6 of the predatory type. The mammals are presented by the otter. The ecosystem is propitious for bird nesting of seafowl including the pigmy cormorants, ardeidae, egretta garzetta, aredea cinearea, anser (wild goose), anas penelope, etc..

The best time to visit these lagoons is spring and summer. Notwithstanding, winter also makes for an interesting season given the presence of flocks of wild ducks.

In the northernmost part of the Albanian seashore, one finds another tourist attraction: the Island of Franc Joseph. To get there one has to travel from Lezha to Shkoder and then take from there the road Velipoja, which goes through the fields of the Buna river basin. After reaching Velipoja, one continues left towards the mouth of Buna, very close to the border with Montenegro. This is where the small, alluvial island of Franc Joseph is located, otherwise known as "Ada Minor" (the island of Ada Major, which belongs to Montenegro, is next to it). Depending on the size of the Buna flow, Franc Joseph becomes at times a peninsula. This area is also a very important nesting ecosystem for sea fowls, especially the ardeida family. The island itself is low ground with a sandy seashore and covered by woods, bush wood type, dominated by poplar, alder and such like. Trees reach up to 16 meters in height and an age of 75 years. This area has also a hunting reservation with an area of 4.5 ha. The Franc Joseph Island is an excellent place for nature lovers and those that prefer quiet and distance form noise. One can alternate one's stay in the area with holidays on the beach of Velipoja. At the same time, the island can serve as an exchange point for cross border tourism with Montenegro.

After having visited these ligattinous coastal sights, we would suggest continuing towards the north to enjoy the beauty of the Albanian Alps. One attraction is the Cave of Puc in Boga. To reach this destination located in the Western Albanian Alps, after returning to Shkodra, one heads towards north. Having arrived at Koplik, the road then turns right passing the village of Dedaj and entering into the Alps. The Cave of Puc is situated in the heart of Alps, in the Boga valley. This is one of the most beautiful and fascinating sights in the Alps and the whole mountainous regions of Albania.

The cave is 1,087 meters above the sea level. It is 5 by 5 and has several floors in a karstic ensemble which connects to another cave, that of Hus, located nearby. The central area of the cave consists of 5 floors which are linked to one another through vertical shafts and sloping galleries. The cave is composed of calcite concretions. It is worthwhile visiting by tourists and speleologists alike. They can find accommodation in the characteristic houses of the region in Theth and Boge.

Thethi is the last destination of this itinerary. From Boga one follows the road to the east. After the Pass of Terthore, 2,000 meters above the sea level, the roads takes the visitor to the basin of Theth. The road is difficult, mountainous and with numerous curves.

Thethi is a national park with an area of 2,300 ha. A brook bearing the same name, inhabited by the marble trout, runs through it. The area is covered by woods, especially aged beech, comprising 90 percent of the trees. The fauna has idiosyncratic characteristics too, with the lynx being the most frequently met animal, though currently decreased in number. Thethi is an excellent destination for mountain climbing, tracking, river sports, fishing, excursions, etc.


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