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Qafe Shtame and Skenderbeut Mountainoffroadhiking

Summary: The road across Qafe Shtame used to be the main link between Tirana and Burrel, but the top of the pass and especially the way down to Burrel has now fallen into disrepair. Most people, including visitors have heard about Qafe Shtame because of the mineral water of the same name. The drive across the pass is one of the recommended - moderately difficult - drive for off-raod enthusiasts, as it offers a first glimpse into the Tirana back-country along a varied and interesting track. In addition, the hike from the top of the pass to the top of Skenderbeut mountain is an absolut bonus. It is not difficult and a great opportunity to break the drive across the pass into two portions, for a full day of adventure. In addition, Skenderbeut mountain "hides" behind the front range of the mounatins around Tirana, but it is higher and offers fantastic views to  and across all mountains that one usually sees from the other side. On a clear day the views extend to a long coastline of the Adriatic, and down to Burrel and on to Mali e Dejes and other highlights. The views from Skenderbeut mountain must be rated the most extraordinary of all mounatins around Tirana - browse the images below!

The Drive:

Maximum altitude: 1249 meter
Minimum altitude: 321 meter
Cumulative height: 971 meter
Cumulative length: 39  kilometers
Difficulty moderate
Time: about 4 hours
Date of this record June  2011
Download GPS info: Qafe Shtame Drive

The Hike: 

Maximum altitude: 1721 meter
Minimum altitude: 1243 meter
Cumulative height: 470 meter
Cumulative length: 3.44  kilometer
Difficulty easy
Time: 1.5  hours
Date of this record June 2011
Download GPS info: Skenderbeut Summit

General location and approach: The drive starts in Kruja town and winds around Kruja moiuntain before reaching Qafe Shtame. The track ends in Burrel, from which it takes about two hours or so to return to Tirana along the main road and highway.

Other Information: The road is in reasonable shape until the "Qafe Shtame" water factory, and is often used by larger trucks to ferry water or equipment. Along this stretch one passes some ancient wells. The road, no longer well maintained, leads a few hundred meter on to some basic restaurants. From there, up to the Qafe, the road deteriorates badly and requires a high-clearance vehicle and caution, especially when wet. THere are some radio towers on the Qafe. The road down to Burrel seems to be rarely used, and while well constructed,still requires some caution.

Skenderbeut mountain is used to describe an entire range, but we have used the name to describe its highest point, Mali i Liqenit  - there are two lakes just below the summit, complete with sheep farm. It is also possible to drive up from Qafe Shtame to those lakes and even the summit, and while the road does not seem to be in bad shape for the most part, we think it ismissing the point!

GPS and trailmaps: The map and trailinformation is generated by www.wikiloc.org, based on GPS information collected from the actual hike. Waypoints can be downloaded to a GPS device from Wikiloc. If necessary, use GPSBabel to convert GPS data to different formats. For more hike descriptions by Palmtreetreeproduction, browse this website or visit Wikiloc and search for "Palmtreeproduction". You may also find nearby trails from other authors.

Google Earth: You may also view the trail in 3D by clicking "view in Google Earth" when on Wikiloc. You need to have Google Earth installed on your computer.

Images: Click the full screenbutton at the end of the page to view the slides in full screen