Dajti Mountain National Park

The Dajti Mountain National Park (in Albanian: Parku Kombëtar "Dajt"), also known as Dajti Mountain National Park, declared in 1966, stands as a unique natural refuge offering visitors an unparalleled experience of Albania’s biodiversity and scenic beauty. Located just a stone’s throw from the capital, Tirana, this park presents itself as a perfect getaway for those seeking adventure, tranquility, and direct contact with nature. This article invites exploration of Dajti’s most iconic corners, from its winding trails to its local traditions, preparing the traveler for a memorable experience.

Introduction to Dajti Mountain National Park

Dajti Mountain National Park


he Dajti Mountain National Park, locally known as Parku Kombëtar "Mali i Dajtit", is a protected area established in 1966 in the heart of Albania. Spanning an area of 293.84 km2 (approximately 114 square miles) since 2006, the park is located about 40 km (approximately 24.85 miles) east of the Adriatic Sea and approximately 26 km (approximately 16.16 miles) east of Tirana, the country’s capital. Its management is shared between the Albanian Agency of Protected Areas (AKZM) and the Tirana Municipality Parks and Recreation Agency (APR).

It borders the Shtamë Pass Natural Park to the northwest, the Kraste-Verjon Protected Landscape to the west, and the Mali me Gropa-Bizë-Martanesh Protected Landscape to the east. The park’s topography is rugged and fragmented, creating optimal conditions for a diversity of ecosystems and biodiversity.

The Dajti Mountain National Park has been designated as Category II by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and recognized as an internationally Important Plant Area by Plantlife.

In 2019, a new tourist information center was inaugurated near the radio and television towers along the SH47 road in Fushe Dajt. The area is famous for the Dajti Ekspres cable car, the adventure park, and the ancient traditional restaurants offering local dishes according to the tradition of slow food.

Geographical Location

The Dajti National Park (in Albanian, Parku Kombëtar "Dajt") is located 26 km east of the capital and 50 km east of Mother Teresa Airport. With an area of 29,384 hectares (approximately 114 square miles), this park is highly frequented during the day and is considered the "Natural Balcony of Tirana". In addition to Mount Dajt, inside it is Mount Priska (1353 m). The park’s initial area has been extended several times.

Continent: Europe

Mountain Range: Kruja

Coordinates: 41°21′57″N 19°55′32″E

Administrative Location:

  • Country: Albania
  • Division: Tirana District

General Features:

  • Altitude: 1613 m (5292.13 feet)
  • Rock Type: Limestone

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the Dajti Mountain National Park is during the months of April, May, June, July, August, September, October, and November. These months usually offer good weather and optimal conditions for exploring the park and enjoying its landscapes. The hottest months are July and August, while January is the coldest of the year. Regarding rainfall, the rainiest months are January, February, March, October, November, and December. Therefore, if you want to avoid rain and enjoy pleasant temperatures, it is best to plan your visit during the middle months of the year.

Geography, Geology, and Climate in Dajti

Overview of the Terrain

Dajti is characterized by its geographic diversity, from deep valleys to high peaks offering panoramic views of Tirana and the Adriatic Sea. The varied terrain of the park is ideal for hiking, with trails that traverse dense forests and open meadows.

Geological Map of Dajti Mountain National Park, Albania


The mountainous massif of Dajti, rising to 1,613 meters (approximately 5,292 feet) above sea level, includes not only the prominent Mount Dajti but also other notable peaks such as Priska to the south, Tujani in the center, and Brari to the north. From these heights, climbers can enjoy panoramic views of the city of Tirana and the surrounding mountains, earning this place the nickname "Tirana’s Balcony". One notable feature of the area is Lake Bovilla, an important water source for Tirana, located northeast of Brari and characterized by its steep cliffs and a deep canyon.

At the other end of the park, along the Erzen River, lies the prehistoric cave of Pellumbas, located in the Skorana Gorge, which has been carved by the river’s action over time. Additionally, another natural attraction in the area is the Shëngjini waterfalls, located near the village of Shëngjergj. These natural features make Dajti National Park a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Mountains of the National Park

The most prominent mountains of Dajti National Park are presented below, along with their heights in meters and feet:

Peak Height (meters) Height (feet)
Maja e Micekut te Shemerise 1,818 m 5,964 ft
Maja e Majazit 1,701 m 5,580 ft
Kodra y Berminit 1,623 m 5,324 ft
Mount Dajti 1,613 m 5,291 ft
Maja y Papatit 1,603 m 5,259 ft
Maja y Tujanit 1,524 m 5,000 ft
Maja y Kollçit 1,475 m 4,839 ft
Kodra y Selitës 1,451 m 4,760 ft
Maja y Stervecit 1,451 m 4,760 ft
Maja y Rrepës 1,440 m 4,724 ft
Maja y Qytezës 570 m 1,870 ft

Dajti Mountain

Dajti is a mighty mountain rising to over 1,800 meters (approximately 5,959 feet) above sea level, displaying spectacular and towering sides. Its western side is separated by a saddle, while three other peaks reach heights of around 1,600 meters (approximately 5,249 feet), such as Mali i Dajtit, which reaches 1,613 meters (approximately 5,291 feet). At the mountain’s summit, rocky formations can be found, adding beauty to the panoramic views this place offers.

Dajti Mountain, Albania

The terrain surrounding the boundaries and interior of this natural reserve is covered with stones, suggesting a long history of geological events. Mainly composed of limestone, the mountain has undergone karstification processes over time.

The geological base of the area is formed by sedimentary rocks known as limestones, which are sediment layers from the Mesozoic era. In addition to limestone, metamorphic rocks such as dolomite can also be found. The variety in the mountain’s relief allows distinguishing different types of limestones and dolomites.

Due to geological activity that has occurred over time, large rock blocks have shifted and fractured, creating regions with visible porous rocks today. These layers of dolomite, often exposed near the surface, facilitate the formation of shallow groundwater, resulting in numerous water sources on the mountain.

Most mountain ranges formed during the Mesozoic era experienced turbulent geological events that resulted in a variety of shapes, heights, and depths. These events facilitated water infiltration throughout the mountain, generating numerous areas with surface water flow.

The area around Dajti features many characteristic karstic rock formations, particularly well represented on the plain and slopes, including notable swallow holes. As a result of these processes, various caves have formed, representing fascinating ecosystems for study and protection.

These caves, sinkholes, and other formations also act as water reservoirs, contributing to the existence of numerous water sources in the region. One of the country’s most important aquifers is located a few kilometers north of Dajti Mountain. This aquifer not only provides high-quality water to Tirana but also enriches the entire region, promoting biodiversity and life in the surrounding area.

Tujani Peak

Tujani Peak, located at 1,580 meters(5,184 feet) high, is about a 2-hour hike from the cable car terminal. A well-marked trail leads through the oak forest to the Cherry Pass, between the two peaks of Dajti. Although the trail is quite busy, wearing appropriate hiking footwear and bringing an extra layer is recommended, as the weather can change rapidly. In case of heat, it’s important to bring water and sunscreen. For a detailed guide of the route, you can click here.

During the summer months, temperatures on the mountain can reach a pleasant 25°C, while in winter, they can drop to -10°C, so it’s essential to wear warm clothing if you plan to hike during this season.

Within the Dajti Mountain National Park are the remains of Dajti Castle, believed to date back to the Roman era, although they were not discovered until 1963. From this part of Mount Dajti, panoramic views stretching from western Albania to the Adriatic Sea can be enjoyed.


Dajti Mountain National Park exhibits a combination of both coastal and continental characteristics. Summers tend to be hot, while winters are more rigorous.

The climate in Dajti is typical of mountain regions, characterized by cool temperatures. At altitudes of around 1000 meters (approximately 3300 feet), average temperatures range around 12°C. The coldest months are January, with an average temperature of 3.2°C, while July records the warmest temperatures, with an average of 20.4°C. The average annual precipitation is approximately 1520 mm, with a significant portion of this precipitation occurring as accumulated snow during the colder winter months.


One of the main water sources for Tirana is Lake Bovilla, located northeast of the city and within the Dajti Mountain National Park. At the opposite end of the park are steep cliffs and a canyon, while the Erzen River winds near the prehistoric cave of Pellumbas on its way to the Skorana Gorge. Near Shëngjergj, one of the highlights are the Shëngjini waterfalls.

In this region, groundwater is only found in rocks composed of dolomite and limestone. The presence of dolomite also significantly contributes to the formation of underground caves in the area.

Biodiversity in Dajti

Dajti hosts a highly diverse ecosystem, teeming with plants thriving in its warm climate, making it one of Albania’s lushest and most cherished parks. This landscape showcases a unique variety of flora, distributed across three different altitudinal levels.

In the Mediterranean scrubland soil zones, perennial shrubs are found, while the gorse soil harbors another type of perennial plants like heather. The predominant forest soil is populated by oaks and beeches, with exclusive varieties of oaks thriving in this environment. On the beech terraces, a forest consisting entirely of these trees extends.

The Dajti forest is considered virtually untouched by human intervention, giving it high scientific and ecological value. The plant diversity present in it also serves to preserve ancient habitats and provide food sources for local fauna.

The park’s soil hosts a vast ecosystem, where plants, trees, and animals interact in an intricate web of life. Various bacteria break down dead organic materials, while fungi and a variety of animal life contribute to this complex cycle. Decomposing trees are crucial for providing shelter to birds, insects, and other wild animals.

Flora: Representative Species and Vegetation Zones

Wildlife in Dajti Mountain
In the lower zones of the range, vegetation is mainly composed of shrubs, heathers, myrtles, and wild strawberries. At altitudes between 600 and 1,000 meters, oaks dominate the landscape, interspersed with beech and maple forests, while above 1,000 meters, some conifers can be found. On rocky peaks, vegetation is scarce due to harsh environmental conditions. This richness of flora and fauna makes Dajti a fascinating place to explore and enjoy nature.

In recent years, forest fires have devastated a significant portion of Dajti National Park, consuming approximately 10 hectares (24 acres) of forests in the Priska or Maja Priskes area (1,353 m / 4,438 ft), and also partially affecting Mali i Dajtit (1,613 m / 5,291 ft). Authorities fought hard for days to extinguish these fires, but the damage was already done.

Unfortunately, forest fires have become increasingly frequent and dangerous in the region. In addition to the severe environmental impact, these fires also pose a threat to wildlife and the safety of nearby communities. Despite the efforts of authorities, the number of forest fires has increased considerably in recent years, and responsibility for these incidents is often difficult to determine.

Fauna: Characteristic Animals and Viewing Areas

The fauna of Dajti is diverse, with the presence of wolves, foxes, and a rich birdlife. Birdwatching areas are especially popular among visitors, offering opportunities to observe rare species in their natural habitat.

Due to the diverse geology of the Albanian protected area and the topography of the Dajti massif, time has created a rich and varied habitat for fauna. Apart from dense forests and mountain landscapes adorned with numerous species of wildflowers, the park is home to a large number of protected mammals.

A total of 8 species of mammals and 11 species of birds are recorded. This park is extraordinary for the wide variety of species that inhabit it. Among the mammals present are bears, wolves, rabbits, hedgehogs, otters, various types of bats, and squirrels. Additionally, the park is home to wild boars, Eurasian wolves, red foxes, European hares, brown bears, squirrels, and European wildcats.

Among the bird species that can be observed in the park are eagles, woodpeckers, mountain partridges, as well as a variety of reptiles (7 species) and amphibians (4 species). This diversity of wildlife contributes to the richness and ecological value of the Dajti National Park.

Tourist Attractions and Recommended Activities in Dajti

Dajti Cable Car (Dajti Ekspres)

The cable car offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views as they ascend (almost) to the top of Dajti Mountain. With a length of 4.7 kilometers, it is the longest cable car in the Balkans. During the 15-minute journey, passengers are treated to views ranging from dense forests to picturesque farms, hilltops, and ancient bunkers, offering a unique and memorable experience.

How to Get to the Dajti Ekspres

Bus: From Skanderbeg Square, you can take the bus to Linzë, which will take you to the starting point of the Dajti Ekspres cable car. To return, the bus will depart from the other side of the road.
Walking: If you prefer a more active option, you can walk from the center of Tirana, which will take you approximately an hour. You can see the route here.

Taxi: Another option is to take a taxi from the city center, although keep in mind that it could cost between 700 and 1000 lek per trip (about €5.50 to €8) and it is advisable to negotiate the price before getting in.

Entrance Fee: The round-trip ticket on the cable car costs 800 lek, approximately €6.50. Reduced rate options are also available.

Practical Tip: It is advisable to carry enough cash for the day before setting out, as the ATM in the cable car may be unreliable and may not work.

Dajti Adventure Park

Dajti Adventure Park is an exciting aerial activities and zip-line park located in the heart of Dajti Mountain. To access this park, the most convenient way is to take the Dajti Ekspres cable car, which is included in the entrance fee.

Picnic Areas and Recreational Areas

Picnic areas and recreational areas are scattered throughout the park, offering ideal places to enjoy a day outdoors with family or friends.

Horseback Riding and Mountain Biking

For a different experience, horseback riding and mountain biking allow you to explore the park from new perspectives, combining sport and nature.

Paragliding and Other Outdoor Activities

Paragliding is a popular option for the more adventurous, offering an unparalleled aerial view of the park and its surroundings.

Trails and Trekking Routes in Dajti

The trails of Dajti invite you to explore nature up close, with routes that cater to all levels of experience. From relaxed walks to mountaineering challenges, there is something for every adventurer.

Mali i Dajtit Route

Mali i Dajtit, with an altitude of 1,613 m (5,291 feet), offers a relaxing ascent experience via the Dajti Ekspres cable car. This modern means of transportation, with a patented Austrian design, covers a distance of up to 4.7 km (3 miles) in just 15 minutes.

During the ascent, you will traverse the picturesque Dajti Mountain National Park and witness breathtaking views of the city of Tirana. From your elevated position, you will observe a variety of dwellings, from small rural houses to farms, as well as a lake and lush vegetation.

At the summit, you will find radio and television transmission facilities, as well as a restricted military zone. Foot access to the actual peak is limited only to military personnel, so visitors cannot undertake this hike. However, the cable car ride provides an unparalleled panoramic experience to the summit.

Maja and Tujanit Route

If you’re looking for a quieter mountain experience away from the crowds, I recommend exploring Tujani. This route starts at the peak of Dajti and follows a well-traveled ancient trail through the forest to a pass between Mali i Dajtit (1,613 m/5,291 feet) and Maja e Tujanit (1,524 m/5,000 feet).

From this stunning viewpoint in the western lowlands, you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views. The trail will take you to the peak of Tujani, which represents the highest point accessible on foot. From its summit, you can delight in magnificent views of Lake Bovilla and the majestic surrounding mountains.

Pellumbas Cave Route

If you’re looking for a unique experience without straying too far from the city, this day trip is specially designed for adventure enthusiasts. During this 2 km (1.2-mile) hike, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy breathtaking views and explore fascinating stalactite and stalagmite formations.

The final destination of this hike is the famous "Shpella e Zeze" or "Pellumbas Black Cave," a safe hiking trail that was last inspected in 2010. Along the way, you’ll enjoy stunning views from the Erzen River, surrounded by canyon walls adorned with wildflowers and towering mountain peaks.

This cave, one of the earliest settlements discovered in the region, houses artifacts dating back to the Neolithic period, as well as more recent artifacts from the Bronze and Iron Ages. Immersing yourself in the history and natural beauty of this place offers a truly fantastic experience for adventurers.

Cities near Dajti


Tirana, Albania
Tirana, the capital and largest city of Albania, is home to a population of approximately 500,000 residents. It is the epicenter of all key economic sectors in the country, including industry, commerce, transportation, communications, and tourism.

The city is experiencing rapid growth and is distinguished by its diversity and rich culture. With a history dating back to the Ottoman era, Tirana represents a fascinating melting pot of modern Albania. Its diverse and vibrant architecture offers a unique blend of styles, standing out for its colorful and unique character among other metropolitan areas.


Durres, Albania
Durres, the second largest city in Albania, is home to a population of around 300,000 residents and is located on the country’s west coast.

With a history dating back to antiquity, Durres is one of Europe’s oldest cities and boasts a rich cultural heritage. The city’s name comes from an Illyrian settlement called Dyrachion, inhabited by the Dardanians, known for their bravery and resilience.

Over the centuries, Durres has been inhabited by various civilizations, from the Illyrians and Greeks to Romans, Byzantines, and Slavs, before becoming part of the Ottoman Empire in 1478. After World War I, it became part of Italy, but after World War II, it was returned to Albania. This rich history has left a notable imprint on the city’s architecture and culture.


Vlorë, Albania
Vlorë, a modest-sized city in Albania, is the capital of the eponymous district and is home to a population of around 130,000 residents. Founded by the Romans in the 1st century AD, Vlorë was one of the prominent cities of ancient Albania.

Throughout its history, the city has been home to various civilizations, including Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Turks. Its name derives from the Latin word "vola," meaning "to fly." Vlorë attracts tourists from across Europe thanks to its numerous beaches, which are popular destinations for rest and recreation.

In addition to its beautiful coastlines, Vlorë boasts a rich historical heritage that includes churches, mosques, and monasteries, making it an attractive destination for visitors interested in exploring its cultural heritage.

Culture and Tradition in Dajti

Human History

Recently, numerous archaeological sites have been discovered within the Dajti Mountain National Park, revealing traces of ancient settlements and fortifications. These findings are of great significance as they shed light on the communities that inhabited this region in the past.

One of the most prominent fortifications is located at the top of Mali i Dajtit (1,613 m / 5,291 ft). This structure, built in prehistoric times, has been used over the centuries, from antiquity to the medieval era, and even during the world wars. It served as a refuge and military outpost, providing insight into the lives of people both in the mountains and in the nearby valleys, including the Tirana Valley.

It is speculated that the name of Mount Dajti could derive from the Greek goddess Diktynna. With archaeological evidence dating back over 10,000 years, the mountain harbors a rich history. In addition to ancient fortifications, traces from later periods have been discovered. These discoveries support the theory that the mountain is named after the Greek goddess.

Since 1961, certain areas of the mountain have been protected as part of the National Park. The summit can be accessed via a narrow paved road, where a summer camp once stood and is now filled with restaurants and radio and television transmission towers.

Since June 2005, a cable car built in Austria has provided visitors with a new way to explore this mountain near the capital of Albania. During the ascent, one can enjoy stunning views of Fusha e Dajtit and higher altitudes.

Villages and Local Communities

Local communities play a vital role in the conservation of the park and offer an authentic insight into Albanian culture, with hospitality that warms the heart.

Typical Regional Cuisine

The cuisine in Dajti reflects the richness of the land, with dishes that use local ingredients and offer an authentic taste of traditional Albanian cuisine.

Festivals and Cultural Events

Festivals and cultural events are an excellent opportunity to experience local traditions, with music, dance, and craftsmanship celebrating Albania’s rich cultural heritage.