Koman Lake Ferry, Berisha Ferry, Albania, Balkans

How to get from Tirana to Valbonë

How to get from Tirana to Valbonë was originally published in March 2024

I had some free time between two work trips (Turkmenistan and Lebanon) and that free time happened to fall in mid-October, right over my friend Bekah and I’d birthdays.

So we decided why not go on a birthday bunker bonanza to Albania to celebrate?

As our plans unfurled (Bekah is an excellent planner) we decided to take on the Peaks of Balkans Hike.

The only thing was that if we wanted to have enough time to explore Tirana, we needed to ax our Peaks of the Balkans route down to 9 days rather than the typical 10.

After looking at maps and routes, we decided to remove the Theth to Valbonë segment of the hike and opt to start in Valbonë.

At first glance, it seemed easy enough. Then we started digging in and realized that public transport in the form of furgons (Albania’s version of the marshrutka or minibus) was a bit thin.

We popped into the tourism office in Tirana to ask and we were directed to an Instagram page of a company that organized buses up there (in the end they never saw my message).

So after looking and searching, we decided to cut our losses and just reserve our tickets for the Koman Lake ferry and then figure out how to get there later.

That’s when Bekah discovered on the Berisha website (where you book the Koman ferry) there was an option to add a bus from Tirana to the ferry and then once to the other side, another bus from Fireze to Valbonë.

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Purchasing a Ticket for the Berisha Ferry & Bus

Koman Lake Ferry, Berisha Ferry, Albania, Balkans

You can purchase your Koman ferry ticket and your bus transport from Tirana to Koman and Fierze to Valbonë on the Berisha Ferry website here.

It’s quite simple, when purchasing your ferry ticket there is an option to purchase your transport as well.

The Berisha Ferry will cost 8€/800 Lek per person if purchased in advance and 10€/1000 Lek per person if purchased at the ferry dock.

The Berisha ferry bus from Tirana to Koman will cost 12€/1400 Lek per person.

The Berisha ferry bus from Fierze to Valbonë 8€/800 Lek.

So the grand total for getting from Tirana to Valbonë will be 28€/2800 Lek.

Where to Catch the Berisha Ferry Bus in Tirana & Departure Time

The Berisha Ferry Bus from Tirana to Koman departs from next to the Gazheli Petrol (Google map location). 

Note that the bus leaves once per day at 05:30 am between May 1st to October 1st and 05:00 am from October 2nd to April 30th.

Make sure to get there a bit early as our bus departed before 05:00 am. 

The bus will take approximately 3.5 hours.

Getting on the Koman Lake Ferry

Berisha Koman Ferry, Albania, Balkans

Getting on the Koman Lake Ferry might seem a little chaotic on arrival as it will be quite busy, but your bus driver will direct you where to go. 

An employee for Berisha Ferries will verify that you have a ticket. You’ll show them your printed copy or electronic email copy (or if you booked at the last minute as we did, you’ll just give the name on the booking and they will call and verify it).

Once your ticket has been verified, you’ll board the ferry.

Once on the ferry, find a seat inside or outside and enjoy the ride. The ferry will depart at 09:00 am and arrive at the dock in Fierze at 11:30 am.

The Bus from Fireze to Valbonë

Koman Lake Ferry, Berisha Ferry, Albania, Balkans
Views of Valbonë

Once off the ferry, follow the paved road out of the ferry terminal. A few minutes of walking later, you’ll see a small lot where the minibusses are waiting.

Just show them your ticket and they’ll herd you on. It should take approximately one hour to reach Valbonë from Fierze.

Much to our surprise, the bus driver will ask which hotel you’re staying at and drop you off at it.

Valbonë is a scattered village and accommodations are quite spread apart so we were expecting to get dropped off somewhere near the middle and need to hoof it the remainder of the way.

This was a welcomed surprise since we had sprung for booking the Hotel Fusha e Gjese which is near the trailhead to Valbonë Waterfall, at the end of the village. 

Click here to shop Valbonë hotels.

This is the Easiest Option for Getting from Tirana to Valbonë in a Single Shot

Koman Lake Ferry, Berisha Ferry, Albania, Balkans

As for cost and ease, I would 100% recommend opting to book the whole journey through Berisha to make things easier on yourself.

The other factor is that it ended up being the same price as if we had found a taken the furgon to Koman, booked the ferry ticket, and then taken the final furgon from Fireze to Valbonë. 

Have Any Questions About Getting from Tirana to Valbonë?

Ask in the comments section below.

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