Administrative Unit Kelmend – Malësi e Madhe
In the early twentieth century Edith Durham, a young British explorer, was lured towards Malësia e Madhe, the land of the Great Mountain. Despite many difficulties she was carried away by the charm of an ancient culture still alive: the land of the living past.
Kelmend, the most isolated and untouched region of Malësia e Madhe, will expose you to unforgettable landscapes, uncontaminated nature and the discovery of ancient traditions and customs.
The unspoilt villages have many treasures to explore and they suit every tourists’ needs: peace and tranquillity for the families, warm welcome by family-run traditional guesthouses, authentic cuisine, uncontaminated nature and mountains for the adventurous lovers of arduous climbing. Capable and thoughtful guides will lead you through awe-inspiring places.
All the above is embellished by the wit and hilarity of Kelmendas people, that consider hospitality as a sacred law, unchanged over the years. The same hospitality that made a young Edith Durham fall in love with North Albania.
Kelmend is a mountainous region located in the northern part of the Republic of Albania and has a population of about 6,000 inhabitants. It is one of the largest administrative unit of Malësia e Madhe, having a surface area of 353 km². The Region is composed of eight villages: Tamarë, Brojë, Kozhnjë, Vukël, Nikç, Selcë, Lepushë and Vermosh and it shares borders with Shkrel, Kastrat, Shala, Margegaj (Tropojë) and Montenegro.
Kelmend is home to some of the most impressive landscapes in the Albanian Alps. The beautiful nature, the hospitality of the people and the delicious local food will make a visit to this region an unforgettable experience.
Today visitors can find several traditional hosting structures if they wish to staying longer to enjoy different outdoor activities or take part in cultural festivities in Tamarë, Nikç, Predeleci Pass, Lepushë and Vermosh.
Since 2015, this area has also become easily accessible, thanks to a beautiful panoramic road that connects this once remote area to Koplik, the administrative center of Malesi e Madhe, and with Shkoder as well as with the rest of the country.
Tamarë village is the administrative centre of Kelmend Region. It is located at an altitude of 280 m, exactly where the tributaries of the river Cem converge. It has a newly renovated welcoming little center, where tourists can find a touristic info point, a market and few restaurants.
Lepushë village, located at an altitude of 1,200 m above sea level, is considered as the nature’s masterpiece of Kelmend. It is named after a yellow-flowered plant typical of this area. Lepushë is knows in all Albania and abroad thanks to its most prestigious event, called “Logu I Bjeshkeve”, an annual ancient celebration that can be described as a traditional “beauty contest”. It lies on a soft greenery-covered valley close to the so called “Accursed Mountains”, where numerous legends and epic verses such as “Songs of the Frontier Warriors” originate from.
Vermosh village lies in the northern most remote part of Albania, at an altitude of 1,000 meters, at the border with Montenegro. Its breathtaking natural landscapes are still untouched by mass tourism. It lies in a valley of the Albanian Alps, along the river with the same name. Vermosh is also renowned for being home to more than 30 different kinds of medicinal and endemic plants.