Mountain Safety

Traveling in mountainous region can involve certain dangers, please make sure to always leave well prepared and take local conditions into consideration. With increasing number of visitors more accidents happen every year, some deadly.

Be ware that there is no professional rescue services as you would find it in the Central European Alps. From our own experience we don’t recommend to purely rely on public services. The best help is often close at hand. If you encounter problems, try talking to your local contacts, guesthouse or tour operators.

A helicopter is available emergencies but bad weather condition and lack of knowledge about the terrain and places can inflict the effectiveness of rescue operations.


If you are not an experienced hiker, don’t overestimate your ability. This is especially true for routes that leave the valleys and travel into alpine territory. Some of the following risks can be lessened by choosing to travel with a local guide who knows local weather patterns and the terrain.

  • changing weather conditions: even on a sunny day check the weather forecast and leave with appropriate apparel
  • crevasse and caves: the largest part of the Alps consists out of limestone that can be resolved by water creating shafts, crevasses and caves that can be many meters deep, always walk with care crossing karst territory
  • disused mines and bunkers: while interesting and inviting to explore those can contain poisonous gases or be unstable – seve
  • unexploded ordnance: Enver Hoxha created huge stockpiles of ammunition and the Kosovo conflict left blind bombs and mines in the border areas, while officially cleared we recommend staying on visible paths especially when hiking in the Sharr Mountains, for specific questions contact the Halo Trust
  • snakes: most accidents that require treatment are related to snake bites, antidote is available at the ambulance in Theth and Valbona, find the phone numbers (no English spoken) below

In any case you should save or write down the following contact details in addition to those of your country’s embassy. If you are an citizen of the EU all member embassies are required to offer consular protection, this extends to emergency situations.


Please note, in case of an emergency all foreign tourists receive first aid and medical care free of charge.

  • 126 road police
  • 127 ambulance (Theth + 355 68 5004 559 / Valbona + 355 67 3014 55)
  • 128 fire brigade
  • 129 police

Theth: Pavlin Polia +355 69 3016 781
Valbona: Catherine Bohne +355 67 3014 638

The two largest privately-run hospitals of the country are both located on the outskirts of Tirana along the highway to Durres and listed below. Most towns have their own hospitals but most often lack equipment.

Hygeia Hospital
Tirana-Durrës highway, km1, Fushë Mëzez
+355 4 2390 000
+355 4 232 30 00 (emergencies)

American Hospital
Pranë Spitalit Ushtarak, Laprakë
+355 4 235 75 35


  • 112 emergency response center, coordinates the entire region and all actions between police (122), first aid (123) and fire brigade (124)
  • +382 40 256 084 mountain rescue service of Montenegro


  • 112 emergency response center


The notice of the accident should contain the following information:

  • Who notify (name of the person, phone number) in order to have possibility to get in touch with him in case of need of additional information
  • From where you calling and how do you know about the accident ( a witness or an intermediary)
  • Place of accident (accurate description)
  • Who is hurt (last name, first name, age)
  • What happened (cause and type of injury)
  • What has already been undertaken (a kind of first aid provide, who was informed)
  • Weather conditions at the site of the accident
  • How to access road the site