Albania, The Forgotten Castle of Danja

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Vau Dejes, Albania

Beautiful views, hike, picnic & history from the ruins


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What To Expect

The town of Vau Dejës is a rural community situated just 30 minutes east of Shkodër, it is the modern incarnaiton of the historic settlement of Denja, the medieval castle which commanded the strategic point where the Drin River exits the high mountains to the east and begins to snake its way across the plain of Zadrima towards the Adriatic. Once a vital center of trade and commerce during late Middle Ages, Vau Dejës is now a small town whose inhabitants support themselves through subsistence farming or by working at the nearby hydro-electric power plant build in 1971.

Danja (Vau Dejës) enjoyed status as the seat of the Zaharias, one of Albania’s most distinguished feudal families, who commanded the region from Danja, their fortress stronghold perched high on the cliffs above Danja’s old town. Though long since abandoned, and almost lost to history, today the astonishingly well preserved ruins of Danja Castle provide breathtaking panoramas of Shkodër’s southern wine-country and the rugged peaks of the Albanian Alps.

Just adjacent to the castle ruins sits the recently restored remains of the Church of Saint Maria, a Roman Catholic Church and monastery where, according to Barleti, Albania’s most famous national hero, Skanderbeg, was coronated as he began his rebellion against Ottoman Turks in the mid-15th century. Unfortunately, the original church was demolished by the communist regime in 1967.


The tour will take from 3 to 4 hours this will depend how much time you would like to spend up there.
  • Depart from meeting point at Shega e Eger: 30 minutes to drive to Vau Dejes
  • 2km hike to the lost Castle of Danja
  • Visit to the ancient Church of Vau Dejës
  • Picnic: 90 minutes
  • Return to city center: 45 minutes

What To Bring

  • Sunscreen
  • Hiking Shoes
16 EUR 3.5 hrs
  • Hiking
  • Monuments
  • Nature
  • Active
  • History
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    Pricing Breakdown

    As a social enterprise we value fairness and transparency. Here is exactly what your money pays for:

    Expense Cost
    Transport 6 €
    Guide 5 €
    Local Salaries 3 €
    Taxes + Costs 2 €
    Total 16 €

    Minimum 4 people.

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