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Shtamë Pass National Park

Shtame National Park
Qaf Shtama National Park is located 25 km northeast of Kruja. The spectacular views and high peaks of this location are truly breath taking. It comprises an area of 2,000 hectares. The road that leads to the entrance of the park goes through the narrow Vaja Canyon, about 600-700 metres deep, formed by the Droja River that flows at its bottom. The legend goes that after the occupation of Kruja by the Turks, ninety young virgins from the town threw themselves down to the bottom of the canyon in order not to fall into the Turks’ hands. The vegetation in the Qafë Shtama Park consists mainly of pine forests, which make if a place with good climatic conditions believed to help relieve lung conditions. In the Qafë Shtama Park one finds also Burimi i Nënës Mbretëreshë (Queen Mother’s Spring), which flows with crystal clear water noted for its healthful properties, thought to have drinkable water of curative properties. Qafë-Shtama is suitable for nature tourism and such activities as hiking, camping, etc.
North of the pass road is the major part of the park, mostly undeveloped land with mountain forests, where pines, beech and oaks dominate. The black pines are one of the most important resources in Albania. The forest retreat for offering brown bears, wolves, foxes and various birds. The highest point to which it rises steeply from the pass to the north, are the Maja e Liqenit (1724 meters) and the secondary peak Maja e i Rjepat Qetkolës (1686 meters). In the north-west and south from the area falls into deep river valleys.  In the south it borders the park on the Dajti National Park.
The most important source of water is Kroi i Nenes Mbretëreshë (The source of the Queen Mother), which is known for its clean, clear and healthy water. It brings the legend of the source with the Albanian royal family together, which is supposedly a day of water supply from this source could be after the year 1932 by a testing laboratory in Vienna  this as the best water in the country had been awarded. The water is also taken and a beverage bottling brought a little further down at the park entrance. The produced this mineral water is sold under the nationally brand ‘Qafshtama’.
The national park was established in 1996 by the Albanian government. It is becoming lately a popular attraction for hiking. The park’s name translates as pass Shtama .The road from Kruja to Burrel, runs through the park, on an altitude about 1250 meters.
Source: National Agency for Protected Areas