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PEAKS OF THE BALKANS is a 192 kilometer long hiking trail. Over the course of 9-10 stages it circles the mountainous border land between Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro. Until some years ago it would have been impossible to do this wonderful hiking trail across three different countries, but nowadays it is possible thanks also to our organization. The luggage are transported either by mules or SUV cars and brought to the next guesthouse from one mountain peak to the other.
Welcomed by the guide in Tirana International Airport, transfer to Shkodra, oldest and biggest city of north Albania. Up in the mountains of the Albanian Alps. Accommodate yourself in the isolated village of Theth surrounded by 2000 m high mountains where time has stopped. Free afternoon in Theth.
Drive: 3hrs 30min.
Hike from Theth to Valbona via Valbona Pass (King´s trail)
Today we head towards spectacular Valbona Pass. It’s not a particularly hard walk and is one that is attempted by many first-time mountain walkers. For the next couple of hours, the trail climbs slightly more steeply towards higher ground and we walk over a pass known as Valbona Pass. After several hours of hiking uphill, we stop at Zefi’s bar for a byrek, coffee, a beer or a raki, but most importantly fresh tasty mountain water.
At last in Valbona Pass 1792m above sea level. On One side Theth Valley on the other Valbona Valley, both original, both guest friendly.
Track: 16.3Km; Uphill: 1040m, Downhill: 945m; Maximum altitude: 1792 m; Time: 6 hrs
Hike up the epic and remote “Prejsllopi Pass” trail. Overnight in Cerem
After a hearty breakfast and a cup of hot mountain tea, we will start ascending the steep zig-zag trail to the epic and remote Prejsllopi Pass. Having several hours of hiking, we’ll reach the highest point of our trip today (2000m) as we hike a series of switchbacks over a pass that offers outstanding views of the snowcapped peaks of the Alps Range in every direction.
After crossing the border and thrusting into Montenegro, we will stop for lunch at Bori Pass, a flat spot with grass, a meadow for many shepherds from Cerem and Vuthaj. It’s a perfect place to have a nap.
From here, we continue tracking another 30 minutes toward the shepherd’s hut where we’ll enjoy a final coffee and mountain tea. Henceforward we can see the village of Cerem where we’ll stay tonight after another 2 hours of further hiking downhill to reach our destination.
Track: 13.3Km; Uphill: 1150m, Downhill: 870m; Maximum altitude: 1759m; Time: 6-7hrs
Track from Cerem to Doberdol, a vast alpine pasture
Leaving Çerem and the Kollata massif behind, we walk slowly in the forest for a couple of hours.
Today’s hike is a very easy walk mostly into the forest. We briefly cross the Montenegro border and return in Albania until we reach the ruins of the old military border post. Further on we take a picnic break at the hamlet of Balqin, which is used by the shepherds during the summer season. After a hearty lunch and coffee break, we continue to walk along a mostly flat, scenic trail through patches of beech forest. We finally reach the Doberdol pasture.
Track: 12.8Km; Uphill: 686m, Downhill: 410m; Maximum altitude: 1922m; Time: 5-6hrs
Hike Doberdol to Milishefc via Three Border Point.
After an early breakfast, today’s hike begins through bilberry-covered meadows of Dobërdol in the direction of the mountain ridge, which forms the border between the three countries. Our tracking day in the magical Triple peak 2266m, with a view of the Albanian Alps behind where we walked days before. After a photo break, we walk slowly through a beautiful alpine meadow to Milishefc. All meals included.
Track: 18.2Km; Uphill: 950m, Downhill: 1045m; Maximum altitude: 2236m; Time: 7-8hrs
Track from Milishefc to Rugova Camp – transfer to Reka Allages
This is a relatively short track. There is a short uphill but long, zig-zag downhill to Rugova Camp. At the Camp, there is a good restaurant – very good local fish – we can relax before a short transfer to Reka Allages.
Trek: 11.8Km; Uphill: 607m, Downhill: 1430m; Maximum altitude: 2136m; Time: 5-6hrs
A great track leads us to the summit of Hajla peak 2403m
The hike starts with an ascent northwest through the meadow behind Mustafa’s guesthouse. After walking a few hundred meters, we reach a meadow with beautiful views towards Reka e Allagёs and the surrounding mountains. From here, we have great views of the mountains, as well as the top of Guri Kuq which marks the highest peak in the Rugova mountains.
After about three hours of gradual ascent, we reach Era’s hut where we have a break before reaching the top. Well rested, we begin a challenging but relatively short hike to the summit 2403m. On reaching the top of the Hajla 2403m, we stay high and contour around to the other side, enjoying spectacular views as we go.
From the top of Hajla, if the weather indicates clear views, we can see five different countries; Kosovo, Montenegro, Bosnia, Serbia, and Macedonia. After relaxing on the top, we enjoy a good descent to the beautiful village of Drelaj.
Track: 15.8Km; Uphill: 1020m, Downhill: 13320m; Maximum altitude: 2403m; Time: 7-8hrs
Track from Kuqishte to Babino Polje through two glacial lakes
Today’s track starts with an early breakfast before we head off on our first full day of tracking. A short transfer from the guesthouse to the starting point. This is a relatively long hike that passes the border between Kosovo and Montenegro. It goes through beautiful mountain areas with many water sources, glacial lakes, and mountain passes featuring breathtaking views. After passing the lakes we go gradually up to Lugu i Shkodrёs for a very beautiful landscape.
“Shkodra Pass” is called because it used to be the pass of an ancient path connecting this area with the city of Shkodra in Albania. After refueling with some lunch and returning to the trailhead, we continue walking to a borderland, then descent to a hidden village of Montenegro, Babino Polje.
Trek: 15.8Km; Uphill: 1140m, Downhill: 1050m; Maximum altitude: 2265m; Time: 7-8hrs
Babino Polie – Plav. Explore the old town of Plav
After breakfast, we set out on beautiful lake Hrid Jezero for a cool swim in the middle of a forest. After having rest, we continue to a vantage point providing magnificent views of the surrounding landscape where You enjoy a picnic lunch in this picturesque setting surrounded by a lot of beech trees.
The mostly off-trail route passes through typical patches of forest with panoramic views of the Prokletije including the Albanian Alps off in the distance. After finishing the track this afternoon, a short coffee rest in the town with a view of Plav Lake before transferring to nearby Village, our home for tonight.
Track: 19.8Km; Uphill: 607m, Downhill: 1190m; Maximum altitude: 2048m; Time: 7-8hrs
Hike to Vusanje via Bori Peak for the epic Accursed Mountain views
After another healthy breakfast to start our day, we trek to Vusanje for the last night in Montenegro. We hike through dense beech forest encountering flowering plants before reaching the open meadows of Bori ridge. The final approach to the high pass begins here with a steep ramp leading to the peak of Bori. At the top, the views of the surrounding peaks of the Accursed Mountains are spectacular. The trail then descends steeply and passes through a meadow then forest to Vusanje. All meals included.
Track: 14.6Km; Uphill: 744m, Downhill: 1174m; Maximum altitude: 2098m; Time: 6-7hrs
Spectacular hike from Vusanje to Theth – Drive to Tirana
Today’s hike into Prokletije National Park is certain to be a memorable one. This is a relatively long hike that crosses the border between Montenegro and Albania. The path passes along the craggiest part of the Prokletije/Bjeshkёt e Namuna/Alpet Shqipёtare mountains. Almost the entire hike is surrounded by steep mountains with stunning views. This itinerary allows us a glance into the region’s past when it was a forbidden zone during the Communist era.
A border military post, some bunkers, and the border crossing pyramid sign still remains by the crossing. We will have a picnic lunch in lush Alpine meadows carpeted with wildflowers and full of butterflies. The Peaks of the Balkans trail finishes at the very beautiful village of Theth with its traditional tower houses surrounded by steep mountains. This evening, we enjoy a delicious dinner at Polia’s guest house. We’ll celebrate the beautiful day and newfound friendships.
Track: 17.8Km; Uphill: 788m, Downhill: 1231m; Maximum altitude: 1734m; Time: 6-7hrs
Before heading off to the airport, everybody can have a free and relaxing day in Tirana. Then, after lunchtime, our adventure ends with a private transfer to the Airport, ending our exciting track in the heart of the Balkans.
Group Airport transfer is included.
Driving: 2 hours.
Accommodations is organized in local Guesthouses including breakfast, lunch (sometimes picnic lunch), dinner.
Price 1089 Euro/person.