“PEAKS OF THE BALKANS”: Trekking in Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo.


Booking code POB011

13 Days € 1100

Travel dates:2018-09-08 to 2018-09-20           Reservation

Travel dates:2018-08-11 to 2018-08-23           Reservation

Travel dates:2018-06-23 to 2018-07-05           Reservation

Roundtrip through three countries: Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo

Walking/hiking surrounded by the untouched nature of the Kelmendi region, along the Ēemi and Vermoshi river valleys, through the rugged peaks in Thethi and Valbona National Parks in Albania

Hiking in the Junik region in Kosovo

Summit ascent possibilities: Trojani (2194m), Arapi (2217m),  Gjeravica (2658m)

Sightseeing and cultural tours in Shkodra - the centre of north Albania and Tirana - the vibrant capital city of Albania

Possibility to participate at the everyday life of the locals and enjoy the delicious freshly homemade traditional food

Unforgettable boat trip through the picturesque Lake Koman

Accommodation in hotels, guest houses and tents


We are offering you a wonderful tour through the Balkans: The winner of the WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Award. This is a tour through unattainable places where you can realize the real grandeur of the mountains and their jagged peaks. During your journey you will have the opportunity not only to hike and trek, but also to discover totally unknown lands, isolated from the rest of the world preserving their natural beauty, the ancient culture and traditions of their inhabitants untouched. This is not only a tour: this is a discovery, a challenge, a new breath-taking experience. Enjoy it.


Day 1: Shkodra, the centre of north Albania

The journey begins at noon, immediately after arriving at Mother Teresa Airport, with the transfer to Shkodra. It is one of the oldest inhabited cities in Albania with a 2400-year-old history of urban civilization. Numerous people, countries and cultures have left their traces on the city. Many sights, monuments, memorials and ruins bear witness of its eventful history. After a short city tour, we will have dinner in a traditional restaurant "Ą la carte". Overnight in a hotel in Shkodra. (-/-/D)


Day 2: Kelmend, hike up to Sllapi waterfall and drive to Lėpushė: T3, WT 3h, Am↑450m, Dm↓450m

The journey to the north begins right after breakfast. The road leads from Shkodra to Han i Hotit, the village before the border crossing with Montenegro, then heads north, to the Albanian Alps. We travel through the region of Kelmend, the northernmost region of Albania, surrounded by stunning natural beauty. The trip through the steep Cem valley is exceptionally impressive and the winding road that leads to the village Grabom offers breathtaking views over the valley. Passing Tamara, the centre of Kelmend, we will be transferred up to Selca. From here the hike up to the 30 meters high Sllapi waterfall starts. After a lunch break on our way back, transfer to Lėpushė, another village nestled in green hills and surrounded by beech forest. Dinner and accommodation will be provided in a guesthouse. (B/L/D)


Day 3: Hike to Maja e Trojanit (2194m): T3, WT 6h, Am↑1000m, Dm↓1000m

This is a challenging hike that offers stunning views over the countryside of both lands: Albania and Montenegro. Starting from our guesthouse, we follow the trail that leads first through meadows and then through the beech forest and grassy pastures. From here the trail becomes steeper leading to Trojan Pass (Qafa e Trojanit, 2021 m). We will hike one last section over the ridge up to the summit and enjoy the majestic panorama of the Alps. The descent follows the same trail until we reach our guesthouse in Lėpushė. Dinner and accommodation are provided at the same host. (B/L/D)


Day 4: Trekking up to "Buni i Jezercės": T3, WT 3h, Am↑500m, Dm↓100m

After breakfast in Lėpushė, transfer to Vermosh. Just before crossing the border to Montenegro, we will admire the Gėrnjēara Canyon (Canyon of Bashkimi), where the river of Vermosh, the only tributary of the Danube that flows through Albania, gushes into a narrow gorge less than 2m wide, in a pleasant natural setting. Passing through the towns of Guci and Vuthaj, we will travel to an area called Zastan (1350m) where our hike will start. The trail runs through the woods, gradually gaining altitude, and once we re-enter Albania, it continues surrounded by stunning views of high and rugged peaks. At the glacial trough of Buni i Jezercės, approximately 1800m altitude, lay six glacial lakes surrounded by unspoilt, wild nature. Accommodation will be provided in tents at the upper section of the trough. (B/L/D)


Day 5: The Arapi Summit (2217m) and to the village of Theth: T4, WT 9h, Am↑800m, Dm↓1900m

Today's hike is challenging and starts very early in the morning. We hike up in the southwestern direction, leaving back the majestic Kokėrhana Peak and the highest one, Jezerca (2694m), and continue down to the winding trail on the feet of the prominent Maja e Bojės (2461m). Our hike passes by the first woods above the field of Runica and leads to the water source "Sheu i Bardhė", where we will have a short stop.

Then the trail follows southwards with slight slope differences, on a firm grass and stony path in the direction of the Peja Pass. From there the descent towards Theth follows a narrow rocky trail that leads down the valley. The last part is surrounded by colourful scenery, forests, mountains and passing streams. Dinner and accommodation are provided in a guesthouse in Theth, where we will taste the homemade traditional food. 

On the way we will have the possibility to ascent the Arapi summit. The ascent will take an additional 3 hours, Am↑500m and Dm↓500m. (B/L/D)


Day 6: Theth and surroundings: T1+, WT 6h, Am↑450m, Dm↓450m

For today is planned a less demanding hike through the forest. The walk begins in the village with a visit of the "Isolation Tower". Then we will hike to the Waterfall of Grunas and to the Grunas Canyon that is 30 meters in height and one meter in width. After a short break, the hike continues up to Ndėrlysa. On the way, is planed the visit of the mill of Kolaj, a small structure which is put to work by a stream of water diverted from the river.

The glacier mills of Ndėrlysė offer a unique nature spectacle. The water squeezes itself through a narrow approach that has arisen over the millennia. Rounded and sharp rocks, half dipped into the shimmering colours of water and all around green vegetation will surround our path. We will continue our hike up to the "Blue Eye of Kaprre" (Syri i kaltėr i Kaprresė), a spellbinding natural pool with amazingly blue water in a jungle-like environment. After a short break, follows the hike back to Ndėrlysa, from where we will be transferred to our guesthouse. (B/L/D)


Day 7: Through the Pass of Valbonė (1812m) to Valbona: T2+, WT 7h, Am↑1070m, Dm↓900m

Today’s hiking starts early in the morning. The ascent is initially soft and runs through the woods, then becomes steeper and continues on scree to the Pass of Valbonė (Qafa e Valbonės). From the height of 1812 meters above sea level, the view over the valleys of Valbonė and Theth is unique. The descent towards Valbonė is initially craggy, getting softer as we approach the valley. We will walk through the valley of Valbonė up to the village where dinner and accommodation in guesthouse are provided. (B/L/D)


Day 8: Local life in the surroundings of Valbona. (1650m): T2, WT 4h, Am↑750m, Dm↓750m

Just after breakfast we will start hiking towards the hanging glacial valley of Kukaj. The trail runs through boulders and meadows, entering the beech forest. Passing by the houses of Kukaj, the path follows the right side of the valley until a small grassy plateau with a mountain hut, where we will be offered a coffee from the local shepherds.

After a short photo break, hike down to the guest house in the valley. (B/L/D)


Day 9: Hike to Dobėrdol: T3, WT 7h, Am↑1025m, Dm↓750m

After breakfast transfer to Ēerem, a small village amidst the woods, 17 kilometers northeast of Valbonė. At the moment it is inhabited only during the summer time. Our hike starts at the centre of the village on a path that runs northeast along the stream and then enters the forest. The track to Dobėrdol follows through the forest up to the Gashi Valley. Then it turns left ascending to the beautiful meadows and the Valley of Dobėrdol. Overnight stay is provided in tents. (B/L/D)


Day 10: Gjeravica, the highest mountain of Kosovo: T3+, WT 6h, Hm↑1100m, ↓1230m

The day begins with the hike through bilberry covered meadows of Dobėrdol in the direction of the mountain ridge, which forms the border between the two countries. Following the ridge and hiking in the southeastern direction we can see the heart-shaped glacial lake of Gjeravica. We hike up to the saddle from where it is possible to ascend the Gjeravica Mountain. After a break, descent to the village where the vehicles will be waiting to drive us to Gjakova. (B/L/D)


Day 11: Gjakova and the Koman lake

The day starts with a short visit of the Bazaar in Gjakova. After that, transfer to Fierza, where our ferry ride begins (important to note that the ferry trip depends on the water level of the lake). The ferry ride across Lake Koman allows you to see some spectacular scenery, not unlike a Norwegian fjord winding its way between high cliffs and towering peaks. We will leave the ferry in Koman, from where the trip will continue by car to Tirana. (B/L/D)


Day 12: Tirana, the vibrant capital city of Albania 

For the day is planed the visit of the capital city and its main attractions. Tirana is located in Central Albania, at the foot of the Dajti Mountain. At its south and west Tirana is surrounded by hills that form a green belt around the city. Tirana is not only the cultural, political and economic centre of the country, but also a city where fun is guaranteed: lively, loud, crazy, colourful.

We will visit the Et’hem Bey Mosque, Skanderbeg monument and National Historical Museum. 

After dinner you can have a drink in one of the nice bars in "Blloku" quarter, the most animated quarter of the capital. (B/L/D)


Day 13: Transfer to the airport

After breakfast in the morning, the transfer to the airport will be according to your scheduled flight. (B/-/-)

Additional information

On days 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11 due to the length of the activities, it is impossible to turn back to guest house for lunch. Thus, you will be given a daily lunch-packet with you. The same goes for the camping days.


Hiking on days 4, 5, 7 will be accompanied by mules/horses that will carry the luggage. Therefore, it is important to pack your belongings in bags and not in suitcases. You will carry only your personal backpack.


This journey starts around noon on the arrival day. If you arrive in Tirana in the evening of this day, it is impossible to participate in activities scheduled for day one. 


The journey begins immediately after landing at the airport in Tirana where reception is scheduled. If you enter Albania through other border checkpoints and via other routes, we can pick you up against additional charge, enabling your participation in the travel. If this is the case, you should carefully fill in the appropriate field of the reservation form.


If you wish to travel to Albania a few days earlier or extend your journey by a few days, we are at your disposal to further organize your travel according to your wishes. All related services and costs are not included in the tour price and as such will be additionally calculated. For this purpose, you should carefully fill in the field "Comments" in the booking form and explain in detail all your desires through an e - mail sent to our agency.


You are kindly pleased to read the information about the difficulty grade and the length of each activity very carefully. The tour includes many alpine crossing, during which it is impossible to interrupt it and turn back to the guest house.

Number of participants: 8 - 10 people

Included in the price:

• Transfer from and to the airport

• All trips according to the program schedule

• Entrance fees and sightseeing as per program

• 4 nights hotel accommodation in a double/twin room with shower or bathtub and toilet

• 6 nights in guest house in shared rooms, shower/ WC

• 1 night in tent and 1 night in shepherd“s hut (no shower facilities)

• 11 x full board (lunch packet for 8 x lunch, 2 x breakfast, 2 x dinner)

• Dinner  on arrival day and breakfast on departure day

• Selected restaurants "A la carte" in Shkodra, and Tirana

• Luggage transport up to 15 kg per person on days 4,5,7,9,10

• Accompaniment by an English-speaking hiking or culture guide during the entire journey


Not included in the price:

• Any type of insurance

• Any beverages


Surcharges:

€ 20, –/Day Single room supplement

Equipment list

Backpack, approximately 30l

Rain cover for backpack

Hiking shoes/boots (category B/C)

Sleeping pad and sleeping bag (3 season)

Long legged hiking trousers

Waterproof trousers

T-shirts / shirts

Sweater/Jacket: (Recommended Fleece/Wind stopper)

Waterproof jacket

Warm hat

Drinking bottle

Headlamp

Sunhat

Sunscreen

Sunglasses

Slippers

Toiletry

Wipes

Tissues

First aid kit