The bewitching summits of Valbona: two optional hiking/walking tours

Booking code VPWIHZ01

8 Days € 590

Travel dates:2017-08-26 to 2017-09-02           Reservation

Travel dates:2017-07-01 to 2017-07-08           Reservation

Walking/hiking in the romantic Valbona valley
Opportunity to choose between two alternative programs.
Unforgettable trip through the picturesque Lake Koman
Summit ascent possibilities: Rosi 2523 m, Çet Harusha 2422 m, Jezerca 2694 m.
The vibrant capital Tirana, Petrela Castle and Dajti mountain
Return trip through Kosovo
Accommodation in hotels, guest houses and tents

This is a tour that we have organized for you in the Valley of Valbona and the surrounding mountains. The Valley of Valbona, a national park of 8,000 hectares, is situated in the eastern part of the Albanian Alps and it is one of the most beautiful natural areas of Albania. The Valley is an ideal place for walking and hiking. Magnificent mountain slopes, which go sharp down to the valley, rise on both sides. This is a hidden place hardly waiting to be discovered.

Day 1: Tirana, the vibrant capital, 110 m. After arrival at noon, transfer from “Mother Teresa” airport to the hotel in downtown Tirana. Founded in 1614, Tirana became the capital of Albania in 1920 and is the main cultural and industrial centre of Albania. The city boulevards are marked with fascinating relics of the Ottoman, Italian and communist past.
Tirana has changed incredibly in the last twenty years, from the dull, gray city it once was. Tirana is a city where fun is guaranteed: lively, loud, crazy, colorful, simply fascinating.
In the afternoon, a tour of the city is planned along with a visit to the National Historical Museum, Et’hem Bey Mosque, Skanderbeg monument, clock tower and a journey towards Petrelë. Petrelë is a village 15 km south of Tirana located on a hill 500 m above sea level. Petrelë is particularly popular thanks to its castle, which was also used during the war of Skanderbeg against the Turks. The fort of Persqop, which belongs to the Illyrian era, is also in Petrelë. When weather is good, the Adriatic Sea can be seen from the castle. Dinner will be provided at a traditional restaurant in the castle of Petrelë, where you can choose between various dishes on the menu. Then, you will be accompanied to the hotel. Wt 3 h, T1. (-/ -/ D)

Day 2: The wild-romantic Valbona Valley, 500 - 1100 m. After breakfast, we’ll start our trip by car towards north Albania. Then we will take the ferry in Koman along the Koman artificial lake (important to note that the ferry trip depends on the water level of the lake), and eventually leave the ferry in Fierzë, from where the trip will continue by car to Bajram Curri. Afterwards  the road runs through the valley, along the clear waters of Valbona river, surrounded by wild and beautiful natural panorama and the rugged mountain peaks of the Albanian Alps, until the village of Valbona. Along the way you will have time for a snack. After lunch and a break, we’ll be discussing the program for the next few days. The accommodation is provided in a guest house in Valbona. (B/ L/ D)

Day 3: Rosi Summit, 2523 m or the Cave of Haxhi (Shpella e Haxhiajt)
Long hike: Rosi summit, 2,523 meters: T4, Wt 8.5 h Am 1593 ↑ Dm ↓ 1593

Just after breakfast we start hiking towards the hanging glacial valley of Kukaj. The trail runs through boulders and meadows, eventually entering the beech forest. Three-quarters of an hour from leaving the guesthouse, we pass by the houses of Kukaj and the path follows the right side of the valley until a small grassy plateau with a cattle pond. From here the hike becomes steeper and the ascent to the northwest leads to Forumi Pass (Qafa e Forumit) at 2150 m altitude.
We continue the trail that runs parallel to the Montenegrin border towards Rosi summit. From the summit the view is breathtaking and extends up to Jezerca, Grykat e Hapëta - Zhaborre mountain range, Vuthaj (Vusanje) and Guci (Gusinje) in Montenegro. After a short photo break we descend the summit from another trail and hike down southeast, along the trough "Lugu i Rupës" to 'Stanet e Rrethit të Bardhë". Then the trail leads through the forest to the guest house down the valley. (B/ L/ D)
Short hike: Wt 4 h, T2, Am ↑ 620 Dm ↓ 620
Groups follow the same trail together along the hanging glacial Valley of Kukaj. The routes separate in the vicinity of the "Buni i Valbonës". The ascending trail leads through the forest towards a very beautiful meadow called "Bregu i Rrethit", from where you can admire the Valley of Valbonë and the mountain range of "Grykat e Hapëta - Zhaborre". The Cave of Haxhi, which we are going to visit, is a few meters away. After a short break for photos, we will follow the descent trail to the guest house.

Day 4: The challenging Çet Harusha 2422 m:
Long hike: T4, Wt 9 h, Am ↑1492 Dm ↓1422

The path to the summit starts in Valbona and follows the north-western side of the mountain range up to the source of "Buni i Ziçit", at 1495 meters altitude. The trail continues through the forest to the saddle, at height from 2,100 meters and then turns to the left toward to the upper south face of Çet Harusha which is covered by alpine meadows. On the mountain summit one can enjoy an impressive panorama over Valbona Valley and the village, several summits such as Jezerca, Rosi, Brijas and a nice view of the glacial valley of Kukaj. After a break on top, the descent follows from the same trail. (B/ L/ D)
Short hike: T3, Wt 3,5 h, Am ↑565 Dm ↓565
Groups follow the same trail together toward the source of "Buni i Ziçit". After a short break, we will follow the descent trail to the guest house.

Day 5: Valbona waterfall. T2+, Wt 4,5 h, Am ↑730 Dm ↓100
Today's route takes you along the Valbona river up to Rragam village and then towards Valbona Pass (Qafa e Valbonës). The path to Valbona waterfall runs through the forest and is surrounded by unspoiled nature. Close to the waterfall is planned a short break. The trip to our camping site, where overnight is scheduled, will still go along the river towards the Pass of Valbonë. (B/ L/ D)

Day 6: Ascent of the outstanding Jezerca:
Long hike: T5, Wt 10 h, Am ↑1145 Dm ↓1600

Jezerca summit, at 2694 m altitude, is the highest point of all the Dinaric Alps, and with a prominence of 2,036 meters is rated as an ultra prominent peak. The sixth day of our journey will be a challenging and satisfying climb on the queen of the Albanian Alps. There is almost no vegetation on it.
The ascent starts early at dawn and after leaving the forest trail, we follow the sloppy hike along the trough "Lugu i Valit", east of Alia Summit (Maja e Alisë) (2471 m). Afterwards we pass a more slopy part on the right side of the trough, which leads to a saddle that offers the first visual contact with Jezerca’s summit. Then a long transversal hike around the western cirque of Jezerca leads to the last part of the trail, which is more demanding and difficult. Parts of scree should be crossed and small patches of firn surfaces, depending on the time of the ascent and the snowfall’s amount. Some first grade climbing abilities are needed to proceed and eventually pass the large horizontal layers of rock resembling stairs before reaching the top. On the summit there’s a metal box with a notebook inside, where you can leave the mark of your ascent. The panorama is just spectacular. After a short break we start descending by following the same route to the guest house. (B/ L/ D)
Short hike: T2+, Wt 3 h, Am ↑250 Dm ↓700
From the camping site, the somewhat steep trail goes through an open forest and, past a rocky clearing, a steep climb up to the Pass of Valbonë (Qafa e Valbonës) begins. From an altitude of 1812 meters above sea level the view over the Valley of Valbonë and Theth is unique. After a break, we descend to Rragam and follow the trail to the guest house. (B/ L/ D)

Day 7: The return trip runs through Kosovo. We will stop in Prizren, where we are having lunch and a short city tour. Afterwards we will continue the trip and arrive in Tirana at around 4:00 pm. Time for a break and then we take the cable car to Dajti mountain, part of Dajti National Park. The mountain has two main summits: Dajti (1,613 m) and Tujani (1531 m) north of it, both covered with dense beech forests. Dajti mountain is part of Krujë-Dajt mountain range, which rises abruptly from the coastal plain and is cut by deep river valleys. The mountain consists mainly of limestone. From the cable car terminal at "Fusha e Dajtit" (1050 m) there’s a magnificent view over Tirana, Durrës and the whole central-west Albania up to the Adriatic sea. Here we will have dinner at a traditional restaurant "A la carte" and then return to the hotel in Tirana. (B/ L/ D)

Day 8: Transfer to the airport. After breakfast in the morning, the transfer to the airport will be according to your scheduled flight. (B/ -/ -)

Additional information

If you are coming in a prearranged group, you can pick the date of this tour yourself.

On days 2-6, due to length of walking and climbing, it is impossible to go back to guest house for lunch. Thus, you will be given a daily lunch-packet with you. This applies even for the camping day.

Hiking on days 5 and 6 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.

There are some active glaciers in the Mountain of Jezercë. In winter, there are heavy snowfalls that, in unexposed spots, would melt away only in very dry years. We cannot guarantee the presence of snow or ice in the period of the current trip, because traveling dates are planned in advance.

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. All saved expenses will be reimbursed.

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.

Within the travel, the sequence of the daily tours may change depending on weather conditions. Your mountain guide will adapt the program to the weather conditions in the best possible way.

If you wish to travel to Albania a few days earlier or extend your stay by a few days, we are at your disposal to further organize your journey 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 message sent to our agency.

Number of participants: 7 - 8 people

Included in the price
•   Transfer from and to the airport
•   All trips, whether by bus, off road vehicle and boat according to the program schedule.
•   Cable car ride on the seventh day.
•   Entrance fees and sightseeing as per program
•   2 nights hotel accommodation in a double/twin room, with shower or bathtub and toilet.
•   4 nights in guest house in shared rooms, shower/ WC
•   1 night in tent (no shower facilities)
•   6 x full board (lunch packet for 5 x lunch, 1 x breakfast, 1 x dinner )
•   Dinner on arrival day and breakfast on departure day
•   Selected restaurants "A la carte" in Tirana and Kosovo.
•   Transport of luggage by horses on the fifth day (maximum 15 kg per person).
•   Opportunity to choose between two alternative programs
•   Accompaniment by an English-or German-speaking hiking or culture guide during the entire journey.
•   Climbing equipment, crampons

Not included in the price
Any type of insurance.
All drinks in guest houses, hotels and bars.

€ 20 per day Single room supplement
Tips € 20

Equipment list

Backpack, approximately 30l
Rain cover for backpack
Hiking shoes/boots (category B/C)
Shoes/Sneakers for traveling and sightseeing
Hiking sandals
Telescopic walking poles
Sleeping bag liner
Sleeping pad and sleeping bag (3 season)
Long legged hiking trousers
Short legged hiking trousers
Waterproof trousers
T-shirts / shirts
Sweater/Jacket: (Recommended Fleece/Wind stopper)
Waterproof jacket
Warm hat
Rain coat
Drinking bottle/ Thermos Flask
First aid kit
Insect repellent