peaks of the balkans – albania, kosovo, montenegro

Price From

1437€

Category

Hiking

Destinations

Albanian Alps, Kosovo, Montenegro

Difficulty

T3

Duration

9 Days

Group Size

4 – 6

Trip Code

POB01

Why join this tour?

  • Small group hiking tour – industry-leading guest-to-guide ratio of not more than 6:1
  • Undertake a discovery tour through three countries: Albania, Kosovo & Montenegro
  • Enjoy a walk through the traditional and joyful Shkodra – the center of northern Albania
  • Explore Krujë – the city of the artisans
  • Hike to the top of the holy Sari Salltik Mountain
  • Enjoy the impressive drive from Shkodra to Lëpushë, surrounded by stunning natural beauty
  • Hike surrounded by the untouched nature of the Kelmendi region in Albania
  • Be amazed hiking from Vuthaj to Valbona following one of the most beautiful trails of the entire Dinaric Alps
  • Realize the grandeur of the mountains and their jagged peaks in Valbona Valley
  • Hike from Albania to Kosovo through unattainable places isolated from the rest of the world preserving their natural beauty
  • Ascend the Gjeravica Mountain – the highest in Kosovo

The right tour for you?

  • This is a hiking tour, so moderate level of fitness is required. We kindly ask you to read our daily trip descriptions which give detailed information about: terrain, technical difficulty, estimated walking times, ascent/descent in meters.
  • Please read the packing list carefully and bring all essential items with you, especially the right hiking shoes.
  • Being prepared to cope with the weather conditions is an important factor to consider before you travel. Be prepared for all elements – rain, wind, heat and cold.
  • This tour includes alpine crossings, which you have to perform in order to continue with the program. There is no access to transport.
  • Most of the time there is no shade so remember to bring a hat and sun protection
  • This trip involves some long travel days. The vehicles are modern and air-conditioned.
  • The accommodation in the alps is provided on a multi-share basis. Please check the “Inclusions” and “Useful Information” sections for more details. The meals in the alps are served family style. Please inform us in advance if you have any dietary requirements.
  • Accommodation in shepherds’ hut is an exciting part of the tour, but remember that there are no facilities on this part of the tour.
  • Packed meals are provided where it is impossible to have a meal at a restaurant or guesthouse.
  • Please bring a day pack/bag to carry clothing, water, packed meals, a camera etc. for the day trips.
  • We are strongly committed towards responsible and sustainable travel. We please you to follow our guidelines regarding sustainability.
Day 1: Arriving to Tirana

Welcome to Tirana. Your hotel is located in the downtown. There are plenty of attractions, cafes and bars to keep you busy. Founded in 1614, Tirana became the capital of Albania in 1920 and is the main cultural and industrial center of Albania. The city boulevards are marked with fascinating relics of the Ottoman, Italian and communist past.
If you arrive early, you can even take the cable car to the Dajti Mountain for panoramic views over the city.
In the evening, you can have a drink at one of the numerous cafes or trendy bars of the “Blloku” district. The most animated quarter of the city lies at the place where before the democratic changes it was not allowed for the public to enter as it was inhabited only by the higher leadership.
The price includes:
• Accommodation in a 4-Star hotel in Tirana
*Please see “Inclusions” section!

 

Day 2: Hiking to the Sari Salltik Mountain: T2, 2h, ↑550m, ↓50m, 3km

In the morning you will meet your guide and the rest of the group to start the transfer to the starting point of the hike.
We will follow the cobblestone path leading up to the Sari Salltik Summit. The place is considered sacred to the Bektashi tribe and thousands of pilgrims visit it every year. The view from the top is wonderful and extends up to Montenegro.
After some free time to take in the view, transfer to the city of Krujë. It lies on a mountain 600m above sea level and has a very ancient history. The castle of Krujë is situated on a hill and the views from there are magnificent.
During the lunch in Krujë you will enjoy not only the carefully prepared and spectacularly served traditional dishes, but the breath-taking vistas as well.
Walking along the 400-year-old handicrafts market of the city, you can feel how the local life once was, and enjoy the special atmosphere.
Then the journey continues in the direction of 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. In Shkodra you will have some free time for a short stroll along the promenade or just to have a coffee. Then the scenic drive continues towards Lëpushë, a village that lies in a valley covered by greenery, just in the middle of the Accursed Mountains, at a height of 1200m above sea level.
There, dinner and accommodation will be provided in a guesthouse.
The price includes:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
• Accommodation in a guesthouse in Lëpushë
*Please see “Inclusions” section!

 

Day 3: Ascend of the Vajushë peak: T3, 6h, ↑850m, ↓850m, 10km

Today’s hike will lead us through breath-taking scenery, in the border area between Albania and Montenegro.
The hike starts after breakfast, following the trail which goes through the forest up to 1650m altitude. Then, the hike continues in southern direction up to the 2059m high Vajushë Peak. Once on the top of the mountain you will be rewarded with a magnificent view over the entire region. After a short photo break, descend back to Lëpushë to board the vehicle for the transfer to the guesthouse in Vuthaj (Vusanje) in Montenegro.
The price includes:
• Breakfast
• Packed Lunch
• Dinner
• Accommodation in a guesthouse in Vuthaj
*Please see “Inclusions” section!

 

Day 4: Hike to the village of Valbona: T3, 9h, ↑1200m, ↓1250m, 19km

The day begins with the hike along the Rapojana Valley ascending in southwestern direction up to the place called Zastan. Then, the ascent continues on not too steep terrain up to the border between Albania and Montenegro.
From there, we will start the descend, making a short stop at a shepherd’s hut along the way. The hike follows through boulders, meadows and a beech forest, down to the hanging glacial valley of Kukaj. Dinner and accommodation are provided in a guesthouse in Valbonë.
The price includes:
• Breakfast
• Packed Lunch
• Dinner
• Accommodation in a guesthouse in Valbonë
*Please see “Inclusions” section!

 

Day 5: Ascend of the “Kunji i Rragamit” peak: T2, 6h, ↑900m, ↓900m, 18km

The mountain that we will ascend today lies north of the Valbona Village and the views over the valley from the summit are some of the best.
The hike starts from the guesthouse, following into a dense forest on the eastern side of the Valbona Valley. The trail winds uphill and the forest will give us all the protection from the sun that we need. The last part of the hike goes through a steep meadow, until the peak, at 1868m above sea level.
After some time to enjoy lunch and to take in the views, we will hike down to the guest house in the valley. Dinner and accommodation are planned in the same guesthouse in Valbona.
The price includes:
• Breakfast
• Packed Lunch
• Dinner
• Accommodation in a guesthouse in Valbonë
*Please see “Inclusions” section!

 

Day 6: Hike to Dobërdol: T2, 6h, ↑1050m, ↓450m, 16km

The day starts with a short local transfer to the village of Çerem. It is a village lying 16km northeast of Valbona, which is only inhabited in summer.
Starting from Çerem, we will follow the path that runs northeast along the stream and then enters the forest. The hike to Dobërdol is astonishingly varied going through forests, meadows, and blueberry covered fields. After reaching the upper part of the Gashi Valley, it continues with a steep but short ascent to Dobërdol, where the overnight stay is planned in a shepherd’s hut.
The price includes:
• Breakfast
• Packed Lunch
• Dinner
• Accommodation in shepherd’s hut in Dobërdol
*Please see “Inclusions” section!

 

Day 7: Gjeravica, the highest mountain of Kosovo: T3, 7h, ↑1000m, ↓950m, 17km

Today you will wake up surrounded by the wilderness and the untouched nature of the Dobërdol plateau. After breakfast at the shepherd’s hut, starts the hike through bilberry covered meadows of Dobërdol, in the direction of the mountain ridge which forms the border between the two countries: Albania and Kosovo. Following the ridge and hiking in the south-eastern direction, the heart-shaped glacial lake of Gjeravica can be admired. We will hike up to the saddle from where the ascend to the Gjeravica Peak starts. After a break to take in the view, descent to the guesthouse in Kosovo, where dinner and accommodation are planned.
The price includes:
• Breakfast
• Packed Lunch
• Dinner
• Accommodation in a guesthouse in Zalli i Rupës
*Please see “Inclusions” section!

 

Day 8: Hiking alongside the Lumbardhi river T2, 4h, ↑50m, ↓900m, 10km

After breakfast, starts the hike downhill, until we reach Zalli i Rupës. From there, the trail follows alongside the Lumbardhi river, until the place, where lunch is planned for today.
Then, we will get in the vehicle for the transfer to Tirana.
You will have some free time to settle in your hotel or enjoy the capital city on your own. In the evening, the guide will pick you up to walk together to the restaurant, where the farewell dinner is planned.
The price includes:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Farewell dinner in a traditional restaurant in Tirana
• Accommodation in a 4-Star hotel in Tirana
*Please see “Inclusions” section!

 

Day 9: Departure

After breakfast at your hotel, it is time to say goodbye to Albania.
The price includes:
• Breakfast
*Please see “Inclusions” section!

Performance level:

Our daily trip descriptions give detailed information about: terrain, technical difficulty, estimated walking times, ascent/descent in meters. We kindly ask you to read these very carefully and consider them while choosing your trip.

This tour includes alpine crossings (Days 4, 6 and 7), which you have to perform in order to continue with the program.

The given technical difficulty for each daily trip specifies in any case the maximum difficulty in the course of the corresponding trip. That does not necessarily mean that the whole day trip is technically that difficult.

 

Abbreviations:

↑ = Ascent in meters

↓ = Descent in meters

 

Walking time:

Estimated walking times are given for each day. These times do vary, however, according to the day’s weather conditions, and the fitness levels of the tour participants. These times do not include times taken for meals and breaks.

 

Accommodation:

During this tour you will be accommodated in carefully selected:

• Hotels on days 1 and 8 on a twin-share basis
• Guesthouses on days 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 on a multi-share basis*
• A shepherd’s hut on day 6 on a multi-share basis
*An accommodation upgrade option is available for days 4 and 5

The accommodation in hotels will be provided on a twin-share basis. The hotel rooms all have a private bathroom with a shower/bath and toilet. In rare occasions, the accommodation in hotels will be provided in triple rooms.

The accommodation in guesthouses will be provided on a multi-share basis. Bathrooms with a shower and toilet may be shared between multiple rooms. Please note that there may be occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different trips than your own.

The accommodation in shepherds’ huts will be provided on a multi-share basis. Bathrooms are shared between multiple rooms. The shepherds’ huts are rudimentary, and might not have shower facilities. Please note that there may be occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different trips than your own.

In all cases, we pair up solo travelers with other travelers of the same gender as per the gender marker on each of their passports.

 

Border crossing permits:

During this tour, you will cross international borders outside of regular border crossing points. To apply for the border crossing permits, we require a high-quality scan of your passport, no later than 30 days before departure. If you are unsure about the validity of your travel documents, please feel free to contact us prior to booking your trip.

 

Solo travelers:

The tour is suitable for solo travelers.

 

Luggage transportation:

During this tour you will have to carry your own luggage for the hikes on days 4, 6 and 7.

Please pack carefully and lightly.

 

Transfers:

All transfers described in the itinerary are included in the price and will be organized by us.

 

Extensions:

If you wish to extend your journey by a few days, we are at your disposal to further organize your tour according to your wishes. All related services and costs are not included in the tour price and as such will be additionally calculated.

If you wish to start or end your tour from/to a different location, we can pick you up or drop you off against additional charge, enabling your participation in the travel.

 

Sustainability:

We are strongly committed towards responsible and sustainable travel.

We please our guests to follow our guidelines regarding sustainability:

• Respect the local people, their culture and environment.
• Support locally owned businesses, restaurants and other services: Eat local food and drink local brands and brews.
• Shop from traditional artisans and for locally made products. Favor local products over imported items. This helps in keeping traditional crafts alive. Even a small amount could be extremely important to local producers.
• Always ask first before photographing or videoing people. Send them back copies of photos to help make it a two-way exchange.
• We strongly recommend bringing reusable water bottles. In places where tap water is potable, this eliminates the usage of single-use plastic bottles entirely.
• Bring a water filter. This way you can drink tap water even in places where it is otherwise unsafe to do so.
• We also recommend bringing a reusable straw, reusable camping flatware and a reusable container for packed lunch.
• For the packed meals, you will be provided with the ingredients and will pack the meals by yourself. Please do not pack more food than is necessary, in order to reduce food waste.

Feel free to ask any questions you might have. Our staff and guides are trained and able to advise you in detail about our approach towards sustainability.

Included in the price:
• All trips according to the program schedule
• Transport in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle
• Local transfers on days 3 and 6
• Border crossing permits
• 2 nights’ accommodation in 4 Star hotels
• 5 nights’ accommodation in guesthouses
• 1 night’s accommodation in a shepherd’s hut
• Meals according to the program schedule
• Water during the meals and for the hikes
• Accompaniment by an English-speaking guide during the entire journey

 

Not included in the price:
• Transfer from and to the airport
• Luggage transportation between the accommodations
• Any type of insurance
• Any beverages
• Other services not mentioned in the included section above or in the itinerary

Essential Equipment:
• Daypack
• Rain cover for daypack
• Hiking boots (category B/C)
• Hiking trousers
• Sweater/Jacket
• Waterproof jacket and trousers
• T-shirts/shirts
• Spare socks
• Reusable water bottles (at least 1 liter in total)
• Comfortable shoes for traveling and sightseeing
• Bathing Suit
• Beach Towel
• Beach Slippers
• Sunhat
• Sunscreen
• Sunglasses
• Blister bandages
• Any prescription medication you might need
• Personal Luggage
• Passport or ID

 

Recommended Equipment:
• Water filter or alternative water purification system
• Reusable straw
• Hydration system
• Slippers
• Personal first aid kit
• Insect repellent

Departure Dates:

Please click the date you are interested in from the list below:

29 June 2024 – 07 July 2024

20 July 2024 – 28 July 2024

14 September 2024 – 22 September 2024


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