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Hiking the Peaks of the Balkans

Broj dana:
Cijena od:

2199 EUR

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Let us take you out far away of your comfort zone and introduce you to one of the most beautiful world regions - the Balkans.
You will conquer the Peaks of the Balkans enjoying amazing sceneries, pampering your palate with tasteful local food and experience the Dinaric Alps in all their beauty. 
Being quite inhabited provided them with authenticity and uniqueness.

  • Početak:
  • June
  • Kraj:
  • October
  • Veličina grupe:
  • 4-18
  • Potreban broj godina:
  • 18
  • Hrana:
  • - breakfast, picnic lunches/lunches, dinners
  • Smještaj:
  • - accommodation (combination of hotels, guesthouses, homestays and mountain huts) on shared basis

  • Prijevoz:
  • - airport transfers
    - daily luggage transport (up to 15 kg soft bag)
    - all ground transfers
  • Posjećujemo:
  • Montenegro
  • Tip izleta:
  • Trekking
  • Razdoblje realizacije:
  • 11 July - 22 July 2022
    22 August - 2 September 2022
    12 September - 23 September 2022
  • Uključeno u cijenu:
  • - 11 nights accommodation (combination of hotels, guesthouses and mountain huts)
    - airport transfers
    - daily luggage transport (up to 15 kg soft bag)
    - all ground transfers
    - English speaking guides
    - all meals as per itinerary (including water)
    - all National Park fees, entrance fees, taxes and permits including border crossing permits
  • Nije uključeno u cijenu:
  • - flights
    - travel insurance
    - tips for guides and drivers
    - meals not mentioned in itinerary and drinks other than water
    gratuities and souvenirs
    personal expenses
Welcome to the Balkans!
Your team leader will greet you at the airport and transfer to a Theth hamlet situated in Albania, a small village at the foot of the Peaks of the Balkans trail and starting point of our journey (approx. 3-4 hrs).
Theth (750 m) is a wonderful village of the northern Albania’s Shkodra region. Theth is both a village and a National park and even just a journey to this unique mountain village will provide you with an unforgettable experience.
Theth National Park is a miracle of Albanian Alps, combining the beauty of mountains and majestic rivers, amazing waterfalls and lagoons of hardly imaginable blue color.
Paradise is here, my good man. God, give me no other paradise! said Nikos Kazantzakis in his Freedom and Death.
Accommodation in guest house where you will meet your guide and get acquainted with tour itinerary and details.
Dinner (local Albanian specialties).
Meals: lunch (depending on arrival), dinner
Accommodation: guest house in Theth, double and/or triple occupancy
Breakfast. Today’s walk will not be so demanding as far as ascending is concerned but you will undoubtedly be captured by the richness of tradition as we will explore and experience Theth, one of the most traditional villages of Northern Albania. Its impressive landscape and ancient mountain culture inspired several writers. The first sight you’ll be able to enjoy in will be Kishna e Thethit or the Church of Theth, which dates back to 1892. We continue further to the Blood Feud Tower, a four-sided stone tower over 400 years old where will have an interesting discussion of "Code of Lekë Dukagjin”, the collection of Albanian customary laws and then to the Grunas Waterfall. This impressive 25 metres high nature state-of-the-art in 2002 was declared a natural monument. Experience the water crashing down across high rocks to a pond from where flows into the Theth Valley. The water may look tempting, but be cautious – since it comes straight from the heart of the Albanian Alps, it is downright icy! Our journey continues to a very close rugged and narrow Grunas canyon whose crystalline waters running through it for more than a kilometre create a bewitching atmosphere. Once the canyon ends, a 40-minute hike will take you to the very centre of the village Nderlysa where Vaskat e Gurit (literally ‘Stone Bathtubs’), awe-inspiring rock formations carved out by the Black River set amongst crystal-clear turquoise waters can't wait for you to discover them. There is no better place to take a refreshing dip after a demanding hike than this one!  Our hike then continues to the narrow Kaprre valley where the Black River, descending from the village of Kaprre, created a perfect reward for this long hike - Blue Eye of Theth. Emerald blue waters surrounded by lush greenery, a fairy-tale location. If you are brave enough, take a dip in the icy waters. And the final walk today is back to Nderlysa from where will be transferred to Theth for dinner and then overnight at the same guesthouse as the night before.
Meals: breakfast, packed lunch, dinner
Accommodation: guest house in Theth, double and/or triple occupancy
Hike duration:  6-7 hours, 9 km ↑225 m ↓500 m
Difficulty level: Easy

Breakfast. On our today's repertoire is one of Albania’s most iconic hikes, from Theth (745 m) over the Valbona Pass (1795 m) to the valley of Valbonë (995 m) situated at the very heart of the eponymous national park. Valbona National Park covers an area of 8000 ha in the surrounding valley, embraced by mountain peaks such as Maja Jezerces, Maja Rosit and Maja Kolata. Today we will take you back to some past times as we’ll use horses and mules to carry the baggage to our next guesthouse. Moreover, we will hike along 14-kilometre long route that follows the paths of ancient mule track once connecting the tribal regions of Shala and Nikaj. We'll continuously ascend through an ancient but shaded and lovely, beech forest. We hike higher and higher until we reach a saddle overlooking the Valbona Valley, our new destination. Passing through a narrow crest from which a stunning view to both valleys is revealed will experience the most used trail of the Albanian Alps which remains the only direct connection with Valbona Valley. A serious adrenaline shot awaits us when reaching the top of Valbona Pass followed by breath-taking views on the highest peaks of the Albanian Alps like Maja Jezerces (2694m), Maja e Boshit (2416m), Maja Madhe (2561m) as well as on two valleys – Valbona on East and Theth on West, in case of bright weather. From there the rocky path winds downhill toward the springs of Valbona and a forest trail that will take us to Rrogam village (1100m). Just a few kilometres further across dry riverbed will reach our guesthouse. After this whole day hiking we’ll have some time to relax before a well-deserved dinner. Overnight. 
Meals: breakfast, packed lunch, dinner
Accommodation: guest house in Valbonë, double and/or triple occupancy
Hike duration:  7-8 hours, 14 km ↑1,050 m ↓500 m
Difficulty level: Moderate

Breakfast. There are two possible routes from Valbone to Cerem: the lower (valley) route and the spectacular higher route via Persllopit Pass (the one we highly recommend). The higher route is quite demanding but also rewarding, revealing views on the steep rocky mountains of Kollata, very popular among climbers. The lower trail is mostly a dusty road offering less in terms of scenery but is suitable for those who would like to have an easier walking day.A short-time transfer will take us to today’s starting point. We’ll lace up our hiking boots, shoulder our daypack – and off we go to conquer a long ascent to the Persllopit Pass (2,039 m). Step by step we’ll hike along lonely alpine pastures and through shady forests, enjoying the view on the highest peaks of Albanian Alps all the time. Until we, surrounded by rocks, reach a treeless alpine valley where the solitary mountains will be all ours. Over a unique, so-called Ice cave and through a karst labyrinth that requires surefootedness, we’ll cross the border and enter the territory of Montenegro. After one-hour walking on Montenegrin territory, the grassy plateau will lead us to another lower pass -  the Borit Pass and then again to Albania, meeting shepherds on our way to remote and isolated village Cerem (1,150 m). Halfway through this descent often can be seen a very rare endemic plant: Lilium albanicum i.e. the Albanian Lily. Thanks to the lush green meadows alongside the rustic farm buildings topped with traditional wooden roof tiles, this off the beaten track destination is a region of outstanding natural beauty. Without a mobile network available, busy everyday life there feels completely forgotten. We will overnight in Cerem, in a simple guesthouse. The warm hospitality of our hosts and the hearty traditional dinner prepared with garden fresh ingredients definitely compensate the lack of comfort. This section is one of the most strenuous but also the most beautiful and fulfilling parts of your Peaks of the Balkans adventure, very attempting to every mountain lover.
*Note: If the weather doesn't permit to hike the Persllopit Pass, we will take a shorter route through the canyon to reach our simple guesthouse in Cerem.
Meals: breakfast, packed lunch, dinner
Accommodation: guest house in Cerem (basic accommodation)
Hike duration:  7-8 hours, 14 km ↑1,100 m ↓850 m
Difficulty level: Moderate to strenuous

Breakfast. Today’s hiking adventure will take us from Cerem to Dobërdol, a remote shepherd’s village accessible only along mule tracks and inhabited only by shepherds and only in summer period. Over undulating terrain, in beautiful alpine scenery we will leave Cerem and the Kollata mountains behind. Once again our luggage is loaded on horses and we proceed first through forest paths that opens onto grassy clearings, continuing  then along the gravel road all the way to the Montenegrin border.  Once we cross the border, we move on for a while to the ruins of the old military border place and then to Balqin hamlet, used by shepherds during the summer season where we will make a break. Water from several springs and creeks along the way is safe for drinking so we’ll fill our bottles with fresh water. This way takes us to the Gashi Valley  inscribed on the UNESCO list of Natural World Heritage in 2017, and then to U-shaped valley of Doberdol (1.750m), where domestic animals roam freely the grazing grounds and time seems to stop. The main attractions in Dobërdol are the Dobërdol-Sulbicës plateau’s glacial lakes which are the perfect pristine location for an afternoon relax. Locals still live in harmony with nature, as humankind did many years ago. This behind the time location helps tune our inner compass and ground our souls. We exchange comfort we are used to for one night in the simple shepherd huts  in return for hospitality. Our host will prepare us meals and around the campfire let us discover more about the seasonal lifestyle of the shepherds. During the night without any light pollution, you will be able to fully experience Milky Way in a clear sky.
Meals: breakfast, packed lunch, dinner
Accommodation: mountain huts with basic facilities
Hike duration:  7-8 hours, 15,5 km ↑1,025 m ↓450 m
Difficulty level: Moderate 

Today we’ll hike a fairly long section from the remote shepherd’s village - Dobёrdol to another less remote shepherd’s village in Kosovo – Milishevc, very well connected by road to Peja town. Mountain huts in this village are increasingly being used for tourist purposes. Today we have to strengthen ourselves as much as possible at breakfast as what awaits us is the longest, approx. 18 km long section of our tour. It will start in front of Dobёrdol mountain hut at an altitude of 1750 m, continue approx. 600 m steeply over barren, rocky meadow paths up to the summit of Trekufiri (2,366 m). Trekufiri means "three borders" and that's exactly where we are – on the triangle, meeting point of Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo borders! What follow are the mountain ridges that will take us to the Roshkodol Pass at 2,258 m, where in the early summer period we can still find snow. It continues by the ridge and will join the same trail from the Liqenat to the Babino Polje section that will go through Ravno Brdo Pass (Zavoj). We descent and reach the tree line again, hike through coniferous forests, cross a river valley and make the last ascent to the village of Milishevc. Today’s overnight is again in small mountain huts.
Meals: breakfast, packed lunch, dinner
Accommodation: mountain huts with basic facilities
Hike duration:  8-9 hours, 18 km ↑915 m ↓980 m
Difficulty level: Moderate
DAY 7 MILISHEVC (Kosovo) - RUGOVA GORGE (Kosovo) - PEJA (Kosovo)
Breakfast. Today we are hiking to Rugova Gorge by first ascending to Lumbardhi ridge, a viewing point from where breath-taking views extend towards the surrounding mountains and Milishevc village. The Lumbardhi Ridge (2.130 m) is the last obstacle separating Milishevc i.e. us from the Rugova Gorge. To reach it we’ll need to take a steep descent from Lumbardhi ridge. This barely visible route up to the crest will reward us with astonishing views towards the highest peak of Kosovo - Gjeravica Mountain (2.656 m) as well as to Marjashi peak. Hidden behind the ridge, extensive grazing grounds surround the pond at the foot of Mt. Red Rock (Guri i Kuq, 2.522 m). Majority of pastoral grounds were abandoned and now used only for recreational purposes but Lumbardhi Alps are one of the few exceptions where cattle breeding is still on a larger scale. Beyond this endless greenery, the mountain plunges deep into the Rugova Gorge whilst the Hajla ridge just in front is promising a panoramic hike tomorrow.  We descend in a northerly direction along the mule tracks, dirty roads and some junctions until we reach Rrugova Gorge. The main road is located next to a river flowing through a gorge and just here we will be picked up by a minivan to visit the UNESCO protected Patriarchate of Pec Monastery, situated at the very entrance of the Rugova Gorge. The entire complex dates back in the period between 1230s and 1330s. It is therefore not only the centre of the Serbian Orthodox Church but also an important repository of its cultural heritage. A pleasant 40-minutes long drive again northerly will take us to the charming village of Reka e Allages where our guesthouse is situated. Overnight.
Meals: breakfast, packed lunch, dinner
Accommodation: guest house
Hike duration:  5-6 hours, 9 km ↑500 m ↓1200 m
Difficulty level: Easy to moderate

Breakfast. Today we start with a hike over mountain meadows and through shady pine forest up to the pass at the foot of Mount Hajla (2,403 m) from where we will enjoy the open views from the mountains through the Peja town to Kosovo plain. Believe or not, here you will choose to take a rest in the nearby mountain hut or continue up along a steep trail to the peak which is at the same time Montenegro border. To reach it we will need to overcome several very steep routes which are partially not paved. Ascend is optional and you may opt-out to keep the day short (< 5h). Daydream, read your favourite book or admire the surrounding flora instead. Though challenging, the climb to the summit will reward you with 360° views of the mountainous Kosovo and Montenegrin sides of the border, making clear why Montenegro earned the name "Black Mountain”. The official trail Peaks of the Balkans doesn’t actually include summiting Hajla but we believe it’s worth it. Colourful mountain flowers and rare plants such as the edelweiss or the endemic Albanian lily will appear along the way whilst in late summer we can even find blueberries in bushes. We descend on another route and follow a high path down to our guesthouse in the picturesque hamlet of Drelaj. You will be delighted by another yummy dinner. Overnight.
Meals: breakfast, packed lunch, dinner
Accommodation: guest house
Hike duration:  7-8 hours, 15 km ↑1,150 m ↓1300 m
Difficulty level: Moderate

Breakfast. Today our day starts with a short scenic transfer (30 mins) to the trailhead. Will hike the route that climbs through a blissful pine forest to reach two turquoise Liqenat lakes (1.850 m) surrounded by numerous species of alpine plants and embraced by the highest point of the official Peaks of the Balkans route - Jelenak Pass (2.272 m). We’ll leave the lakes behind us and continue to hike until we leave even the forest behind and step into the mountains. The route will take us southwest uphill to the Lugu i Shkodrёs Pass (Shkodra Pass-2188 m), once used to be the pass of an ancient path connecting this region and town of Peja with Shkodra town in Albania. From ancient times this route was also used by caravans to transfer silver and other goods to and from the coast - nowadays it is almost invisible. We continue uphill to Jelenak Pass which will undoubtedly invite to take a rest and enjoy the scenic views of the mountains above Plav, Theth and Valbona. Sit in the middle of a wildflowers field is definitely a perfect spot for lunch. After lunch will take a pleasant hike to Ravno Brdo Pass (2.178m) that is almost levelled but still offers a dreamy therapeutic walking and beautiful sceneries. At the end of this last pass we will be rewarded with a magnificent view to the rugged peaks in front of us and o the lush valley of Babino Polje (‘Grandma’s field’) below. In the mid-afternoon we will reach Montenegro and the village of Babino Polje from where will be transferred by minivan to our guesthouse/hotel in Plav region, passing along the calm Plav Lake.
Meals: breakfast, packed lunch, dinner
Accommodation: guest house
Hike duration:  7-8 hours, 15 km ↑1,150 m ↓1,050 m
Difficulty level: Moderate 

DAY 10 GREBAJA VALLEY (Montenegro) - PROKLETIJE DOUBLE PEAK (Popadija and Talijanka)
Breakfast. What awaits us today is one of the most astonishing Balkans’ valleys, lodged between the Karanfili tower karsts (2,461 m) - the Grebaje Valley. A narrow, U-shaped valley embraced by high sharp peaks seems like a colossal jaw of a Balkan wolf but is definitely a true paradise for outdoor lovers! This is a place not to be missed when taking your Peaks of the Balkans journey. It is only a slight detour from the official route but it is definitely a must-see and something you will remember for the rest of your life.
Hiking today starts by ascending through shaded beech forest whilst the last steep climb takes us to the double peak of Popadija and Talijanka (2,056 m) from where extends a spectacular view on the nearby Karanfili, continues on the massif of Prokletije with all its highest peaks and then descends to the beautiful Grebaje Valley. Here the views gaze across the border into the Kelmend region of Albania. We’ll go along the ridge walk which is the best option and the most suitable route to take us back to the track down, rewarding us with staggering views of the craggy Karanfili Mountains, for a reason nicknamed the ‘Dolomites of Montenegro’. On our way back we will pass by the rock carvings (petroglyphs) dating back to to the Neolithic Age, some 600 years B.C. There is a primitive drawing showing a wolf attacking a child, as well as other Paleolithic carvings. Traversing the narrow spine to a series of panoramic viewpoints back onto the shaded forest path, where the circular hike closes. In a garden on the valley floor, we celebrate the adventure before dinner and overnight in our guesthouse.
Meals: breakfast, packed lunch, dinner
Accommodation: guest house
Hike duration:  6-7 hours, 10 km ↑950 m ↓950 m
Difficulty level: Easy to moderate
Breakfast. After breakfast transfer to the village of Vusanje (Vuthaj) where we’ll load our bags on horses and start the long trek to Theth Valley. On our way to Ropojana Valley created in the past by a 26 km long glacier, we’ll stop at a pupil shaped karst spring Sava’s Eye (similar to Blue Eye of Theth) where an ice-cold river was born from melting snow high up in the mountains. Embraced by the mountain framed corridor will pass along a dry lake, shepherd huts and an abandoned military location to reach the heart of the Albanian Alps. A weathered border stone is the only reminder of the once tightly sealed borders of the former communist Albania. On our right side the trail is flanked by the spectacular Karanfili massif whilst on the left by Maja Jezerces – the highest summit of the Dinaric Alps. Walking forward we’ll arrive at the foot of the Mt. Arapi (2,217 m), a canine tooth shaped peak rising above the Theth National Park thus forming the largest wall of the Balkans. Upon arrival to Peja Pass (1,711 m), we’ll stop for our picnic lunch, enjoying in the same time a stunning view on the beautiful Theth valley surrounded by astonishing panorama. Our journey continues down a steep, well-trodden caravan path until we reach a small café for another short break and then by minivan will transfer to a guesthouse in the centre of the lively village of Theth.
Farewell dinner during which we’ll cheer for the eventful hiking with our new friends, recall the past travel days and celebrate the memorable journey through the Albanian Alps.
Meals: breakfast, packed lunch, dinner
Accommodation: guest house
Hike duration:  7-8 hours, 14 km ↑1000 m ↓950 m
Difficulty level: Moderate
Depending on your flight, transfer to the airport or enjoying a charming town of Shkodra.
Meals: breakfast
11 July 2022         
4 - 8 pax       2,315 €
9 - 13 pax     2,250 €
14 - 18 pax    2,199 €
22 August 2022
4 - 8 pax       2,315 €
9 - 13 pax     2,250 €
14 - 18 pax   2,199 €

12 September 2022
4 - 8 pax       2,315 €
9 - 13 pax     2,250 €
14 - 18 pax   2,199 €
Highlights of the tour
- experience the genuine trekking journey through the heart of the undiscovered Balkans
- traverse lush green valleys, wildflower meadows and craggy passes in Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro
- no mass tourism - just you and nature
- enjoy the local food and distinct culture in the remote villages of Albania
- explore one of the most picturesque Albanian villages - the village of Theth
- cross the jagged heights of the Valbona Pass
- hike through stunning Valbona Valley National Park
- enjoy the view on Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo from the summit of Trekufiri (three-border peak)
- hike the Hajla mountain for a scenic view over the mountain range
- pass through Grebaja Valley - the most beautiful valley in the former Yugoslavia
- get amazed by Accursed Mountains (in Montenegrin - Prokletije
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