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The Balkan Peaks guided tour -10 Days in 3 Countries from Tirana

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10 Days
Peaks of Balkans - Albania, Kosovo & Montenegro

The Balkans Peaks guided tour is the best way to explore the beauty of the Albanian Alps, Kosovo, Montenegro, and the Accursed Mountains. An epic 192 Km long trail divided into 11 days in a border crossing adventure going through local villages, pastoral communities, and very remote settlements placed in between the Alps. In addition,  the transnational ”Peaks of the Balkans” leads through one of the remote and wild mountainous regions of Western Balkans. By using shepherd paths and footways, the trail winds through high alpine mountains up to 2300 meters above the sea level and leads through mountains scenery, with a diversity of breathtaking landscapes, varying from green valley to crystal-clear mountain lakes, waterfalls, rivers, and remote picturesque mountains village, in which time seems to have stopped.

star rating  Andi and Skerdi put a big smile on my face during their Kosovo day tour, spoiling me with local culture, food, songs and pictures of me. This guided tour is... read more

May 14, 2021

star rating  Amazing trip full of memories - Unforgettable hiking tour of Valbone and Theth. Andi is a great guide and the whole team are welcoming and friendly people. The guest houses were fantastic and we ate very... read more

October 27, 2022

star rating  We had so much fun riding the buggies around the hilly terrain .It felt very safe because there were two guys following us through the whole pass and one... read more

December 9, 2019

As Oliver describes in his article at Lonely Planet, God took six days to create the Earth, the sea, and the sky. But, so a local legend goes, the devil took only 24 hours to create the Accursed Mountains. It was a full day’s work. He would have scored deep ravines with his pointy tail. He would have sculpted spires of rock with his evil little claws. And, long after he finished the mountains, the curse remained, for this range has always been synonymous with bandits, blood feuds, avalanches, and miscellaneous misfortunes for anyone foolish enough to visit.

Oliver SmithLonely Planet Writer - February 2020
Tour Details

This Peaks of the Balkans hiking tour is a multiday, border crossing tour. With a total length of 192 Km it will be a good mix of Hiking and some local shuttles, usually, from/to guesthouses to starting/ending points of the trail. As the Balkans Peaks trail might have different variants with optional routes and day hikes, we try our best to handpick the best and the most scenic paths for our itinerary. Furthermore, this is always based on previews guests reviews, local partners, and our skilled tour guides. 

All the border crossing documents will be handled by the Tour Operator. 

All the guests are required to bring their personals, and personally carrying within the days. 

Departure & Return Location

Hotel Pick Up in Tirana

Departure Time

7:00 am

Price Includes

  • 9 Nights Hotel Accomodation in Shared Room CapacityFor Private room capacity there is an extra suplement of 10 euro / person / night
  • Tour Guide
  • 10 breakasts, 10 Lunches, 10 DinnersThe food is usually simple, Organic & Homecooked. Pretty easy for vegetarians as well
  • All transportation in destination location
  • Entrance Fees

Price Excludes

  • Any Private Expenses
  • Drinks

Bring with you

  • Good Hiking Shoes
  • Baackpack 25 - 35 L
  • Suitable Multilayer Clothes
  • Rain Jacket
  • Hiking Poles
  • Underweres and easy to dry extra clothes
  • Personal First Aid Kit
  • Personal Care Products (shampoo, suncream etc)
  • Water is provided, but mostly from mountain streams and is not chlorinated. Water treatment tablet might needed
What to Expect

The Trail was born of a passion to preserve the cultural, natural, and spiritual heritage of these communities, linking them together to create a rare journey for both local inhabitants and for visitors. Available only for only 5 months a year this trail is a fantastic opportunity to discover some of the wildest parts of western Balkans. In addition, going through 3 countries and being able to sit cross-legged with the locals and understanding the deep roots of the sacred welcoming and the importance of “The guest” or the “Given word”, locally named as “Besa”. 

  • The level of difficulty ranges from easy to moderate but requires good physical condition and mountain equipment.
  • Hike through five amazing national parks on this genuine trekking journey
  • Avaliable from Early June to Latte October
  • Locally, homecooked and organic meals.
  • Unpredictable Weather
  • Most of the trail goes near, drinkable water streams
Hike in the Heart of "Accursed Mountains" and the Balkans

First DayDriving from Tirana to Theth. Exploring the Village of Theth and Grunas Waterfall

Leaving Tirana and heading toward the North of Albania, Theth as our first destination of this Adventure of Balkans peaks. Often known as probably the most famous village of the Albanian Alps and the Dukagjin region, Theth is covered by a mantel of natural beauty, history, and local traditions and rules. 

In addition, after the arrival and light lunch at the guesthouse, the next destination will be the beautiful Gurnas waterfall, located around a 45-min walk. On the way back we will be introduced to the fascinating rules and history of the Blood feuds, part of Albanian history. For a better understanding take a short look at “Broken April” book from Ismail Kadare. This tower and its history, highly contacted also with the phenomenon of “Burrnesha” or “Sworn Virgin”

Overnight in Theth. 

Second DayHiking from Theth to Valbona

This itinerary involves a hike from Theth (745 m) over the Valbona Pass (1759 m) to Valbonë (995 m). This hike follows the route of an ancient mule track linking the tribal regions of Shala and Nikaj. The hike is not particularly difficult, with very diverse sceneries and panoramic views. In addition, during all the trail there are also 2 possible stopping and resting places for a quick mountain tea and lunch break. 

Dinner and overnight in Valbona. 

Trail Details 
  • Trek: 16.3Km; Uphill: 1040m, Downhill: 945m; Maximum altitude: 1759m; Time: 6-7hrs
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Third DayTransfer from Valbona to Cerem and Hiking to Doberdol

Leaving Valbona we will take a local transfer to Cerem, a smaller village on the northeast of Valbona. Now Cerem, is largely abandoned by poor weather conditions and lack of infrastructure. Now it si only inhabited by pastoral families during the summer season, and the Peaks of the Balkans trail is one of the strongest reasons people are repopulating these areas and providing for the travelers and tourists. A short stop in Cerem before continuing to Doberdol.

This day involves a transfer hike from Çerem to Doberdol, a remote shepherd’s village accessible only by mule tracks and populated only during the summertime by shepherds. From Çerem, the hike climbs up to the Montenegrin border, passes the beautiful summer shepherd’s village of Balqin, and continues through the Gashi valley (protected area) to the shepherd’s village of Dobërdol. The main attractions in Dobërdol are the glacial lakes of the Doberdol-Sulbices plateau. Dinner and Overnight in Shepherd huts in Doberdol. 

Trail Details 
  • Trek: 12.8Km; Uphill: 686m, Downhill: 410m; Maximum altitude: 1922m; Time: 5-6hrs
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Accommodation: Mountain huts
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Drive: 45min

Fourth DayBordercrosking hike from Doberdol to Milishevc (Kosovo)

The trail will continue to another remote area in between the mountains, away from phone reception, this time in Kosovo. Even though better connected to the main road to the City of Peja, Milishevc is mainly inhabited during the summer season for touristic purposes. The highlight of the tour will be the “Tri border Peak” where we can see the border between Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro. 

Dinner and Overnight in Milishevc. 

Trail Details

  • Trek: 18.2Km; Uphill: 950m, Downhill: 1045m; Maximum altitude: 2236m; Time: 7-8hrs
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Accommodation: Guesthouse
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Fifth DayHiking from Milishefc to Rugova Camp – transfer to Reka Allages

In addition, the tour will be followed up by a shorter hike. The interesting transfer hike to Reka e Allagёs begins with an ascent to the Lumbardhi ridge, a vantage point that offers breathtaking views towards the surrounding mountains and Milishevc. It then continues with a steep descent to Rugova Camp Hotel before continuing up along gravel roads to Reka e Allagёs.

Trail Details

  • Trek: 11.8Km; Uphill: 607m, Downhill: 1430m; Maximum altitude: 2136m; Time: 5-6hrs
  • Difficulty: Moderate/Challenging
  • Accommodation: Guesthouse
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Drive: 15min

Sixth DayReka e Allages to Hajla Peak and overnight in Drelaj

We will remain in Kosovo for the day and implement a scenic hike to the Hajla peak (2403 m). From the top of Hajla, if the weather indicates clear views, we can see five different countries; Kosovo, Montenegro, Bosnia, Serbia, and Macedonia. A rich area of endemic flowers and flora like Albanian Lilys. The descending will continue toward the village of Drelaj, a bit more “modern” from the last stop. Overnight and dinner at Drelaj. 

Tour Details 

  • Trek: 15.8Km; Uphill: 1020m, Downhill: 13320m; Maximum altitude: 2403m; Time: 7-8hrs
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Accommodation: Guesthouse
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Seventh DayFrom Kuqishte to Babino Polje through two glacial lakes

After a short ride from the guesthouse to the starting point, we will head toward Montenegro. Today’s hike is long but magical, in an area with plenty of water resources and glacial lakes. Walking through the “Shkodra pass” we will reach the next stop on the Montenegro side, Babinopolje.  This pass has been one of the most important for caravans carrying silver and other precious goods. On the other hand, Babino Polje (meaning ‘Grandma’s fields’) is a very beautiful place located on the way of the trails of the Peaks of Balkans in Montenegro. 

Trail Details

  • Trek: 15.8Km; Uphill: 1140m, Downhill: 1050m; Maximum altitude: 2265m; Time: 7-8hrs
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Accommodation: Guesthouse
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Drive: 20min

Eighth DayThe Valley of Grbaj and hiking to Vusanje

Grbaj valley is described as one of the prettiest in the country. It is situated in Montenegro and considered the most beautiful valley in Tito’s Yugoslavia now home to seven independent states. You will start the hike with a 20- minute transport to climb the Taljanka peak.

Gerbaja is home to a bronze-age rock engraving of a mother and father protecting their child from wolves. They call it The Great Mother. After an ancient legend, locals believe that the rock has healing powers and helps women’s fertility. 

Ninth DayHiking from Vusanje (Montenegro) to Theth (Albania

Going to an end, this day of the tour is relatively long and also one of the most memorable ones. Almost the entire hike is surrounded by steep mountains with stunning views, in an area where not too long ago it was strictly guarded against armed guards of both the Socialist Republic of Albania and Yugoslavia. In addition, the trail will be followed by a line of bunkers and protection points, testifying more about those dark times. Going through the Alps we will be reaching Theth in the late afternoon as the last stop before leaving with the best memories from the Accursed Mountains and Albanian Alps. 

Trail Details

  • Trek: 17.8Km; Uphill: 788m, Downhill: 1231m; Maximum altitude: 1734m; Time: 6-7hrs
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Tenth DayDriving from Theth to Shkoder and Tirana

After a late morning and a hearty breakfast, we will leave Theth and drive for a short stop to Shkoder, the biggest city in the Albanian Alps.

You can possibly terminate the tour in Shkoder if you would like to privately continue or in Tirana as the last stop. 

  • Being dropped off somewhere else out of the Itinerary is available on request. 
Accursed Mountain and Peaks of the Balkans Trail

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