Peak of the Balkans

Eagle

Albania & Montenegro

8 days

 

Reference: HAM1-8-UK

Description:

Standing on the Accursed Mountains, looking around you to see no roads, no habitations but only pastures, peaks, forests and wild nature. You feel like you have stumbled on some secret land, hidden somewhere in middle of National parks where emblematic golden eagles may be caught high on the sky spying you. None of the trails in that region is a cake walk, however the beauty of this still wild nature surroundings each footsteps will reward your efforts and burn unforgotten memories.

In brief:

2/2+
Difficulty
Experienced English-speaking guide
Maximum 25 hikers
4 hikes
1 trek
Made by photo3idea_studio of flaticon.com
1 cultural visit: Kruja (afternoon day 7) or Podgorica (afternoon day 7)
Made by Smashicons from flaticon.com
Outdoor activity: No
Made by bqlqn from flaticon.com
8 days / 7 nights
Made by ultimatearm from flaticon.com
Luggage: Backpack or equivalent 15 to 20 kg max.
Made by freepik flaticon.com
Hotel 3* and 4* and guesthouses
Made by freepik flaticon.com
Tirana or Podgorica airport
Made by freepik flaticon.com
From May to October
Made by freepik flaticon.com
Porting: A small backpack is required for your daily equipment
Made by Eucalyp of flaticon.com
Transfer of luggage by mules and/or vans from one accommodation to another

Strengths:

  • A discovery hike with unforgettable memories
  • Route on the paths of the Accursed mountains
  • 2 countries: Albania and Montenegro
  • Meeting with a warm population
  • Visit of exceptional places
  • Private transfers
Day 1

Tirana– Lepushë

Welcome by an English-speaking guide at the “Mother Theresa” airport in Tirana. Departure by vehicle to Lepushë in the heart of the Kelmend region.

In the early twentieth century Edith Durham, a young British explorer, was lured towards Malesia e Madhe, the land of the Great Mountain. Despite many difficulties she was carried away by the charm of an ancient culture still alive: the land of the living past. To relive the same emotions of Durhan, the hike starts within the unforgettable landscapes, uncontaminated nature and the discovery of ancient traditions and customs.

For those craving twisting and turning roads and dramatic views, the route from Shkodra to Lepushë can be the epitome of adventure trips. Following the Montenegro border, the road will pass by Broje which looks like a fortress hung onto the cliffs, then Tamarë and Selca which is well-known for its natural monuments, historical and cultural sites.

Then Lepushë. The hamlet takes its name from a yellow flowering plant that grows in the region. Lepushë, is truly a land of natural beauty surrounded by the high peaks of the cursed mountains, pastures and forests. It is one of the snowiest regions in Albania. The local economy depends on livestock, agriculture, crafts and recently tourism. An important event in the region is the ‘Lugu I Bjeshkeve’ festival, an annual event that goes back centuries and brings together locals and tourists. Young women from the Kelmend region and the diaspora dressed in traditional clothing and participate in a beauty contest. It is usually held in August and is considered one of the most original traditional Albanian events.

Diner and accommodation in a guesthouse.

Day 2

Lepushë - Lepushë

Hiking: ~ 5:30 hours
Ascent maximum: ~ 700 m.
Maximal descend: ~ 700 m.
Distance: ~ 12.2 km
Made by Eucalyp of flaticon.com No

Dinner and accommodation in a guest house.Maja e Berizhdolit hike (15). Once again a dive into the heart of the Kelmend. The path will descend into the forests of Kuprisht poshtëm and Kuprisht sipem to climb to the top of Mount Berizhdolit at an altitude of nearly 2000 metres before descending to the Berizhdolit hills. Return to Lepushë via the Paja hiking trail.

Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 3

Lepushë - Grebaje

Hiking: ~ 5:30 hours
Ascent maximum: ~ 2056 m.
Maximal descend: ~ 1150 m.
Distance: ~ 9 km
Made by Eucalyp of flaticon.com Vehicle

Direction the hamlet of Grebaje in Montenegro. The trail does not present any particular difficulties. It goes through beautiful forests and meadow terrains. The itinerary will gently climb the hills following time to time some streams descending from the surrounding mountains and summits, such as the Talijanka peak reaching more than 2000 meters. The path continues along mountain pastures offering beautiful views on the Albanian and Montenegro Alps. After crossing the border, the descent starts towards Grebaje through meadow terrains and forests.

Dinner and accommodation in a guesthouse.

Dinner and night in a guesthouse.

Day 4

Grebaje – Vusanje

Hiking: ~ 3:00 hours
Ascent maximum: ~ 1050 m.
Maximal descend: ~ 900 m.
Distance: ~ 4.5 km
Made by Eucalyp of flaticon.com Van

The morning starts with a small walk on the surroundings of Grebaje along the river Crna Dolja to see the canyon and waterfall. Then a short transfer is needed to reach the small village of Gucinje.

A stopover to one of the natural wonders in Montenegro, the Ali Pasha Spring. One of the premium attraction in Prokletije National Park is Ali-Pasha’s Springs (Ali Pasini Izvori). The river that is formed directly by the outbreak from the soil, from the many small springs, is something that will for sure amaze the visitor very much.

Ali Pasha Springs are very spectacular and unique, and water is so clean and transparent clear that many people drink that water directly from this place.

Direction Vusanje, in the heart of the National Park Prokletije. After the check-in at the guesthouse and the lunch break a trail will lead the group up to the blue eye. Located at approximately 1000 meters, it is a karstic source which has a circular shape with deep opening on its center where water pops-out. The water has a typical clear green/blue translucid color.

Dinner and accommodation in a guesthouse.

Dinner and night in a guesthouse.

Day 5

Vusanje – Zastan Koliba - Valbona

Hiking: ~ 8:00 hours
Ascent maximum: ~ 2050 m.
Descent minimum: ~ 900 m.
Distance: ~ 14 km
Made by Eucalyp of flaticon.com Mules or horses

Small trip by van or 4×4 to Zastan Koliba. The hike follows a shepherd’s path whose origin certainly dates back to antiquity. It made it possible to join the Vusanje Valley in Montenegro to the Valbona Valley in Albania. The route is certainly long, but does not present any particular difficulty. The path climbs gently up the mountainsides, crossing an alpine forest, then pastures and finally reaches the Rosi pass at an altitude of 2050 meters, before diving into the Valbona valley. About 5 km from the arrival, a stopover will be made at the Rama sheepfold to have either a coffee or a refreshment and a rest. This unknown and misjudged route offers over its entire length such surprising and magnificent views of the valleys, the Karanfiles Mountains, the Maja and Thate, the Maja and Rosit and all the surrounding peaks that it makes you forget the famous Theth to Valbona pass.

This might seems to be a long trail, certainly, but it’s magical.

Dinner and accommodation in a guesthouse.

Day 6

Valbona – Valbona

Hiking: ~ 4:30 hours
Ascent maximum: ~ 1100 m.
Descent minimum: ~ 950 m.
Distance: ~ 10 km
Made by Eucalyp of flaticon.com No

The morning trail will lead up to the glacial valley of the mountain hamlet of Kukaj. The trail runs through meadows and enters the beech forest. It will pass by very few farms composing the hamlet of  Kukaj. Then, the path follows the right side of the valley until a small grassy plateau with a mountain hut, where drinks will be offered from the local shepherds. From there can be seen the beautiful Valbona Valley with its peaks, Maja e Thate, Pecmara, Cet Harusha and Brijaset.

Dinner and accommodation in a guesthouse.

Day 7

Valbona – Koman Lake – Kruja or Podgorica

Travel by ferry to Koman. This navigation of about 2h30 to 3h00 allows you to discover unique landscapes resulting from the erosion of the Albanian Alps by the Drin River, it is simply an incredible experience.

Drive to Kruja, an ancient medieval city. The Skanderbeg Museum, one of the most visited places in Albania. Accessible via the bazaar, it is located in the heart of the historic citadel of Kruja and is dedicated to the Albanian national hero, Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg. The museum has collections of objects dating back to most of the wars that took place during the 15th century between the Albanians and the Ottomans.

And if it is not too late, visit the Ethnographic Museum of Kruja, which is located in the citadel in a house that belonged to one of the richest families of the 18th century. In a setting of elaborate ceilings and sumptuous murals, it presents objects and scenes of life that help us understand how an Albanian family lived in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Dinner(*) in a traditional restaurant and overnight at the hotel.

(*) Free dinner for those departure from Podgorica

Day 8

Departure

Private transfer to the airports.

 

INCLUDED
6* Nights in guesthouses (from day 1 to 6) 1* Nights in a 4* hotel
7* Breakfasts 7*dinners (6* dinners for those departure from Podgorica)
7* Picnics or lunches Private transports
English-speaking guide from day 1 to day 8 Ferry between Fierze and Koman
All visits mentioned in this program Bottled still water of 0.5l is included, per person, at each meal.
Experienced English-speaking guide for the duration of the stay Accommodation in hotels (double room and local standard) or guesthouses (shared rooms)
Meals (breakfasts, lunches or baskets, dinners) and drinks (table water) All luggage transport (1x backpack or equivalent of 15 kg maximum per person)
Costs related to planned visits, ferry and border crossing permits Private taxi transfer between the hotel in Podgorica and the airport
NOT INCLUDED
All personal expenses Costs related to specific requests or those not mentioned above
Meals and drinks other than table water were served during meals The plane ticket
Accommodation in single rooms Travel insurance
  • For safety reasons and in case of force majeure, the guide has full authority to adapt or even cancel an itinerary. This is all the more valid depending on the evolution of the weather or for medical reasons.
  • As the guide is responsible for all the people in his care and for the cohesion of the group, he can at any time adapt the pace of the walk, the effort, the itinerary… in order to avoid the isolation of one or more participants.
  • The guide has a duty to ensure that the environment in which the group operates is respected.
  • In order to respect the rules and laws in force in the countries crossed, Savatours Incoming can call on the support of local partners licensed in these countries (guides, transport, equipment, logistics, etc.). We have ensured that these companies share the same values as those established by Savatours.
  • The distances and walking times are given as an indication.

Passport:

A valid passport (at least 6 months from the start of the stay) is required. A copy of each participant’s passport will be requested at least one month before the departure date of the trek in order to obtain border crossing authorizations from the competent authorities.

Insurance:

International travel insurance is strongly recommended to cover the consequences of incidents that may occur while travelling, travelling and staying abroad. It is the traveller’s responsibility to check with his travel agent or insurer before departure.

  • This discovery trek includes walks over normal distances and elevations in snow and nature. It is not recommended for children under 15 years of age.
  • It is advisable to have good experience and resistance on walking.
  • Beginners are welcomed (daily trail lengths will be adapted accordingly)
  • Depending on the depth of the snowpack and the quality of the snow, it will be possible to complete the route either by walking on the snow, using snowshoes or both.
  • It is recommended to be in good health and physical condition.
  • Avoid drinking tap water or spring water, unless your guide allows you to do so.
  • Respect the environment in which you operate. He’ll give it back to you.

It is strongly recommended to bring clothing suitable for winter conditions and walking on snow coats. A pair of boots can be extremely useful.

Snowshoes and walking sticks are provided. Innok brand rackets model AXM, supporting a weight from 45 to 120 Kg, adjustable in size from 34 to 47. The use of mountain or trekking shoes is strongly advised. Soft shoes are advised.

Activity Reviews

There are no reviews yet.

Leave a Review

Rating