Peak of the Balkans

 

Reminiscence

Albania & Montenegro

                        8days

Reference: TDAM1-8-UK

Description:

Like Edit Durham and many other explorers, set off to discover the land of the Great Mountain where the past has not yet met the present.  Then share the cultural and spiritual heritage of hiking in the Peaks of the Balkans. Let yourself be transported by the beauty of these regions, landscapes, fauna and flora. Unravel the mysteries that surround these once forbidden places, reputed to be ominous and inaccessible.

 

In brief:

2/2+
Difficulty
Experienced English-speaking guide
Maximum 12 / 14  persons
1hike: Theth (day 5)
4 treks with an average of about 7:00 hours of walking and nearly60 km to cover
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1 visit: Kruja or Podgorica (eveningday 7)
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Outdoor activity: No
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8 days / 7 nights
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Luggage: Backpack or equivalent max. 15 to 20kg
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3* & 4* hotels and guesthouses
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Tirana or Podgorica airport – See notes (1)
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From mid-of May to October
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Portage: A small backpack is needed for your daytime equipment
Made by Eucalyp of flaticon.com
Luggage transfer by mules and/or vans from one accommodation to the next one

Strengths:

  • A discovery trek for a unique experience
  • An itinerary within the Peaks of Balkan
  • A dive into the land of the living past
  • 2 countries: Albania &Montenegro
  • Meeting with a warm population
  • Visit of exceptional places
  • Privatetransfers
Day 1

Tirana or Podgorica airport – Lepushë

Reception by an English-speaking guide at the airport “Mother Theresa” of Tirana or by a driver for groups arriving from Montehegro. Departure to Lëpushë, in the heart of Kelmend, a region where the past has not yet met the present.

For those who thirst for winding roads and spectacular views, the road from Shkodra to Lepushë can be the very embodiment of adventure travel. Following the Montenegro border, the road will pass through Broje, which looks like a fortress attached to the cliffs, then Tamarë and Selca, which is famous for its natural monuments, historical and cultural sites.

Then Lepushë. The hamlet takes its name from a yellow flowering plant that grows in the area. 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 animal husbandry, agriculture, handicrafts and recently tourism. An important event in the region is the festival of ‘Lugu I Bjeshkeve’, an annual event that goes back centuries and brings together locals and tourists. Young women from the Kelmend area and from the diaspora dressed in traditional clothing participate in a beauty contest. It is usually held in August and is considered one of the most original traditional Albanian events.

Dinner and overnight stay in a guesthouse.

Day 2

Lepushë - Lepushë

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

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 accommodation in a guest house.

Day 3

Lepushë – Grebaje - Vusanje

Hiking: ~ 8:00 hours
Ascent maximum: ~ 860 m.
Maximal descend: ~ 750 m.
Distance: ~ 12 km
Made by Eucalyp of flaticon.com Vehicle

On this little-known route, the trek leads to the ascent of Mount Taljanka (Maja e Vajushës – 2057 m.). The ascent offers spectacular views of the Karanfili mountain range. Let your mind drift, the emotions fill you, and the intensity of the place will simply come up against you with full force as the landscapes are so grandiose.

After lunch break, descent to Montenegro and the Grebaje valley, bordered by high cliffs that sometimes take on shapes that let the imagination soar. This valley offers a vast biodiversity whose beauty inspires respect.

Short transfer by vehicle to Vusanje.

Dinner and night in a guesthouse.

Day 4

Vusanje – ZastonKoliba - Theth

Hiking: ~ 7:30 hours
Ascent maximum: ~ 1000 m.
Maximal descend: ~ 1235 m.
Distance: ~ 22 km
Made by Eucalyp of flaticon.com Mules or horses

Short transfer to the hamlet of ZastonKoliba.

Passage obliged by the cascade of Grla which rushes violently into a black hole and famous for being bottomless. Direction the valley of Ropojana offering a luxuriant fauna and flora. Along the river, Oko Skakavice a stopover to see ice-cold and turquoise water gush from the bowels of the earth. The route leads into the valley bordered by the majestic Karanfili and their neighbors.

After laying at the foot of Lake Gjeshtares, the journey leaves Montenegro and arrives in Albania, recognizable by its bunkers which still emerge like large mushrooms.

Passage through the Pejës Pass and its lakes under the control of Mount Harapit (culminating at 2217 m.). Steep descent to Theth in Albania.

Dinner and night in a guesthouse.

Day 5

Theth – Theth

Hiking: ~ 4:30 hours
Ascent maximum: ~ 250 m.
Descent minimum: ~ 500 m.
Distance: ~ 15 km
Made by Eucalyp of flaticon.com No

A day of relaxation in this small village at the bottom of a valley. Land of legends, myths and traditions, the Kanun law was the moral code that served as jurisprudence based on the concept of honor. Finding for some of them pre-Christian origins, this way of life reflected the austere reality of these mountain people whose traces are still visible today. Surrounded by mountains, some of which reach more than 2000 meters, Theth owes its development to nature lovers.

Direction the hamlet of Nderlysaj, passing by a place of rare beauty listed as an Albanian heritage site, the Grunas waterfall, whose last waterfall is 30 meters high. The walk continues along the Grunas Canyon. Over time, the water has carved its bed into the limestone rock to form a gorge about 2 km long, 60 meters high and between 2 and 40 meters wide, where icy, clear water flows.

Stroll along the river to reach the famous natural swimming pools of Nderlysaj where a lunch break will be organized.

It is necessary to take the road again to reach the hamlet of Kaprre and its Blue Eye. Formed by erosion, it is about 100 m² and has a depth of up to 5 meters.

Return to Theth for a well-deserved rest.

Alternative: For those who prefer to spend a quiet day, it will be possible to walk around the village to admire its cultural sites such as its small church, the Nikoll Koceku tower or its ethnographic museum (*).

Dinner and night in a guest house.

Day 6

Theth – Valbona

Hiking: ~ 7:00 hours
Ascent maximum: ~ 1050 m.
Descent minimum: ~ 850 m.
Distance: ~ 14.5 km
Made by Eucalyp of flaticon.com Mules

The itinerary invites you to climb the famous Valbona Pass (1759 meters) and will follow the old road used by mules to reach the Shala to Nikaj region.

The route will offer a magnificent glimpse of Mother Nature’s jewels. Sailing between forests, slopes, torrents and neighboring peaks (Jezerces – 2692 m., Radohimes – 2568 m.) it will pass through the top of the Valbona pass to offer a splendid view of the Theth and Valbona valleys.

Dinner and night in a hotel

Day 7

Valbona – Lake Koman – Kruja or Podgorica

It will be time to join Fierze in Albania. 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 river Drin. It is simply an incredible experience.

Then the vehicle will take off again towards Kruja. Visit its bazaar and depending on the time of day, visit the castle.

For groups departing from Podgorica, transfer to the Montenegrin capital and end of the afternoon free.

Dinner(*) and overnight at the hotel.

(*) Free dinner for those returning to Podgorica.

Day 8

Departure

 

INCLUDED
1* Night in a 3* hotel (standard room) – Day 6 1* Night in a 4* hotel (standard room) – Day 7
5* Nights in a guesthouse – Days 1 to 5 7* Breakfasts
7* Dinners (6 Dinners for those departing from Montenegro) 7* Lunches or picnics (6* Lunches or picnics for those arriving from Montenegro)
Transportation including luggage transfers Ferry
English-speaking guide (*) Free option: Visit of the ethnographic museum of Theth (approximately 1 to 2 €)
Bottled still water of 0.5l is included, per person, at each meal. Experienced English-speaking guide for the duration of the stay (except for those returning to Montenegro day 7)
Accommodation in hotels (double room and local standard) or guesthouses (double room or shared room). Meals (breakfasts, lunches or baskets, dinners) and drinks (table water)
All luggage transport (1x backpack or equivalent of 15 kg maximum per person) by horses, vans or 4×4 between stages Costs related to planned visits (if any) and border crossing authorisations
Private taxi transfer between Podgorica hotel and Podgorica airport (day 8)
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 Any sites visit
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 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 the 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 traveler’s responsibility to check with his travel agent or insurer before departure.

  • This discovery trek includes walks over long distances in the wild. It is not recommended for children under 15 years of age.
  • It is advisable to be in good health and physical condition.
  • Avoid drinking tap water or spring water, unless your guide allows it.
  • Respect the environment in which you operate. He’ll give it back to you.

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