Peak of the Balkans

 

The Classic

Albania & Kosovo

                           8days

Reference: TDAK1-8-UK

Description:

A classic among the Peaks of Balkans. A trail with strong character designed for the ambitious and for nature lovers. A finish on an ascent of the highest peak in Kosovo offering views on a splendid panorama and the famous Balkan fjord cruise. A hike whose beauty will remain forever engraved in the minds.

 

In brief:

2/2+
Difficulty
Experienced English-speaking guide
Maximum 10 / 12  persons
1hike: Theth (day2)
4 treks with an average of about 7:00hours of walking and over 70 km to cover
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2 visits: Shkodra (day 1) &Krujaor Podgorica (evening7)
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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* 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 in magnificent landscapes
  • An itinerary within the Peaks of Balkans
  • The ascent of Mt Gjeravica, the highest peak of Kosovo
  • 2countries: Albania and Kosovo
  • Meeting with a warm population
  • Crossings exceptional places
  • Private transfers
Day 1

Tirana or Podgorica airport – Shkodra

Welcome by anEnglish-speaking guide at the airport of “Mother Theresa” of Tirana or by a driver for groups arriving at Podgorica airport. Transfer to Shkodra, the former capital of Illyria.

Depending on the arrival time of the group in Shkodra: Visit of the Rozafa citadel, dating from the Middle Ages and built on Illyrian foundations. From its summit, a 360° view allows you to admire the surrounding mountains and plains, but also the largest lake in the region, home to one of the most important bird reserves in Europe.

Visit of Shkodra, a high place of democracy and Albanian culture. This city rich in history and architecture was partially rebuilt in 1979 following an earthquake.

Visit of Saint Stephen’s Cathedral. Destroyed during an earthquake in 1905, then partially destroyed during a bombing in 1913, transformed into a sports palace following the “Albanian cultural revolution” during communism, partially destroyed again in 1967, it hosts the Communist Congress of Albanian Women in 1973 to finally be reopened in 1990 and welcome Pope John Paul II in 1993.

Day 2

Shkodra – Theth

Hiking: ~ 4:30 hours
Maximal ascent: ~ 250 m.
Maximal descend: ~ 500 m.
Distance: ~ 15 km
Made by Eucalyp of flaticon.com No

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 (*).

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.

After lunch, head for the hamlet of Nderlysaj via a place of rare beauty listed as an Albanian heritage site, the Grunas Falls, 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.

Dinner and night in a guest house

Day 3

Valbona Theth – Valbona

Hiking: ~ 7:00 hours
Ascent maximum: ~ 1050 m.
Maximal descend: ~ 850 m.
Distance: ~ 14.5 km
Made by Eucalyp of flaticon.com Mules or horses

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

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 4

Valbona – Çerem

Hiking: ~ 7:30 hours
Ascent maximum: ~ 1050 m.
Maximal descend: ~ 950 m.
Distance: ~ 15 km
Made by Eucalyp of flaticon.com Vehicle

This long walk will take you to the village of Cerem through Montenegro. The ascent of the Prosllopit Pass is difficult. We think we’re there, we see it, but it’s still not there. At an altitude of more than 2000 meters, the landscape seems to be compressed between sky and earth.

Hopefully the Montenegro. Long descent to the Borit Pass to return to Albania and finally reach Çerem through mountain pastures and wooded areas.

The trek allows you to cross forgotten and magnificent landscapes. The route will offer spectacular views of the surrounding peaks and valleys.

Dinner and night in a guesthouse

Day 5

Çerem – Dobërdol

Hiking: ~ 6:00 hours
Ascent maximum: ~ 950 m.
Descent minimum: ~ 300 m.
Distance: ~ 16 km
Made by Eucalyp of flaticon.com Mules or horses or vehicle

This stage gives you a glimpse of the majestic beauty of the cursed mountains. The route crosses green forests that, in season, are full of blueberries. Climb via Montenegro to the Aljucit Pass (1920 meters) which allows a return to Albania.

Descent to the Balqin mountain pastures and then to the Bodërboll pastures.

Dinner and night in a guesthouse.

Day 6

Dobërdol – Mt Gjeravica – Gropa e Erenikut - Gjakova

Hiking: ~ 8:00 hours
Ascent maximum: ~ 875 m.
Descent minimum: ~ 845 m.
Distance: ~ 12 km
Made by Eucalyp of flaticon.com Mules or van

Departure from the mountain pastures of Dobërboll to reach Kosovo. It is a trip to the heights that will offer an unobstructed view of the mountainous landscapes. Snaking between forests and pastures, the path passes close to glacial lakes sheltering in particular a very rare species of salamander.

The ascent of Mt. Gjeravica is not as easy as it seems. Although it does not present any particular difficulty, it climbs to finally reach the 2653 meters of Kosovo’s highest peak.

Then slow descent to Gropa e Erenikut, located in the middle of the mountain pastures, where it will be possible to regain some strength.

Direction Gjakova

Dinner and overnight in hotel

Day 7

Gjakova – Lake Koman – Kruja or Podgorica

Departure early in the morning to reach Lake Koman. Travel by ferry to Koman. This crossing of about 2h30 to 3h00 allows you to discover unique landscapes resulting from the erosion created by the Drin River in the Albanian Alps, it is simply an incredible experience.

Transfer to Kruja and depending on arrival time visit the museum of Skanderbeg, 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 offers collections of objects dating back to most of the wars fought by Albanians and Ottomans during the 15th century.

Visit the Ethnographic Museum of Kruja, located in the citadel in a house that belonged to one of the richest families in the 18th century. It presents objects and scenes of life of the time in a decor of elaborate ceilings and sumptuous wall paintings.

For groups departing from Podgorica, transfer to the Montenegrin capital and free day.

Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 8

Departure

 

INCLUDED
3* Night in a 3* hotel (standard room) – Days 1, 3 & 6 1* Night in a 4* hotel (standard room) – Day 7
3* Nights in a guesthouse- Days 2 and 4 to 5 7* Breakfasts
6* Lunches or picnics and dinners Transportation including luggage transfers
English-speaking guide All the visits mentioned in this program except for the afternoon in Kruja or Podgorica (day 7) left free.
(*) Free option: Visit of the ethnographic museum of Theth (Plan between 1 and 2 €) Note: 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 and border crossing authorisations
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 Lunch and dinner day 7
Visit day 7 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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