Never Satisfied 

Albania

8 days

Reference: XHA2-8

The Kelmend region is home to some of the most impressive landscapes in the Albanian Alps. 8 days in the footsteps of Mary Edith Durham or Baron Franz Nopcsa or more recently the historian and journalist Indro Montanelli. To relive the same emotions of these explorers, adventure lovers are invited to discover unforgettable landscapes, uncontaminated nature, and the exploration of ancient traditions and customs.

The unspoiled villages have many treasures to explore. Peace and tranquility will be the outcome of exposure to family life. The journey is embellished by the wit and hilarity of Kelmendas people making hospitality a sacred law, unchanged over the years, the same that at the beginning of last century led Mary Edith to fall in love with Northern Albania.

Hikers will never be satisfied from this mystic region and will always ask for more.

In brief:

2/2+
Difficulty
Experienced English-speaking guide
Maximum 20
6 hikes
0 trek
Made by photo3idea_studio of flaticon.com
No cultural visit
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
Guesthouses
Made by freepik flaticon.com
Tirana or Podgorica airport
Made by freepik flaticon.com
From mid-of May to mid-of November
Made by freepik flaticon.com
Carrying: A small backpack is required for your daily equipment
Made by Eucalyp of flaticon.com
Luggage transfer: No

Strengths:

  • Discovery trail with very few transfers
  • Route on the paths of the Accursed mountains
  • Trails in the most remote and mysterious region of Albania
  • Meeting with a warm population
  • Star hikes from a single accommodation location
  • Private transfers
Day 1

Rinas or Podgorica airport - Lepushë

Reception by a English-speaking member of the Savatours Incoming team at Rinas airport or by an English-speaking driver at Podgorica airport. Direction Lepushë.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Edith Durham, a young British explorer, was attracted to Malesia e Madhe, the land of the Great Mountain. Despite many difficulties, she was swept away by the charm of an ancient culture that is still alive: the land of the living past. To relive the same emotions as Durhan, the hike goes through unforgettable landscapes, unspoilt nature and the discovery of ancient traditions and customs.

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 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.

Dinner and accommodation in a guesthouse.

Day 2

Lepushë – Vermosh – Lepushë

Hiking: ~ 5:00 hours
Maximal ascent: ~ 597 m.
Maximal descend: ~ 239 m.
Distance: ~ 10 km

On the way to the so-called “Italian” hike (11a). A comfortable route that passes only a few kilometers from the border with Montenegro and runs along the Ljpusa River. The path winds along the curves of the hills and mountains offering an unobstructed view of the valley below and the opposite slopes. It crosses forests and pastures where it is not uncommon to meet shepherds and herds.

Return to Lepushë by vehicle

Dinner and accommodation in a guesthouse.

Day 3

Lepushë – Lepushë

Hiking: ~ 4:00 hours
Maximal ascent: ~ 560 m.
Maximal descend: ~ 560 m.
Distance: ~ 9 km

The Paja hiking (30c). Walk along the hills of Dobkul in the beech forests and alpine pastures to reach the so-called Paja place. Return to Lepushë along the border with Montenegro and descend to the very heart of the Lepushë circus.

Dinner and accommodation in a guesthouse.

Day 4

Lepushë – Vukel – Lepushë

Hiking: ~ 5:00 hours
Maximal ascent: ~ 360 m.
Maximal descend: ~ 950 m.
Distance: ~ 12 km

Hiking of Qafa e Kercunës (24). The long hike of the day will penetrate the very interior of the Kelmend region. Where no one goes. Direction to the pastures and woods of Liv Koprishit. The path will pass through the so-called Panikut place while following the streams to finish its journey near the Vukel mill.

Return to Lepushë by vehicle.

Dinner and accommodation in a guesthouse.

Day 5

Lepushë – Lepushë

Hiking: ~ 5:00 hours
Maximal ascent: ~ 900 m.
Maximal descend: ~ 900 m.
Distance: ~ 10 km

Hiking of Qafa e Trojanit (16a). The itinerary begins by sinking into the heart of the Lepushë circus to reach the foot of the Korkule mountain, which culminates at nearly 1900 metres. Then head north inside the border with Montenegro to reach the famous Trojan peaks. Quiet descent into the woods to reach Lepushë.

Dinner and accommodation in a guesthouse.

Day 6

Lepushë - Lepushë

Hiking: ~ 5:30 hours
Maximal ascent: ~ 700 m.
Maximal descend: ~ 700 m.
Distance: ~ 12.2 km

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 guesthouse.

Day 7

Lepushë – Kruja or Podgorica

Hiking: ~ 3:30 hours
Maximal ascent: ~ 500 m.
Maximal descend: ~ 500 m.
Distance: ~ 8 km

Short hike of the day on the Dopku route (14). At the beginning, the route will take the Paja hiking trail to branch off and penetrate the Gropa e Ujit woods. It will then follow the hills of Pulli i Dobkut to finish its journey in the heart of the Lepushë circus.

After lunch, direction Kruja or Podgorica.

Overnight in a hotel

Day 8

Departure

Free time up to departure to respective airports

INCLUDED
6* Nights in guesthouse 1* Night in hotel 4*
7* Breakfasts, lunches or picnics and dinners 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) Private transfers
Private taxi transfer between the hotel in Podgorica and the airport Local taxes (except day 7 for those departing from Montenegro – local taxes should be paid directly at the hotel)
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 upon 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.

  • 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.

Kelmend by Granit Temaj
Kelmend by Granit Temaj
Lepush _ OpenStreetMap Albania (geo referenced photos) Flickr
Lepushe by Granit Temaj
Logu i Bjeshkeve Festival, Lëpushë .
Vermosh by Pensivelaw Flickr. (2)
Vermosh by Pensivelaw Flickr.

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