The Healing Valley

Albania

8 days

 

Reference: XTDA1-8

The Healing Valley trail is designed for explorers who wish to discover landscapes, biodiversity, tradition, food and to share a maximum of time with the local people from Dibër region. The trail will go through mountainous terrain belonging to the so-called “Shar Mountains”, the colorful mountains. These mountains host many glacial lakes, watermills, caves, canyons, springs, waterfalls, natural grassland and wonderful forests. Moreover, the itinerary crosses the lands where the Albanian National hero, George Kastriot Skanderbeg was born and raised which make the region rich in cultural heritage.

The High Scardus Trail is older than Christianism. It was built within the 2nd century BC by the romans and it goes around high roundy mountains of Sharr. This trail is home to the biggest pastoral lands in Europe.

The Dibër Trail comes from the implementation of the D2T “Dibër: Trails & Tradition” project which aims to develop sustainable tourism in the Dibër region of Albania.

The Healing Valley trail takes its name from the curative properties of the thermal springs of peshkope and from the mountainous part of Skërteci Highland Pasture, part of the Korab mountain range.

Beauty and charm await you.

In brief:

2+ to 3
Difficulty
Experienced English-speaking guide
Maximum 20 persons
0 hikes
6 treks with an average of a little more than 6:00 hours of walking and a little less than 80 km to cover
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No cultural visit
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Outdoor activity: No
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8 days / 7 nights
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Luggage: Backpack or equivalent 15 kg max..
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Hotel 4* and guesthouses
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Tirana airport
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From May to October
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Porting: A small backpack is required for your daily equipment
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Transfer of luggage by mules and/or vans from one accommodation to another

Strengths:

  • A discovery hike for unforgettable memories
  • Route on the paths of the Sharr mountains
  • Step-off the beaten paths
  • On the ridges between Albania and North Macedonia
  • Ascent of Mount Korab at 2753 meters of altitude
  • Meeting with a warm population
  • Visit of exceptional places
  • Private transfers
Day 1

Tirana – Fshat

Welcome by an English-speaking member from Savatours Incoming team at Rinas airport. Direction Fshat.

Fshat is a small hamlet located between the border of Dibër and Kukes regions in the mountainous area of northeastern Albania. This off-the-beaten-path destination is noted for its beautiful natural attractions such as Albania’s highest peak, Mount Korab, the Black Drin River, and Lurë Lakes, and by its rich cultural heritage and abundance of locally grown and made products.

Within Dibër there is one national park, Lurë-Dejës Mt National Park, and a nature park, Korab-Koritnik Nature Park. The biodiversity value of this area is also enhanced by over 30 mammal species including large protected animals such as the bear (Ursus arctos), the wolf (Canis lupus), the goat (Rupicapra rupicapra), the deer (Capreolus capreolus), and, the lynx (Felis lynx).

Dibër’s region possess a rich heritage that includes numerous cultural and historical monuments. There are several ancient religious monuments that showcase Albania’s religious diversity that include the Mosque of Allejbegi in Burim that was constructed in 1585, and the Church of Cveti Spas in Kercisht that was built in 1270, and still retains portions of its original frescoes.

Additionally, visitors can try delicious traditional dishes and a variety of locally grown and made agro-products. Some of the region’s most popular ones include Jufka me Pule, pasta made with flour, milk, and eggs and served with chicken; Spec me Gjizë, peppers stuffed with cottage cheese; Petulla, fried pancake often served with sugar, honey, or cheese; and, Sheqerpare, similar to a shortbread cookie served with syrup. Depending on the season, it is possible to find cherries, apples, blueberries, chestnuts, walnuts, or honey, apple juice, pickled vegetables, and so much more!

Dinner and accommodation in a guesthouse.

Day 2

Fshat – Grykë Cajë - Radomire

Trek: ~ 6:00 hours
Maximal ascent: ~ 600 m.
Maximal descend: ~ 600 m.
Distance: ~ 12 km
Vehicle

HST 06/3

Short transfer in vehicle to the locality of Grykë Cajë. The itinerary will slowly climb the cliffs of the Gropa e Sotbëres following ancient path traced by shepherds through different forests and pastures. It will reach the border with the North Macedonia at an altitude of 2000 meters. The trail follow the high pastures of Grypa e Topit (Albanian side) and Adjiasanovo Bachilo (North Macedonia side) and the ridge of Shpati proit lushit to get around the Mt Kulla e Zyberit (2377 m).

Once bypassed the Mt Kulla e Zyberit the view opens on Mt Rosnik (2569 m) and a little further Mt Korab (2753 m)  which both show their magestic magnitudes.

Then the path gently descent towards Radomire following the foot of the Shullani I Perdafit mount (2218 m) which endlessly watches over its two big brothers. Magestic arrival in Radomire.

Dinner and accommodation in a guesthouse.

Day 3

Radomire – Mt Korab - Radomire

Trek: ~ 7:00 hours
Maximal ascent: ~ 1550 m.
Maximal descend: ~ 1550 m.
Distance: ~ 15 km
No

HST 06/3 + xx + HST 07

The challenge of the day will be the ascent of the Mt Korab, the highest peak in Albania, which shares its majestic stature with North Macedonia. The path will take for a short while the same itinerary than yesterday before turning on the right following a stream to finally reach the border with North Macedonia at 2000 m. It will gently climb up to 2400 m passing by the Mt Rosnik and the Kepi Bard Mt (2589 m) to enter into North Macedonia from where the trail will attack the final climb of the Mt Korab.

With favourable weather conditions the view from the top is unforgettable. It allows a view that stretches westward as far as the peaks of Rila and Pirin Mountains (Bulgaria)  and eastward to the peaks of the Prokletie Mountains (Montenegro).

Then descent towards the Korab pass. The path will go through the western slopes of the peak until reaching the village of Radomire. The trail passes through pastures and a small rocky part. While descending, several glacial lakes can be seen. Before Radomire, a stop is mandatory at the Ujevara e Korabit, the Korab waterfall.

Dinner and night in a guesthouse.

Day 4

Radomire – Grama

Trek: ~ 6:30 hours
Maximal ascent: ~ 740 m.
Maximal descend: ~ 220 m.
Distance: ~ 14 km
Mules or horses

HST 08

The daily trail will connect the village of Radomire to the pasture of the Grama lake “Bjeshka e Zonjave”. From early June to end of September, it is possible to meet local shepherds accompanying their flocks.

The path takes the direction of Stordok on a dirt road which was used many years ago as water supply canal for Radomire.

The dirt road continues with gently uphill southwest, with the river bed on the right and the steep meadows on the left. Passing few shepherd huts on the way, it soon hits the river at an altitude of 1840 meters and crosses the stream following the livadhet e mansave pastures and ascends towards the west until a dirt road lead the path up to the Grama lake.

Then, moving south-westerly direction along the pylli I bjeshkës pastures, the trail gets close to the rocky mountain ahead and finally arrives at the accommodation place located at the Bjeshka e Zonjave pastures.

Dinner and night in a very simple hut at 1780 meters.

Day 5

Grama – Zagrad – Rabdishte

Trek: ~ 6:00 hours
Maximal ascent: ~ 520 m.
Maximal descend: ~ 1100 m.
Distance: ~ 14 km
Horses or mules

HST 09

The itinerary takes the direction of the Deshat mountain via the mountain of Grama (2354 m). from the accommodation hut, the trail moves uphill until it reach the meadow and then continues to climb south, traversing along the left side of the gorge with the stream on the right, after a gentle uphill the climb continues towards the east to the highest point of the pass Shkrtec at almost 2000 meters. From there, it would be easy to cross again the border with North Macedonia.

From the pass, the itinerary moves down, losing almost 340 meters zigzagging over approximately 1 km. Then it continues towards Zagrad traversing the grassy slope where it gain 150 meters high to reach the border. Just a foot step and the border is crossed.

Later, the trail passes-by a shepherd hut and gently descent towards Zagrad on a gravelly trail. From there, it follows the pastures of k. Shullerit to finally arrive at the wonderful newly partially restored village of Rabdishte.

Dinner and accommodation in a guesthouse.

Day 6

Rabdishte – Hinoskes

Trek: ~ 6:00 hours
Maximal ascent: ~ 800 m.
Maximal descend: ~ 450 m.
Distance: ~ 10 km
Horses or mules

HST 10/1 & HST 10

The trail will climb uphill to reach 1800 meters, with the peaks of Mt Plloces (2236 m) and Plocha (2233 m) – the first one being in Albania, and its twin brother being in North Macedonia, in full view just in front. It brusquely turns right to follow the pastures of bjeshka e deshatit and leads toward the Mt Visoka Karla (2250 m).

A little further, the path crosses the border and follow the ridge from the North Macedonian side and follow the Golema Planina pastures, thus avoiding a tough rocky terrain on the Albanian side. After approximately 2 km, it crosses again the border to enter in Albania and rapidly will descent towards Stanet e Hinoskes.

Dinner and accommodation in a guesthouse.

Day 7

Hinoskes – Popinar – Grazhdam - Kruja

Trek: ~ 6:30 hours
Maximal ascent: ~ 800 m.
Maximal descend: ~n900 m.
Distance: ~ 11 km
Horses or mules

The trail goes back northeast towards the border with North Macedonia and then follows the border line with little ups and downs. It reaches the ridge (the border line) from where it approach the peak of Mt Velivar (2373 m). It follows the border line up to the pass and from there it descends towards the hamlet of Popinar following from far the pastures of faqja krasta e kacave, and then reach Grazhdan.

The path up to Popinar is well trodden, initially on meadows and later on gravel trails. The descent passes a few shepherd huts and further reach Popinar, surrounding by lots of chestnut trees.

The itinerary continues up to the village of Grazhdam, where a vehicle will wait for the group. Then, departure to the main road to drive up to Kruja with a late arrival.

Dinner in a traditional restaurant and overnight at the hotel.

Day 8

Departure

Private transfer to the airport.

  • 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.
  • 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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