A country whose painful birth still reverberates across the Balkans, Kosovo is a land rich in natural and cultural highlights. A staunch stronghold of Albanian traditions, its mountains and valleys are blanketed with dense forests that are home to wolves, bears, lynx and golden eagles. What better place than for a walk through some of the most beautiful and remote landscapes in Europe.
Visit to the UNESCO site of the Decani Monastery, before we enter the ‘Accursed Mountains’ of the Rugova Valley. Here, amongst some of the most ethnographically diverse landscapes in the country, we’ll enjoy the hospitality and cuisine of the local villages, as we trek towards Mount Hajla and the alpine lakes. By crossing remote borders and walking through lush valleys, we criss-cross between dramatic Montenegro and majestic Albania, whilst surrounded by incredible scenery. After transferring to Virpazar in Montenegro at Lake Skadar we return home with new wonderful memories and discoveries.
Day 1: Tour starts in Podgorica, Transfer to Peja
Arriving at Podgorica’s international airport today, we’ll depart for Peja in northern Kosovo. The drive takes approx. 4-5hrs. This historic city was once a prosperous commercial centre under both the Serbs and the Ottomans. Hotel or similar
Day 2: Decani Monastery – Peja – Reka Allages Cultural insights and warm hospitality.
Our first day starts with history and culture, we begin with a tour of the city later will include some of its rich cultural treasures. Later on we head onwards to the UNESCO setting of the Decani Monastery, we then enjoy a visit to a ‘cultural monument of exceptional importance’. The afternoon then sees us passing through the dramatic landscapes of the Rugova Gorge, to enjoy a picturesque trek and some local hospitality around the village of Reka e Allages, the entrance to the Peak of the Balkans trail. This remote village is inhabited by shepherds, who return in the summer to tend to their herds. Approx. 2hrs walking (250m ascent, 570m descent. Total distance 5km, highest point 1300m) Ariu Guesthouse or similar
Day 3 : Reke Allages – Hajla peak – Drelaj Walking through the magnificent Rugova Mountains.
Spending the day amongst the inspiring panoramas of the Rugova Valley, we aim to make our way up towards the summit of Hajla, the highest peak in the area. Ethnographically diverse and rich in animal and plant life, these mountainous landscapes are steeped in Albanian traditions and many of its customs, dialects and music are quite distinct. The final attempt on the summit of Hajla is optional, after which we’ll continue down towards Drelaj and the comforts of a local guesthouse. Approx. 6hrs walking (650m ascent, 600m descent. Total distance 16km, highest point 2403m) Drelaj guesthouse,
Day 4: Drelaj – Liquenat – Babino Polje (Montenegro) – Vusanje.Cross the magnifent Jelenak Pass from Kosovo to Montenegro
After breakfast we take a short transfer to Liquenat and prepare for an exciting day ahead which includes crossing into Montenegro via an unmanned mountain border. The path snakes its way up through forest and passes two small blue glacial lakes called Liqueni i Kuchishtes and i Dreljave. Leaving the treeline behind we head up into a dramatic valley and cross the magnificent Jelenak Pass at 2250m. We enter Montenegro on the ridgeline at the Ravno Pass and descend to the village of Babino Polje (Grandma’s Field). Here we meet our vehicles and transfer (1.50hr) to the Grebaja. A small town of around 1700 people with a couple of mosques and churches located on the edge of the Prokletije Mountains. From here there are dramatic views towards the peaks on the Montenegrin and Albanian border which we can enjoy after checking into our accommodation. Approx. 6hrs walking (1150m ascent, 1000m descent. Total distance 14km) Vusanje guesthouse, Approx. 6hrs walking (950 m ascent, 730m descent. Total distance 10km )
Day 5: Cross border hike Montenegro to Teth valley Albania (ALB)
This day is includes the most demanding walk (upto 8 hrs net-walking time) but offers an unique experience to cross the green boarder between Montenegro and Albania. After breakfast, transfer to the former boarder police station in Vusanje. There our packhorses wait be loaded with our main luggage. After 2,5 hrs we arrive at the boarder between Montenegro and Albania. There the Albanian packhorses and the guide await the group (see picture). Continue your walk on old mountain trails, meet the first shepards and discover the first bunkers, which are spread in big number all across Albania. Enjoy a fantastic mountain landscape. A steep downhill (900m) after Peja Pass takes you to Theth valley. A final easy walk uphill on village trails takes us to our guesthouse, the oldest in Theth, which offers picturesque views, tranquil atmosphere and warm hospitality. The guesthouse offers multiple bedding with shared bathrooms and delicious home made food. Trail distance: 21 kilometers Elevation:726 meters, Max: 1,751 meters Accumulative height uphill: 850 meters; downhill:1,260 meters (ALB)
Day 6: From Teth to Valbona (ALB)
Trekking from Theth to Valbona valley. With packhorses we continue our walk to Valbona valley. After a steep beginning we cross through forests to the pass of Valbona. There you enjoy a view back to Theth valley and in front of you to the Valbona valley and many more peaks. We pass the source of Valbona river and arrive in Ragami. Trail distance: 14.5 kilometers. Elevation: 745 meters, 1,840 meters
Cumulative height uphill: 1,125 meters, downhill: 768 meters
Time:7 hours Rating: Difficult (ALB)
Day 7: Ferry ride Drin lake to Virpazar in Montenegro
Early morning wake up to reach the ferry on Lake Koman, an artificial lake. This is another highlight of this journey. The boat ride takes 2hrs through narrow passages and passes remote settlements only accessible by boat. Upon arrival the damn a minibus (1,5 hrs) takes you the second biggest city of Albania Shkodra. City walk in Shkodra and the castle f Shkodra, with fantastic views towards Lake Skadar, the biggest lake of the Balkan peninsula. Continue to Montenegro, to Virpazar in National Park lake Skadar.
Day: 8 Departure to airport Podgorica/Tivat OR extension at the lake or swimming in the Adriatic sea
Unwind at the shores of beautiful lake Skadar and cherish your memories of the last week of walking in the wilderness of the Prokletije mountains. There is no set programme, but you can choose to between several activities.
This tour is completely customizable
The itinerary for this tour can be customized to suit your needs from your accommodations, difficulty and pace. Drop us a message.