Peaks of the Balkans for Charity
#TrekForCharity on a unique exploration of the Balkan Borderlands, trekking in some of the most spectacular remote areas the earth has to offer, either challenging yourself or doing it to fundraise for the Children of Kosovo.
A relatively short but adventurous trek giving you a great experience as part of #awalkforchildren to help Kosovo’s deaf-mute children. We’re here to help you deliver that, so in turn your charity can support more deaf-mute children each year from funds raised through challenging treks.
Charity treks are an excellent way to raise funds and help people in need while sharing a memorable experience with the group.
PEAKS OF THE BALKANS CHARITY TREK
Peaks of the Balkans for charity is a doable trek for groups of all levels and if you are looking for something a little more challenging, this trip is a great tour for groups looking to experience something special and memorable. This trip is a typical one to help children in Kosovo who are in very need particularly deaf-mute kids.
• Experience wonderful, unspoiled hiking in remote villages of Balkans.
• Climb to almost 2,000m in the Alpine meadow Mountains, to witness spectacular views.
• Take in phenomenal mountain views from Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro;
Accommodation (hotel & guesthouse) and meals as written in the daily itinerary; group airport transfer and other transports required by the itinerary; all entrance fees; skilled tour leader.
Price Per Person - €1195
- €200 Non -refundable deposit
- €995 Final payment due 30 days before departure
In addition, there is a minimum fundraising dedication of €300 for the charity campaign.
Where does the money go?
The money raised helps Deaf-Mute children in Kosovo with primary education and other daily activities. There are around 12.000 deaf-mute children in Kosovo and mainly most of them are not attending primary school due to the lack of special schools for those children.
Actually, there is only one primary school for deaf-mute kids and one for high school.
As an example of what your money can do for a year:
- € 000 pays for extra school materials;
- € 000 pays for sport and outdoor activities: playing football, tennis, hiking & camping, running, fishing, etc;
- € 000 pays for transportation from home-school-home.
Is This Trip for You?
This trek is suitable for keen trekkers who are prepared to put in some physical preparation. For the most part, our walks follow good shepherd trails yet the terrain can be very rocky in parts, winding through high alpine mountains. Most of the trail is well-marked, but some not. However, having a very experienced mountain guide with you, should not concern you.
Accommodation in some areas is basic. Facilities are limited at the shepherd huts and usually consist of sharing the floor space in a large room. Rooms at the guesthouses are mixed-sex dormitory-style.
Activity Level: 5 (Moderate / Challenging)
CHARITY TREK ITINERARY
Day 1: Welcome to Kosovo! Drive to Gjakova.
Meet and greet with the guide in Prishtina International Airport, followed by a transfer to Gjakova, one of the oldest inhabited cities in Kosovo with a lot of history behind it. Our knowledgeable guide leads you on a fascinating city tour and will introduce you to mountains, the culture, history, the city of Gjakova, the next day tours, and Kosovo in general. Dinner included. Overnight in Junik.
Day 2: Hike up to the Gjeravica summit, the highest peak in Kosovo.
Today’s hike starts with an early breakfast before we head off on our full day of walking. Soon we arrive at the big lake of Gjeravica, 2300m, where we’ll enjoy a short break. From this big lake, we have outstanding, close-up views of the nearly vertical of the Gjeravica summit. Just two hours away from the top! Beautiful panoramas await us as we reach the summit.
From the top, we’ll have spectacular views of the Albanian Alps, Prokletije, and nearly all of Kosovo’s mountains. After reaching the summit and spend some time on the top, we descent down through Heart Lake to Doberdol pasture.
Trek: 15 km, 7-8 hours; elevation gain: 850m; elevation loss: 900m.
Day 3: Trek from Doberdol to Milishefc via Three Border Point.
After an early breakfast, today's hike begins through bilberry-covered meadows of Dobërdol in the direction of the mountain ridge, which forms the border between the three countries. Our final trek day in the magical Triple peak 2266m, with a view of the Albanian Alps behind where we walked days before. After a photo break, we walk slowly through a beautiful alpine meadow to Milishefc. All meals included.
Trek: 17.5 km, 7-8 hours; elevation gain: 920m; elevation loss: 800m.
Day 4: Trek from Milishefc to Rugova Camp – transfer to Reka Allages.
This is a relatively short trek. There is a short uphill but long, zig-zag downhill to Rugova Camp. At the Camp, there is a good restaurant – very good local fish – we can relax before a short transfer to Reka Allages.
Trek: 10.5 km, 4-5 hours; elevation gain: 750m; elevation loss: 1150m.
Day 5: A great trek leads us to the summit of Hajla peak 2403m.
The hike starts with an ascent northwest through the meadow behind Mustafa’s guesthouse. After walking a few hundred meters, we reach a meadow with beautiful views towards Reka e Allagёs and the surrounding mountains. From here, we have great views of the mountains, as well as the top of Guri Kuq that marks the highest peak in the Rugova mountains.
After about three hours of gradual ascent, we reach Era's hut where we have a break before reaching the top. Well rested, we begin a challenging but relatively short hike to the summit 2403m. On reaching the top of the Hajla 2403m, we stay high and contour around to the other side, enjoying spectacular views as we go.
From the top of Hajla, if the weather indicates clear views, we can see five different countries; Kosovo, Montenegro, Bosnia, Serbia, and Macedonia. After relaxing on the top, we enjoy a good descent to the beautiful village of Drelaj.
Trek: 13 km, 6-7 hours; elevation gain: 100m; elevation loss: 1250m.
Day 6: Trek from Kuqishte through two glacial lakes and cross the border to Montenegro.
Today’s trek starts with an early breakfast before we head off on our first full day of trekking. This is a relatively long hike that passes the border between Kosovo and Montenegro. It goes through beautiful mountain areas with many water sources, glacial lakes, and mountain passes featuring breathtaking views.
After passing the lakes we go gradually up to Lugu i Shkodrёs for a very beautiful landscape. “Shkodra Pass” is called because it used to be the pass of an ancient path connecting this area with the city of Shkodra in Albania. After refueling with some lunch and returning to the trailhead, we continue walking to a borderland, then descent to a hidden village of Montenegro, Babino Polje.
Trek: 15.8 km, 7-8 hours; elevation gain: 1150m; elevation loss: 1100m.
Day 7: Babino Polie – Plav. Explore the old town of Plav.
After breakfast, we set out on beautiful lake Hrid Jezero for a cool swim in the middle of a forest. After having rest, we continue to a vantage point providing magnificent views of the surrounding landscape where You enjoy a picnic lunch in this picturesque setting surrounded by a lot of beech trees.
The mostly off-trail route passes through typical patches of forest with panoramic views of the Prokletije including the Albanian Alps off in the distance. After finishing the trek this afternoon, a short coffee rest in the town with a view of Plav Lake before transfer to nearby Village, our home for tonight.
Trek: 20 km, 7-8 hours; elevation gain: 710m; elevation loss: 1150m.
Day 8: Hike up to Zla Kollata, the highest peak in Montenegro. Overnight in Valbona.
This morning we head off via remote Prejsolli pass to the highest peak in Montenegro. The summit is optional depending on our fitness. At the pass, a fast group can make the peak whereas the rest can wait and rest. It is important to carry enough water for the day on this day as there are limited water sources along this route. From the pass, we continue through the steep zig-zag trail into the village of Valbona.
Trek: 15 km, 8-9 hours; elevation gain: 1580m; elevation loss: 1200m.
Day 9: A ferry Journey into scenic Komani Lake. Overnight in Tirana, Albania.
Today starts with an early breakfast before we head off on our first full day of boating. We take a one-hour drive to lovely Komani Lake this morning and board our boat for the transfer across the lake to the “Blini Park” - Shala River, known as a Thailand of Albania. Then, as we approach, from our boat, we admire the immensity of the river and its myriad shades of blue. Isolated from high peaks, the blue water of the Shala River offers adventurers a panorama of those that resemble Thailand's remote.
We will have lunch in Shkoder and a short rest before transferring to Tirana, the capital of Albania.
Day 10: Depart for Home
After breakfast, our adventure ends with a private transfer to the airport, ending our exciting trek in the heart of the Balkans.
- English-speaking local guide
- Group airport transfers
- All accommodation
- Meals from lunch day 1 to breakfast day 10
- All land transport required by the itinerary
- All entrance fees
- Luggage transport (more than four people in a group)
- Airline tickets
- Travel insurance
- Airport taxes
- Tips for local staff
- Alcoholic beverages or soft drinks
- Items of a personal sort
- Airport transfers other than group transfers
- Airline Tickets (Confirmation and Itinerary)
To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, the following checklist has been created to help you choose your clothing and gear for this trip. Try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.
- Good walking shoes
- Day pack (20L – 35L)
- Sun cream
- Fleece Gloves
- Fleece Hat
- Fleece Jacket or Sweater
- Rain jacket
- Warm fleece jacket or jumper
- Rain pants
- Long Sleeve Shirts (Synthetic, Lightweight)
- Trekking trousers
- Warm fleece jacket or jumper
- Anti-bacterial hand gel
- Personal First Aid Kit/Medications (Lightweight)
- 2 x 1-litre water bottle
- Insect spray
- Water purification tablets (Water is provided, but very often this is from local wells or mountain streams and is not chlorinated. If you are concerned about drinking untreated water, we suggest you bring a supply of water treatment tablets.)
- Flashlight or Headlamp
- Trekking Poles
- Trainers or sandals
- Liner Socks (Synthetic)
- Shoes for Travel and Free Time
- Casual Clothing for Travel and Town Wear (Lightweight, Easily Washable)
- Spare laces
- Luggage Tags and Locks
- Camera and Accessories
- Ear Plugs
- Reading and Writing Materials
- Small Binoculars
- Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags)
Albania has a high number of climatic regions for so small an area. Generally, experiences a Mediterranean climate with summer temperatures at 25ºC on average in the day, and the warmest months are July and August where temperatures can rise to 30ºC and above.
Kosovo has a largely Continental climate, although Pristina is considered an Oceanic climate. Generally, summers are long and dry, and winters are mild and rainy, with occasional heavy snowfall in the mountains. It can get surprisingly hot in summer, between May and August, with temperatures sometimes reaching as high as 32°C (90°F). The warmest month is July, with an average high temperature of 26°C (79°F). Winters are cold and snowfall is common. The coldest month is January, with an average low temperature of -5°C (23°F).
The unit of currency in Kosovo and Montenegro is the Euro.
Note: Buying Lek is possible only in Albania
- Bajram Curri (17Km away from Valbona)
Montenegro Emergency numbers
- 92 (Police); 94 (Medical emergency)
- United States Consulate, Podgorica: +382 (0) 20 410 500
- Canadian Embassy, Belgrade, Serbia (also responsible for Montenegro): +381 (0)11 306 3000
- Australian Embassy, Belgrade, Serbia (also responsible for Montenegro): +381 (0)11 330 3400
- British Consulate, Podgorica: +382 (0) 81 205 460
- Podgorica International Airport: +382 0 20 444 244
Albania Emergency numbers
- 129 (Police); 127 (Ambulance)
- Embassy of United States, Tirana: +355 (0) 4 224 7285
- British Embassy, Tirana: +355 (0) 4 223 4973
- Consulate of Canada to the Republic of Albania, Tirana: +355 (0) 4 225 7274
- Tirana International Airport: +355 42 381 800
Kosovo Emergency numbers
- 112 (Police); 94 (Ambulance)
- British Embassy, Pristina: +383 (0) 38 254 700
- U.S. Embassy, Pristina: +383 (0) 38 59 59 3000
- German Embassy, Pristina: +383 (0) 38 254 500
- Pristina International Airport: +383 (0) 38 501 502 12 14
- Western Balkans Lonely Planet
- The Accursed Mountains - Robert Carver
- Broken April - Ismail Kadare
- High Albania - Edith Durham