From €1100

PEAKS OF THE BALKANS

Peaks of the Balkans trek is the best way to experience Kosovo, Montenegro & Albania’s unforgettable combination of natural beauty and cultural richness. Moreover, the “Peaks of the Balkans” guide leads through one of the most remote and wild mountainous regions of the Western Balkans. By using shepherd paths and footways, the trail winds through high alpine mountains up to 2300 m above sea level.

Peaks of the Balkans trail is a 192-km cross-border trekking trail through the Accursed Mountains of Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro. Considering the region’s turbulent history and once tightly controlled borders, especially during the communist period, it was impossible to move across these places. No longer. Nowadays, the trek has become very popular and people around the world are coming to visit this very remote area.

Peaks of the Balkans trail is a must-do for any hiker.

The level of difficulty ranges from easy to moderate + but requires good physical condition and mountain equipment.

10 Days
Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro
Trek
Guided
2-6
Chalet
Guided
Moderate +
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Peaks of the Balkans is a circular trekking trail through three countries of Western Balkans. The itinerary below starts from Albania, however, when booking, you can choose where to start and where to end up.

Trip Highlights
  • The Peaks of the Balkans trail goes in three different countries;
  • Trek in some of the most remote areas in the Balkans;
  • Take in phenomenal mountain views from Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro;
  • Taste regional food and enjoy distinct cultures in the remote villages of Albania.
What's Included

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.

PEAKS OF THE BALKANS TRAIL ITINERARY

 

Day 1: Meet your fellow travelers in Tirana and drive to Thethi National Park.

Meet and greet with the guide in Tirana, followed by a transfer to Shkodra, one of the oldest inhabited cities in Albania with a 2500-year-old history. It seems the city existed since the beginning of time. After a lunch break, we continue the drive towards Theth, passing through the beautiful Valley of Boga, gate to the Albanian Alps.

Further, we will stop at Qafa Thores – the diagonal Pass, to enjoy the spectacular mountainous landscape unfolding in front of us. After that, we will switch to a local van and drive downhill to a nice guesthouse in the village where we will stay overnight and enjoy a tasty homemade meal. The afternoon is free to walk and warm up into Thethi National Park. Most importantly, we will start and finish the Peaks of the Balkans trail in Theth. Dinner included.

Accommodation: Guesthouse
Meals: Lunch, Dinner
Drive: 3hrs 30min.


 

Day 2: Hike from Theth to Valbona via Spectacular Valbona Pass

Today our trailheads towards spectacular Valbona Pass. It's not a particularly hard walk and is one that is attempted by many first-time mountain walkers. For the next couple of hours, the trail climbs slightly more steeply towards higher ground and we walk over a pass known as Valbona Pass. After several hours of hiking uphill, we stop at the Zefi’s housing for a hot mountain tea.

Resuming our hike for another 45-min, we continue ascending to the Valbona col (1792m) where we have outstanding views of the Albanian Alps and the Valley of Valbona.

Well rested, we continue walking down (45 min) to the Simoni cafè for lunch. After lunch, we make our way down to the valley. Of course, we can choose whether to independently continue our walking down on the main wide dried up riverbed road or take a bus to avoid it. All meals included.

Trek: 16.3Km; Uphill: 1040m, Downhill: 945m; Maximum altitude: 1759m; Time: 6-7hrs
Difficulty: Moderate/Challenging
Accommodation: Guesthouse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


 

Day 3: Drive Valbona to Cerem. Trek from Cerem to Doberdol, a vast alpine pasture

After a hearty breakfast and a cup of hot mountain tea with honey, we continue the trek firstly by a short transfer to Cerem valley, then start trekking to Doberdol. Leaving Çerem and the Kollata massif behind, we walk slowly in the forest for a couple of hours.

Today’s hike is a very easy walk mostly into the forest. We briefly cross the Montenegro border and return in Albania until we reach the ruins of the old military border post. Further on we take a picnic break at the hamlet of Balqin, which is used by the shepherds during the summer season. After a hearty lunch and coffee break, we continue to walk along a mostly flat, scenic trail through patches of beech forest. We finally reach the Doberdol pasture.

Trek: 12.8Km; Uphill: 686m, Downhill: 410m; Maximum altitude: 1922m; Time: 5-6hrs
Difficulty: Easy
Accommodation: Mountain huts
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Drive: 45min


 

Day 4: Hike 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 trekking 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: 18.2Km; Uphill: 950m, Downhill: 1045m; Maximum altitude: 2236m; Time: 7-8hrs
Difficulty: Moderate
Accommodation: Guesthouse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


 

Day 5: 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: 11.8Km; Uphill: 607m, Downhill: 1430m; Maximum altitude: 2136m; Time: 5-6hrs
Difficulty: Moderate/Challenging
Accommodation: Guesthouse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Drive: 15min


 

Day 6: 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 which 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: 15.8Km; Uphill: 1020m, Downhill: 13320m; Maximum altitude: 2403m; Time: 7-8hrs
Difficulty: Moderate
Accommodation:
Guesthouse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


 

Day 7: Trek from Kuqishte to Babino Polje through two glacial lakes

Today’s trek starts with an early breakfast before we head off on our first full day of trekking. A short transfer from the guesthouse to the starting point. 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: 15.8Km; Uphill: 1140m, Downhill: 1050m; Maximum altitude: 2265m; Time: 7-8hrs
Difficulty: Moderate
Accommodation: Guesthouse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Drive: 20min


 

Day 8: 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 transferring to nearby Village, our home for tonight.

 

Trek: 19.8Km; Uphill: 607m, Downhill: 1190m; Maximum altitude: 2048m; Time: 7-8hrs
Difficulty: Moderate
Accommodation: Guesthouse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


 

Day 9: Hike to Vusanje via Bori Peak for the epic Accursed Mountain views

After another healthy breakfast to start our day, we trek to Vusanje for the last night in Montenegro. We hike through dense beech forest encountering flowering plants before reaching the open meadows of Bori ridge. The final approach to the high pass begins here with a steep ramp leading to the peak of Bori. At the top, the views of the surrounding peaks of the Accursed Mountains are spectacular. The trail then descends steeply and passes through a meadow then forest to Vusanje. All meals included.

 

Trek: 14.6Km; Uphill: 744m, Downhill: 1174m; Maximum altitude: 2098m; Time: 6-7hrs
Difficulty: Moderate
Accommodation: Guesthouse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Drive: 25min


 

Day 10: Spectacular hike from Vusanje to Theth – Drive to Tirana

Today’s hike into Prokletije National Park is certain to be a memorable one. This is a relatively long hike that crosses the border between Montenegro and Albania. The path passes along the craggiest part of the Prokletije/Bjeshkёt e Namuna/Alpet Shqipёtare mountains. Almost the entire hike is surrounded by steep mountains with stunning views. This itinerary allows us a glance into the region’s past when it was a forbidden zone during the Communist era.

A border military post, some bunkers, and the border crossing pyramid sign still remains by the crossing. We will have a picnic lunch in lush Alpine meadows carpeted with wildflowers and full of butterflies. The Peaks of the Balkans trail finishes at the very beautiful village of Theth with its traditional tower houses surrounded by steep mountains. This evening, we enjoy a delicious dinner at Polia's guest house. We'll celebrate the beautiful day and newfound friendships.

Trek: 17.8Km; Uphill: 788m, Downhill: 1231m; Maximum altitude: 1734m; Time: 6-7hrs
Difficulty: Moderate
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Drive: 3hr 40min


 

Day 11: Say goodbye to your new friends after an unforgettable adventure

Before heading off to the airport, everybody can have a free and relaxing day in Tirana. Then, after lunchtime, our adventure ends with a private transfer to the Airport, ending our exciting trek in the heart of the Balkans.

Group Airport transfer is included.

Driving: 2 hours.


Although we try to do our very best to carry out the schedule written above, this itinerary of the Peaks of the Balkans trail is subject to change for some reasons beyond our control. This is a 10-day trip, however, we can make it shorter or even longer.

Peaks of the Balkans Trail

Peaks-of-the-Balkans-Trail-Trek-Balkan

Don't see the dates you're looking for?
Feel free to contact us for other departure dates.

GEAR LIST

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. Feel free to give us a call at 00383-49-601-007 if you have any questions regarding the gear list.

REQUIRED

  • Good walking shoes
  • Day pack (20L – 35L)
  • Sunhat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • Fleece Gloves
  • Fleece Hat
  • Fleece Jacket or Sweater
  • Underwear
  • 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-liter 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.)

OPTIONAL

  • Flashlight or Headlamp
  • Trekking Poles
  • Shorts
  • Trainers or sandals
  • Bandana
  • 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
  • Pen-knife
  • Camera and Accessories
  • Ear Plugs
  • Reading and Writing Materials
  • Small Binoculars
  • Whistle
  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags)

 


HOLIDAY INFORMATION

What's Included
  • 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
What's not included
  • Airline tickets
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Airport taxes
  • Tips for local staff
  • Alcoholic beverages or soft drinks
  • Items of a personal sort
  • Airport transfers other than group transfers
Consider as you book up

TRAVEL DOCUMENTS: Airline Tickets (Confirmation and Itinerary) & Passport

The unit of currency in Albania is the Lek (ALL). However, the Euro is accepted. The unit of currency in Kosovo and Montenegro is the Euro. Note: Buying Lek is possible only in Albania

ATM Availability (While Trekking)

  • Peje
  • Plav
  • Bajram Curri (17Km away from Valbona)

LOCAL TIME: Time zone: GMT +1

ELECTRICITY: Electric supply and plugs: 220V, 50 Hz, two-pin round plugs.

BOOKS

  • Western Balkans - Lonely Planet
  • The Accursed Mountains - Robert Carver
  • Broken April - Ismail Kadare
  • High Albania - Edith Durham

 

Essential Info


Visas

Albania
No visa is required for most nationalities, including UK passport holders, most other EU nationalities, US, Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand.

Montenegro
Check out if you need a visa to enter Montenegro.

Kosovo
No visa is required for most nationalities, including UK passport holders, most other EU nationalities, US, Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand.

Vaccinations

Kosovo - Albania - Montenegro

There are no specific health risks.