Hiking & Trekking Tours in Albania


About Albania

With a favor geographical location with Mediterranean climate conditions, more than 400 km long coastline on the Adriatic and on the Ionian Sea, different land formations including the well-known Albanian Alps (an extension of the Dinaric Alps), very rich in culture and history from antiquity to the present days, unique traditions and custom laws, with the divine law of hospitality, with the second largest lake of Southern Europe ( Skadar Lake) and one of the oldest existing lakes in the world (Lake Ohrid), rich in flora and fauna, Butrint and other UNESCO World Heritage Sites are some of the best and positive things of Albania that are attracting tourists from all over the world.

Albania is a county in Southeast Europe, located in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula on the Adriatic and Ionian Sea. Albanians refer to themselves as ‘shqiptare” and call their country Shqiperia. Albania is a small country but with a diverse history, dating back from the prehistoric era, continuing to ancient times of  Illyria, influences and trade with Greeks and Roman Empire, going through Middle Ages, invasion and the rule of  Ottoman Empire and the famous warrior Skanderbeg, WWI and WWII, Communism and present days. The lands inhabited by Illyrians were known as Illyria by Greeks and Roman authors. Over the years Illyrians had influences and trade with Greeks and the Roman Empire.

First, there were Greeks who in the 7th century BC established colonies at Orikum, Apollonia, and Epidamnos (Durres) and trade with Illyrians who inhabited the region for centuries before the Greeks arrival and started to create tribal states in the 4th century BC. Rome took control of the Balkans from 167 BC after a long war with the Illyrian Kingdom of Ardiaei and ruled until 395 AD after the split of the Roman Empire, and as a result, Illyria becomes part of the Byzantine Empire.

It was the Albanian Noble Karl Topia who invited Ottomans in 1385 to the Battle of Savra, starting the Ottoman military expeditions in Albania. In 1389 the Ottomans won the Battle of Kosovo and as a result, the entire region was open to Ottoman attacks. Skanderbeg (Gjergj Kastrioti) the National Hero led the Albanian resistance against Ottomans from 1443 to 1468, the year he died from Malaria. Albanians resisted Ottomans from invasion until 1479 when Ottomans took total control over Albania.

Albania declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912. A large number of the Albanian population was left out. Along with the people, more territories than Albania itself were left outside of the country, including Kosovo with an area about one-third of Albania.

During WW2 Albania was conquered by Italy in 1939 and occupied by Germany in 1943. In 1944 Communist partisans took over the country and in January 1946 proclaimed the People’s Republic of Albania. They run the country for 46 years until the early 1990s when communism collapsed in Albania, following the domino effect of other communist countries in Europe. Albanian Communism was one of the harshest in the World. After taking control of the entire country, communists created alliances with Yugoslavia, USSR, and China. Self-reliance and national unity were one of the communist policies. Travel and visa restrictions made almost impossible to visit Albania at that time. In 1967 Albania declared itself the world’s first atheist state following the destruction of Mosques, Churches, and other religions buildings or shrines, except for those who were declared cultural monuments by the state and had protection by the government. During communism, there was a lot of construction happening, all according to the communism way of doing it mostly by voluntary workers, such as schools, new industries buildings, different factories, railways, asphalted roads, big hydropower plants, flats, etc. However, the economy of Albania was mostly depended on farming and agriculture. At the same time with the development and positivity growing of the country there was the so-called war among classes “Lufta e Klasave”, and the ideology of the only way is to follow us and there is no other option. Albanians had the right to Vote but there was only one party to vote for, so people had only one choice, to vote for communists. After the failed alliances one after another the last failed one with China created the conditions in Albania where everything came to a point that self-reliance is the best choice and every other country was seen as an enemy. Self-isolation was another thing in which communists would strongly apply in Albania. You were not allowed to leave the country unless you were part of communists or with some other exceptions ( artists, sports personnel, studies, etc.) and for going out of the country the government must approve it, in which a long process goes on, basically as a general person was impossible to leave Albania.

In 1991 Albania held its first multiparty elections. After the fall of communism and with a new democratic system people hoped so much for changes, and finally being free in their own home. But things didn’t go so well for the coming years, and in 1996-1997 pyramid schemes followed by Civil War took place. To restore the law and order an Italy led multinational peacekeeping force was sent to Albania in 1997, which stopped the Albanian Civil War.  In April 2009 Albania became a member of NATO, and in March 2020 EU decided to open accession negotiations with Albania.

“The mountains have no borders, they belong to Mother Nature”

Albanian Alps

The Albanian Alps also known as the “Accursed Mountains’ are one of the most astonishing and high lands best kept secrets of Europe. They have inspired many travelers from all over the world. Different forms of terrain with high raise peaks, valleys, dense forest, meadows and glacial lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and alpine pastures are some of the amazing things that Mother Nature can give you to your adventure in the Albanian Alps. Very rich in flora and fauna, best kept secret where the wildernesses like eagles, wolfs, bears, and lynx roam freely and traditional rural cultures survived despite the modernized world.  In the High Lands, you will find a strong relationship between nature and the people that inhabited this High Lands for thousands of years.

Back in time during communism, bordering with ex-Yugoslavia these lands were heavily guarded with armed soldiers patrolling the border all year round. No matter if it was warm and sunny, no matter if it was cold and heavy snow, or rain and wild winds, ‘No one should leave the country’ an idea that put Albania in self-imprison and self-isolation from the world. That idea was not only for a part of Albania but for all the country, each meter of Albanian border was heavily guarded at that time.

Walking nearby the borders with Montenegro and Kosovo you can see ‘border pyramids’ in one side Albania and the other side ex-Yugoslavia (Montenegro, Kosovo and not far from here North Macedonia). Who could imagine that one day people can cross freely from one country to another.