Hiking & Trekking Tours in Albania

Offers

Trekking the Via Dinarica

Hiking & Trekking

Duration

13

days

Ways to travel:

Guided Group / Private Group

Group size:
Ages:

5 – 16

16+

Grading: 

Moderate / Challenging

Trip Code: TALKOM

Accommodation:
  • 4 nights hotels
  • 4 nights guesthouses
  • 4 nights mountain huts 
Meals:
  • All breakfasts
  • 11 lunches
  • 12 dinners
  Price:

from

€1350

EUR

Trek the mountainous landscapes and get amazed by the Balkan countries of Albania, Kosova, and Montenegro.

Rugged mountains with high raise peaks, valleys, and wild landscapes are waiting to be discovered. Trekking these mountainous lands you will find a different world, where most of the places will only be accessible by foot following old shepherd trails. Our trip is focused in the Albanian Alps also known as ‘Accursed Mountains’, Prokletije NP, and Bjeshket e Nemuna NP. These mountains are home to diverse wildlife where ancient woodlands have remained unchanged and undisturbed for thousands of years. Crossing remote borders with stunning views we explore the remote regions and the picturesque mountain villages where agricultural life has remained the same for centuries. Roughed terrain, historical and cultural factors created the right conditions for people to stay somehow in isolation through history.

Trip highlights
  • The amazing regions of the Albanian Alps
  • Theth NP, Valbona NP, Prokletije NP, and Bjeshket e Nemuna NP
  •  ‘Lock in Tower’ of Theth, the Blood Feud symbol
  • Wild and pristine landscapes
  • One of the best Ferry rides in Europe
  • Historical and cultural sites of Tirana

Key information

  • 4 nights in mountain huts, 4 nights in guesthouses, 4 nights in standard hotels
  • 10 full hiking days
  • Group 5 to 16 persons
  • Countries visited: Albania, Kosova, Montenegro

What is included

What is not included

Itinerary

DAY 1 

Start Tirana

The group will be met at the airport and transferred approximately for 30 min to our Hotel in Tirana.  A group meeting will be scheduled in the afternoon for the main briefing.  Your tour guide will go with you through all the tour details and tell you all the things you need to know about this wonderful trip in the Albanian Alps. After the main briefing as we go for dinner in one of the traditional restaurants in Tirana we will do a walking tour of Tirana for about 1hour. This time it is not enough to explore all of Tirana, but we get an idea about the city and its history.

Standard Hotel

Meals included: dinner

Distance: 2 km          Ascent: 20 m          Descent: 20 m          Activity: 1 hour

DAY 2

Drive from Tirana to Koman Lake, one of the best Ferry rides in Europe, transfer to B.Curri town

Today we start with a transfer for 2 hours and take one of the best Ferry rides in Europe, in Koman Lake for about 2 hours. This lake is one of three main artificial lakes in Northern Albania build during communism for producing electricity and today producing about 70% of electricity in Albania. For about 2 hours through Koman Lake, we enjoy the breathtaking views of the mountainous surroundings until we reach Fierze where a bus transfer takes us to the town of Bajram Curri. Check-in at our hotel and in the afternoon we take a short walk visiting a local house and spend some time exploring the surroundings. The food we eat here is all locally produced with a lot of greens and vegetables grown in the local farms. For dinner, traditional and delicious food will be cooked for us.

Standard Hotel

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Distance: 7 km          Ascent: 250 m          Descent: 250 m          Activity: 2 hours

DAY 3 

Trek through Tropoja highlands to Sylbica alpine pastures

After breakfast, we start another beautiful day through the Albanian Alps. Spectacular mountain views will be all day with us. Starting with a transfer for about 30 min to Tropoja village we start the trek for today. Our trail goes first in the forest and then reaches alpine pastures. As we ascend to Ujeze, we take a short break to one of the shepherd huts where we have lunch and something to drink. Here we spent some time experiencing their way of life. Locals stay here for the summer months and leave the area before the first snow starts to fall. A mountain pass at 1885m is our highest elevation for today. The pass is like a balcony with a wide panoramic view of Tropoja with the scenic Shkelzeni Mountain and in the far distance, we can see more of the Albanian Alps. As we enjoy spectacular and pristine views of the area we start descending through dense forest to Tropoja River, following the river until we reach the mountain hut in Sylbice alpine pastures where we stay overnight, this is another remote, agricultural, and self-sufficient village. For dinner, fresh food and local dishes are cooked for us. 

Mountain Huts

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Distance: 18 km          Ascent: 1450 m          Descent: 680 m          Activity: 6 hours

DAY 4 

Cross the border into Kosova, continue to Pllaqice in Bjeshket e Nemuna NP

Today’s trek is truly amazing. We leave behind our hut in Sylbice ascending the alpine pastures as the trail goes up to the border with Kosova, reaching Junik Pass we enjoy spectacular views of Tropoja River valley and parts of Bjeshket e Namuna NP with its highest Peak Gjeravica (2656 m) the highest peak in Kosova. On the way we get closer and closer to Gjeravica, visiting the Glacial Lake under Gjeravica, we get a chance to swim and spend some time relaxing. Different land formations and rugged terrain of the mountainous areas of Bjeshket e Namuna NP have created favorable conditions for diverse vegetation and biodiversity. The area is home to a large number of wild animals such as brown bears, wild boars, wild goats, golden eagles, lynx, gray wolf, etc., and the park has been recognized as an important bird area of international importance. As we start descending we reach our mountain hut in Pllaqice where we will spend the night. Traditional dishes will be served for dinner.

Mountain Huts

Meals included: breakfast, Picnic lunch, dinner

Distance: 13 km          Ascent: 820 m          Descent: 550 m          Activity: 5 hours

DAY 5

Trek through Bjeshket e Nemuna NP. From Pllaqice to remote Belegu

An exciting trek is ahead of us for today. The landscape is naturally preserved, truly untouched and wild. On the way, we pass some shepherd mountain huts and green alpine pastures with a lot of areas covered in wild blueberry. Trekking through wild blueberry fields we ascend until reaching ‘Trekufiri’ a natural three-border peak where Albania, Kosova, and Montenegro meet each other in nature and offers great panoramic views of the three countries. From Trekufiri the trail continues until we reach Belegu, the place we are staying overnight and is located in Bjeshket e Nemuna NP. Overnight in a hut, run by a local family where homemade and fresh food will be served for dinner. 

Mountain Huts

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Distance: 14 km          Ascent: 700 m          Descent: 600 m          Activity: 6 hours

DAY 6 

Cross the border into Albania and continue to the beautiful Valbona Valley

Today is another wonderful day in Kosova, Montenegro and Albania. Today we visit Bjeshket e Namuna NP, Prokletije NP and Valbona Valley NP, and on the way a clear view of Gashi River Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We begin trekking from our mountain hut and as we start ascending through great landscapes of Bjeshket e Namuna NP, from Belegu alpine pastures we cross the remote border to Montenegro, visiting Bogicevica village in Montenegro, part of Prokletije NP and continuing to ascent through pine and beech forest reaching the beautiful Lake Hrid. The nature here is amazing, wild and well preserved. We continue trekking along with the mountainous relief of Prokletije NP with impressive beech and pine forests, clean fresh air, and diverse wildlife. We cross the remote border to Albania. On the way in the far distance we enjoy wonderful views of the Gashi River natural reserve area. The area is covered in dense pine and beech trees, and down to the valley there is Gashi River a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area is home to a large number of wild animals such as brown bear, wild boar, wild goat, golden eagle, lynx, gray wolf, etc. We finish our trek for today in Cerem, enjoying the view of the area and the view of the highest mountain in Montenegro, Zla Kolata (2535 m). Transfer (for about 45 min), a local minibus takes us to our hotel in Valbona Valley NP, well-known for hospitality and tasty traditional dishes.

Standard Hotel

Meals included: breakfast, Picnic lunch, dinner

Distance: 20 km          Ascent: 1000 m          Descent: 1520 m          Activity: 7 hours

DAY 7

Trek through Rossi Pass nearby the glacial lakes of Jezerca and continue to Vusanje in Montenegro

Today we trek the highlands of Valbona Valley NP and cross the remote border to Montenegro. Our trail takes us through pine and beech forest for a part and then ascends the beautiful alpine pastures below Rossi Peak. This trail leads us to Rossi Pass where we enjoy the panoramic view of the Albanian Alps with its highest peak Jezerca and amazing views of Prokletije NP. From Rossi Pass we then descend nearby the beautiful Jezerca glacial lakes and continue through beautiful Rapojana Valley to the village of Vusanje in Montenegro our final destination for today.

Standard Hotel

Meals included: breakfast, Picnic lunch, dinner

Distance: 15 km          Ascent: 1100 m          Descent: 1030 m       Activity: 7 hours

DAY 8

Through Prokletije NP and continue to Grebaje Valley

Today we explore more of Prokletije NP as we trek to Grebaje Valley. As we leave the flats behind our trail goes through a dense forest and reaches Vezirova Brada Pass. Great views from here where Grebaje Valley one of the best places in Prokletije NP and Lake Plav can be seen. We start descending to the picturesque Grebaje Valley surrounded by high peaks, as we walk through the valley we enjoy and observe the farmers daily activity. Here we stay in a welcoming family-run guesthouse.

Guesthouse

Meals included: breakfast, Picnic lunch, dinner

Distance: 10 km          Ascent: 600 m          Descent: 480 m       Activity: 5 hours

DAY 9

Trek from Grebaje to the picturesque valley of Lepushe

Our trek today takes us to Lepushe, another beautiful valley in Albania. As we hike up through the forest we reach the Vajusha mountain ridge, clearly in the distance we can see the picturesque high raise peaks of the Albanian Alps and Prokletije National Park. Here there is a beautiful combination of different landscape formations with one of the most dramatic views, as well as great alpine pastures and wonderful valleys. Kelmendi region is another gem in Albania, unique and unexplored for many years we can see the Kelmendi highlands from the distance as we descent to the village of Lepushe part of the Kelmendi region. Tonight we stay in a very special locally family-run guesthouse. Still undiscovered the area itself is very remote and villagers here are dependent on agricultural life, growing vegetables and hoarding animals like sheep and goats. In the afternoon you can explore by yourself and observe the rural life in the village. Tonight is a good chance to taste the most known Albanian drink, Raki.

Guesthouse

Meals included: breakfast, Picnic lunch, dinner

Distance: 10 km          Ascent: 1300 m          Descent: 1200 m       Activity: 6 hours

DAY 10

Trek Berizhdol alpine pastures, through the scenic view of the Albanian Alps and continue in the middle of the Albanian Alps.

In the morning we start trekking up on a path off the beaten track that can’t be easily found on a tourist map. It is morning and as usual it is very quiet. As we trek through the forest and meadows with blueberries, we might be the only ones following the trail. For today our trail goes up through the forest and alpine pastures, as we continue along the trail we reach Berizhdol alpine pastures, where we will stop and have something to drink in one of shepherd huts. From here we continue to follow shepherds trail until we reach our destination at a place locally known as Gropa Madhe, in the middle of nowhere surrounded by giant rocky natural walls, where a local family stays here during summer months hoarding animals and collecting medicinal plants.

Mountain Huts

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Distance: 12 km          Ascent: 1000 m          Descent: 500 m       Activity: 6 hours

DAY 11

Trek though the Albanian Alps and continue to Theth

Good breakfast again with fresh food, coffee, and mountain tea will be served for us.  After saluting and thanking the family for their hospitality and delicious food, we start our journey. This day is one of the most beautiful treks in the Albanian Alps. Our trail goes up through alpine pastures and rocky terrain, as we continue along the trail we leave behind Gropa e Madhe and continue to Peja Pass (Qafa e Pejes) where we have a clear view of the picturesque Theth Valley. Picnic lunch with an amazing view overlooking Theth Valley and Theth River that goes along the entire valley, mountainous surrounding areas, alpine landscape, and various rock formations. From Peja Pass we descent until we reach our guesthouse located in Theth village. Thethi National Park is the best National Park in the Albanian Alps, it is very remote and has a small number of inhabitants, as a result combined with the climatic conditions and the variation of the ecosystem has created the right conditions of a rich variety of flora and fauna in all over the area. 

Guesthouse

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Distance: 12 km          Ascent: 700 m          Descent: 1200 m       Activity: 6 hours

DAY 12

To the cultural Theth valley, Grunas waterfall and transfer to Shkoder

Today we explore more of Theth NP. Theth valley is very picturesque, rich in flora and fauna, very well preserved over the years. Today’s walk follows for some kilometers Theth Valley traversed by Theth River. Walking through the village we experience local life as locals continue their usual daily activity. Agricultural life has remained the same for many years. Today we explore Theth village, Roman Catholic Church built in 1892, Lock-in tower the locals name it “Kulla”, which has a magnificent and unique history of past blued feuds, it is the only one that remained in the area with a strong connection to the “Kanun’ (Highlands Law Code, locally known as “Kanuni i Lekë Dukagjinit”, codified according to the customary laws in the 15th century). Unused for its purpose for many years, we will be Lock-in tower guests for today. Following a marked path we visit Grunas Waterfall and after this we continue back to a local guesthouse with a panoramic view of Theth, where we have lunch and after lunch we transfer for about 2 hours to Shkoder.

Standard Hotel

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Distance: 7 km          Ascent: 150 m          Descent: 150 m       Activity: 4 hours

DAY 13 

End, Shkoder to Airport

It will be an organized transfer for about 1h30min from our hotel to Tirana International Airport.                               

Meals included: breakfast

Accommodation for this tour

Hotels (4nts), guesthouses (4 nts), mountain huts (4 nts). 

Accommodation can be different than what you are used to in your country. Considering that the Tour is organized in the remote regions of the Albanian Alps, Prokletije NP, Bjeshket e Nemuna NP you might expect that quality and service might be lower standards that those in the urban areas.We have chosen this type of accommodation due to limited choices and most important for their location, character and traditional service. Mountain huts are simple but very welcoming. Charging facilities are limited, and expect some days without electricity and Wi-Fi.

On this tour we use small family-run hotels or guesthouses, except for the start and finish hotels, which are usually larger city hotels with better service and quality. In the hiking/trekking areas they do not have elevators, air-conditioning, or English-speaking staff, but most family-run with a lot of traditional character and welcoming hospitality, clean, safe and simple accommodation.

Single supplement from 150 EUR.

If available, paying for a single supplement will only guaranty a room for single use.

If you request to book additional accommodation in Tirana before and after the tour, please let us know and we will make it possible. Please contact us if you want to extend your trip.

When you book a tour with us as an individual, for the accommodation you will be paired in a room with another traveler. 

Due to limited possibilities in the trekking areas for the accommodation, please read this Note.

Note: Single supplements are only available in hotels.     

In guesthouses single supplements are limited and sometimes not available; all the rooms are double or triple rooms, with shared bathrooms (triple rooms are not mixed sex). 

In mountain Huts single supplements are not available. Here sleeping is on mattresses on the floor, and multi person in a room will apply.

Essential Information

Is this trip for you?

Activity level: Moderate to challenging

This trip is focused on the north of Albania in the remote Albanian Alps region, “Prokletije” NP in Montenegro, “Bjeshket e Nemuna” NP in Kosova, and includes trekking, culture and sightseeing.  In this trip we enjoy 10 full day treks of a different length. This trip is suitable for the average hiker/trekker who knows the mountain and is prepared for some physical activity. Our itinerary follows good trails, some of them off-the beaten track, and in Theth and Valbona regions the terrain can be rocky and slippery in parts. You should be confident in your ability to deal with heights as we will encounter some steep ascents and descents. Daily activity can vary from 4-7 hours, including stops. To have access to these remote trekking areas there will be two drives (transfers from and to Tirana for about 2h30min long) which are unavoidable in order to complete and have the best for this trip. Some of the areas are very remote; there will be two off-road sections (less than 1 hour each transfer), we will use local transport which in most cases will not have seat belts.

Luggage will be transferred by car and horses during the treks, as a result hard suitcases are not suitable, only soft bags are useful

Visas and entry requirements

No visa is required for all visitors from EU, USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand passport holder.

Health

There are no specific health risks for this tour

Meals

All breakfasts, 11 lunches and 12 dinners included.   

Albania and Montenegro have a Mediterranean climate, with alpine conditions in the mountains, and the climate of Kosovo is predominantly continental, with warm summers and cold winters with Mediterranean and alpine influences. These types of climate create the perfect conditions of natural and healthy growth of vegetables and fruits in lush fertile valleys, and nowadays they are still a subsistence culture that has not changed for many years.

These three countries have an amazing and delicious traditional cuisine mastered over the years. However there have been influences from other countries and combining the Mediterranean, Turkish and European tastes have made that food in Albania, Kosova, and Montenegro is quite varied, but Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are present in almost every meal, and all locally produced. Drinks are reasonably priced and traditional drinks Raki and ‘Scanderbeg’ Cognac are known for their unique flavor and aroma. Locally made beers are inexpensively priced at about 1-2 Euro per bottle.

Vegetarians are in the right country, this tour offers a lot of vegetarian dishes with a lot of greens and vegetables, please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests. 

Vegan diet should expect a limited variety of food on this tour.

Meals are included in this tour and Tour Leader will recommend different local dishes, in most cases meals can be organized by the leader or if you have other preferences than that you will be welcomed to do so. Reminder to you that in some places it is necessary to order meals in advance and stay organized. Experienced and familiar with hiking/trekking areas and especially with the rich and variety of local dishes provided for us while on tour, your leader is the right person who can suggest and if needed choose and order a delicious meal for you. Eating healthy is very important and we pay special attention to this.

Wather

Albania has a Mediterranean climate and it is characterized by warm, dry summer and mild, wet winter. Summer temperatures are on average 25ºC and humidity is low, with temperatures in July and August that can rise to 30 ºC and above. Albanian Alps in the north have an annual precipitation from more than 2,500 mm to less than 760 mm along the eastern border. Winter is with low temperatures and heavy snow In the Albanian Alps. A typically Mediterranean climate shows in the coastal lowlands, and the highlands have a continental climate.  Weather varies markedly from north to south. Daytime maximum temperatures in the Albanian Alps can be, but the nights are almost always cool.

Daytime summer temperatures in the Albanian Alps, Prokletije NP, Bjeshket e Nemuna NP can be 30 ºC or more, but the nights are almost always cool. Higher in the elevation cooler it will be. Summers can be hot and with clear skies, but the weather can be variable, sometimes cloudy and little rain.

Mediterranean climate is characterized by warm, dry summer and mild, wet winter. Albanian Alps in the north have annual precipitation from more than 2,500 mm to less than 760 mm along the eastern border. Winter is with low temperatures and heavy snow in the Albanian Alps, Prokletije NP, Bjeshket e Nemuna NP. A typically Mediterranean climate shows in the coastal lowlands, and the highlands have a continental climate.  Weather varies markedly from north to south.

Rating:
/5

No reviews

Dates & Prices , 2023

DATES
16 Jun 2024 - 28 Jun 2024
AVAILABILITY
Fully Booked
ADULT PRICE FROM
€1350
SINGLE SUPLEMENT
+ €150
DATES
06 Sep 2024 - 18 Sep 2024
AVAILABILITY
Fully Booked
ADULT PRICE FROM
€1350
SINGLE SUPLEMENT
+ €150

Trip Notes

Click below and request the detailed Trekking the Via Dinarica trip notes, with all the essential information  about this trip.