Peaks of the Balkans tour in 10 days

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The Peaks of the Balkans are a collection of beautiful and spectacular mountains shared between Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro. In 10 days, you will cross the border multiple times, go from one extraordinary landscape to the other and experience life away from civilization. An adventure exploring some of the most beautiful mountain peaks in the world!

Itinerary Details

Operated by: Choose Balkans

This is a typical itinerary for this product

Day 1 Tirana – Shkoder – Tamarë – Lëpushë

Stop At: Tirana

Our tour guide will come and pick you up at your hotel in Tirana at 6:00 am.

Stop At: Shkoder

We will drive towards Tamarë in North Albania and pass the city of Shkoder.

Stop At: Tamare

3.5 km, 3-hours hike, level: easy, elevation: 868m, 1260m above sea level From Tamarë, we will begin our hiking adventure of the Peaks of the Balkans. Here you can walk on a balcony where you can take the perfect picture with the mountains in the background – a nice way to start off the tour. The Peaks of the Balkans are part of the Dinaric Alps that start all the way in Slovenia and end in the southeast of Albania. The Albanian Alps are even the highest section of the Dinaric Alps. We will get to explore them in the days to come. We will drive a bit further from Tamarë until we reach the beginning of the Ujvara e Sllapit trail, which will be a 3-hour hike. On the way, you might be the lucky one to see a beautiful 70 meters high waterfall, because it should have rained that season in order for this waterfall to appear! The crystal-clear water comes from the top of the mountain and is drinkable.

Duration: 4 hour

Stop At: Lepushe

Later that day, we will arrive in the small village of Lëpushë, known for its stunning nature and for us a great resting point after an exciting first day. The name Lëpushë refers to the yellow flower that you can find there in the spring season. Before ending this day, we will have some time left to walk and explore the area, in the far-reaching meadow landscapes. In the North of Albania, they are known for many delicious bio-dishes with products from the region. Their culinary is unique, tasty and can only be found in these areas. You will have the chance to try these during the tour.

Duration: 2 hour

Day 2 Lëpushë – Maja e Berishdolit – Lëpushë

Stop At: Lepushe

11 km, 5-6 hours hike including breaks, level: moderate, elevation: 900m, 1977m above sea level Today we will hike to Maja e Berishdolit (1977 meters above sea level) in the Albanian Alps, also called the Accursed Mountains. This is a beautiful trek that passes water springs and has a rewarding view from the top. The spectacular rocky formation of mountains is covered in snow on one side while the other side has almost no vegetation. It will be a maximum hike of 6 hours, including breaks surrounded by these mountains. After soaking in the spectacular sight, we will head back to Lëpushë.

Duration: 6 hour

Day 3 Lëpushë – Talijanka peak – Vuthaj (Montenegro)

Stop At:

14-15 km, 6 hours hike, level: moderate (some difficulties), elevation: 1100m, 2070m above sea level Our destination for today is Vuthaj, but first we will hike to the Talijanka peak. Here we will cross the border from Albania to Montenegro. Mount Talijanka itself is located in Grbaje Valley in Montenegro. This valley is U-shaped and surrounded by the grey sharp mountain peaks. The Talijanka peak is considered to be one of the most beautiful of the Balkan Peaks. The view of dramatic grey extraordinary-shaped mountains is a sight that even the professional hiker will be amazed by. From this peak, you can also see Lake Plav in Montenegro. We will take a minivan for the last 40 minutes to Vuthaj in Montenegro. In Vuthaj you will have the opportunity to visit the Ali Pasha springs, which is about a 40 – minute walk from the guest house, or you can reminisce on the spectacular views you have seen today.

Duration: 6 hour

Day 4 Vuthaj – Theth (Albania)

Stop At: Theth

18 km, 7-hour hike, level: moderate, elevation: 1150m, 1865m above sea level From Vuthaj, we will head towards Theth and cross the border back to Albania. During this trek, we will visit a hidden water place which is difficult to find by yourself if you don’t know the exact location. We will also pass by one of the highest peaks of the Balkans, the Arapi peak (2217m above sea level), and multiple shepherd’s huts in the Albanian Alps. These shepherd’s huts show the way of life away from civilization. In Theth, we will visit the Old Church and the “Lock in” Tower (symbol of Theth). The stories behind these buildings take up centuries full of history.

Duration: 7 hour

Day 5 Theth – Blue Eye – Theth

Stop At: Theth

11 km, 4-hour hike to get there, 3.5-hour hike return, elevation: 450m, 740m above sea level A famous saying in Albania is “one who has seen Theth, has a reason to live’’ (Gjergj Fishta) and today we will see another beautiful phenomenon that supports his saying. Our hiking tour of Theth continues to the natural wonder so-called the “Blue Eye of Theth”. The hike takes 4 hours to get there and 3.5 hours back to Theth. The Blue Eye is formed by the erosion of the rocks by the water that descends from melting snow of the Albanian Alps. The pool of blue water gets its water from a small waterfall, which makes the picture complete. You will not be able to take your eyes off this iridescent glow of green and blue colours of this marvel of nature, inviting you to dive in.

Duration: 8 hour

Day 6 Theth – Valbona Pass - Valbona

Stop At: Valbona

12.16 km, 6-8 hours hike, level: moderate, elevation: 961m, 1795m above sea level Trekking to Valbona from Theth will be an intense day as the walk takes about 6 to 8 hours in a remote terrain, nevertheless unquestionably worthy! The route used to be an old mule trail and goes through a landscape full of impressive mountains. At one point, you will see the Theth valley on one side and Valbona valley on the other side. The Valbona pass also offers a spectacular view of the Balkan Peaks and “Bjeshket e Nemuna” or the Accursed Mountains. “Bjeshket e Nemuna” is a national park in Gjakova and Peja in Kosovo, near the borders with Albania and Montenegro. On our way, we will walk through some beautiful landscapes and wild forests. We might even see some shepherd’s passing by with their flock. When reaching the top of the Valbona Pass, you will experience a serious shot of adrenaline.

Duration: 8 hour

Day 7 Valbona – Cerem

Stop At: Cerem

20 km, 7-hours hike, level: easy/moderate, elevation: 1100m (45 min – 1-hour steep hike), 2500m above sea level (highest point during this tour) Our next destination on our Peaks of the Balkans tour is Cerem. Before we begin our trekking of today, we will have to use transport to the starting point. On our hike, we will pass through forests and meadows. We will arrive in an area that looks like a canyon and the only place that still has snow, even during the summer. You will have the option to hike to the highest peak of Montenegro, Zla Kolate peak, which will add another 3 hours of hiking (10 hours in total). Another magnificent element that we cross during our hike is a stone surface on the side of a mountain that looks like the face of a miserable old man. We will also pass a cave with an extremely cold wind along the trail of which no one knows the exit. So, all in all, there is definitely enough extraordinary things to see during the hike, besides the mountains. We will arrive at the shepherd’s huts in Cerem, which is located high in the mountains, 1300m above sea level. There is no connection to civilization from here, because they have no Wi-Fi and no electricity. However, the delicious food and hospitality of the people make up for the basic facilities.

Duration: 7 hour

Day 8 Cerem - Doberdol

Stop At: Doberdol

15 km, 6-7 hours hike, level: moderate, elevation: 800m, 2100m above sea level From Cerem, we will hike towards Doberdol following a mule track. On our way, we will cross the border to Montenegro for about two hours. The hike brings us through pine forests and you can find all kinds of berries, such as blueberries, blackberries and raspberries (depending on the season). We will also pass the only National Reserve in Albania, which has brown bears and the last population of approximately 40 lynxes in the Balkans. It is a beautiful trail with the highest point being 2100 meters above sea level. We will have a chance to enjoy a nice coffee or other drink at some of the shepherd’s hut villages. These villages are only populated during the summer by shepherds. Doberdol, our destination for today, is about 1800m above sea level and this is where we will have another overnight in a shepherd’s hut. The village is beautiful and we can choose from different food options made from ingredients out of the region. The beds, however, are definitely not hotel beds, just matrasses and the conditions are basic. Yet again, the locals are very welcoming, the food is delicious and it will be a great once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Duration: 7 hour

Day 9 Doberdol – Gjeravica (Kosovo) – Junik – Prizren

Stop At:

14 km, 6 hours hike, level: moderate, elevation: 1000m, 2653m above sea level Today we will head towards civilization, but not before we hike to the highest peak of Kosovo, Gjeravica. It is also the second highest peak of the Accursed Mountains (Albanian Alps). From the top, you will see the Accursed Mountains on one side and the Sharr Mountains on the other. You will have the opportunity to swim in three different lakes, formed by the alpine and glacier waters. One of the lakes really stands out as it is heart-shaped.

Duration: 6 hour

Stop At:

We will arrive in Junik, a town in western Kosovo. From Junik onward, we will have to go by 4x4 wheel drive.

Stop At: Decan

On our way to Prizren, we will pass by the Decan monastery, UNESCO world heritage site.

Day 10 Prizren – Tirana (Albania)

Stop At: Prizren

After we have had the chance to recharge from the Peaks of the Balkans hikes, we will have a city tour of Prizren before we head back to Tirana. Prizren is considered to be the cultural capital of Kosovo, mixing its rich history, incredible nature, religious tolerance and gastronomic delights. Prizren has played an important role in the region as an Illyrian settlement and a crossroad for the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, contributing to the unique architecture of the city. The river flows through the heart of the old town and under the many bridges that crisscross the city. The best way to explore the town is by wandering through the streets passing by elegant medieval houses that fight for your attention. Don’t miss the unique experience of shopping in one of the many filigree shops of the town, where you are welcomed to also see the metalsmithing magic happen. Did you know that The Church of Our Lady of Ljevis is a UNESCO world heritage site? We will also visit the Sinan Pasha Mosque, rich in arabesque color and pattern. The view from the fortress on the hill above the town offers a great panorama view of this astonishing town. We will return in Tirana in the late afternoon.

Duration: 4 hour
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