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A TREK THROUGH THE BALKANS

Hike the mountains between Albania and Montenegro

The natural beauty of the Balkans takes you back to the Alps of over 50 years ago. Signposts are rare but your local guide knows the paths intimately and will lead you high amongst rugged peaks, untamed wild landscapes, through traditional farming communities and rural villages. You are welcomed warmly each evening in rustic guest houses and traditional alpine huts where locally sourced home cooking awaits. The solitude and silence encourages deep sleep, the perfect way to recuperate before another awe-inspiring trek the next day.

We fly to Tirana, Albania’s capital, and transfer to Kruja. The following day we travel by bus and ferry to Valbona. On day three you begin the epic trek. From the village of Valbona we climb through the trough of Prosllopi close to the Montenegrin border. Our first summit is Kollatë at 2555m, where the majestic view of the Valbona Valley takes the breath away.

You tackle an impressive number of summits over the coming days from crossing into Montenegro over a pass and continue to the highest peak of Maja Rosit 2524m. The views never disappoint, each offering a completely different but impressive mountain panorama.

A highlight is walking in the heart of the Prokletije Mountains in the Albanian Alps, taking you across ancient trading routes on former mule tracks to wild terrain, alpine meadows and oak and pine forests. You also walk in some of the most picturesque national parks imaginable, including Biogradska Gora National Park. Here you walk from Katun Vranjak to Lake Biogradska, passing blueberry fields, and unique landscapes shaped by glaciers and traditionally cultivated alpine pastures.

Your final afternoon is spent in Kotor Bay, where you can soak your well-travelled feet in the glistening Kotor Fjord.



WALKING GRADES


Hard mountain walking in the Alps every day with long ascents and descents, and scrambling. A good head for heights is essential. Distances will probably not exceed 12 miles, but ascents and descents will normally be between 1000 and 1500m. Expect long… and exhilarating days!




YOUR STORY STARTS HERE ...

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When we visit

Summer

Length of stay

14 nights

Price from

£ 1640

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  • Dates, Prices & Holiday Information Sheet (PDF)
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    Date
    Nights
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    Date
    07 Jul 2017
    Nights
    14
    Grades
    GRADE 8
    Depart From
    London (Gatwick)
    More Info
    Status
    Available
    Price From
    £1,640
    Date
    21 Jul 2017
    Nights
    14
    Grades
    GRADE 8
    Depart From
    London (Gatwick)
    More Info
    Status
    Available
    Price From
    £1,685
    Date
    11 Aug 2017
    Nights
    14
    Grades
    GRADE 8
    Depart From
    London (Gatwick)
    More Info
    Status
    Available
    Price From
    £1,685
  • Itinerary & Map
    07 Jul 2017 - 21 Jul 2017

    Day 1 - Kruja, Albania
    We fly from London Gatwick to Tirana Airport (Albania). On arrival we transfer by road(45 minutes) to Kruja our first centre for the evening.

    Day 2 - Valbona, Albania
    After breakfast, we’ll start our transfer towards north Albania. We will take the ferry from Komani along the Koman reservoir and leave the ferry in Fierzë, from where the trip will continue by bus to Bajram Curri. From here the road runs through the valley, alongside the Valbona river until we reach the hamlet of Valbona where we are now surrounded by a wild and beautiful panorama and the rugged mountain peaks of the Albanian Alps. Along the way we will have time for a snack, while lunch is planned in Valbona. This afternoon a relaxed walk in the village is planned.

    Day 3 - Valbona, Albania
    After breakfast we will follow a steep trail along the trough of Prosllopi (Lugu i Prosllopit) up to the vicinity of the Montenegrin border. At first, the trail goes through forest, but from about 1,700 m, there is little vegetation. A tough walk and a bit of scrambling takes us to the top of Kollatë. The view from the beginning to the end of Valbona Valley isn't possible from any other summit. After a short break, we will start descending back to the guest house. Walking time aprox 7 hours 30 minutes, ascent +1625m, descent -1625m.

    Day 4 - Thethi, Albania
    Today we follow the Valbona valley up to Rragam located at 1130m. After crossing a stream, the trail leads gently uphill through open forest before becoming steeper. A ‘café in the woods’ is encountered on the way. On the "Qafa e Valbonës" at an altitude of 1812 m, there are views of both Thethi and Valbona valleys. The descent towards Thethi starts steeply on a gravel path and descends through the forest. We stop at another, more substantial ‘café in the woods’ which makes for a good lunch stop. Walking time aprox 7 hours, ascent+ /descent -900m.

    Day 5 - Thethi, Albania
    The walk begins in the village with a visit to the church and the “Lock-in Tower". Then we will continue to Grunas Canyon at 30m in height and 1m in width and after that we continue to the Waterfall of Grunas. After a short break, we will continue toward Ndërlysë. The glacier mills of Ndërlysë offer a unique nature spectacle. Water runs through a strait that was created over thousands of years. On the way back we will visit the mill of Ndërlysa. The walk can be extended to suit the group. Walking time 4 hours, ascent +280m, descent -280m.

    Day 6 - Grebaja, Montenegro
    Early this morning we walk into the heart of the Prokletije mountains (Albanian Alps) with a high trek across ancient trading routes on former mule tracks. The terrain is wild and incredibly spectacular. The ascent takes us through alpine meadows, oak and pine forest, and karst to the mountain pass of Pejes. Some way below the pass we cross into Montenegro at 1245m where a stone pyramid marks the border. An abandoned bunker and military outpost are reminders of the political isolation endured here in recent history. We descend to the Ropojana valley and through beech woods to the village of Vuthaj and our hostel for the night. Walking time aprox 9 hours, ascent 1440m+, descent- 1100m.

    Day 7 - Grebaja, Montenegro
    Today we walk to the summit of Maja Rosit at 2524m, which is an extraordinary and maybe the best viewpoint of the whole Prokletije massif. Walking time 6 hours 30 minutes, ascent +550m, descent -550m.

    Day 8 - Komovi Mts, Montenegro
    We transfer 50km to Andrejevica where we start our walking to Katun Stavna. The walk takes us through woods and meadows with some road walking. Good views of mountains in all directions. Walking time aprox 6 hours 30minutes, ascent 1100m+, descent 250m-.

    Day 9 - Komovi Mts, Montenegro
    Starting from the katun (rough translation - a hamlet of shepherd huts) we hike to Kucki i Kom, (a summit of the Komovi Mountain range) at 2487m. First we walk through meadows and fir then across rock and scree. Walking time aprox 6 hours 30 minutes, ascent +950m, descent -950m.

    Day 10 - Jelka, Montenegro
    Today we walk mostly on farm tracks, the 18km long walk takes us from Komovi to Bjelasica. Starting from Katun Stavna a path takes us to Katun Vranjak via Tresnjevik, Backo Brdo and Krivi Do. Walking time aprox 8 hours, ascent +750m, descent -750m.

    Day 11 - Jelka, Montenegro
    Hiking on the massif of Bjelasica Mountain, through alpine meadows to peaks of Zekova Glava at 2117m, and Troglava at 2072m. We descent to Pesica lake and walk back to Katun Vranjak. Walking time aprox 5 hours, ascent +420m, descent -420m.

    Day 12 - Njegusi, Montenegro
    Today from Katun Vranjak to Lake Biogradsko. We Pass blueberry fields and walk through beech forest, enjoying unique landscapes shaped by glaciers and traditionally cultivated alpine pastures. From Biogradsko lake we transfer to Njegusi village located on the slopes of Lovcen Mountain. Walking time aprox 6 hours, ascent +250m, descent -850m.

    Day 13 - Njegusi, Montenegro
    Starting from our base in Njegusi village we take a loop hike to the Jezerski summit at 1657m where the mausoleum of Petar II Petrovic Njegos; a famous Montenegrin prince, poet and philosopher is located. We descend back to Njegusi village. Walking time aprox 6h, ascent / descent 800m

    Day 14 - Kotor, Montenegro
    A descent from Njegusi valley via Krstac takes us to Dobrota town. From Krstac we will enjoy a spectacular view of Kotor fjord. We have time here to visit Kotor and walk on the Kotor Ramparts, or enjoy further walks in the surrounding mountains perched high above the fjords. Walking time aprox 5h30, ascent +150m, descent –950m.

    Day 15 - -
    We transfer to Dubrovnik Airport (Croatia) for our return flight back to the UK.


  • Accommodation
    Hotel Panorama, Kruja

    On our first night we stay in the Hotel Panorama, situated centrally in Kruja, which offers guests the atmosphere of a grand hotel with modern amenities, including a lift to all levels. Some of the rooms have balconies where you can relax and enjoy the amazing views across the town and the surrounding mountainous countryside.

    There is a restaurant and bar as well as free WiFi and air conditioning throughout the hotel.

    Katun Stavna, Komovi

    In Komovi we stay in Katun Stavna, a group of well-appointed wooden chalets in the Alpine style. They sit nestled high in the mountains with a panorama of forests, valleys and peaks to enjoy. Gaze up at mount Komovi, only 2km away as you rest after a days hiking. These chalets add to the experience of getting away from it all in the peaceful mountains, and are set right on the trails. Each chalet has a living room, terrace on the top floor, bathroom and a wood stove. Beds are mostly placed in the attic.

    The restaurant serves excellent local and national cuisine.

    Kadmi Chalets, Njegusi

    In Njegusi we stay in the Kadmi Chalets, another spot that serves as an ideal base for accessing the trails into the mountains. The chalets are basic but adequate, coming with free Wi-Fi, a TV, private bathrooms and some with mountain views. The chalet area has an emphasis on local culture and produce. The restaurant has a large outdoor section as well as indoor, perfect for enjoying the mountains when the weather is fine. Here you can enjoy local specialities such as smoked ham and cheese.

  • What's Included

    PRICE INCLUDES:

    • Return flights and airport transfers.
    • Accommodation in local guest houses, small hotels and Mountain huts.
    • Meals on a full board basis.
    • All local transport costs.

  • Holiday Highlights

    HOLIDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

    • Trekking though unspoilt wild terrain in some of the world’s youngest countries with our local guide and your tour leader. 
    • Spectacular views from mountain summits. 
    • Relax after a strenuous but rewarding trek on the shores of the beautiful Kotor Fjord.

  • Travel Information & Regional Departures
    • Arrival transfer by road (c45mins), return transfer (c2hrs 15mins).
    • Flights Gatwick – Tirana, Dubrovnik – Gatwick (c3hrs), British Airways.        
    • UK add on flights available from £95 return, British Airways.
    • Upgrades: Business Class available, please ask for a competitive quote

  • Holiday Photo Gallery
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  • Private Group Enquiry

    Planning a holiday for a group? For a quote or to simply enquire about the possibility of booking this holiday for your Walking Group please fill out the enquiry form below and our dedicated Private Group Department will get in touch with you shortly to discuss your options.

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YOUR STORY STARTS HERE ...

Please select a departure date





When we visit

Summer

Length of stay

14 nights

Price from

£ 1640

Read all reviews




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