Albania
Destination
Challenging
Difficulty level
2 to 5 days
Duration
Self-guided tours, Small group departures, Tailor-made tours
Tour types
Trekking, Walking and hiking
Activity type

A self discovery trek  through the region of Kelmend, rustic valleys of Montenegro and the Valley of Theth. You will hike in the most spectacular panoramic trek of the Albanian Alps, in front of the Accursed Mountains and enjoy the local hospitality of the Albanian highlanders.

Special highlights:

The Southern  Dinaric Alps / The Accursed Mountains: a spectacular massif that connects naturally Albania, Montenegro, and Kosovo. 

The “Accursed Mountains” remain among the least visited areas of Western Balkans. Until now, the mountain region of Kosovo, Montenegro and Albania has virtually remained untouched and is only sparsely inhabited.

Theth Valley:  melting pot for most of the treks to the highest peaks and passes of the Albanian Alps and beyond. 

 

TOUR: Into the Heart of the Accursed Mountains
START/FINISH: Shkoder
TYPE: Self guided walking holiday
CODE:  SGKEL 5.1
LEVEL: Challenging
PRICE: From 355,00 euro per person
DATES: Based on your request
NIGHTS: 4
DAYS: 5
HIKING DAYS:  3
INCLUDED
 Transportation as per itinerary including luggage* by vehicle or/and horse (*bring soft bags, not hard suitcases!)
Accommodation in family run guest houses (based on shared rooms)
All meals, starting with Dinner on Day 1/ending with Breakfast on Day 5
*excluding soft and alcoholic beverages
EXCLUDED Everything not specified in itinerary

Bank transfer fees

 

Essential Info:

Level of the tour: Challenging

This tour is physically challenging, and demands you to be in excellent physical shape.

In general the walks last between six to eight hours a day. Previous trekking experience is an advantage, but not a must for those who are reasonably fit  and comfortable in their hiking shoes. 

During the hikes, you should   carry your small rucksack, while the main luggage gets  transported by vehicle and/or horse. vehicle.

Terrain during the hikes:
The trails are a continuum  of steady ascends and descends. into pure alpine terrain of great beauty.  The selected paths are mostly well trod underfoot and safe (rarely exposed).

What to bring:
Breathable lightweight waterproof jacket and pants , fleece/wool pullovers/wind-stopper jackets and gloves, small back-pack with rain coverage, hat, mosquito repellent, head-lamp, hiking poles, water bottle, sunglasses/block.

Land only
The “OA” tours are Land Only; the prices do not include  flights, nor transport* to and from the airport to the hotel (*unless requested separately). Please let us know while booking if you would like us to arrange an airport transfer.

Good to know

Pick-up location
Central Shkoder, to be specified at booking confirmation

Drop-off location
Central Shkoder, to be specified at booking confirmation

Children policy:
Children joining this tour should have experience with hiking. An adult needs to accompany children under 18.

Luggage transport
The main luggage  will be transported by Outdoor Albania. While on tour, you will only need to carry the personal day-pack. You will have to carry just your own backpack.

Hiking route changes
For safety reasons, we reserve the right to modify the agreed hiking route in the remote case of severe weather conditions, and do our best to minimize any extra costs that might rise because of it.

1

THROUGH THE CANYON OF LAKE KOMAN, AND INTO THE ALBANIAN ALPS

Early in the morning you will depart on a scenic drive from Shkoder, to reach the docks in the dam of Koman. The homonymous lake beyond it was artificially created in the 80’s after the construction of the third hydro-power dam that interrupts the canyon of river Drin.

The spectacular boat ride through gorgeous landscape that will follow from there is a not-to-miss highlight of Northern Albania!

At the end of the navigation, step out of the boat with your luggage in the dock of Fierza, find a local van parked outside and sit in to drive for about one hour through the narrow valley of Valbona – one of the most beautiful valleys of the Albanian Alps, where you will be hosted in a comfortable local guesthouse.

Transfers:

Shkoder – Valbona: 55km/1hr30min

Ferry trip: 2hrs30min

Fierza – Valbona: 35km/1hr

2

THE VALBONA PASS

Today you will hike on a ‘classic’ trail of the Albanian Alps that for centuries connected the glacier valleys of Valbona and Theth via the 1860m high Valbona Pass. The pass becomes possible to cross on foot from the end of May, when the snow melts enough to let people and animals through.

After breakfast, be ready to leave at 07:45hrs, load the luggage on horse led by a porter that will act as local guide, salute the hosts and start hiking towards the end of the valley for about 6km until leaving behind the last houses of Rrogam.

In the afternoon you will relax in Thethi, the best-preserved alpine village of Albania, overnight in one of the traditional houses in the valley and enjoy the extraordinary hospitality.

Hike info: 14km/7-8hrs / +920m/-1100m / Highest Point: 1760m

3

EXPLORE THETHI’S ATTRACTIONS

Thethi is the most known village of Northern Albania. The small village has been described by several well-known writers, which were impressed by its stunning and rather inaccessible location in the middle of vertical mountains. Still today, most of the houses or ‘kulla’ are built in grey stone and roofed with wooden planks. Traditions remain strong and authentic.

Walk down from the house (850m) and visit the attractions of the village, including the Church, Kulla e Ngujimit (a tower house used in the past by men as a shelter against ongoing vendettas), the Waterfall of Thethi, and peer at the rocky narrows of the Grunasi Canyon from the wooden bridge of Grela. Near the canyon are found stonewalled terraces dating from the late bronze era, revealed only in 2007.  After the picnic lunch, you may then return to the same house as the night before or you may decide to continue your journey and discover The Blue Eye of Nderlysa. The way is marked following the Shala River. On return to Nderlysa, an arranged transfer will return you to Thethi for a second overnight stay.

Hike info: 13km/4-5hr / +250m/ -480m / Highest Point: 795m

Transfer: Nderlyse-Theth (03:00 PM): 8km/30min)

4

THE HIGHLANDS OF PEJA PASS

Load your luggage on horses and start a long hike to reach the village of Vuthaj, Montenegro. You will climb slowly on a rocky trail, used before by the highlanders as a trade corridor with Peja city in Kosovo. At Peja Pass you can stop for a picnic lunch, and gaze at the beautiful valley of Theth before starting our way down. The trail winds beside the rocky dome of Harapit Peak, which dominates the valley end and continues sided by the spectacular massive of Langoj-Karanfil peaks on the right and Jezerca – the highest summit of the Albanian Alps on the left. You will first reach the rocky plateau of Runica, later the alpine lake of Gjeshtar reaching at the end the valley of Ropojana.

The trail will exit in the main road, where a vehicle is instructed to reach you and take you in Vuthaj for dinner and accommodation.

Hike info: 16km/7-8hr / +1300m/-850m /Highest point: 1749m

Transfer from Border to Vusanje (PM): 10km/40min)

5

THE ‘ACCURSED MOUNTAINS’ AT THE PALM OF YOUR HAND

You will be picked up at the guesthouse between 07:30-08:00hrs for a short transfer (30min) to the beginning of the trail in Grebaje village.

Leave Greabaje on foot (between 08:00-08:30hrs) and walk on a fine beech forest trail, climbing through the meadows toward the panoramic spot of Volusnica to the ridge that leads to the peak of Taljanka, from where you can gaze at Albanias’s wildest alpine landscape: The Massive of the Accursed Mountains.

The trail will descent in the valley of Lepusha, where your driver will be waiting to take you back to the city of Shkodra.

The drive back will initially follow the taller mountains of the Valleys of Kelmend as the road winds through remote glacier valley debris of limestone until the shores of Lake Shkodra.

Arrival in Shkoder. Tour ends.

Hike info: Distance/Duration: 12km / 5 – 6 hrs / +900m / – 1020m / Highest point: 2054m

Transfers:

Vuthaj – Grebaje: 13 km/30min

Lepusha – Shkoder: 190 km/2hrs