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 in Albania and the rustic valleys of Montenegro. 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 amongst 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 335,00 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
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 minimise any extra costs that might rise because of it.

 

FAQs

 

Do I have to carry my luggage?

The main luggage  will be transported by Outdoor Albania. ou While on tour, you will only need to carry the personal daypack.

Please make sure you bring a soft duffle/kit bag and not hard frames, to protect the pack animals safety

 

Can I book a single room for the local village house trek?

On this tour, we use local guest houses where rooms are shared with up to  5 persons per room. It will be possible for private tours and tailor-made tours to book a single room.

 

Are Airport transfers included in the tour?

Our set departure tours do not include airport transfers, if you wish to book an airport transfer, please mention this in your booking form.

The price from the airport to Tirana (or vise versa) is 25 Euro (max 3 pax) and the price from the airport to Shkoder (or vise versa) is 80 Euro (max 3 pax). In case you need a transfer for more than the maximum amount of pax, please contact us for an offer.

 

Does this tour have a guaranteed departure?

For self guided tours we do confirm the departure based on your requested date.

 

Do I need to be an experienced hiker?

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

In general the walks last between six to eight hours per 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 own daypack while the main luggage gets transported by vehicle and/or horse to the next overnight stop.

 

What is the terrain like during the hikes?

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

 

What time does the tour depart?

Departure is from Shkoder in the morning (approx. 8:00 am). You will be picked up from your accommodation of choice in (central) Shkoder.

 

Ending of the tour?

The tour should end the 5’th day, by approx  18hrs in Shkoder.ncase you need to be in time for an after tour activity with a precise schedule, please let us know at booking

 

Can I bring my kids along to this hiking trek?

Yes you can bring your kids, but please be aware that the hikes take about 8 hours. There are no ways to make certain  hikes (pass crossings) shorter – unless bypassing with long transfers. 

In case your question is not answered yet, after reading the above, please feel free to contact us via the enquiry form.

1

WELCOME TO ALBANIA, THROUGH THE REGION OF KELMENDI

Please be ready and all packed for pick up at the communicated hotel in Shkodra, between 08:00 – 08:30hrs.

The drive north will initially follow the shores of Lake Shkodra and than point East towards the alpine Valleys of  Kelmend. The mountains become taller as the road winds through remote glacier valley debris of limestone until the picturesque village of Lepusha.

Upon arrival accommodate yourself belongings at the guesthouse, and you might do a circular hike in Lepusha or just enjoy and relax for the rest of the day. Dinner and overnight at a local guesthouse.

Transfer: Shkoder – Lepusha: 190 km/2hrs

2

THE VALLEY OF GËRBAJA AND VUTHAJ

Leave Lepushe on foot (start between 08:00-08:30hrs) and walk on a fine beech forest trail, climbing through the meadows of Dobku to the ridge that leads to the peak of Taljanka, and than to the panoramic spot of Volusnica from where you can gaze at Montenegro’s wildest alpine landscape: Grebaje Valley and the towering peaks of Karafil.

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:

Distance/Duration: 12km / 5 – 6 hrs

Cumulative gain/loss: +900 – 1020 m

Highest point: 2054m

3

MAJESTIC TREK FROM VUTHAJ TO THETHI

You will be picked up at the guesthouse between 07:30-08:00hrs for a transfer on a mountain road that goes very close to the Albanian border. It is here that starts the walk to reach the valley of Thethi – the heart of the Albanian Alps.

The terrain becomes increasingly rocky reaching a depression with a small glacier lake surrounded by interesting limestone slabs, before the final ascent leads to the Peja Pass.

Continue further down the valley to reach the guesthouse that is located near the centre of the village, where you will have rest, dinner and overnight stay for the next two nights.

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.

Logistics:

Transfer Vusanje-Border (AM): 10km/40min)

Hike info:

Distance/Duration: 19km/8 – 9 hrs

Cumulative gain/loss: +1150 – 1600m

Highest point: 1749m

4

EXPLORE THETHI'S ATTRACTIONS

Thethi is the most known village of Northern Albania. The small village has been described by several well-known writers, that 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 stone-walled terraces dating from the late bronze era, revealed only in 2007.

After a 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:

Distance/Duration: 8km / 3 – 4 hrs

Cumulative gain/loss: +250 – 350m

Highest point: 775m

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

5

DEPARTURE

It takes about 3,5 hours from Thethi to Shkoder. 1/3 of the road is bumpy, be prepared for the first part of the ride.

Arrival in Shkoder. Tour ends

Transfer Theth-Shkoder (AM): 80km/3hrs)