For an eventful and adventurous vacation on your own pace, you should consider our Albanian highlanders so called “Malesorë” tour. The tour covers some of the most scenic rural parts of Northern Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro and includes a world-class ‘Boat Trip on the Spectacular Lake Koman’, visit of the beautiful ‘Valbona Valley’, and a visit to the at the beautiful Decani Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Special highlights of this tour are:
- Rozafa Castle
- Lake Shkodra
- Lake Koman
- Valbona Valley
- The old Bazar of Gjakova
- The Monastery of Decan
- Rugova Valley
- Plava Lake
- Kelmend Valley
|Self Drive holiday
|May – October
|Tirana International Airport
|3* Hotels / Local guesthouses
|As per request
Drivers must produce a full, current driving license and must be at least 23 years old. If you are
under 23 years old a surcharge will apply. Special rates may also apply if you are over 65, have
held a driving licence for less than 2 years, or you have any driving endorsements.
Please ensure all drivers bring their driving license.
Our package prices include the following elements as well as touring information; maps and
detailed directions to ensure you enjoy discovering Albania independently.
All the hotels selected have parking lots also additional information of security parking will follow
Rental Cars available for this tour are
Skoda Octavia / Sedan; Year 2012; Engine 1.6; Diesel; Manual Gearbox
Mercedes C Class / Sedan; Year 2007; Engine 2.2; Diesel; Automatic Gearbox
Ford Fusion; Year 2008; Engine 1.4; Diesel; Manual gearbox
Skoda Fabia; Year 2006; Engine 1.4; Benzine & Gas; Automatic Gearbox
Renault Clio; Year 2006; Engine 1.2; Benzine & Gas; Manual gearbox
Please contact us and get a price quote for this tour. Note that this tour is fully customizable and days and activities can be added upon request. This tour is also offered as a fully guided private tour.
Level of the tour: Easy
It’s better if you are in good physical shape. You should note that there could be weather changes in the mountains. Therefore, it is recommended that you wear appropriate shoes for a walk in the mountains (hiking shoes or trainers) and carry an extra layer (preferably wind and water proof) in case of any weather change.
We have a simple accommodation category for this tour which includes shared facilities in guest houses, country hotels, farmhouses and etc. In some you might find a TV and a washbasin. All offer breakfast that is included in the price. Also in the countryside some places offer all meals included in the price.
What to bring:
Breathable lightweight waterproof gear (gortex, sympatex, etc), fleece/wool pullovers/windstopper jackets and gloves, small backpack with rain coverage, cap, sunblock, mosquito repellent, headlamp, hiking poles, water bottle, sunglasses/block.
GOOD TO KNOW
Rented vehicle pick-up location
Rented vehicle drop-off location
Children joining this tour should have experience with hiking. An adult need accompany children under 18.
Terrain during the hikes
This trail is characterized by lots of descents and ascents. The route passes over engraved relief representing alpine terrain with steep slopes, mountain river valleys carved into the mountains, rocky peaks, belts of mountain pine, etc. However, the chosen paths are mostly well trodden underfoot and safe.
The “OA” tours are Land Only; the prices do not include your flight, nor transport to and from the airport to hotel. You must make your own way to the starting point of every tour. If you would like us to arrange a transfer for you from the airport to your hotel or from your hotel to the beginning point of the tour please let us know at booking or contact us via the enquiry form.
We reserve the right to modify the hiking route, in case of presence of snow or bad weather conditions
What is the difference between guided and self-guided?
Self-guided individual tours have become increasingly popular because of the flexibility and independence they offer. They cost less than guided bicycle tours but still maintain a level of support and convenience that allows you to explore on your own schedule without sweating the logistics.
If you enjoy traveling with a group, meeting new people, and having a guide and structured daily schedule, then a guided group tour is probably the best fit for you. The guides point out places of interest, organize excursions and activities and are there in case of breakdowns (mechanical or human).
How flexible is a self-guided tour in terms of itinerary?
While most of our travelers opt for one of our pre-planned self-guided itineraries, we can modify any of our tours to suit your particular needs. We typically offer a variety of hotels to fit your budget. And unlike guided trips with set departure dates, there is no chance of an operator canceling the trip for low participation. Your tour can only be cancelled by you you.
How do you create and plan the routes?
All of our routes are thoroughly researched and ridden annually by our staff to ensure you will have the best possible experience. We also plan our routes so you’ll have plenty of time to savor small towns and villages along the way and enjoy interacting with the locals.
Do I have to carry my backpack?
Yes, please make sure you will need one day backpack with you and water.
Can I book a single room on the guesthouses?
On the villages, we use local guesthouses where you share a room up to about 5 persons per room. But yes with the private tours and tailor-made tours it is possible to book a single room at extra charges.
Can you read a map and follow road signs?
This normally is very easy, but if you are not comfortable or you don’t enjoy reading a map, self-guided may not be for you. To really enjoy a self-guided trip, you’ll need to be flexible and have a sense of humor. So if do you miss a turn and have to backtrack or even ask a local for assistance, you’ll be okay doing so and remember the most memorable trips always have a little unscripted adventure built into them.
What is the terrain like during the hikes?
This trail is saturated with lots of descends and ascends. The route passes over engraved relief representing alpine terrain with steep slopes, mountain river valleys incised on the mounts, rocky peaks, belts of mountain pine, etc. However, the chosen paths are mostly well trod underfoot and safe.
What should I bring along on this hiking trip?
Breathable lightweight waterproof gear (gore-tex, sympatex, etc), fleece/wool pullovers/windstopper jackets and gloves, small backpack with rain coverage, cap, sunblock, mosquito repellent, headlamp, hiking poles, water bottle, sunglasses/block.
Are these family-friendly vacations?
Children are welcome at many of our hotels, but keep in mind some of the routes and tour activities may not be very interesting for children. We recommend discussing the proposed routes with us to determine whether the route is suitable for kids.
What kind of support does Outdoor Albania offer during the trip?
Our representative will give you the roadbook, vouchers and detailed information containing accommodations and up-to-date recommendations for dining, cultural attractions and other on-tour highlights. And should any urgent issues arise, you have 24-hour access to our support phone line.
In case your question is not answered yet, after reading the FAQ, please feel free to contact us via the enquiry form.
Day 1: Welcome to Albania!
The rented vehicle will be handed from an appointee of Outdoor Albania, at the airport.
Soon after, start driving towards Shkodra and the hotel reserved for you in the heart of the city. Time permitting visit Rozafa Fortress and the ‘Marubi Photo Collection’.
Evening in the lively pedestrian of Shkodra.
Distance: 80 km
Overnight in a hotel near historic center, Shkoder
Day 2: Through the Canyon of Lake Koman, and into the Albanian Alps
The spectacular boat ride through gorgeous landscape that will follow this day, is a not-to-miss highlight of Northern Albania!
The trip will continue 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.
Free time to explore the village at own pace, while the steep and jagged limestone peaks above the village are embraced by the sunset light.
Shkoder – Koman: 55 km
Boat Ride (Koman – Fireza): 2hrs30min
Fierze – Valbone: 55 km
Overnight in a local guesthouse, Valbona
Day 3: The Mount Rosi Meadows
Our first hike will start from the guesthouse towards the secluded hamlet of Kukaj, with the aim to discover the small hidden valley above the two houses.
A winding shepherd’s trail through forest, will take you in the middle of green alpine meadows underneath the rocky dome of Mount Rosi, where you can have your picnic lunch and admire the dramatic peaks of Grykat e Hapta across the valley, and Jezerca the highest peak of the Albanian Alps, towering above the steep couloirs of Paplluka mountain.
On the way back we will stop for mountain ‘çaj’ at the wooden terrace of one of the houses, before returning to the guesthouse in Valbona for dinner and overnight.
Cumulative gain: 1600m
Cumulative descent: 1600m
Highest point: 2524m
Overnight in a local guesthouse, Valbona
Day 4: Kosovo, the world’s newest country
It’s time to travel further and cross the border into Kosovo, the world’s newest country, been independent only since 2008. Driving through the town of Gjakova and proceed towards Peja, make a short stop at the beautiful Decani Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Upon arrival to Peja, accommodate yourself at the reserved hotel. The afternoon can be spent visiting the highlands of Peja, the Rugova village, the Kosovo part of the Accursed Mountains with an impressive drive through the dramatic Rugova Gorge to the alpine location of Boga.
In the evening, return to Peja and spend the evening in town.
Valbona – Peja: 110 km
Overnight in a hotel, Peja
Day 5: Plava & Grebaje
The way we have selected for you today, it is not a very common one, you will travel through remote small towns and villages of Kosovo and leave this country to explore Montenegro’ valleys. The first stop will be the city of Plave, for a walk alongside Lake Plav, a glacial lake located between the Prokletije and Visitor mountain ranges at an altitude of 906 m above sea level.
Then you will proceed to Grebaje a very attractive valley with its contrasts and the sight of surrounding massifs. This valley full of sun, smells and soft breeze so we recommend that upon arrival you do a circular walk around the beautiful village.
Peja – Grebaje: 140 km
Overnight in a local guesthouse, Grebaje
Day 6: Lepushe and the Spectacular Ridge Of Berizhdol
After a hearty breakfast, you will drive towards Lepushe, leave your luggages at the guesthouse where the local guide will be waiting for you, for then continuing together to walk in one of the most panoramic ridge walks of Kelmendi region: The Ridge of Berizhdol. While you walk on soft grassy terrain, you are sided by the mighty views of the north-western faces of the Massive “Bjeshket e Namuna” (The Accursed Mountains) and the alpine pastures of Dobkut. At the end of the ridge you will follow a forest trail that will bring you again to the bottom of the valley.
Cumulative gain: 600m
Cumulative descent: 600m
Highest point: 1980m
Grebaje – Lepushe: 25 km
Overnight in a local guesthouse, Lepushe
Day 7: The Historic town of Kruja
Time to head back toward Shkoder through the remote Kelmend valleys. Continue through the plains of Lezha and approach the historic town of Kruja on the hills.
In late afternoon, you can visit the fortress and Museum of Skanderbeg – the Albanian National Hero that led the historic resistance to the ottomans in the XV Century. Overnight in a hotel near the historic centre.
Lepushe – Kruje: 170 km
Overnight in a hotel, Kruje
Day 8: Mirupafshim!
Free time in town, followed by a short drive to the airport (about 30min), to return the vehicle and prepare for departure.
In the case of a late flight schedule, there are several interesting alternatives in Tirana, such as: the ‘Dajti Express’ cable car to the mountain park, the Bunk’Art experience, museums, and many more.
Book this tour through our mailbox: email@example.com