Intensive Peaks of the Balkans Trail (Self Guided)

7 days
T2 trails
Distance: 15 - 20 km per day
500 - 1000 m ascent per day
> Set off on your own and conquer the most famous peaks of the Balkans
> Visit the Old Church in Theth or the famous bazaar in Gjakova
> Get surprised by the local cuisine
> Discover the 'Blue Eye of Theth'

Being self-reliant is a challenge you will gladly accept! In this intensive program, you will discover the Peaks of the Balkans in 7 days and set off self-guided. The Peaks of the Balkans is a collection of unspoiled mountains in a remote region shared by Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro and is connected by a circular route. This route has 192km of marked trails, of which you'll cover 90km in this program. You wind through the high Alpine mountains, crossing several mountain landscapes with a diversity of breathtaking views. In this adventure, you explore some of the most beautiful mountain peaks in the world!

Cross Border Permits will be fixed for you and you will have the chance to get to know the local culture while you are staying in Guesthouses and Shephard's huts. You will be picked up from Tirana (Albania) and driven to the starting point in Tamarë. In the upcoming days you can enjoy great views from the Valbona Pass (1795m) or Talijanka Peak (2057m). Climbing the roof of Kosovo; Gjeravica (2656m) is the highest in the country. Encounter many picturesque mountain villages where time seems to have stood still. Until 20 years ago, the region was virtually inaccessible to visitors, which makes it an authentic cultural experience today. Above all, be surprised, as this trek has much more to offer!

Itinerary

Day
1

Tirana (Albania) / Podgorica (Montenegro) – Shkoder – Tamarë – Lëpushë - Talijanka Peak - Vuthaj

Duration: 05:00 h
Distance: 11 km
Ascent: 868 m
Highest Point: 2057 m
Early in the morning you head towards the starting point of the trek. You will drive towards Tamarë (North-Albania) and pass the city of Shkoder. From Tamarë, you will begin our Peaks of the Balkans adventure. 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. You will arrive in the small village of Lëpushë, known for its stunning nature. The name Lëpushë refers to the yellow flower that you can find there in the spring season. In the North of Albania, they are known for many delicious bio-dishes with products from the region. Their cuisine is unique, tasty and can only be found in these areas. You will have the chance to try these in the upcoming days. Your destination for today is Vuthaj, but first you will hike to the Talijanka peak (2057m). Here you will cross the border from Albania to Montenegro. Mount Talijanka (2057m) is located in the Grbaje Valley in Montenegro. This valley is U-shaped and surrounded by the grey sharp mountain peaks. The Talijanka peak (2057m) 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. You 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.

Vuthaj

Info
Vuthaj
Day
2

Vuthaj (Montenegro) – Arapi Peak - Theth

Duration: 10:26 h
Distance: 20.9 km
Ascent: 880 m
Descent: 1160 m
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) next to Maja Jezercë (2694m). We will come across multiple shepherd’s huts, in the Albanian Alps which 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.

Theth

Info
Theth
Day
3

Theth – Valbona Pass - Valbona

Duration: 08:51 h
Distance: 16.9 km
Ascent: 1060 m
Descent: 880 m
Trekking to Valbona from Theth will be an intense day as the walk takes about 8-9 hours in 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 (1795m) 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 of Albania and Montenegro. On our way, we will walk through some beautiful landscapes and wild forests. We might even see some shepherds passing by with their flock. When reaching the top of the Valbona Pass (1795m), you will experience a serious shot of adrenaline.

Valbona

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Valbona
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Included

  • Transfers

    All necessary transfers (bus, taxi, private transport, etc.) as described in the itinerary are included.

  • Full travel guide

    We will send you on your way with a digital travel guide that includes a route description for this trek, interactive hiking maps, and the most important information applicable to your trek

  • Cross Border Permits

    Permits to cross the various borders are included and prepared by our local partner Choose Balkans.

  • Accommodation on the Peaks of the Balkan

    You will be staying 3 nights in Guesthouses, 2 nights in a Shepherd's Hut (less comfortable, but great hospatility), and 1 night in a hotel. * Prices are calculated on triple or quadruples room occupancy. The Triple/Quadruple room occupancy means you might share the room with other travelers.

  • Luggage transport (optional)

    Luggage transport can be booked upon request. Ask our Trekking Experts about the possibilities.

  • Breakfast

    Breakfasts are included in the price of the trek. They will be provided at the accommodation where you spent the night before.

Excluded

  • Traveling to and from

    This trip does not include costs for transportation (flights, bus travel, etc.) to your destination.

  • Lunch and dinner

    The meals during the trek are not included in the final price, except for breakfast.

  • Tipping

    Gratuities for the guide are not covered by the trek's price. The amount to tip is at your discretion, yet if you've received excellent service from your guide, considering a generous tip is appreciated.

  • Travel Insurance

    Your international travel insurance is your own responsibility. It is important that your travel insurance also covers adventures at a high altitude. Discuss your itinerary with the insurance company before your trek.

  • Accommodation before and after the trek

    Before and after the trek you have to take care of your own accommodation.

  • Personal expenses

    Personal expenses such as souvenirs, drinks at the bar and other similar expenses are your own responsibility.

FAQ

  • Where is the Peaks of the Balkans Trail?

  • What Is the Best Season for the Peaks of the Balkans Trail?

  • Cross Border Permits on the Peaks of the Balkans

How to Book

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  • Cancellation policy

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Contact our Trekking Expert
Jan Bakker
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