Albania's Accursed Mountains
- Trekking and exploring in The Albanian Alps
- Great value - price includes all meals
- Dramatic Valbona Pass crossing
- Explore Rozafa Castle and the lock-in tower of Thethi
- Cruise Lake Koman and visit historic Kruja
In the far north of Albania, a range of rugged peaks rises to a high point at Jezerca (2694m) and is known locally as the Albanian Alps. These "alps" form the southern part of the mountain range called the Dinaric Alps which extend for 650 km along the coast of the Adriatic, from the Julian Alps in Slovenia, south to Mt Korab on the border between Albania and Macedona. 20th century visitors to the area include the intrepid Edith Durham, author of 'High Albania', a book based on her own journey to the Thethi Valley in 1908 where she describes life as "of absorbing interest" such that she "forgot all about the rest of the world and there seemed no reason why I should ever return". Latterly the area was once again made famous by Robert Carver's book 'The Accursed Mountains'. Stunning and remote, this area is an undiscovered gem. .From the lakeside town of Shkodra, we journey to the village of Thethi, with its traditional wooden houses and impressive stone "lock-in" tower that sheltered the men-folk in times of blood feud. From here, we enjoy a series of walks before trekking with mule-support across the Valbona Pass into the lovely Valbona Valley. Staying in basic and newly established guesthouses, we will be treated to traditional food and highlander hospitality. A ferry ride on the fjord-like Lake Koman is an integral part of our journey out of these enchanting mountains. We spent our final night in the important historic town of Kruja, with time to shop in the bazaar and visit the interesting museums. Isolated from the outside world for much of the 20th century, Albania is a superb adventure travel destination, blessed with stunning mountain scenery and fascinating history.
Is this holiday for you?
This is a low-level trekking holiday (maximum elevation is below 2000 metres) with no camping. Generally we are always following well-established trails between valleys and villages that are suitable for mules and very straightforward for trekkers. There are some steep ascents and descents and the crossing of the Valbona Pass cannot be avoided other than by a very long road journey - this day is a journey into the next valley and the crux of the trip. Some of the walks are optional. You should ensure you are physically prepared for the trek and able to walk for approximately 6 - 7 hours each day and for several days continuously.