Albania's Accursed Mountains
Albania, Trek & Walk, 9 days - from £595 (land only) - from €835 (land only) - from $980 (land only)
Day 1: Rendezvous at Tirana airport and transfer to Shkodra, Northern Albania's oldest city. After lunch at a waterfront restaurant in Shkodra, we visit Rozafa Castle to enjoy fabulous views over Shkodra and towards the Albania Alps. Dinner and overnight in our hotel.
Day 2: Leaving Shkodra we are rewarded with wonderful views of Shkodra Lake as we transfer towards the Diagonal Pass (Qafa Thornes) - 1700m and the start of our walk. We are immediately surrounded by dramatic scenery as we descend on a variety of trails until reaching the picturesque hamlet of Nderlysa, where we overnight in a simple guesthouse. Walk distance approx: 6 hours, 7.5km, 1150m descent.
Day 3: Today's hike takes us into the Thethi National Park, initially following the River Shala to the Grunasi Canyon. We ascend to a pretty waterfall before arriving in the charming village of Thethi, where we overnight. Today we also explore Thethi's `Lock In` tower. Walk distance approx: 4 - 5 hours, 7km, 250m ascent & descent.
Day 4: Today we leave Thethi village (750m) and make our way towards the Peja Pass - 1710m, where we are rewarded with superb views of the Thethi and Radohima mountain ridges, including Mt Jezerca - 2694. Mt Jezerca lies only 5kms from Montonegro and straddles two national parks. We return back to our guesthouse in Thethi for a second night. Walk distance approx: 7 hours, 16km, ascent & descent 950m.
Day 5: A longer hiking day today as we climb to the Pass of Valbona (1760m), and then descend into the Valbona Valley where we stay overnight in a local farmhouse. Walk distance approx: 6 - 7 hours, 1000m of ascent & descent.
Day 6: Today is a true off the beaten track day as we explore the area of Cerami. Famed for its wooden tiled rustic farm buildings, this area of outstanding beauty offers a `step back in time` feeling. After returning to the village of Ceram, we transfer to Valbona, where we overnight in the same guesthouse as the night before. Walk distance approx: 6 - 7 hours, 13km, 530m ascent & descent.
Day 7: Today we start walking towards the village of Kukaj (1100m), and from there we follow a shepherd's path up to pastureland at 1600m from where we enjoy the gorgeous views of Jezerca, the highest of the Albanian Alps, and Rrethi i Bardhe, 'The White Circle' meadows. Return to the farmhouse.
Day 8: We drive from Valbona to the dock where we will take the ferry through the spectacular fjord-like canyon of Lake Koman. After docking at the dam in Koman, we will drive to Kruja, an important historic town and have dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 9: After some free time to explore the lovely hill-top town of Kruja in the early morning (there are some interesting museums) we drive back to Tirana Airport where KE Land Only package services end.