Win a camino trek for two! Enter our competition here

More Photos
Loading...
Holidays

Walking in the Balkan Borderlands

Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Kosovo
13 reviews
Available Departures: Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep

8 days from

US$1,615

without flights
Walk & Trek
Guided Group
MODERATE MODERATE

Hike across remote borders in the undiscovered Balkans on this European walking and cultural holiday through Kosovo, Montenegro and Albania.

Trip Code: BBL
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Walking in the Balkan Borderlands

Highlights
  • Walk through the magnificent landscapes of Kosovo, Montenegro and Albania
  • Explore Lake Skadar home to rare birdlife and stay in Lovcen National Park
  • Head off the beaten track and discover a rich melting pot of cultures
  • Experience traditional guesthouses and family home cooking

At a Glance
  • Group Size 4 to 14
  • 6 days walking
  • Max altitude - 2250m
  • Join In Pristina, End in Dubrovnik

Accommodation & Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 4 Lunches
  • 7 Dinners
  • 2 nights Guesthouse
  • 4 nights Hotel
  • 1 nights Eco Lodge
Overview

Breath-taking landscapes, remote trails, towering mountains, meandering rivers, crystal clear lakes, colourful flora, eclectic architecture, fascinating history, a melting pot of cultures, tasty food and one of the warmest welcomes on the planet – welcome to the Balkan Borderlands. This fantastic cross-border walking holiday explores wild regions and follows trails along the Peaks of the Balkans route. As we weave our way through spectacular mountains and explore some of Europe's wildest scenery, we’re guaranteed a warm Balkan welcome, simple way of life and unique experience. We start in the historical gem of Peja nestled at the foot of Kosovo’s Rugova Mountains and home to charming Ottoman architecture and a rare opportunity to step back in time. After Peja we discover Kosovo’s wild beauty and hike through traditional villages before heading over the Jelenak Pass and into Albania’s magnificent Accursed Mountains. By crossing remote borders and walking through lush valleys, we criss-cross between dramatic Montenegro and majestic Albania whilst surrounded by incredible scenery. After transferring to Virpazar in Montenegro, we sail across Lake Skadar home to wonderful birdlife, stay in the breath-taking heart of Lovcen National Park and explore the Bay of Kotor, Europe’s most southern fjord. This multi-country holiday takes you on an incredible walking and cultural journey through a very special area of Europe.

Is this holiday for you?

This wonderful walking holiday follows remote trails between valleys and villages that are mainly used by local shepherds and villagers. As you’d expect in mountainous areas of Europe, paths are rugged and can be slippery underfoot, whilst in June we may encounter late lying areas of snow to cross. As on all alpine walking holidays, there are some steep ascents and descents and long days, so you …

This wonderful walking holiday follows remote trails between valleys and villages that are mainly used by local shepherds and villagers. As you’d expect in mountainous areas of Europe, paths are rugged and can be slippery underfoot, whilst in June we may encounter late lying areas of snow to cross. As on all alpine walking holidays, there are some steep ascents and descents and long days, so you should ensure you are physically prepared and able to walk for approximately 6 - 8 hours each day, and for several days continuously. Homestay and guesthouse accommodation in the mountains is simple and this area of the Balkans still observes a very traditional way of life. (This holiday requires a trekking permit so a copy of your passport is required by the KE office after booking).This wonderful walking holiday follows remote trails between valleys and villages that are mainly used by local shepherds and villagers. As you’d expect in mountainous areas of Europe, paths are rugged and can be slippery underfoot, whilst in June we may encounter late lying areas of snow to cross. As on all alpine walking holidays, there are some steep ascents and descents and long days, so you should ensure you are physically prepared and able to walk for approximately 6 - 8 hours each day, and for several days continuously. Homestay and guesthouse accommodation in the mountains is simple and this area of the Balkans still observes a very traditional way of life. (This holiday requires a trekking permit so a copy of your passport is required by the KE office after booking).

Why KE?

This wonderful walking holiday was created by KE staff that lived in the Balkans and takes you on one of their favourite cross-border journeys. Join the Balkan experts and explore on foot a contrasting variety of countries deep in the heart of an undiscovered Europe.

Share
    

Itinerary

Meet at the group hotel in Pec (Peja) or join the group transfer from Pristina Airport to Pec (Peja) (1hr 15 mins). The leader will join this transfer to the group hotel.

It may be possible depending on the arrival of flights and traffic conditions to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Decani Monastery after checking in at the hotel. This is a 30 minute drive away and costs 20 euro per person based on a minimum of 4. Decani is described as one of the most beautiful churches in the whole of Europe. Built in the early 14th century by the Serbian King Stefan Decanski, Decani is situated in a beautiful spot below the mountains, surrounded by pine and chestnut trees. However it's not only the outside that is charming, as once the doors open and you step inside, the interior is magical. With floor-to-ceiling murals this is a medieval kaleidoscope of colour. Inside are marble walls, magnificent frescoes and sculptures. Even today Decani is one of the most spectacular pieces of religious heritage left by the Nemanji dynasty. After the arrival of KFOR forces in June 1999, the monastery went under the protection of the Italian Army. Today, it still remains under Italian command but is also protected by Austrian, Slovenian, and Moldovan KFOR soldiers. Decani is the only monastery in Kosovo to remain under the protection of international forces. The monastery has a very successful farm which produces wine, brandy and honey and is an extremely important institution for humanitarian work which is carried out through a relief fund.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

D

Peja (Pec) is one of the oldest settlements in Kosovo and the gateway to the Rugova Valley. Lying at the foot of dramatic mountains, Pec has a labyrinth of narrow streets, Ottoman style architecture, impressive mosques and pavement cafes. Initially settled by the llyrians in 200 BC, it has been occupied by both the Byzantines and Ottoman Empires. The Ottomans brought Islamic culture with them and the city is a wonderful melting pot of faiths and cultures. The town is also home to Patriachte Monastery which is the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church. After a brief introduction to Peja we transfer to the village of Reke e Allages via the dramatic Rugova Gorge. This area is mainly occupied during the summer months by farming families. After a picnic lunch we'll walk through the Rugova Mountains and head up to meadows and high pastures before descending into small villages. The afternoon of walking finishes at Drelaj where we stay in a remote hamlet in a simple guesthouse and enjoy some home-cooking.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B L D

Ascent

500 M

Descent

900 M

Time

5 hrs trekking

Distance

10 KM

After breakfast, we take a short transfer to Liquenat and prepare for an exciting day ahead which includes crossing into Montenegro via an unmanned mountain border. The path snakes its way up through forest and passes two small blue glacial lakes called Liqueni i Kuchishtes and i Dreljave. Leaving the treeline behind we head up into a dramatic valley and cross the magnificent Jelenak Pass at 2250m. We enter Montenegro on the ridgeline at the Ravno Pass and descend to the village of Babino Polje (Grandma's Field) and our accommodation for the evening at a collection of beautiful eco lodges among the trees.

Accommodation

Eco Lodge

Meals

B L D

Ascent

1150 M

Descent

1000 M

Time

8 hrs trekking

Distance

14 KM

This we walk directly from our accommodation and cross the border between Montenegro and Albania by way of a small peak called Talijanka (2056m). The trail begins by zigzagging through forest as we hike up to a ridge from where there are spectacular views of Albania's Accursed Mountains. Standing on the top of Talijanka we'll be rewarded with magnificent views into Montenegro and Albania. From the summit we descend to the timeless village of Lepushe where we spend the night. This remote region of Albania is still undiscovered and off the beaten track, which is what makes it so special. Staying here means we really get to experience a rural lifestyle as we stay with people who are generally self-sufficient. Growing vegetables and fruit alongside keeping cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and bees is a way of life whilst electricity comes from local hydropower stations. Without any light pollution, if the sky is clear we should have a wonderful opportunity for some star gazing.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B L D

Ascent

925 M

Descent

730 M

Time

6 hrs trekking

Distance

10 KM

Another beautiful day of walking through forest and pretty meadows before heading up to a mountain pass at 1800m. Again we'll have spectacular views of this pristine environment and as we descend to the village of Nikc, in the Kelmend province of Albania we'll have a real sense of been in the middle of nowhere as this spectacular area is remote even for residents of the Balkans! Shepherds generally stay here for the main summer months and graze their flocks before the seasons change and their paths are blocked by snow. This is a region where the people are humble and incredibly hospitable, and it's not unusual to be invited into someone's home to taste homemade raki or mountain tea. After a lovely day of walking we say goodbye to the mountains and transfer (3hrs) to Virpazar, on the shores of Lake Skadar. Tonight we stay in a hotel by the lakeshore.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

600 M

Descent

1300 M

Time

6 hrs trekking

Distance

13 KM

Nestled between Montenegro and Albania, dolphin-shaped Lake Skadar is the largest lake in the Balkans and one of the most important reserves for wetland birds in Europe with over 270 species. A vast freshwater lake, Skadar presents a stunning picture of island monasteries and floating meadows of water lilies with a backdrop of dramatic limestone mountains. Legend has it the lake was created by the tears of a pixie and after a boat trip you may find yourself believing in fairy tales. Protected since 1983, Skadar was added to the RAMSAR list of important wetlands in 1996. It's home to an elusive colony of Dalmatian pelicans as well as cormorants, herons, egrets, terns and over 50 species of fish including carp, trout and eel. This morning we'll enjoy a boat trip on the lake before heading to Cetinje, once the royal capital of Montenegro. Here we'll have time for lunch and a chance to wander through the historical streets which are lined with atmospheric former embassies. Next we drive through one of the most dramatic national parks in Europe, Lovcen and stop at the top of Jezerski Vrh (1657m). Here we'll walk the 461 steps up to the highlight of the park, the magnificent mausoleum of Montenegro's greatest hero - Petar II Petrovic Njegos. From here the views are spectacular and after enjoying them we'll walk down to the alpine village of Njegusi. This is a very traditional village with distinctly rural architecture and a timeless feel. We can spend an hour or so here, soaking up the atmosphere, before driving down to Kotor Bay via a long chain of hairpin bends. We will find a pull-in on the way down so we can stop and appreciate the spectacular overview of Kotor. We check in for a 2-night stay at a hotel beside the bay.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B D

Time

3 - hrs trekking

Today is free for you to explore at leisure. Nestling amongst the dramatic Black Mountains (which give Montenegro its name) Kotor old town is a medieval maze of cobbled streets where you'll find museums, towering gates, churches, cafe-strewn squares, colourful shops and Venetian palaces. The ancient ramparts are great for exploring and you can climb up above the town for wonderful views across the bay. Another highlight is a visit by boat (payable locally) to the man-made island and church known as 'Our Lady of the Rock'. The tour leader can help organise this. Sailing across to the island is a great way to take in the sheer size of the surrounding mountains. The island is close to the pretty bay-side town of Perast and it was fishermen from Perast who built the island and church in 1630. We spend a second night at our Kotor hotel.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B D

After breakfast, there is a group transfer (approx 2 hrs) to Dubrovnik Airport, where your holiday ends.

Meals

B
Download Trip Notes
The Route
Airport Airport
Point Point
Direction Direction
Transfer
Trek

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • A professional and qualified tour leader
  • Single timed airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • All land transport required by the itinerary
  • National park entrance fees
  • All excursions as mentioned in the itinerary

  • Travel insurance
  • Any extra activities and excursions
  • Tips
  • Miscellaneous personal expenditure - drinks and souvenirs etc

The group will meet at the Hotel in Peja.

A single group transfer from Pristina Airport to the first nights hotel in Peja is provided.

On the last day of the Land Only itinerary, there will be a single group transfer to Dubrovnik Airport.

Anyone may join the group transfers by prior arrangement. Travelling as a group or on public transport saves energy. If this is not practical, we can provide private transfers at an additional cost. Taxis are also available.

Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

Breakfasts, 4 lunches and 7 dinners are included.

Many places on this holiday have drinkable water from the tap to fill your personal water bottles. Please check with the leader at the various locations. Please take purification tablets or a filter bottle (such as a Water-To-Go bottle) for days when drinking water out of the tap is not available. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

With a mix of Balkan, Turkish and European influences, the food in this part of the world is fantastic. In the hotels breakfast are continental style, with cereals, bread and jam, tea, coffee and sometimes eggs. You may also have the chance to try a more traditional breakfast of flavoured rice.  At the guesthouses, breakfasts are also simple.  Packed lunches are provided and will consist of bread and a variety of meats, cheeses, tomatoes and cucumber.  There will also be plenty of fruit, biscuits and cake. Evening meals include traditional soups, fantastic locally-grown vegetables, local dairy produce and meat dishes. Soups, stews, and goulashes are common.  There is always plenty of bread which is usually Italian style, often served with a tomato and olive salad and various cheeses.  On and near the coast, the diet is even more Mediterranean with fish understandably featuring in the most common dishes.  Water is provided, but very often this is from local wells or mountain streams and is not chlorinated.  If you are concerned about drinking untreated water, we suggest you bring a supply of water treatment tablets.

During this holiday the group will spend 1 night at a comfortable hotel in Peja/Pec, 1 night at a similar establishment in Virpazar, and 2 nights in Kotor. These hotels provide twin-sharing, en-suite accommodation.

There will also be 3 nights in simple homestay /guesthouse/lodge-style accommodation with simple bathroom facilities. During these 3 nights the group are staying in remote places which have very little tourism infrastructure, which is all part of the cultural experience. Whilst staying in the guesthouses and lodges, it's good to keep in mind these are people's homes and although they are basic, they are selected for their friendliness and location which more than makes up for the lack of hotel facilities. Rooms are likely to accommodate between 2 and 5 people per room and it may be necessary for male and female group members to share depending on the group make-up..

If you are travelling by yourself, you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex for the 3 hotel nights. Single rooms are available for these nights at a supplementary cost. If you are planning on extending your holiday additional nights at the group hotel are available on request.

The group will be led by a professional and qualified tour leader.

This holiday does not involve any significant ascent to altitude and we would not expect any altitude issues with this trip.

Approximately £100 should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses including your bar bills and reasonable tips to the support crew.  If you intend to buy expensive souvenirs, you should budget accordingly (credit cards can be useful in this respect). Kosovo & Montenegro use the Euro, and the Lek is the currency of Albania.  You should obtain Euros for this holiday.  By far the easiest way to obtain your travel cash is from ATM’s using a credit card or a debit card.  ATM’s are available at the airport in Pristina and in Peja, as well as Cetinje and Kotor.  OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES (Subject to change) Boat ride to Lady of the Rock : €5, Local bus to Perast : €1 each way.

Tips do not form part of the wages of local staff but they are very much appreciated. It is important to remember that tipping is voluntary and should be dependent on good service. It is best if the tip is given at the end of the trip by the group as a whole. We recommend that each group member contributes around £30 and that tips are then distributed between the guide and support staff as the group feels is appropriate.

During this holiday we trek across the borders of Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro.  A trekking permit will be applied for on your behalf by our local agent.  Please send a copy of your passport into the KE office after you have been confirmed on the holiday.       

There is no weight restriction as such on this holiday other than that imposed by your international carrier (normally 20kg). However, we do ask you to restrict your luggage to one trek bag/suitcase and one small daypack per person.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Pristina (Kosovo) and departing from Dubrovnik (Croatia). For clients making their own flight arrangements, Pristina Airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to 'Joining Arrangements and Transfers' in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

Europe

Your passport must meet 2 requirements. It must be:

  • less than 10 years old on the day you enter (check the ‘date of issue’)

  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

For the latest details on visiting countries within the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA), please check the UK Government website

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

For this holiday we require a scanned copy of the main pages of your passport. Please email this to the office when your holiday is guaranteed to run.

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

VACCINATIONS

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

The unit of currency in Albania is the Lek.

The currency for part or all of this holiday is the Euro.

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a walking holiday getting some additional exercise.  Regular walking in hill or back country is the best preparation.  Running and swimming are also good for developing better cardiovascular fitness and stamina.

Daytime temperatures in the lower valleys will vary between 15ºC and 30ºC at the times of year we operate this trip.  The weather in summer is generally excellent - with hot days, clear skies and little rain. Note that temperatures do drop in the evenings in the mountains by several degrees.  High up, we may encounter cooler conditions and stormy weather cannot be ruled out at any time of year in this mountainous region.  At the coast the temperatures will be higher.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

  • Western Balkans Lonely Planet

  • Southeastern Europe Lonely Planet

  • The Accursed Mountains - Robert Carver

  • Broken April - Ismail Kadare

  • High Albania - Edith Durham

  • The Mountains of Montenegro – A Walkers and Trekkers Guide. Rudolf Abraham. (Cicerone)

  • Kosovo Bradt guide

Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro

1:600,00. Detailed, double-sided road map of Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, with index and city centre street enlargements of Belgrade, Sarajevo, Zagreb and Ljubljana. Clearly shows the national road network and selected provincial and local roads, with each class of road clearly indicated and road numbers shown. Intermediate driving distances between locations are shown in kilometres alongside the road, motorway filling stations are shown and motorway junctions are indicated.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Please note that a paper copy of your travel insurance is required if you are travelling to Huaraz and the Huayhuash region.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots

  • Socks

  • Trekking trousers

  • Waterproof overtrousers

  • Underwear

  • Baselayer shirts (1 short sleeve, 1 long sleeve)

  • Light fleece shirt or mid-layer

  • Warm fleece jacket or jumper

  • Waterproof jacket

  • T-shirts or casual shirts

  • Lightweight thermal gloves

  • Sunhat

  • Warm hat

  • Sunglasses

  • Daypack 30 litres

  • Headtorch and spare batteries

  • Sun protection (including for lips)

  • Water bottles 1 Litre (x2) (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic)

  • Water purification tablets (Water is provided, but very often this is from local wells or mountain streams and is not chlorinated.  If you are concerned about drinking untreated water, we suggest you bring a supply of water treatment tablets.)
  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Travel towel

  • Antibacterial hand wash

  • Small padlock (to lock your KE trek bag)

  • Name and address label for your trek bag (for Customs when the bags travel across borders by vehicles unaccompanied by their owners)

  • Basic First Aid Kit including Insect repellent (DEET); antiseptic cream; throat lozenges; diarrhoea treatment (Diocalm or Immodium); painkillers; plasters and blister treatment; and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose sweets and vitamin tablets are a useful addition.

The following items are optional:

  • Sheet sleeping bag liner

  • Trainers or sandals

  • Spare laces

  • Shorts

  • Travel clothes

  • Trekking poles

  • Camera

  • Pen-knife

  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags)

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

Reviews

4.8 out of 5 from 13 reviews

Fabulous adventure ★★★★★

This was an wonderful trip. The itinerary was excellent, we walked/hiked every day but in different landscapes so each day was unique. The planning was excellent, and our guide was fabulous - knowledgeable, fun, organised and flexible. Highly recommend

By Lesley from Tamarin | 07 October 2023

The best time! ★★★★★

Absolutely had the best time! The scenery, people in our group were fantastic and our guide nitty.. (Albanian) was superb he made the trip! What a guy!! This tour leader made our holiday. He did everything for everyone.. moved everyone’s luggage, sorting out all dietary requirements and making sure everyone was content and clear about what was being done each briefing was wonderful and he made us all feel part of the group!! We were all upset to leave!! This guy is not only knowledgeable about the Albanian mountains, his passion is contagious he made us feel at ease, explained cultures and the sense of pride this man has towards his job/country .. he wants to excel and become higher in his job.. well he certainly should as he was exceptional… these memories will last forever and we have to say “This was our best holiday we’ve had”.
By Maria from Bolton | 22 June 2023

Fantastic hiking and a fascinating region ★★★★★

This original and unique tour caught my eye and the reality did not disappoint. It would be difficult to recreate this tour independently and all the logistics and organisation was very efficient, allowing me to relax and enjoy the scenery. Kosovo, Albania and Montenegro have wonderful high walking country and the guesthouses were excellent and authentic. Our guide looked after us well and I enjoyed conversations with him about the history and culture of this complicated and fascinating region - a local guide is so enriching! The cultural stops were good too and I enjoyed the free day in Kotor. With a group there will be people with different walking speeds and I was frustrated to miss out on some of the commentary because I like to linger and take photos whereas the guide wanted to charge ahead. But that was my only frustration, everything else was great and I highly recommend this tour! I definitely recommend spending a day or so in Pristina at the beginning and Dubrovnik at the end.
By Natasha from BERKHAMSTED | 04 January 2023

Anything But Accursed... Simply Amazing ★★★★★

I have travelled with KE on several trips before - all wonderful, and have also had a couple booked I was really looking forward to, but which were cancelled for reasons well beyond KE's control. I think it takes three things to really make a trip for me: rich history and landscape, with beauty and physical challenge; good company; and a great guide, who can enable (and explain) things you just couldn't access that easily on your own. This time we had all three in spades. As an historian, seeing KFOR still guarding ancient monasteries, and staying with those who'd witnessed the war up close and personal in the Rugova mountains was... well, I don't really know the word... Moving? Privileged? Definitely an honour. In the remoter parts of Kosovo and Albania particularly, we met such welcoming people, all so clearly proud to share the delights of their countries with us. Then there was the company of my fellow walkers: I could hardly put one foot in front of the other some days I was laughing so hard. Like-minded people, up for discussion of all sorts, and equally alive to the alpine flowers, butterflies, shepherd dogs, and the joy of pivo at the end of a long, hot day's hiking. The group looked out for each other and the chat was constant, by equal measures hilarious, uplifting and stimulating. Finally, our guide, Niti. After about 24 hours I realised that his 'gentleman' act (only two of us were women), carrying my bag door to door for every move, was because he'd actually read the trip notes, where I'd briefly mentioned a back problem from last October. I don't know why I was so surprised that he'd read the detail in the notes, but beyond this Niti was also very discrete as to why and how he was looking out for me; so much so that the others had no idea whither the princess treatment - their attempts to become equally favoured evolving into another beautiful ongoing joke, given their sheer futility. There was a point descending into Albania where the sight of a monster truck transport (an Austrian Steyr-Puch Pinzgauer, I think) made me fear my back was in all probability toast. However, I was quietly offered the option of being ushered upfront, to continue my regal progress in upholstered heaven... Indeed, Niti looked after all of us, keeping a group of varying abilities together rather like an indefatigable collie, no doubt hiking twice if not three times the distance in the process. He even carried our daysacks himself, if needed. He also knew all our hosts and directors of museums, churches, archeological digs, national parks, cheese makers and blueberry pickers - whoever could enrich the trip, we seemed to meet them. On top of this, Niti has a fantastic sense of humour 24/7, which is everything when the peaks and sun are high. The Accursed Mountains are simply amongst some of the most beautiful places I've seen, and I couldn't have wished to witness it with a better crew or guide. I still miss them - it was so packed with vistas and experiences it felt like a month rather than a week. Thank you KE, The Republics of Yorkshire and Lancashire, and Arianit Mula.
By Joanna from Cheltenham | 31 August 2022

Balkan Borderlands Adventure ★★★★★

We have travelled with KE Adventure a couple of times before and had a great time on both occasions. Initially we had been booked on to a trip taking in Moldova and the Ukraine. This had been cancelled twice due to Covid and was cancelled again due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Not wanting to miss out on a trip altogether we decided this one would be an ideal replacement and we were not disappointed. After a stressful experience at Heathrow we were delighted to arrive in Pristina and be gr eeted by our wonderful guide Niti. I must say that whilst we really enjoyed every aspect of the trip what made it so memorable was Niti himself. He was personable, charming, thoughtful and went above and beyond what was expected to make sure everyone in the group of nine had the best experience possible. The walking element of the trip was pretty tough and easily deserves its 5 grading. One of our party was really struggling with the walking and Niti took it upon himself to carry his bag every day as well as his own rucksack. This is only one small example of the many thoughtful things he did to make our trip so memorable. I would highly recommend this trip for its variety. It was a real pleasure experiencing the delights of Kosovo, Montenegro and Albania. This is a region with a troubled history but you would not know that from the warmth of the reception we received from local people. All the logistical arrangements ran very smoothly despite being quite complicated at times particularly as this was a linear trip. Generally the accommodation was reasonable to good though it was variable. The food was excellent and plentiful throughout. It was a real privilege gaining such a detailed insight into the lives of the people who live in this region. If you do decide to take this trip you will not regret it especially if you get Niti as your tour leader.
By Martyn from WAKEFIELD | 26 July 2022

Traveller Reviews
4.8 out of 5 from 13 reviews

Fabulous adventure
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This was an wonderful trip. The itinerary was excellent, we walked/hiked every day but in different landscapes so each day was unique. The planning was excellent, and our guide was fabulous - knowledgeable, fun, organised and flexible. Highly recommend

By Lesley from Tamarin | 07 October 2023

The best time!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Absolutely had the best time! The scenery, people in our group were fantastic and our guide nitty.. (Albanian) was superb he made the trip! What a guy!! This tour leader made our holiday. He did everything for everyone.. moved everyone’s luggage, sorting out all dietary requirements and making sure everyone was content and clear about what was being done each briefing was wonderful and he made us all feel part of the group!! We were all upset to leave!! This guy is not only knowledgeable about the Albanian mountains, his passion is contagious he made us feel at ease, explained cultures and the sense of pride this man has towards his job/country .. he wants to excel and become higher in his job.. well he certainly should as he was exceptional… these memories will last forever and we have to say “This was our best holiday we’ve had”.
By Maria from Bolton | 22 June 2023

Fantastic hiking and a fascinating region
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This original and unique tour caught my eye and the reality did not disappoint. It would be difficult to recreate this tour independently and all the logistics and organisation was very efficient, allowing me to relax and enjoy the scenery. Kosovo, Albania and Montenegro have wonderful high walking country and the guesthouses were excellent and authentic. Our guide looked after us well and I enjoyed conversations with him about the history and culture of this complicated and fascinating region - a local guide is so enriching! The cultural stops were good too and I enjoyed the free day in Kotor. With a group there will be people with different walking speeds and I was frustrated to miss out on some of the commentary because I like to linger and take photos whereas the guide wanted to charge ahead. But that was my only frustration, everything else was great and I highly recommend this tour! I definitely recommend spending a day or so in Pristina at the beginning and Dubrovnik at the end.
By Natasha from BERKHAMSTED | 04 January 2023

Anything But Accursed... Simply Amazing
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I have travelled with KE on several trips before - all wonderful, and have also had a couple booked I was really looking forward to, but which were cancelled for reasons well beyond KE's control. I think it takes three things to really make a trip for me: rich history and landscape, with beauty and physical challenge; good company; and a great guide, who can enable (and explain) things you just couldn't access that easily on your own. This time we had all three in spades. As an historian, seeing KFOR still guarding ancient monasteries, and staying with those who'd witnessed the war up close and personal in the Rugova mountains was... well, I don't really know the word... Moving? Privileged? Definitely an honour. In the remoter parts of Kosovo and Albania particularly, we met such welcoming people, all so clearly proud to share the delights of their countries with us. Then there was the company of my fellow walkers: I could hardly put one foot in front of the other some days I was laughing so hard. Like-minded people, up for discussion of all sorts, and equally alive to the alpine flowers, butterflies, shepherd dogs, and the joy of pivo at the end of a long, hot day's hiking. The group looked out for each other and the chat was constant, by equal measures hilarious, uplifting and stimulating. Finally, our guide, Niti. After about 24 hours I realised that his 'gentleman' act (only two of us were women), carrying my bag door to door for every move, was because he'd actually read the trip notes, where I'd briefly mentioned a back problem from last October. I don't know why I was so surprised that he'd read the detail in the notes, but beyond this Niti was also very discrete as to why and how he was looking out for me; so much so that the others had no idea whither the princess treatment - their attempts to become equally favoured evolving into another beautiful ongoing joke, given their sheer futility. There was a point descending into Albania where the sight of a monster truck transport (an Austrian Steyr-Puch Pinzgauer, I think) made me fear my back was in all probability toast. However, I was quietly offered the option of being ushered upfront, to continue my regal progress in upholstered heaven... Indeed, Niti looked after all of us, keeping a group of varying abilities together rather like an indefatigable collie, no doubt hiking twice if not three times the distance in the process. He even carried our daysacks himself, if needed. He also knew all our hosts and directors of museums, churches, archeological digs, national parks, cheese makers and blueberry pickers - whoever could enrich the trip, we seemed to meet them. On top of this, Niti has a fantastic sense of humour 24/7, which is everything when the peaks and sun are high. The Accursed Mountains are simply amongst some of the most beautiful places I've seen, and I couldn't have wished to witness it with a better crew or guide. I still miss them - it was so packed with vistas and experiences it felt like a month rather than a week. Thank you KE, The Republics of Yorkshire and Lancashire, and Arianit Mula.
By Joanna from Cheltenham | 31 August 2022

Balkan Borderlands Adventure
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
We have travelled with KE Adventure a couple of times before and had a great time on both occasions. Initially we had been booked on to a trip taking in Moldova and the Ukraine. This had been cancelled twice due to Covid and was cancelled again due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Not wanting to miss out on a trip altogether we decided this one would be an ideal replacement and we were not disappointed. After a stressful experience at Heathrow we were delighted to arrive in Pristina and be gr eeted by our wonderful guide Niti. I must say that whilst we really enjoyed every aspect of the trip what made it so memorable was Niti himself. He was personable, charming, thoughtful and went above and beyond what was expected to make sure everyone in the group of nine had the best experience possible. The walking element of the trip was pretty tough and easily deserves its 5 grading. One of our party was really struggling with the walking and Niti took it upon himself to carry his bag every day as well as his own rucksack. This is only one small example of the many thoughtful things he did to make our trip so memorable. I would highly recommend this trip for its variety. It was a real pleasure experiencing the delights of Kosovo, Montenegro and Albania. This is a region with a troubled history but you would not know that from the warmth of the reception we received from local people. All the logistical arrangements ran very smoothly despite being quite complicated at times particularly as this was a linear trip. Generally the accommodation was reasonable to good though it was variable. The food was excellent and plentiful throughout. It was a real privilege gaining such a detailed insight into the lives of the people who live in this region. If you do decide to take this trip you will not regret it especially if you get Niti as your tour leader.
By Martyn from WAKEFIELD | 26 July 2022

Stunning landscapes and fantastic people
★ ★ ★ ★

We were so lucky to have a wonderful guide and a group that clicked despite being larger than normal (14) The trip was well organised by KE, particularly the transfers, given the remoteness of the area. Although the trip is designated ‘moderate’, I would say that, particularly at the height of summer, this is at the top end of that bracket. We thoroughly enjoyed our experience and will definitely be using KE again.

By Carey from Saffron Walden | 27 August 2019

Unspoiled mountains
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Great walking through peaceful countryside varying from flower covered alpine meadows to rugged ridges and forest trails. All the accommodation in the mountains was in simple guesthouses which were comfortable and had good locally produced food. The walking involved around 1000m ascent each day and requires a good level of fitness. The guides were outstanding (Berislav and Misha) - very informative and great fun. The days at the end of the tour at lake Skadar and Kotor provided a great relaxing contrast. We took the land only option and had a day in Pristina before the tour and a few days in Dubrovnik at the end which worked well.
By Charles from Sheffield | 22 July 2019

A challenging walk in spectacular surroundings.
★ ★ ★
We have done walking holidays before, having walked 20+ miles per day. These days were much shorter, but also much more challenging due to the terrain, and ascents and descents. We had anticipated 2 guides for some, if not all of the holiday and there was only one. The group on the first day walked at the speed of fastest, not the slowest, meaning we were left at the back trying to catch up. Each time the group stopped and we caught up they would begin walking again, giving us no time to rest an d this left us feeling very dispirited. We raised our concerns to the guide and the group, but little was done to rectify the issue. As a result we decided not to do subsequent walks and we were charged for transfers, even when travelling in confined conditions with all of the luggage. Despite this we had a good holiday as we did our own thing, and some nights stayed in the accommodation provided. The information online, including pictures, is slightly misleading, we had to share with others despite having booked as a couple when the other couples had their own private rooms, and the walks are much harder than they make out. The other members of the group also agreed that they weren't expecting it to be so difficult. The guide tried to meet the needs of all the walkers on the trip, but some seemed to just press ahead and not walk as a group, but we felt it was the guides responsibility to balance the needs of everyone. In the end we didn't feel we got value for money for what we paid for the trip.
By Helen from Leamington Spa | 11 October 2017

KE Adventure reply

Thank you for your review. We can understand your disappointment at not being able to take part in the walking on this holiday and are sorry that you found it to be tougher than you expected. Our “Is this holiday for you” section on the website is designed to help you understand the true nature of the trip. For this holiday we say: “Please note that there are some steep ascents and descents, and the walking is in a remote area. You should ensure you are physically prepared for the trek and able to walk for approximately 6 - 8 hours each day and for several days continuously.” You can also read the GPS track for each days walk, showing the exact distance, amount of ascent and the required walking time. We would encourage everyone to look at these in the light of their own experience when determining if this is the right trip for them. We are glad that in this instance, your guide was able to make arrangements for you to continue on the holiday, using the group accommodation with transfers between. For the 3 days spent in the more remote mountain areas where there are no hotels, we use simple guesthouses and here it is not always possible to accommodate the whole group in twin or double rooms. We do make this clear in the accommodation section of the trip information on our website and in the trip notes. On your particular holiday, the available double rooms were allocated to the couples on the trip and you and your daughter shared a room with other KE clients. We hope this experience has not put you off walking holidays and our very experienced travel consultants would be happy to share their knowledge if you wish in future to discuss any of our holidays in more detail.


An outstanding mountain experience with a professional guide
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This was an excellent trip. Our guide was exceptional considering that he had so many obstacles thrown at him. Each time he dealt with it professionally and calmly. The walking was great although it could be challenging. Some of the slopes are extremely steep so take shoes that have a good grip and ankle support. The weather is very unreliable so prepare for all eventualities: thunderstorms to temperatures of 36ºC. The guest house in Albania is superb; the location and service is an experience not to be missed. The boat ride on the lake is great as you get a chance to swim in some lovely warm water. This is followed by a fantastic lunch. If you have Semir as your guide, you will know that you are in safe hands.
By Darren from Maidenhead | 02 August 2017

Varied and diverse trekking experience
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This was a brilliantly organised trip offering diverse trekking experience in lots of different environments. Our guide Milan was very attentive and thoughtful, had lots of interesting insights to share, made the time to talk to all of us and really added to the sense of unity in the group. He answered all our questions and was really invested in us having a good time, he was absolutely wonderful! I had not done a trip like this before and while it was challenging at times, it was all enjoyable and I learned a lot about trekking differen terrain. The scenery is jaw dropping and people are friendly. I'd recommend staying on in Dubrovnik at the end, I also arrived in Pristina a day early to explore the city, which is not conventionally beautiful but has a good energy about it. If you are planning to wash clothes as you go don't forget a universal plug as none of the sinks seem to have them. People also really appreciate you learning a few words in their language (Albanian in Kosovo and Albania, Croatian/ Serbian- essentially the same language- in Montenegro and Croatia). We were lucky with the weather but I'd still recommend having gear for all weather as I used everything I'd brought!
By Corinne from London | 06 June 2017

A life-affirming experience.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The Balkan Borderlands trek was amazing. This was my first KE Adventure (and it certainly won't be my last!). Our guide, Semir Kardovic, was so knowledgeable and professional, always looking out for everyone in the group and providing little 'moments' - we all remember him collecting mushrooms to make a sauce for supper one evening. And how did he manage to get us to the end of our walk one day seconds before a rain storm, we think he even planned for there to be a wedding when we visited the 'L ady of the Rock' island in Kotor- he is incredible and a credit to his homeland. A combination of a well-organised trek, a group of inspirational people and many memorable moments. Highly recommended.
By Karen from Carlisle | 05 September 2016

Excellent walking in a remote region
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

A very well organised holiday

By Deborah from STAFFORD | 21 June 2016

A wonderful trekking holiday..
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Marvelous countries, incredibly kind and generous people where ever we went. Food is good, authentic and locally grown. Beautiful valleys and inspiring peaks all around. Gorgeous towns and villages, crazy roads with spectacular views.

By Madeleine from TEMPE | 20 October 2015

DATES & PRICES

Private Departure?

Gather a few friends, family or club and take over your own departure.

2024

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • Walking in the Balkan Borderlands
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: BBL /04/24/
  • This trip begins on Sun 8 Sep and ends on Sun 15 Sep
  • This departure is available and departs within 48 days. Secure your place today with full payment
  • Single Supplement Price: US$125 - Available at the 4 nights in hotels (Peja, Virpazar and 2 nights in Kotor)
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Walking in the Balkan Borderlands
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: BBL /05/24/
  • This trip begins on Sun 22 Sep and ends on Sun 29 Sep
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$350
  • Single Supplement Price: US$125 - Available at the 4 nights in hotels (Peja, Virpazar and 2 nights in Kotor)
  • Download Trip Notes

2025

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • Walking in the Balkan Borderlands
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: BBL /01/25/
  • This trip begins on Sun 29 Jun and ends on Sun 6 Jul
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$350
  • Single Supplement Price: US$125 - Available at the 4 nights in hotels (Peja, Virpazar and 2 nights in Kotor)
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Walking in the Balkan Borderlands
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: BBL /02/25/
  • This trip begins on Sun 13 Jul and ends on Sun 20 Jul
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$350
  • Single Supplement Price: US$125 - Available at the 4 nights in hotels (Peja, Virpazar and 2 nights in Kotor)
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Walking in the Balkan Borderlands
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: BBL /03/25/
  • This trip begins on Sun 17 Aug and ends on Sun 24 Aug
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$350
  • Single Supplement Price: US$125 - Available at the 4 nights in hotels (Peja, Virpazar and 2 nights in Kotor)
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Walking in the Balkan Borderlands
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: BBL /04/25/
  • This trip begins on Sun 7 Sep and ends on Sun 14 Sep
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$350
  • Single Supplement Price: US$125 - Available at the 4 nights in hotels (Peja, Virpazar and 2 nights in Kotor)
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Walking in the Balkan Borderlands
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: BBL /05/25/
  • This trip begins on Sun 21 Sep and ends on Sun 28 Sep
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$350
  • Single Supplement Price: US$125 - Available at the 4 nights in hotels (Peja, Virpazar and 2 nights in Kotor)
  • Download Trip Notes

Land Only Information

The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary, joining at the hotel in Pristina and departing from Dubrovnik. Single timed transfers are included from/to Pristina and Dubrovnik Airports.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)


VISAmastercard
Download Trip Notes
Field Required
Field Required
Field Required
Footer logos
Your Wishlist
No Wishlist Items

Start your next adventure.

Click the heart icon on the search or holiday pages to save a holiday to your wishlist.

Holiday Search