Hear about hiking the Peaks of the Balkans trail in Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro as the Amateur Traveler talks to Dan and Audrey from uncorneredmarket.com about this off the beaten track route in Europe.
In between the heavily touristed cities of Dubrovnik and Athens is this out of the way trek that cuts across three lesser visited countries in the Balkans. You can do this hike, as Dan and Audrey did, without camping by taking advantage of a community tourism program that arranges for stays with locals including stays at shepherd huts in the high pastures of these mountains. Their 13 day hike was accompanied by a guide, arranged for by a local outfitter.
“The Peaks of the Balkans is technically a 192 km cross-border trekking trail that crosses the Albanian Alps (also called the Accursed Mountains) through segments of Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro. You can pick off segments of mountains and smaller treks. One of the thing that makes this trek interesting is that it was actually developed by the German development agency. The goal of the trail was also to provide some economic opportunities for these rural communities in the mountains.”
They started their trip in Shkodër Albania and from their trip on the Lake Koman Ferry start to describe the terrain as “stunning” wondering “why hadn’t I heard of this amazing ferry ride before?”.
The towns, hamlets and peaks along the way (Valbona, Çerem, Dobërdol, Bajram Curri, Drelaj, Liqenat, Babino Polje, Treskavica, Nderlysa, Theth, Lëpushë, Gusinje, Vusanje, Lake Plav, Mt. Gjeravica, Mt. Hajla, Mt. Grebenit, Mt. Taljanka, Mt. Arapit) will be unfamiliar to most people. But when you hear Dan and Audrey describe them and see some of their pictures, you may wonder why.
This hike cuts across rugged granite mountains, passes sapphire blue lakes and fields of sheep. It is a small mostly undiscovered corner of Europe that you will be hearing more about in the future.
Peaks of the Balkans: Mountain Trekking in Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro (day by day itinerary)
Peaks of the Balkans photos
Balkans Peace Park Project
Adventure Travel Trade Association
Lake Koman Ferry
Travel to Albania – Episode 268
Zbulo! Discover Albania
Balkan sworn virgins
Hiking in Albania’s Accursed Mountains
Peaks of the Balkans Trek: A Beginners Guide
Peaks of the Balkans Trek: A Beginner’s Guide eBook
Booked travel to Ireland with the wife and 4 year old and one year old. Just writing because I re-listened to your 3 episodes to research (Dublin, ring of Kerry, and your own tour you did) and I bought a DK book because of your sponsorship. I never used them before. I was always a lonely planet person in the ’90s and 2000s.