Updated 23 February 2021
The pandemic has blocked most of the tourism in the world. The situation in Peaks of the Balkans (POB) trail was difficult however now it has improved and it is normalising slowly. The cross border permis are being issued and travel is allowed though sometimes a PCR test is required. Balkan Natural Adventure is up to date with new regulations and looks at finding best options to avoid limittations by the Covid 2 pandemic.
As the situation with the Pandemic is changing all the time so are the conditions for visiting Balkans in Covid 19 pandemic conditions. Under the current circumstances summer will be open to the tourists an cross border hikes will be allowed. The Accursed Mountains are not moving and one can enjoy them from any of the three countries.
In case the borders close between Kosovo, Montenegro and Albania and you have already planned your trip this will not block your hike. In this regard one should stress that it is not very probable that the borders between Kosovo and Albania will close as the relations are very close.
Balkan Natural Adventure even in covid pandemic conditions can organise hikes and travel in the Balkans. Just in case we will make a plan for you.
If you fly in Kosovo you will be transferred by a private pickup directly to the guest house in the mountains. There you will be able to enjoy a private accommodation, Covid proof and be away from crowds of people and city environment. The first station is Guest House Ariu in Reka e Allages and from there you will be able to climb Hajla Mountain, part of the POB trail. You will reach Drelaj village at the Guest house Shqiponja.
The next day you will hike through a small road to make a loop through Liqenat Lakes and hike through part of the POB trail that takes you to Babino Polje and return back to Kosovo.
The third day you can make a hike to the guest house Lojza in Milishevc a nice walk bordering Montenegro in some of the wildest parts of the Accursed Mountains.
A fourth day will include a hike in Doberdol which is in-between the border of Kosovo and Albania. The sleepover will be organised in the Kosovo part in order not to cross the border. While the final day you will walk through Gjeravica Peak and end the Kosovo Accursed Mountain in four days. Additional visit can be organised in Sharr Mountains.
From Kosovo you can drive quickly to Valbona Albania and continue the trip there. Official borders between Kosovo and Albania will stay open and there is very little probability that they will be closed.
Albania offers two highlights of the POB trail, villages of Theth and Valbona. The day can be filled with amazing hikes such as climb to Jezerce, from Theth or Maja e Rosit from Valbona. One can hike other trails hidden and rarely trodden such as Vermosh and Curraj I eperm.
Albania can offer seven days of hikes in the accursed mountains without trotting the same trail twice. After arrival in Theth a two day hike to Jezerce will give the opportunity to climb the highest peak of these mountains. After climbing Jezerce the third day will include hike from Valbona to Qerem, and to Doberdol the next day, both part of the Peaks of the Balkans trail.
From Doberdol instead of hiking to Kosovo one can go in direction of Tropoja. This turn will include a trail that is being developed for Via Dinarica trail. After the visit of Tropoja and a short ride to Valbona you can close your hike with the POB trail Valbone Theth. In this hike you will see the most southern glacier of the northern hemisphere.
The visit in Albania can be combined with seaside visit and gastronomic visit.
Montenegrin part of the Accursed Mountains hold some of the best open views, including Gerbaja and Maja e Rosit. Montenegrin tour of these mountains can be organised in the following days.
Arrival to Podgorica airport and transfer to Vuthaj/Vusanje in a private hut with integrated bathroom, Covid proof. A small walk around the lake if the time permits.
First day of Hike will take you to Gerbaja peak, which offers one of the best open views in these mountains. A 10 plus kilometre hike in direction of Albania.
The second day will include a climb in Visitor peak and Visitor Lake, a hike outside POB trail but within the Accursed Mountains offering spectacular views.
After a small transfer in Plav the third day will include part of the Peaks of the Balkans trail which will take you to the heart of the Natural Park, passing through Hrid Lake. You will continue your walk to the village of Babino Polje. From Babino Polje it is possible to pass to Albania in Qerem without going in city in Albania and crossing the border only for few kilometres.
Another day of hike can include Maja e Rosit or even Maja Jezerc which is the highest mountain in the Accursed Mountains. The visit im Montenegro can be combined with some seaside.
The Peaks of the Balkans trail may be closed but the mountains are open.