High Scardus Trail

High Scardus is a very old trail created by Romans, used for plentiful pastures. The trail goes through the oldest and arguably the biggest pastures in Europe. Wide views of round peaks and meadows are a specific feature of this trail. High Scardus trail goes through Kosovo, Albania, and Macedonia. The name Scardus comes from Latin which means colorful, a name that was later translated into Slavic to Šara. The nickname comes from the beautiful colors in autumn and the colorful views created by patches of snow. The trail was awarded as the Best European Project by the British Guild of Travel Writers.

The snow patches stay in parts of these mountains during the whole year. This trail is opened more recently and has fewer people walking it, is less diverse in nature than Peaks of the Balkans, however, it offers a lot in the natural and cultural scene.


Mount Korab is the highest peak of Albania and Macedonia, while taking the trail one can decide to start in one country and end in the other. On the Macedonian side, you will find top-end hotels as there is a ski center next to it.

Hike 114 kilometers in some of the least visited mountains of Europe, and enjoy the unique flora and fauna of the region. These mountains make the largest pastures in Europe.

Experience the unique hospitality of the villagers in their guest houses, while being served local food produced by your host.

Entry and exit point: You can start this trail by flying to Pristina, Skopje or Tirana, and you can use the same three airports for returning. Please contact us and we help you in organizing flights. This is a sample itinerary we will design a custom-made itinerary for you. Contact: [email protected]

The trail description below the map – Galery

Hike Brod-Restelice

Distance: 9.2 Km (5.7 miles)
Min elevation: 1442m (4730ft)
Max elevation: 1972m (6469ft)
Uphill: 1043m (3262ft)
Downhill: 9001m (2990ft)

The town of Brod is one of the main Gorani, (Kosovo ethnic minority) centers. It is located on the eastern side of Dragash region. Just being in Brod makes you feel like you are deep in the heart of the Sharr Mountain. This small traditional town still has many Ottoman buildings and stone houses along a small river. In the winter you can ski at the Ski Center Arxhena. For hiking you will follow the old hiking trails that connect Brod and Reselica and cross the amazing rich pastures. It is a moderate hike with good and clear trails, with wonderful alpine fields where you can see grazing horses and sheep. Restelica is the most southerly inhabited town in Dragash and thus all of Kosovo.

Hike Restelice- Caje

Distance: 17.2km (10.7miles)
Min elevation: 1353m (4439ft)
Max elevation: 2160m (7087ft)
Uphill: 1283m (4062ft)
Downhill: 1001m (3297ft)

The village of Restelica sits high in the mountains on steep slopes with a river gorge running right through the town. Most places in the town have sweeping views of the surrounding mountains and the clear river below is as spectacular as the hiking around.  While hiking through these traditional villages one can catch glimpses of life where cross-border trade still takes place on horses along mountain paths. As you arrive to Caje in Albania you will see the border of Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania.
This town of High Scardus Trail is surrounded by high mountains. From this region is also the origin of the famous vizier in the Ottoman Empire Sinan Pashe Topojani.

Hike Caje-Radomire 

Distance: 16.24km (10miles)
Min elevation: 725m (2378ft)
Max elevation: 925m (3034ft)
Uphill: 818m (2683ft)
Downhill: 1093m (3585ft)

Cajë is located 36 km from the city of Kukës, Albania. As you hike in this trail you will see the Korab Massif. It runs over high flower covered meadows with a breathtaking view of the mountains. Additionally, the gorge also has a beautiful view made from rocks and greenery. In Caje at the local ‘Klubi’ you can taste Rakia (fruit sprits). The people there as very friendly. Residents are mainly engaged in livestock farming and agriculture. The Caja Gorge is one of Albania’s most important monuments of nature and protected areas in the Kukes district, one of the towns in High Scardus Trail.

Hike Radomire -Korab-Radomire 

Distance: 17km (10miles)
Min elevation: 1250m (4104ft)
Max elevation: 2792m (9163ft)
Uphill: 1466m (4810ft)
Downhill: 1466m (4810ft)

This the best route to reach the peak of Korab. The other route followed by almost everybody doesn’t have the same view. This trail serpents through trees, rocks, hills, mountain creeks and lots of small lakes. It is very easy to follow, there are no marks till the last 2 km but there are old mountain roads you will follow with your guide. The peak of the Korab Mountain of the heights peak of Macedonia and Albania (2753m).
The Korab is also the 18th most prominent mountain peak in Europe. It is noted for its rich flora. The two mains pass in the Korab ridge include the Little Korab Gate 2,465 m (8,087 ft.) and “Big Korab Gate 2,062 m (6,765 ft.) Reaching the border, you can circle the peak and approach it from the backside. From Korab, you can decide to extend your hike to Mavrovo ski center, or continue to Gramë.

Hike Radomire –Grame

Distance: 18.83 Km (11.7miles)
Min elevation: 1780m (5839ft)
Max elevation: 1260m (4133ft)
Uphill: 351m (1151ft)
Downhill: 1080m (3543ft)

This is an easy hike and it takes across the plateau the lakes and the small ridge. Only a slight ascent separates you from the glacial shaped side valley that is part of the Korab Massif. Radomire is in Qarku i Dibrës which is located in Albania about 48 miles (or 77 km) north-east of Tirana, the country’s capital.
In Grame you can see the Grama peak and the Grama Lake which is the largest lake on Mount Korab.

Hike Gramë –Zagrade

Distance: 11.6Km (6.9miles)
Min elevation: 1152m (3779ft)
Max elevation: 2321m (7614ft)
Uphill: 452m (1482ft)
Downhill: 1292m (4238ft)

This hike has a beautiful view of the mountains the valley and the lake. It offers great picnic locations with a view of sheep herding and huts. Grame is home to a lake located in the east part of Mount Korab near Grama Mountain. The elevation of the lake is about 1,750 m. The size is about 5 hectares. Grama Mountain reaches a height of 2,345m. Around the mountain, there are many other lakes. To climb the pass above Zagrad one takes a zig-zag trail.

Hike Zagrad –Rabdishte -Hinoske

Distance: 15.8Km (9miles)
Min elevation: 1048m (3438ft)
Max elevation: 2053m (6735ft)
Uphill: 835m (2739ft)
Downhill: 1245m (4084ft)

This trail climbs from the village of Zagradë following a ridge along the border between Albania and Macedonia, finishing in the summer pasture of Hinoske. The village of Hinoske is at the foot of Velivar peak (2.373 m). The hike starts steeply uphill heading northwest on a gravel trail. It climbs next to a village and after a while reaches the meadow where the grassy trail continues south gently undulating. The trail stays fairly level on the Macedonian side for about 2 km and then crosses the border again back into Albania, losing about 300 m of height over the last two-kilometer stretch towards the Hinoske mountain pasture.

Hike Hinoske –Popinare 

Distance: 9.1km (5.6mile)
Min elevation: 609m (1988ft)
Max elevation: 1751m (5744ft)
Uphill: 190m (623ft)
Downhill: 1228m (4028ft)

The trail has moderate difficulty and requires a median physical preparation. Local mountaineers have marked the trails from Popinara to Hinoska. There are numerous water springs throughout the trail, however, you should have your water with you. In Summer, pastures are packed with cattle flocks. The Hinoska Mountain is rich in a variety of medicinal plants, picked by the people living in Peshkopi Albania. You will see pyramid 10, which is the border sign where the territory of the Republic of Albania is divided with Macedonia. In the village of Popinare, one can see routes that shepherds use for seasonal relocation. From there you will take a drive and reach Bulqize, to end this High Scardus trip.

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