Trip to South Albania | 15 – 18 April

Join us for a long weekend in Albania in spring, to enjoy the sea and the mountains hit by the warm breezes from the sea. Balkan Natural Adventure organizes groups to experience early spring and autumn hiking in South Albania. The tour offers visits to cultural heritage sites like the Greek colony of Apolonia, and the 10th-century monastery of Zvernec, situated in Narta lagoon, a bird reserve. Additionally, on the natural side, you will be hiking next to the sea to get to the Shen Andreu isolated beach and mountainous villages such as Pilurr and Qeparo. Average temperatures in the region in March and April are 12 degrees as October goes to nice twenties Celsius.

Date: 15 -18 April

Highlights: Island of Zvernec, Archeological Park of Apollonia, Llogara National Park, Shen Andreu Beach, Lagoon of Karavasta 
Day 01: Transfer from Prishtina to South Albania. Visit Apollonia, Zvernec and Llogara National Park

Distance: 415 km
Duration: 5hr 40 min

Start in Prishtina at 06:00 to go to the south of Albania on a mountain that divides the coast in two called Llogara. On the way, we will stop for lunch and the visit at Apollonia Archaeological  Park which has been preserved in an exceptionally intact condition and holds a successful combination between the beauty of monuments and nature, attractive through its long history, in an atmosphere of relaxation and serenity. Apollonia was an ancient Greek colony city and former bishopric in Illyria, located on the right bank of the Aous river (modern-day Vjosa). Continue then to Zvernec, next to Vlora in the Narta Lagoon. This is a stop that will bring you close to a Monastery from the 10th century and a lagoon rich with flora and fauna. Different, from the continental climate in Prishtina, you will escape in the middle of the Mediterranean.

After the stop lunch and a short tour, you will go to the hotel in Llogara Mountain.

Day 02: Hike Llogara – Shen Andre Beach – Palase. Transfer to Pilur

Distance: 15 km
Uphill: 160 m
Downhill: 1100 m
Duration: 5hr – 6 hr

You will start the day with a hike in a pine forest to continue through the cost among olive trees, figs, and wild pomegranates. Walking next to the sea you will experience views of high rocky cliffs and beaches before you will reach the beach of Shen Andreu, an isolated pearl in South Albania. On the beach with round rocks, you will stop for lunch and enjoy the sea breeze and the sound of the waves. After lunch, you will continue to the village of Palase. In the village, the transport will pick you up to take you to the village of Pilur. In Pilur you will be hosted with a traditional dinner and a short polyphonic concert. Read wild beaches exploration story

Day 03: Hike Pilur – Kudhes – Qeparo

Distance: 10.3 km
Uphill: 196 m
Downhill: 634 m
Duration: 4 hr – 5hr

The village of Pilur is high in the mountain above the town of Himara. With a view of the sea, this is an isolated village home to two guest houses and sheep and cow herders. The Çipa family will host you in the guest house. The guest house offers a great view of the mountains and of the sea. After a traditional breakfast, you will start the hike in the village of Kudhes. A nice walk through the mountains with temperatures reaching 15 and the wind coming from the sea. Hike to Kudhes will go through mountains and military installations built during communism.

The village of Kudhes is nicely preserved and has numerous stone houses and narrow roads built with rocks. This is one of the biggest and most preserved villages in this region, now almost fully rebuilt. Some of the houses have kept the stone construction, some new villas have respected the low rise but have modern construction. You will have lunch at this village, which is halfway of your hike and then continues the hike to the village of Qeparo.

Qeparo is a stone-constructed village built by Ali Pashe Tepelena, an Albanian ruler who hosted Lord Byron at his time. The village was built for his guard who went in pension. The village is above the sea and surrounded by olive trees and mandarine plantations. The hike there is an easy one and offers views of the sea and other mountains of South Albania. From there you will be picked up and visit the triangular castle of Ali Pashe Tepelena next to the sea. The day will be closed with a transfer to Llogara.

Day 04: Transfer Llogara – Karavasta National Park. Back to Prishtine

Distance: 117 km
Duration 2 hr

From Llogara after breakfast, we will drive to Karavasta National Park which is located in western Albania and it’s the largest lagoon in the country. This park is a bird-watching place as it shelters around 228 species of birds, and due to the great availability of birds and plant species, the park has been identified as an important Plant and Bird area of international importance. After lunch, you will continue to Prishtina to arrive before dinner. Read more about visiting Albania

– Price: Euro 350 per person, max group 8 people
– Reservation is required and the group will be confirmed with a minimum of 3 people

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