Join us for a longer weekend in Albania in spring, to enjoy the sea and the mountains hit by the warm breezes from the sea. Balkan Natural Adventure is organizing two groups on 20th March and 3rd April for experiencing early spring 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 in the natural side you will be hiking next to the sea to get to the Shen Andreu isolated beach and mountainous villages such as Pilur and Qeparo. Average temperatures in the region in March and April 12 degrees Celsius.
Highlights: Island of Zvernec, Archeological Park of Apollonia, Llogara National Park, Shen Andreu Beach, Lagoon of Karavasta
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. In difference from the continental climate in Prishtina you will escape in the middle of Mediterranean.
After the stop lunch and a short tour you will go to the hotel in Llogara Mountain.
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 on the South Albania. In the beach with roundly rock 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
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 on the sea this is an isolated village home to two guest houses and sheep and cow herders. In the guest house you will be hosted by the family Çipa. The guest house offers a great view in the mountains and at 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, that is halfway of your hike and then continue 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 to there is an easy one and offers views at 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.
Distance: 117 km
Duration 2 hr
From Llogara after the breakfast we will drive to Karavasta National Park that 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 great availability of birds and plant species, the park has been identified as an important Plant and Bird area of international importance. After the lunch you will continue to Prishtina to arrive before dinner. Read more about visiting Albania