Guidebook to the Peaks of the Balkans Trail, a 192km trek through Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo. The route, which can comfortably be completed in less than a fortnight, is waymarked and covers terrain between 670m and 2300m in altitude, taking in remote valleys, dramatic mountain passes, stunning scenery and villages untouched by time.
A guidebook to the Peaks of the Balkans Trail, a circular route through the wild and rugged borderlands of Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo. Launched in 2013 to promote sustainable local tourism and transcend political borders, the 192km trail winds its way through the spectacular scenery of the Prokletije mountains (the southernmost range of the Dinaric Alps), taking in high passes, sweeping valleys and striking limestone peaks. It can be completed in around two weeks: the walking itself is not difficult though the route passes through some remote areas and demands a moderate level of fitness. Welcoming guesthouses and homestays offer accommodation and delicious local cuisine on route, though camping is also a possibility.
The guide presents the trail in 10 daily stages and also includes suggestions for excursions to bag neighbouring peaks and visit local sites of interest. Comprehensive route description is accompanied by mapping and colour photos. You will find everything you need to plan a successful trip: guidance on how to get to the route, advice on when to go, where to start your trek and what to take, and information on cross-border permits. Appendices include accommodation listings, useful contacts and an English-Albanian-Montenegrin glossary.
The trail has opened up this little-known corner of Europe to trekkers. Yet, despite increasing visitor numbers, the region remains underdeveloped and unspoilt, with traditional mountain villages that feel like somewhere time forgot nestled in dramatic alpine landscapes. Promising spectacular scenery and genuine hospitality, the Peaks of the Balkans Trail invites you to discover the magic of the magnificent mountains of the Balkans
For nearly 50 years Cicerone have been producing guidebooks on recognised treks, regions, areas and general tips for hikers.
We have used them countless times and they've always provided excellent insight and knowledge that you only get through experience, giving you the edge to make your trip a success and more enjoyable too.
If you're a gram counter you can easily remove sections of the book to take with you making your own ultra-lightweight guidebook with only the essential sections that you require.
- Reviewed by Ultralight Outdoor Gear
SeasonsThe trekking season begins May/June and finishes in October, with June-August the driest months. Wildflowers bloom in June. Snow-patches may linger until June/July
CentresTheth (Albania), Valbona (Albania), Çeremi (Albania), Dobërdol (Albania), Milishevc (Kosovo), Rekë e Allagës (Kosovo), Drelaj (Kosovo), Babino polje (Montenegro), Plav (Montenegro), Vusanje (Montenegro)
DifficultyModerate fitness is required, though the walking itself is not difficult. The trail passes through some remote areas.
Must SeeFour beautiful national parks: Prokletije (in Montenegro), Thethi and Valbona Valley (in Albania) and Rugova Valley (in Kosovo); birdlife, plants and butterflies; warm Balkans hospitality
Geography and geology
National parks and nature reserves
Wildlife and plants
When to hike
Getting there and around
Accommodation and food
Phones, internet and electricity
Local tour operators
Where to start/finish
Variations, transfers and highlights
Safety in the mountains and what to do in an emergency
Using this guide
The Peaks of the Balkans Trail
Stage 1 Theth (Albania) – Valbona (Albania)
Stage 2 Valbona (Albania) – Çeremi (Albania) via the Prosllopit Pass
Stage 3 Çeremi (Albania) – Dobërdol (Albania)
Stage 4 Dobërdol (Albania) – Milishevc (Kosovo)
Stage 5 Milishevc (Kosovo) – Rekё e Allagёs (Kosovo)
Stage 6 Rekё e Allagёs (Kosovo) – Drelaj or Restaurant Te Liqeni (Kosovo)
Stage 7 Restaurant Te Liqeni (Kosovo) – Babino polje (Montenegro)
Stage 8 Babino polje (Montenegro) – Plav (Montenegro)
Stage 9 Plav (Montenegro) – Vusanje (Montenegro)
Stage 10 Vusanje (Montenegro) – Theth (Albania)
Appendix A Useful contacts
Appendix B Accommodation
Appendix C Further reading
Appendix D Language and glossary
Appendix E History timeline