Located among the vistas of a relatively untouched area of Europe, the 120 mile loop known as ‘Peak of the Balkans’ is now open to backpackers looking to trek the borders of Kosovo, Montenegro, and Albania.
For the average traveler, it will take about 10 days to traverse the figure eight like trail, with stopovers in small villages dotting the landscape.
As you walk, the trail crisscrosses the border, some of which is still a disputed area by both Montenegro and Kosovo.
Because of this, hikers do need to obtain a permit before starting the trip, but there are several agencies issuing them, including Zbulo and Zalaz, both of whom had a hand in setting up the trail.
The area in question is often called the ‘Accursed Mountains,’ referring to the craggy peaks through which the trail passes. Beginning at the Ropojana Valley, travelers will climb to the Pëjë Pass, which is located at roughly 1,707m of elevation.
For those who make it to the Pass, take some time out to look out over the Theth Valley, which is ringed by steep cliffs that drop off from the peak of the mountains. It will take the rest of the day to descend the wide switchbacks to the valley floor, where the village of Theth is tucked away.
Hikers will find the Polia Guesthouse is a comfortable place to stay the night.
While the most adventurous travelers will hardly be fazed by the ten day journey, for the less intrepid, it is possible to set up shorter trips, ranging from three to seven days for the more experienced hikers, but it is even possible to plan a day trip around the trail, especially if you’d like to make it into a trip the whole family can enjoy.
Both Zbulo and Zalaz offer suggestions for shorter itineraries that can include transportation between portions of the trails for those who can’t hike from destination to destination.