The Peaks of the Balkans Trail

Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo

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ISBN
9781852847708
Availability
Published
Published
6 Nov 2017
Edition
First
Pages
160
Size
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.0cm
Weight
180g

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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.

Seasons Seasons
The 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.
Centres Centres
Theth (Albania), Valbona (Albania), Çeremi (Albania), Dobërdol (Albania), Milishevc (Kosovo), Rekë e Allagës (Kosovo), Drelaj (Kosovo), Babino polje (Montenegro), Plav (Montenegro), Vusanje (Montenegro)
Difficulty Difficulty
Moderate fitness is required, though the walking itself is not difficult. The trail passes through some remote areas.
Must See Must See
Four beautiful national parks: Prokletije (in Montenegro), Thethi and Valbona Valley (in Albania) and Rugova Valley (in Kosovo); birdlife, plants and butterflies; warm Balkans hospitality
ISBN
9781852847708
Availability
Published
Published
6 Nov 2017
Edition
First
Pages
160
Size
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.0cm
Weight
180g
  • Overview

    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.

  • Contents

    Contents
    Introduction
    Geography and geology
    Historical summary
    National parks and nature reserves
    Wildlife and plants
    Climate
    When to hike
    Getting there and around
    Accommodation and food
    Public holidays
    Language
    Money
    Phones, internet and electricity
    Cross-border permits
    Local tour operators
    Where to start/finish
    Variations, transfers and highlights
    Trail markings
    Maps
    Equipment
    Water
    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

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    We are always grateful to readers for information about any discrepancies between a guidebook and the facts on the ground. If you would like to send some information to us then please use our contact form. They will be published here following review by the author(s).

  • Reviews
    We will definitely feel confident taking this book along with us for the trek.

    The Peaks of the Balkans is a newer trekking route that takes trekkers through the Prokletije mountains of Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo. We've had our eye on this 182km trail for some time now, and the fact that a detailed guidebook now exists in English, means that we'll definitely be packing our bags to tackle the route soon! Not only does the Peaks of the Balkans trail let you escape the increasingly busy trails closer to home, taking you to a more remote part of Europe, but the formation of this trail also brings much needed sustainable income to the small mountain villages along the route, with guesthouses being the popular choice for accommodation amongst hikers.

    As well as all of the information that you would expect to find in a guidebook (and some additional useful advice), you'll find decent maps complete with contour lines and points of interest (though the available Peaks of the Balkans map would still be recommended). and handy elevation charts, The inclusion of useful phrases and a pronunciation guide is a nice addition and while you won't find yourself fluent in any of the languages, the author points out the importance of at least learning a few phrases which the locals will appreciate. The book is of the high standard that we've come to expect from Cicerone guides, answered all of our questions that we've been building up over the last couple of years, and we will definitely feel confident taking this book along with us for the trek!

    Trek and Mountain magazine.

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Rudolf Abraham Author Photo

Rudolf Abraham

Rudolf Abraham is an award-winning travel writer and photographer specialising in Croatia, Central and Eastern Europe. He is the author of over 10 books including Peaks of the Balkans, The Islands of Croatia, The Mountains of Montenegro, Walking in Croatia and St Oswald's Way and St Cuthbert's Way. His work is published widely in magazines and online, including Arts Society Review, BBC Countryfile, BBC Travel, France Magazine, Geographical, Hidden Europe, The Independent, Morning Calm, Mountain Pro, The National, National Geographic Traveller, OE, The Telegraph, TGO, Top Trails etc. He first visited Croatia in the late 1990s, lived there for two years, and has been returning to his favourite corner of Europe ever since.

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