Call us: +44(0)1453 844400Email us: info@mountainkingdoms.com

Worldwide Small Group and Tailor Made Adventure Travel

What’s included

  • A local leader
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK (flight inclusive option). If you are travelling land only, check with our office for joining time at the airport
  • International airport transfers
  • All other transfers as per the itinerary
  • All road transport by private vehicles
  • Good standard accommodation
  • 8 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 7 dinners
  • Sightseeing as specified
  • Activities as specified
  • The option of joining one of our pre-trip meets in the Cotswolds
  • A free high-quality Mountain Kingdoms kit bag

Accursed Mountains Trek, Montenegro & Albania

Walking & Trekking

Albania, Montenegro | Walking & Trekking

Accursed Mountains Trek, Montenegro & Albania
Moderate

Suitable for anyone who enjoys hill walking.

Find out more...

Grade: Moderate ? Moderate
Duration:  9 days from the UK  
On trek: 3 days
Walks on: 2 days

Flight inclusive from £1,315,
Land only from £960

Book now or call 01453 844400

Trek along ancient paths from Montenegro to Albania, through splendid alpine scenery.

Highlights

  • Explore the 'Shangri La' valley of Thethi in Albania
  • Visit Shkodra castle and take a boat trip down Lake Drin
  • Climb the peak of Komovi in Montenegro
  • Walk the Bay of Kotor - a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Reviews          

I felt that we saw a good representation of both countries - the best of each but also the realities of each. Our guide was outstanding, this trip is a great addition to your portfolio. The trip was really well thought out - excellent range of places visited, the hiking was superb and we were really well taken care of. Despite travelling as a tour group I thought we got off-the-beaten-track and...
Mr & Mrs H, Hertfordshire

The location was wild and spectacular. The trek was challenging at points but doable with a sense of achievement/purpose. The guide was really good, got a good understanding of the group and individual needs. He adapted and reacted sensibly and sensitively, good sense of humour.
Mr & Mrs A, Gloucestershire.

I loved staying in traditional guesthouses along the way, their home grown food was delicious.
Seraphina Berry, Reservations Manager, Mountain Kingdoms

View All

On our brand new trek we cross from Montenegro to Albania on foot with pack-horses, and explore some of the most fascinating landscapes of the Western Balkans. Highlights include walking the ‘Shangri La’ valley of Thethi in Albania, visiting Skadar castle, climbing the peak of Komovi in Montenegro and visiting the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Bay of Kotor.

The Accursed Mountains of Northern Albania belie their name - they are home to warm and hospitable people, beautiful Alpine scenery and a way of life that has disappeared in the rest of Europe.

After we trek across a pass on an old smugglers’ trail, we spend time in the verdant and isolated valleys of Thethi and Vabona, trekking on ancient paths and visiting a blood-feud tower. We will stay in a traditional guest house and enjoy eating home grown food in farmhouses. The trek out is via another spectacular pass, and you then travel on a local boat down Lake Drin - the boat provides the only access to many remote settlements. We visit Skadar, the second town of Albania and a fascinating mix of old and new.  At the end of the trip there is time to visit the Mediterranean bay of Kotor in Montenegro and to trek on a path that was once the only land route to the stunning town of Kotor.


At a glance

Grade: Moderate
Moderate

Duration:  9 days from the UK  
On trek: 3 days
Walks on: 2 days

Max. Altitude: 2,480m/8131ft (Day 2) Mount Komovi,

Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 4 clients

Maximum group size: 12

Land only joining city: Podgorica

Accommodation types: Hotels, Guesthouses, Mountain Hut

Meal arrangements: 8 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 7 Dinners. The lunches on trekking days will be picnics.

Itinerary overview
DayActivity
1
Arrive Podgorica. Group transfer to the Komovi Mountains.
2
Ascend Mount Komovi, 2,480m/8,131ft. Drive to Gusinje.
3
Trek to Thethi over the Peja Pass, 1,751m/5,788ft
4-5
Trek in the Thethi Valley. Cross via the Valbona Pass 1,800m/5,940ft, to reach the Valbona Valley. Drive to Bajram Curri.
6
Boat across Drin Lake. Drive to Shkodra. Sightseeing.
7
Drive to Kotor. Boat trip to Perast.
8
Trek the Ladder of Kotor. Afternoon at leisure and farewell evening meal.
9
Group transfer to Podgorica airport. Fly to London.
Leader: Local Leader, Albania & Montenegro
Local Leader, Albania & Montenegro

Your guides will speak good English, have guiding qualifications and in our experience, will guide you with great patience and charm.


Accursed Mountains Trek, Montenegro & Albania Itinerary

  1. Day 1 - ARRIVE PODGORICA. TRANSFER TO STAVNA PLATEAU

    The group meets at Podgorica Airport in Montenegro. We normally arrange the transfer from Podgorica to the Komovi Mountains for around 4pm, depending on the flight times of the group, so please do not arrange for your flight to arrive after 4pm. The transfer to the Komovi Mountains will take approximately 2 1/2 hours.

    The drive initially skirts the town of Podgorica before gradually climbing to start following the Moraca river. This is a dramatic drive through the limestone canyon, with the road twisting in and out of tunnels, the river far below and the Bar to Belgrade railway visible on and off high above. Eventually a pass is reached at 1060m/3498ft, and the landscape changes to verdant highland forest. The road continues climbing to reach the small Stavna plateau, with Mount Komovi towering above.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Mountain Huts Eco-Katun
  2. Day 2 - Ascend Mount Komovi, 2,480m/8,131ft, 5-6 hours. Drive to Gusinje.

    The Stavna plateau is dotted with picturesque shepherds huts. These are inhabited in the summer months only by families from the valleys who bring their flocks to graze on the lush open pastures. The scenery is spectacular, with masses of deciduous forest below and limestone peaks stretching as far as the eye can see.

    The walk starts gently at first as you approach the mountain, and there will be plenty of opportunities to stop to admire the view. After reaching a small col, the path becomes steeper to reach a high pass. From here it is worth making the final effort to climb to the top - as you ascend on the path you can admire the dramatic limestone cliffs that form the peak of Mount Komovi. There is a fantastic panoramic view from the peak towards the Accursed Mountains. In the hopefully unlikely event of bad weather, there will be a scenic circular walk around Mount Komovi.

    After descending to the mountain huts, it is a 2 hour drive to the border town of Gusinje. This area of Montenegro is little visited by tourists. Once part of Albania, it is a predominantly Muslim area and was once an important trading centre. Now sadly the town is no beauty, but the surrounding Accursed mountains are spectacular. Dinner will be taken at a restored watermill situated outside the town.

    800m ascent, 800m descent. 5-6 hours walking.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Hotel Rosi, Gusijne
  3. Day 3 - Trek to Thethi via Peja Pass, 1,751m/5,788ft - 8-9 hours.

    An exciting day, as you cross the border into Albania on foot, with your luggage carried on packhorses. It is a 15 minute drive to the village of Vusanje and the end of the road. The soaring peaks of the valley ahead appear impenetrable, but the route ahead is an old smugglers trail used for centuries, most recently by Albanians escaping the communist regime. The walk initially follows the valley floor, passing a waterfall and stunning bright blue pond. After a couple of hours the path climbs to reach a large lake that completely dries up in the summer months. In this idyllic spot, a small stone marks the Albanian border. Your luggage will be swapped onto Albanian packhorses at this spot.

    The path now climbs through an ancient beech forest for about an hour before emerging at the high Alpine meadows of Fush e Kunices. You may well see sheep grazing, and rough huts guarded by fierce shepherds' dogs, necessary to guard the flocks from wolves. The path zig zags up through stunning limestone scenery, and soon you will see the first of the 'mushroom' bunkers, built to house individual soldiers during the communist regime to stop Albanians from escaping. There are a couple of small passes to cross before your reach the 'true' Peja pass. From just beyond here you will be able to see the Thethi valley far below. It is a steep descent on an excellently built rocky path, passing soaring cliffs. The path eventually flattens out to follow a river bed before reaching the spread out village of Thethi, where you will stay in a converted house which provides charming, simple accommodation.

    850m ascent, 1,260m descent. 8-9 hours walking.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Guest House in Thethi
  4. Day 4 - Thethi Valley trek - 5-6 hours.

    The Thethi valley is astonishingly picturesque. Dominated by the soaring limestone peaks high above, the valley is fringed with beautiful forests. Accessible only in the summer and recently linked to the outside world by rough jeep track, most transport is still by horse or on foot. The valley is inhabited about 200 families in summer, but only 20 in winter, when the valley is totally cut off by snow for several months. Any flat land is cultivated, with plums being a popular crop used to produce raki. Corn is grown to make bread, and you will visit a water powered mill. The village church was re-built in 2006, having been used in communist times as a warehouse. You will also visit a blood-feud tower, and have a chance to learn about how life has changed in recent years. A short climb above the village leads to a spectacular waterfall.

    Lunch will be eaten in a traditional farmhouse further down the valley in the hamlet of Nderlysa, where just about all the food you eat has been grown on the farm, and is served with the traditional hospitality that is so important in Albania. The family will be happy to show you around the farm and house. Close to the farm house the river has carved out amazing pools in the rocks, and a small swimming pond has been created. After a refreshing dip, those with energy left can walk an hour or so up the river valley to the 'Blue Eye', another swimming spot set in lush vegetation. A jeep will drive you back up the rough track to your guest-house.

    265m ascent, 783m descent. 5-6 hours walking.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Guest House in Thethi
  5. Day 5 - Trek to Valbona Valley via Valbona Pass 1,800m/5,940ft - 7 hours. Drive to Bajram Curri.

    Todays walk is over a pass that is still used by locals to reach the Valbona valley. The initial climb is steep, and you soon reach the 'last' house of Thethi. After a rocky uphill track you reach the shade of an ancient beech wood. The well-built path zig-zags up to reach a high alp with fabulous views of Thethi far below. Above here a local family camps in the summer months, and provides drinks and snacks in an ingeniously built café. The Valbona pass opens up views of many more peaks, and you can see your route ahead snaking far below. After traversing below cliffs you reach easier ground and meadows. After a lunch stop you descend through a grand forest to reach the valley floor, and a walk along a dried up river bed to reach the road head.

    Your vehicle will meet you for the 1½ hour drive to Bajram Curri, and dinner in a local restaurant.

    1,125m ascent, 768m descent. 7 hours walking.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Hotel In Bajram Curri
  6. Day 6 - Boat across Drin Lake. Drive to Shkodra. Sightseeing.

    It will be an early start today to reach the port at Fierza on Drin Lake. The lake is narrow and twisting, with steep cliffs right down to the water. Many of the small farms and lakeside villages can only be reached by boat, and as you travel down the lake, the boat will stop at various tiny paths to drop off and pick up passengers. High above on the hillsides you will be able to spot occasional lonely farmhouses and hamlets. The trip takes 2 hours and ends above the dam at Komani. Your vehicle will meet you at the cramped and seemingly chaotic port before driving through a tunnel to reach the main road. The drive to Shkodra takes about 2 hours and follows the lakeside for many miles before reaching farmland and the town of Shkodra. An important city for many centuries Shkodra was occupied by the Italians before becoming a centre of power for the Ottomans. Modern Shkodra is a multi-layered mixture of old and new, perhaps symbolised by its remarkable castle.

    The Rozafa castle, situated at the confluence of the Drini, Kiri and Buna rivers, was last used for military purposes in 1913 when the Ottomans were besieged by the Montenegrins - this is astonishing when you realise that there are still traces of Illyrian walls in evidence dating from the 3rd C BC! It is well worth spending time exploring the layers of history and climbing to the top to admire the wonderful view. There will also be time to explore the new town of Shkodra on foot.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Tradita Hotel In Shkodra
  7. Day 7 - Drive to Kotor. Boat trip to Perast.

    The drive back into Montenegro will give you ample time to admire the beauties of the Lake of Shkodra. After crossing the border the drive takes you through the high plateau of Montenegro to the coast above Budva. The road then descends, with stunning views, to the town of Kotor. There will be time to relax and soak up the atmosphere of this fabulous old walled town. The city was at one time an independent city-republic and has changed hands 14 times (including a brief occupation by Britain). The fascinating architecture and winding streets reflects its diverse history.

    In the afternoon you will enjoy a boat cruise of Boka Bay. You will have a chance to visit the magical island which houses a church dating back to 1630 called Our Lady of the Rock. The island is man-made and probably at its base has hulls of ships from the Venetian fleet and those of the defeated Turks from the battle of Perast in 1654. On the edge of the Verige Strait you will visit Perast, an old seafaring town which once housed enormous fleets of the Venetian Republic. The town's legendary maritime skills attracted the attentions of Peter the Great of Russia. In the 18th century many of his noblemen studied at the naval academy. Perast is now a sleepy town with a delightful atmosphere and some beautiful examples of baroque architecture. Its faded mansions give the barest hint of its illustrious past. You then return to Kotor for the evening, and are free to chose where to eat from one of its many restaurants and bars

    Overnight iconOvernight: Hotel Marija 2 or Hotel Marija or Tianis Apartments
  8. Day 8 - Trek the Ladder of Kotor. Afternoon at leisure and farewell evening meal.

    This morning will be an early start to climb the Ladder before the sun gets too hot. The path was beautifully constructed by the Austrians at the time of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and for a long time was the only track in to Montenegro. The path starts outside the city walls, and zig-zag ups the hillside at an easy gradient. After half an hour you reach a small church and from here can enter the Fortress of St Ivan that dominates the hillside above Kotor. Already the views are magnificent. As the hillside flattens - slightly - the path enters forest before climbing again steeply to reach the road and the hamlet of Krstac.

    You will return to Kotor by vehicle, and the afternoon is free for you relax and shop. In the evening there will be a farewell meal in the old town.

    900m ascent. 4-5 hours walking.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Hotel Marija 2 or Hotel Marija or Tianis Apartments
  9. Day 9 - Transfer to Podgorica. Fly to London.

    After breakfast, there is a single, timed group transfer to Podgorica airport (1½ hours) for the flight back to London.

Map

Map Key

  • AirportAirport
  • General point of interestPoint of interest
  • Mountain RangeMountain Peak
  • TrekDay walk in this area
  • FlightsFlights
  • Internal TransfersInternal Transfers
  • Trek routeTrek

2018

DatesAvailabilityLand OnlyFlight Inclusive from
Sat 9 Jun - Sun 17 Jun 2018Available£960 Book£1315 Book
Sat 4 Aug - Sun 12 Aug 2018Available£960 Book£1315 Book
Sat 8 Sep - Sun 16 Sep 2018Available£960 Book£1315 Book

Hold your place

Not quite ready to book? Why not call us on 0044 (0)1453 844400 to hold a no obligation place while you make up your mind?

 
Optional supplements
  • Single Supplement
    From £120
Insurance
No Surcharge Guarantee

No surcharges will be applied to your holiday after you book. Prices on this website are updated regularly. The Flight Inclusive holiday price, or Land Only holiday price, will be confirmed to you at the time you make your booking. There will be no surcharges after your booking has been confirmed.

Flight inclusive holidays

The 'flight inclusive' holiday prices shown on this website are based upon our preferred airlines and the best priced economy class fares we are able to secure at the time of publication.

We will be able to advise on fares with alternative airlines, upgrades to Business Class, and the options for flights from regional UK airports, please contact us for more details.

What’s included

  • A local leader
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK (flight inclusive option). If you are travelling land only, check with our office for joining time at the airport
  • International airport transfers
  • All other transfers as per the itinerary
  • All road transport by private vehicles
  • Good standard accommodation
  • 8 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 7 dinners
  • Sightseeing as specified
  • Activities as specified
  • The option of joining one of our pre-trip meets in the Cotswolds
  • A free high-quality Mountain Kingdoms kit bag

What’s not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not included: Lunch on Day 1,7,8 and 9. Dinner on Day 7 and 9.
  • Locally paid bar bills and laundry
  • Optional activities
  • Tips


Review your holiday

Reviews

Read holiday reviews by Mountain Kingdoms travellers.

Overall score:           (Based on 3 reviews)

A hidden gem!          

I felt that we saw a good representation of both countries - the best of each but also the realities of each. Our guide was outstanding, this trip is a great addition to your portfolio. The trip was really well thought out - excellent range of places visited, the hiking was superb and we were really well taken care of. Despite travelling as a tour group I thought we got off-the-beaten-track and experienced hidden gems.

Wild and spectacular location          

The location was wild and spectacular. The trek was challenging at points but doable with a sense of achievement/purpose. The guide was really good, got a good understanding of the group and individual needs. He adapted and reacted sensibly and sensitively, good sense of humour.

Lovely guesthouses          

I loved staying in traditional guesthouses along the way, their home grown food was delicious.


Extend your holiday

There are many ways you can extend your holiday with Mountain Kingdoms: book extra hotel nights, relax at a beautiful beach resort, take a warm-up trek, arrange a personal sightseeing tour or enjoy specialist activities such as rafting, birdwatching or a safari.

We're happy to suggest ideas, provide quotes and make all the arrangements. We can also assist with flight and hotel upgrades. Just call us on +44 (0)1453 844400 or email info@mountainkingdoms.com and we will be pleased to help.

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