ENVIE D'ALBANIE
Kaceli Albania

10 Days 9 Nights

Group: 4 - 12 People

Albania

9.5 Superb

Description

Sadik Kaceli (1914-2000) was a famous Albanian painter who studied at the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in Paris. Back in Tirana, he taught art in a high school then, from 1946 until his retirement in 1973, at the Jordan Misja Academy. Sadik Kaceli was a realistic painter, although he never wanted or could completely adapt his style to the preconditions of socialist realism and was therefore marginalized for many years during the dictatorship. He is known for his portraits and landscape paintings. 

 This trip, specially designed for families or couples, takes you into the world of Kaceli as he lived. Original, authentic, fresh, preserved, with a touch of modernity from time to time, sharing moments of life with local farmers and villagers, this trip will take you into the interior of the extreme north-east of Albania with some forays into Montenegro and Kosovo into the mountains where no control over your presence can be enforced. 

 Mountains, hills, valleys, plateaus, grassy pastures, crystal clear rivers and streams, old farms or mountain huts, herds of goats, cows or sheep, horses, wildlife, panorama, incredible views, this trip delivers postcard vacations. A dream. 

Visitors enter the lands of the eagles. You don't see them, they see you. 

Guide

Experienced English-speaking guide

Departure

Tirana International airport

From

mid of May to October/Noveber

Price Includes
  • Accommodation in guesthouses (DBL or share room) and Hotel 4* (DBL or family room when possible)

  • 9* Breakfasts, 6* picnics and 7* dinners

  • Transportation – Public & private transport

  • Ferry ticket

  • Border crossing permit

  • All local taxes

Price Excludes
  • All personal expenses

  • All visits not mentioned in this program

  • Beverages not mentioned above, such as alcohols

  • Other meals than those specified

  • Tips and gratuities

  • The plane ticket

  • Travel insurance

Gallery

Tour Plan
  • Day 1. Tirana International Airport – Tirana

    Reception at Tirana International airport "Mother Theresa" of Tirana. Private transfer to the hotel in Tirana. 

    Discover a rather young city founded under the Ottoman Empire, 400 years ago. Tirana has been proclaimed capital of Albania in 1920. The city started to take shape under the Italian presence before WWII when Mussolini sent his best architects. Their constructions are still widely visible and used nowadays. Later, under dictatorship which lasted more than 40 years, Tirana saw its image turning into a harsh communist style. Ottoman, Fascist and Communist buildings are today sharing their heritages with a city under amazing development making the today Albanian capital one of the most enjoyable, dynamic and attractive place. Tirana offers a safe haven offering infinite choices such as bars, clubs, restaurants, art galleries, museums, green parks which bring people from all ages under a cozy atmosphere. 

    Enjoy a dinner that we can book for you in a traditional restaurant. 

    Overnight at the hotel. 

  • Day 2. Tirana - Koman – Fierze – Valbona

    Early departure (5:00 am from departure point – Foreseen a 10’ transfer between the hotel and departure point. Transfer by public van to Koman. Ferry between Koman and Fierze.  

     

    Embarking and departure to a gorgeous cruise on the Albanian fjord. The lake is fed by the Drin, the Shala and Valbona rivers. It is surrounded by dense forested hills, vertical slops and narrow valleys with time to time vertical canyon walls.  

    Arrival 2:30 hrs later in Fierze and transfer by public van to Valbona. Check-in in the guesthouse and enjoy a walk within the Valbona valley.  

    While kids may run after free cows, horses and sometimes some rabbits, parents walk along the asphalted unique road up to the place called Lomi or just find their ways among the beeches or firs forest growing on the banks of the Valbona river. 

    Walking will certainly be the best way to discover Valbona valley and its surroundings hills such as Pylli I Rragamit, or the chains of straight-imposing idyllic mountains and peaks – Kollata, Zhaporës, Peçmarës, etc. the guide will point out the direction of the Montenegro, just in front, just behind the Prosllopit pass used by hikers to reach Vusanje in Montenegro. 

    For the horse riders, it will be possible to go for an hour ride to discover the hamlet (*) 

     

    Dinner and accommodation in a guesthouse. 

  • Day 3. Valbona - Valbona

    Hike: ~ 4:00 to 5:00 hours 

    Maximal ascent: ~ 250 m. 

    Maximal descend: ~ 250 m.  

    Distance: ~ 5-7 km 

    Lugagge Transfer: No 

     

    Kukaj hamlet: the hike starts close from the guesthouse and gently climbs the hill following a gravely road up to the hamlet of Kukaj. Here, it is possible to admire the majesty of the Kolates (2552m), the ridges and the Persllopit (2050m) pass used to cross to Montenegro while hiking to Vusanje from Valbona. On the other side, the Maja e Thate (2160m) shows is splendor. Then descent to Valbona by following the stream.  

    Dinner and accommodation in a guesthouse. 

  • Day 4. Valbona – St James Lake – The Cave of Bajram Curri – Valbona

    Hike: ~ 5:00 to 6:00 hours 

    Maximal ascent: ~ 250 m. 

    Maximal descend: ~ 450 m.  

    Distance: ~ 12 km 

    Lugagge Transfer: No 

     

    The hike starts right at the entrance to Valbona. The route leaves the paved road to follow a forest path which will descend gently along the cliffs of the Pecmarës mountains. After a while, he arrives at the small lake of St James (Liqeni I Xhemës). The lake is fed by a spring. Calm, it offers strange pure blue colors. The waters are so cold that it is not really advisable to cool off with a bath. It harbors trout, generally well hidden and tadpoles or "Bisht I Fulterë"; children call them "pan handles". 

    The path continues to follow the slope of the mountain and goes deep into the beech forest. Then it begins to climb up to the Bajram Curri cave (Shpella e Dragobisë). The cave is known to have been the hideout of Kosovar rebel Bajram Curri. After helping to expel the Ottomans from northern Albania, Bajram Curri focused his attention on resolving the recent split in Kosovo (1919), which put him at the mercy of King Zog. Throughout the winter of 1925, Bajram Curri was hidden by various families from the highlands. Finally, he and his men went into the woods. 

    The place hasn't changed much in 100 years. It looks more like a natural rock fortress rather than a cave. 

    Descent to Bregu i Lumit Poshtëm and return to Valbona. 

    Dinner and accommodation in a guesthouse. 

  • Day 5. Valbona - Çerem

    Short transfer by vehicle to reach the hamlet of Cerem. 

    Flora, Kujtim and their daughters will welcome you. Enjoy the local hospitality, the garden, the views and the silence in which eagles may spy your movements from far away. 

    Discover the environment in which you will stay for these 2 days. 

    Dinner and night in a guesthouse  

  • Day 6. Çerem - Çerem

    Hike: ~ 4:00 to 6:00 hours 

    Maximal ascent: ~ 250 m. 

    Maximal descend: ~ 250 m.  

    Distance: ~ 5 km 

    Lugagge Transfer: No 

     

    Direction the summer pastures of Derzhana. Located higher inside the mountains, close to the Kolata chain of peaks, it is used only during the summer by local shepherds. The trail will used the same path taken by the shepherds and their flocks during the transhumance.  

    Farmers have built their summer huts on this grassy meadows. Animals such as horses, cows, sheep, hens…. are let free in these pastures.   

    Enjoy a fresh, pure and natural day. Late in the afternoon, descent towards Çerem. 

    Once back to the guesthouse, Flora may invite the visitors to prepare a typical specialty made with local products that maybe guests will have the chance to collect. The kids are not interested, entrust them to Flora and Kujtim daughters, they will occupy and take care of them. There is certainly some eggs to collect, to milk a cow….. there is always something to do in a farm. 

    Dinner and night in a guesthouse  

  • Day 7. Çerem – Doberdol

    Direction Doberdol, a remote shepherd’s location accessible only by off-road vehicles or mules and horses, or on foot. It is inhabited only during the 4 summer months by numerous flocks accompanied by their shepherds and friendly dogs. Freedom is the first word which pop-out. Every living animals is free of running or going wherever it wishes within these vast meadows. 

    Morning transfer by 4x4 off-road. Free time to discover the plateau, the numerous streams and small rivers emerging or crossing the pastures, the local life and the nature. It is the period, stop on route to collect some wild blueberries before the local bears gorge themselves with all of them. 

    Doberdol meadow is the kingdom of nature lovers. The young Bylbill and his mother will welcome the visitors. Enjoy this remote mountainous place. 

    Kids wish to meet the herds, ride a horse, just asked to Bylbill. 

    Dinner and night in a hut.  

  • Day 8. Doberdol – Doberdol

    2 options are proposed: 

    1. Doberdol – Three border peaks – Doberdol  

    Hike: ~ 5:00 hours 

    Maximal ascent: ~ 450 m. 

    Maximal descend: ~ 450 m.  

    Distance: ~ 12 km 

    Lugagge Transfer: No 

     

    Within the morning direction the Tromeda (or Trekufiri - 2366m, also called The Three Border Peak), from which hikers can set foot on 3 different countries at once (Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo). It position offers magnificent views on these three countries. 

    Back to Doberdol by the Montenegro side. The trail follows for a short while the border between Albania and Montenegro.  

     

    1.  Doberdol – Liqeni I Dashit – Doberdol  

    Hike: ~ 3:00 to 4:00 hours 

    Maximal ascent: ~ 350 m. 

    Maximal descend: ~ 350 m.  

    Distance: ~ 8-10 km 

    Lugagge Transfer: No 

     

    The walk will lead the visitors up to the glacial Stag’s Lake (2180m – also named Liqeni I Dadhit or Lake Dash). This is one of the largest lakes found in the mountain range. 

    The itinerary crosses the Doberdol meadows following the border with Kosovo and gently climbs up to the lake. For those who wish to do so, it is possible to come back to the hut by the Doberdol pass which location offers wonderful views on the Tropoja river and pastures, but as well surrounding peaks and mountains. 

    Dinner and night in a hut.  

  • Day 9. Doberdol – Gjakova – Kruja

    Transfer by 4x4 off-road vehicle to the Kosovar city of Gjakova. The city of Gjakova has been populated since the prehistoric era. During the Ottoman period, Gjakova served as a trading center on the route between Shkodër and Istanbul. It was also one of the most developed trade centers at that time in the Balkans. 

    Then, private transfer by vehicle up to Kruja. Kruja (Krujë) may be the city where the history of the Albanian started. Long time ago, the area was inhabited by the Illyrian tribe of the Albani which has as main settlement Albanopolis. Some historians say that Albanopolis could be Krujë. Despite fierce resistance, Kruja fell in the hands of the Ottoman Empire. In 1423, Gjergji Kastrioti, member of the noble family Kastrioti , was sent as a hostage to the Ottoman court. He was educated and entered to the service of the Ottoman sultan for the next twenty years. During this period he received his Ottoman name “Iskender bey” which became Skanderbeg within the Albanian language. In 1443, he deserted the Ottoman armies, gathered hundreds of men and under tricks took control of Kruja. From there, Skanderbeg fought ceaselessly the Ottomans until his death in 1468. His legacy to Albania was so impressive that Skanderbeg’ memory has been engraved in many in the Albanian heritage. He became The National Hero. 

    Visit of its Bazaar and castle. 

    Overnight at the hotel. 

  • Day 10. Kruja – Rinas

    Private transfer to Rinas and departure.

Strengths
  • All the benefits of an amazing nature

  • For families from 4 to 77+ years

  • Inside protected areas and UNESCO heritage listed forests

  • Unforgettable moments

  • Private transport

Notice:

This program is an example and can be the object of many variants. Ask us to send you a proposal based on your time, wishes and budget.

Passport:

A valid passport or an ID (at least 6 months from the start of the stay) is required to enter in Albania.

Insurance:

International travel insurance is strongly recommended to cover the consequences of incidents that may occur while travelling, travelling and staying abroad. It is the traveller's responsibility to check with his travel agent or insurer before departure.

Notes:
  • Tour based on arrival and departure times before 11:30 am. 

  • Child: any children between 3 and 11.99 years of age is considered as a child.

  •  Infant: any children between 0 and 2.99 years of age is considered as an infant. 

  • In hotels, when possible family room or equivalent is provided.

  • According to the seasons, visitors may participate to milk the cows, collect the eggs, go to the farm fields to collect apples, cherries, etc., mow the lawn and enjoy harvesting. 

  • A copy of a valid passport or ID will be requested 2 months before the departure date to obtain the border crossing permit.

  • (*) on request and additional cost