ENVIE D'ALBANIE
Rruga Gocaj –Albania & Kosovo

8 Days 7 Nights

Group: 4 - 12 People

Albania

9.5 Superb

Description

Rruga Gocaj is the actual name given to an ancient shepherd path which was connected the Valley of Valbona in Albania to the valley of the river Trokuska in Montenegro. It is also said that this road was used by shepherds and their herds to reach the summer plateaus and meadows of Dobërdol (Bjeshkët e Dobërdollit) and then those of Milishevc or Gropa e Erenikut, today part of the National park of the Accursed Mountains (Bjeshket e Nemuna) in Kosovo.

The program is fully dedicated for those who wish to enter deeply into the secrets of the Peaks of Balkans trail by hiking on many alternatives that this wonderful product offers. It will bring the passionate hikers to astonishing panorama, views and landscapes.

The itinerary brings nature lovers inside ancient and primeval beech forests that are part of a transnational composite nature UNESCO World Heritage since 2017.

Difficulty

2+

Guide

Experienced English-speaking guide

Hikes

5

Treks

4

Cultural Visits

0 visit

Outdoor activity

No

Luggage

Backpack or equivalent (15 to 20 kg)

Hotel

3☆ or 4☆ Hotels & Guesthouses

Departure

Tirana International airport

Calendar

mid of May to October/Noveber

Portage

A small backpack is required for your daily equipment.

Luggage transfer

No

Price Includes
  • 1 Night in a 4 ☆ Hotel

  • 6 Nights in Guesthouses

  • 7 Breakfasts & Dinners

  • 6 Lunches or Picnics (no lunch day 1)

  • Transportation including luggage transfers

  • English-speaking guide

  • Free option: Visit of the ethnographic museum of Theth (Plan between 1 and 2 €)

  • Accommodation in hotel (double room and local standard) or guesthouses (double or shared rooms).

  • Meals (breakfasts, lunches or baskets, dinners) and drinks (table water)

  • All luggage transport (1x backpack or equivalent of 15 kg maximum per person) by horses, vans or 4x4 between stages

Price Excludes
  • All personal expenses

  • Costs related to specific requests or those not mentioned above

  • Food and drinks other than those served during meals

  • Lunch and dinner day 7

  • Tips and gratuities

  • Visit day 7 (if any)

  • The plane ticket

  • Accommodation in single rooms

  • Travel insurance

Gallery

Tour Plan
  • Day 1. Tirana International Airport – Tirana

    Reception by an English-speaking guide at TIA airport. Direction Tirana and free time.  

    Dinner in a traditional restaurant and accommodation in a hotel. 

  • Day 2. Tirana - Koman – Fierze – Valbona

    Hike: ~ 4:00 hours. 

    Maximal ascent: ~ 150 m. 

    Maximal descent: ~ 150 m.  

    Distance: ~ 5 km 

    Luggage Transfer: No. 

     

    Early departure by van to Koman to board on the ferry terminal. Enjoy 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 to Valbona. Enjoy the first hike inside the Valbona valley. Direction Rrogam from where it will be possible to see the famous pass (1759m) of Valbona to Theth. From Rrogam, the path will climb up to the waterfall. It is an easy hike which goes alongside the river bed and through a beech forest allowing to enjoy the benefit of a diversify and green nature.  

    Dinner and accommodation in a guesthouse. 

  • Day 3. Valbona – Kuji Rrogamit - Valbona
    • Hike: ~ 6:00 hours. 

      Maximal ascent: ~ 500 m. 

      Maximal descent: ~ 500 m. 

      Distance: ~ 13 km 

      Luggage Transfer: No. 

       

      The first true hike of the journey. The challenge of the day will be to successfully hike around the Pylli I Rragamit which highest summit culminates at 1868m.  

      The hike starts directly from the guesthouse. After a short walk on the asphalted road the itinerary reaches the Kukaj dirt road that it is necessary to follow and gently climbs for a while. Then it turns to enter inside the beech forest and later follows a small pasture. Majestically, the Maja Rragamit with its peaks reaching approximately 2500m, shows its strong domination of the surrounding. It hides the famous Maja e Jezerca (2694m), which remains a real challenge for all hikers and climbers.  

      It worst a short detour to reach the summit of the Maja Kuji I Rragamit (1856m) from where it is possible to admire Valbona, the ridges of Kolates peaks with Maja Lugut Ujit (2428m), Zla Kolata (2535m), Maja Kollates (2552m).. and other summits. 

      After, it is time to gently descent towards Valbona. The path will cross some small streams and pastures to enter again inside the beech forest. It also will provide great point of views on the different peaks surrounding the Valbona valley such as the Maja e Peçmarës (2468m), Maja Ismet Sali Brucaj (2180m), Grykat e Hapeta (2625m), Maja Brijasit (2530m), Maja Zhaporës (2561m) or Maja Suka e Zhaporës (2337m).. 

      Dinner and accommodation in a guesthouse. 

  • Day 4. Valbona – Mount Roshit – Valbona
    • Hike: ~ 8:00 hours. 

      Maximal ascent: ~ 1600 m. 

      Maximal descent: ~ 1600 m.  

      Distance: ~ 18 km 

      Luggage Transfer: No. 

       

      Certainly considered as one of the most interesting summit to clearly see the extent and grandeur of the Accursed Mountains, the ascent of the Mt Roshit remains a popular challenge. The Mount is located in Montenegro and culminates at an altitude of 2524 meters.  

      Starting by following the Kukaj River and following the pastures and wooded areas, the trail begins to climb along the canyon near Mt Thatë (2405 m.), then continues on a steep slope to end in rocky terrain. From that moment on, the horizon no longer has its limits, and suffering will give place to wonders. 

      From the summit, it is possible to see the 360° magnificent landscapes of Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo.   

      Descent on Valbona. 

      Dinner and accommodation in a guesthouse. 

  • Day 5. Valbona – Çerem
    • Hike: ~ 6:30 hours. 

      Maximal ascent: ~ 750 m. 

      Maximal descent: ~ 750 m.  

      Distance: ~ 12 km 

      Luggage Transfer: Vehicle. 

       

      Short transfer by vehicle up to Çerem.  

      Get ready and direction the Qafa e Bori at an altitude of 1850 meters. The trail cross goes through endemic forests and beautiful pastures. Once at the border with Montenegro, it follows the ridge up to Vori I Hones pass and then reach the Maja e Vranisa (1828 meters) for finally gently descending to Çerem 

      The hike allows you to cross forgotten and magnificent landscapes. The route will offer spectacular views of the surrounding peaks and valleys.  

      Dinner and accommodation in a guesthouse. 

  • Day 6. Çerem – Doberdol
    • Hike: ~ 6:30 hours 

      Maximal ascent: ~ 600 m. 

      Maximal descent: ~ 200 m.  

      Distance: ~ 15 km 

      Luggage Transfer: 4x4 off-road vehicle 

       

      Direction Doberdol, a remote shepherd’s location accessible only by off-road vehicles or mules and horses. 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. 

      The path starts following a dirt road leading to the Ajuci pass (1916m) to reach the pastures of Balqin. This plateaus is used by shepherds. It is also very well know as a blueberry field where collectors come during the season. Later it reaches the pastures of Koshuticës before descending to the Gashi river valley which is a protected area. Then, finally, it open on this vast pasture, full of streams or small rivers, glacial lakes and life. The perfect place. 

      Dinner and accommodation in a hut. 

  • Day 7. Doberdol – Three border peaks – Doberdol

    Hike: ~ 6:30 hours. 

    Maximal ascent: ~ 450 m. 

    Maximal descent: ~ 450 m.  

    Distance: ~ 12 km 

    Luggage Transfer: No. 

     

    Within the morning direction the Tromeda (or Trekufiri - 2366m) summit (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 the border between Albania and Montenegro. It reaches the foot of Shpati peak (2203m) and goes down up to Maja Kershi Ujkut where it enters in Albania to finally ends in Doberdol. 

    Dinner and accommodation in a hut. 

  • Day 8. Doberdol – Liqeni I Zemrës - Doberdol

    Hike: ~ 7:00 hours 

    Maximal ascent: ~ 650 m. 

    Maximal descent: ~ 650 m.  

    Distance: ~ 14 km 

    Luggage Transfer: No. 

     

    The day of the heart. Direction the Ali Peja pass (2275m) to enter in Kosovo. Then the trail will go up and down passing meadows, following the border to finally reach the Liqeni I Zemrës (the lac of Heart). It’s shape says everything. On the way, it will be possible to catch one of the king of the Prokletije National Park, the Gjeravica peak (2656m) which is the second highest mountain of the Peaks of the Balkans and the Dinaric Alps. 

    The itinerary offers beautiful views on the surrounding meadows and peaks, such as the Maja e Gusanit (2539m). 

    Dinner and accommodation in a hut. 

  • Day 9. Doberdol – Gropa e Erenikut - Gjakova

    Hike: ~ 8:30 hours 

    Maximal ascent: ~ 920 m. 

    Maximal descent: ~ 980 m.  

    Distance: ~ 18 km 

    Luggage Transfer: 4x4 off-road vehicle 

     

    The trail will lead to Kosovo. It starts from Doberdol and gently climb amid the grassy pastures to reach the Doberdol pass and crosses the Lumi I Gashit stream. At the pass, it is possible to view all surrounding landscapes almost endlessly. It then gently goes down, passing by the Liqeni I Sulbicës (Sublica Lake) and reach the Tropoja river. Following a dirt road alongside the Tropaja river, the itinerary arrives at the meadows of Stanet e Syblices, which is also an hamlet. Then it climbs up to Syblica pass using an ancient shepherd path connecting Gjeravicë (Kosovo) to Sylbicë (Albania) pastures. The first part may seems difficult as it goes through large rocks but offers an attractive smooth challenge. 

    Once in Kosovo, it descends up to the hamlet of Gropa e Erenikut, where a transfer by vehicle is necessary to reach the small town of Junik and then Gjakova. 

    Free visit in Gjakova. 

    Dinner and overnight in a hotel. 

  • Day 10. Gjakova – Kruja – Tirana

    Depart to Kruja in Albania. Depending the season, it might take approximately 5:00 hrs to reach the home of the patriots and the epicenter of the Albania’s independence from the Ottoman Empire. 

    Visit of Kruja castle, its museum dedicated to the National hero Gjergj Kastriot Skanderbeg, the ethnographic museum and the bazaar. 

    Transfer to Tirana. 

    Dinner in a traditional restaurant and overnight in a hotel 

  • Day 11. Tirana – Tirana

    Visit of the New Bazaar (Pazari I ri) where approximately 300 farmers come to sell their productions. 

    Stop at the Kaplan Pasha Tomb. The tomb, honoring a former Ottoman leader, is a remnant of the class of Tirana’s feudal lords. The old inscriptions on its walls tell the story of Kaplan Pasha. 

    Visit of the Bunk'Art2 museum which is dedicated to the preservation of the collective memory and telling the history of the communist regime and its horrors. Photos of the period’s and documents show the relationship between the dictatorship and its guiding ideological principles. Bunk’art 2 reconstructs the history of the Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs during 1912-1991 and reveals the secrets of the former State Security, the secret police that persecuted the opponents of Enver Hoxha’s regime 

    Walk around the Skanderbeg Square. Located in the heart of Tirana, the place was designed by Mussolini’s architects. Today it is a pedestrian space which bears the name and hosts the statue of the Albanian National hero. The square is surrounded by the many Albanian institutions and monuments or buildings such as ministries, the Albanian Central Bank, the Clock Tower, the Et’hem Bey mosque, the Palace of Culture and the National Museum of History. 

    Visit of the so-called “block” and discover the Enver Hoxha’s Villa, the pyramid and the street monuments which all serve to tell Albania’ history in a natural manner.  

    Enjoy the remains of the Fortress of Justinian, know as Tirana Castle which history date back prior to 1300. Its “bazaar” has been refurbished and became a lovely place where traditional restaurants share the area with culture and art shops. Free time inside the Bazaar. 

    Walk onto the Tanners’ Bridge (Ura e Tabakëve) dating of the 18th century and built over the Lana river by the Ottoman. 

    Free time at the hotel. 

    Overnight at the hotel. 

  • Day 12. Tirana – Tirana International Airport

    Free time and transfer to TIA and departure. 

Strengths
  • A discovery trek for a unique experience.

  • On the paths of the Peaks of Balkans.

  • Climbing the most famous peaks.

  • Meeting with a warm population.

  • See exceptional places.

  • Private and public transfers.

Passport:

A valid passport (at least 6 months from the start of the stay) is required. A copy of each participant's passport will be requested at least one month before the departure date of the trek in order to obtain the border crossing authorizations from the competent authorities.

Insurance:

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

Notes:
  • For safety reasons and in case of force majeure, the guide has full authority to adapt or even cancel an itinerary. This is all the more valid depending on the evolution of the weather or for medical reasons.
  • As the guide is responsible for all the people in his care and for the cohesion of the group, he can at any time adapt the pace of the walk, the effort, the itinerary... in order to avoid the isolation of one or more participants.
  • The guide has a duty to ensure that the environment in which the group operates is respected.
  • In order to respect the rules and laws in force in the countries crossed, Envie d’Albanie can call on the support of local partners licensed in these countries (guides, transport, equipment, logistics, etc.). We have ensured that these companies share the same values as those established by Envie d’Albanie.
  • The distances and walking times are given as an indication.
  •  
Good to know:
  1. This discovery trek includes walks over long distances in the wild. It is not recommended for children under 15 years of age.
  2. It is advisable to be in good health and physical condition.
  3. Avoid drinking tap water or spring water, unless your guide allows it.
  4. Respect the environment in which you operate. He'll give it back to you.