Peaks of the Balkans Trail

  • Grebaja valley - © Vlatko Bulatović
  • © Richard Lindley
  • © Richard Lindley
  • © Richard Lindley
  • Maja Jezerce  - © Vlatko Bulatović
  • Karanfili  - © Vlatko Bulatović
  • Karanfili in background - © Vlatko Bulatović
  • Accursed Mountains  - © Vlatko Bulatović
  • Accursed Mountains  - © Vlatko Bulatović
  • Accursed Mountains  - © Vlatko Bulatović

Key information: Peaks of the Balkans Trail

  • Explore an undiscovered corner of Europe, wandering across borders that recently would have been impassable.
  • Thrilling walking in tough, wild mountains, enjoying an unspoilt environment and timeless villages.  

Walkopedia rating

(Top 100)
  • Walkopedia rating92
  • Beauty33
  • Natural interest15
  • Human interest12
  • Charisma32
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating92

Vital Statistics

  • Length: 192km
  • 10 days
  • Maximum Altitude: 2,000m
  • Level of Difficulty: Strenuous

This walk description page is at an early stage of development, and will be expanded over time. Your comments on this walk, your experiences and tips, and your photos are very welcome.

© Richard Lindley


The Peaks of the Balkans Trail is a recently-opened 192km (120 mile) trail, a thriving symbol of the new-found peace in this region, its planning co-ordinated by the German Agency for International Co-operation. It winds through an area of superb and typically sheers and spiky limestone peaks and cliffs which separate lonely valley communities. It passes through Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro, once a dangerous and tense region and a historic tinderbox but now a quiet backwater, through three national parks and Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim areas.

This is demanding walking in high and in places remote mountains, come prepared. You can stay in inns and homes, so no heavy backpacking is needed.

See See also our Accursed Mountains (Albanian Alps) page.

Also see an excellent article by Tim Neville in the New York Times.

Our friends the Oranginas walking group from the Netherlands used Vlatko Bulatović ( to guide them, and were very happy.

The Balkans are only just recovering from their turbulent twentieth century, and tourism is slowly drawing people into this intriguing area. If you’ve already been hiking here, we would love to hear about it (and see the pics!).

In order to truly appreciate the history of the landscape you will pass through (as well as the many problems it currently faces) it is worth having a guide. Good Books include The Albanians: A Modern History by Miranda Vickers (just published, at the end of August 2013). An account of the journey of American soldiers trapped behind Nazi lines has also recently been released – The Secret Rescue, by Cate Lineberry. More travel-minded books include The Accursed Mountains: Journeys in Albania, by Robert Carver. Whilst primarily focusing on the north of the country, it also includes his time in Tirana, and is a generally interesting and entertaining account of Albania. To really get under the skin of this intriguing country, try the literary works of enigmatic Ismail Kadare, whose efforts to avoid the trouble with the Hoxha regime have produced a corpus of works defined by their opacity. Drawing heavily on the Balkans’ history and folklore, his oblique approach has defied labels of dissident or conformist, and perhaps in doing so has confirmed his place as Albania’s most important contemporary writer.

Find books on Amazon.

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.


Name: Administrator
Posted on: 13/03/2019
A comment from Walkopedia Community member Murray: Hi Team - I suggest the following as an outstanding walk: The Albanian Alps many options but here are two: 1) The Valbona and Thethi valley hikes, and the connecting pass between them 2) The Peaks of the Balkans circuit thru the Albanian Alps (thru Albania, Kosovo & Montenegro)

Name: Administrator
Posted on: 13/03/2019
Richard Lindley says: “A very useful contact in Kosova is Lendita Hyseni in Peja. Her email is She runs an outfit called Kosova Outdoors, and will arrange holidays/treks in the mountains for individuals and groups - in an around the Peaks of the Balkans trail.”

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

Karanfili in background - © Vlatko Bulatović

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

© Richard Lindley ...

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