Fri 14 Aug - Fri 21 Aug 2020

OVERVIEW

What to expect

ITINERARY

What you will do

COSTS

Ways to pay

ESSENTIAL INFO

All you need to know

Your challenge day by day

Day 1, Fri 14 Aug 2020

International flight to Tirana; drive to Shkodër

After meeting your fellow challengers at the airport, a short flight takes you to Tirana, Albania, where you will meet the local challenge team and then drive directly to Shkodër, the oldest and largest town of Northern Albania. Overnight in a hotel close to the centre of town, with your first group dinner in the lively pedestrian area. (D)

Accommodation: Hotel

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Day 2, Sat 15 Aug 2020

The highlands of Kelmend; from Vermosh to Lëpushë (approx. 6 hrs)

This morning, your trek begins after a short transfer to Vermosh, the most northern village of Albania. Winding your way on a forest trail eventually leads to the high meadows of Zabeli, before reaching the Peak of Grebenit (1,840m) from where there are great views of Mount Trojan (2,194m) and the jagged silhouette of the Accursed Mountains. After a picnic lunch, the hike continues through a beech forest until you reach the Pass of Berdolec, marking the entrance of Lëpushë village and your overnight stop. There should be time to explore this beautiful alpine village in the late afternoon before dinner at your guesthouse. (B,L,D)

Accommodation: Guesthouse

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Day 3, Sun 16 Aug 2020

Into Grebaje Valley via the Taljanka Peak (approx. 7 hrs)

Leaving behind the last houses of the village, the trail climbs through the meadow of Dobku to a ridge leading to the peak of Taljanka and into Montenegro. At Volusnica, you’ll find the perfect spot to have a picnic looking out over the Grebaje Valley and towering peaks of the Karanfil massif. After descending to the bottom of the valley, a short transfer takes you to the shores of Lake Plav and to your hotel. (B,L,D)

Accommodation: Hotel

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Day 4, Mon 17 Aug 2020

On foot from Montenegro to Albania, “Peja” Pass (approx. 6-8 hrs)

A short transfer after breakfast to the village of Vuthaj, sees the start of a long hike to reach the Valley of Theth in the heart of the Albanian Alps. Your luggage will be loaded on to horses who will accompany you on the trail. Climbing slowly out of the valley of Ropojana, the trail ascends on a steep path after the alpine lake of Gjeshtar until you reach the rocky plateau of Runica. Here the spectacular peaks of the Karanfil Mountains as well as the Albanian Alps tower above you. At Peja Pass (1,730m) you’ll stop for lunch with views over the Valley of Theth, before starting your way down and back into Albania. The trail winds beside the rocky dome of Harapi Peak (2,216m) which dominates the end of the valley and leads you to Theth, your overnight stop. (B,L,D)

Accommodation: Guesthouse

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Day 5, Tue 18 Aug 2020

The Valbona Pass (approx. 8 hrs)

Loading your luggage on to the horses again, you’ll leave the Valley of Theth behind and climb towards Valbona Pass to reach the next valley, the Valbona valley. The scenery changes many times from rocky mountain paths to green pastures, winding through beech woods and grassy meadows to scree on the higher sections. Once at the pass, on a clear day, the highest peaks of the Albanian Alps can be seen such as Jezerca, 2,694m and Radohimës, 2,570m. At one point you can look out over the Valbona valley on one side and the Theth valley on the other.  From here the path winds downhill towards Valbona and a forest trail leads to the village of Rrogam at the bottom of the valley. (B,L,D)

Accommodation: Guesthouse

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Day 6, Wed 19 Aug 2020

Lugu I Persllopit (approx. 7-9 hrs)

After a hearty breakfast, todays hike is one of the toughest with the option (and weather dependent) of climbing to the top of the Zla Kolata, Montenegro’s highest mountain at 2,534m above sea level. Leaving the village, the path meanders through birch trees and streams until it reaches the open alpine meadows at the foot of the Kollata massif. Climbing to the Bori pass on the border with Montenegro, you need to use your hands as you climb over a limestone rock wall to the Persllopit pass. Once here, and depending on the weather, you can climb to the top of the Zla Kolata from where there are stunning views over the the Accursed Mountains. Descending on the same path to the Lugu I Persllopit pass, you then walk through a forest with views to the Valbona valley. Once here, you can look out on the 2,694m high Mt. Jezerca, the highest peak of the massif and one of the most beautiful viewpoints of the Albanian Alps. You’ll return to your guesthouse for dinner after a rewarding day’s trek. (B,L,D)

Accommodation: Guesthouse

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Day 7, Thu 20 Aug 2020

Shala Canyon

Today is relaxing and well-earned and a short transfer will take you to the docks of Fierza, from where a spectacular boat ride through the canyon of Lake Koman will follow. During the ride, you’ll reach the Canyon of Shala, an amazing secluded haven of pure nature, where you’ll have the opportunity to swim and have lunch.  Later on, after reaching the docks of Koman, you’ll continue your transfer towards Tirana, for your celebration dinner. (B,L,D)

Accommodation: Hotel

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Day 8, Fri 21 Aug 2020

Transfer to airport; flight to London

This morning it is time to say goodbye to Albania as well as new found friends and trekking partners. A transfer will take you back to Tirana airport for your flight back to the UK. (B)

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Important information

B =  Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

The itinerary is there as a guide and may change due to unusual weather patterns, wildlife movements, the strength of the group, and so on. We will do our very best to keep to the set itinerary; however, we cannot be held responsible for any last minute changes that might occur. In all such circumstances, your expedition leader will have the final say.

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We hold an Air Travel Organiser's Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 6546. Many of the flight-inclusive challenges on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. This ATOL protection only covers challenges that include flights booked by Charity Challenge and that originate in the UK. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate

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