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Accursed Mountain Trek

Albania Trek TOUGH
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About the Challenge

The Albanian Alps offer an unspoilt wilderness of magnificent snow-capped peaks, gorges, lakes and dense forests, dotted with tiny stone-built hamlets that have changed little in years.

Our trek takes us to protected Valbona National Park, home of inspiring scenery and adventurous trekking. One of the many highlights is the high Valbona Pass, used for centuries to connect remote valleys lying among the jagged peaks of the dramatic Accursed Mountains.

The appeal of this memorable and rewarding trip is not just the incredible scenery, but the quietness of the trails – you are just as likely to meet local shepherds as other trekkers.


Accursed Mountain Trek

9 DAYS
  • Fly to Albania’s capital, Tirana, where we transfer (approx. 30 mins) to the historic town of Kruja. Night hotel.

  • After a short visit to Kruja’s impressive fortress, we drive to beautiful Lake Koman and take a scenic boat trip through this magnificent fjord-like canyon. The lake was formed by dam construction and is a wonderful way to reach the start of our trek. A short transfer takes us from the end of the lake to the picturesque hamlet of Kukaj (1100m) in the Valbona Valley where, time permitting, we’ll have a short walk in the valley to stretch our legs. Night guesthouse.

     

    Drive 2-3 hours; boat trip 2-3 hours

  • Setting out from our hospitable guesthouse, we start hiking through beech and pine forest, following a shepherd’s path into the more remote landscapes of the eastern Albanian Alps. Our path ascends smoothly amidst green alpine pastures, with fabulous views of the surrounding mountains, their peaks towering up to over 2500m.

    After a beautifully scenic picnic, we continue to the pass (2000m), before returning to our hosts at Kukaj. Night guesthouse.

     

    Trek approx. 6-8 hours / 9km

  • A spectacularly scenic day, which takes us up to an elevated plateau covered in thick forest. Continuing along a ridge, we reach the summit of Kinji Rrogamit (1860m) on steep trails. Fabulous views along almost the entire Valbona Valley reward our efforts, and we have plenty of time to soak up the views of the green slopes topped with dramatic mountain peaks over another picnic, with ice-cold water from the pure mountain spring. We continue our trek along the opposite ridge, which brings us gradually down to the bottom of the valley (950m). Night guesthouse.

     

    Trek approx. 6-7 hours / 7km

  • A classic Alpine trail awaits us! The path over Valbona Pass (1860m) has linked the glacier valleys of Valbona and Theth for centuries, and can only be crossed by foot before the first snow falls each year. Leaving the last few stone houses of the tiny village behind, we follow a steepening trail, which leads us up into a great grassy bowl of alpine meadows, surrounded by rough slopes leading up to the pass. After a stiff climb up, we can admire the views of the jagged peaks of the Accursed Mountains that tower around us. Our route then descends through forest and grassy meadows, losing over 1000m of altitude, to the traditional village of Thethi (850m). Night guesthouse.

     

    Trek approx. 7-8 hours / 14km

  • Thethi is a wonderfully well-preserved alpine village, with its traditional stone houses with wood-tiled roofs, and its location surrounded by mountains is very photogenic! After our big effort yesterday, we enjoy a more relaxed pace today, taking our time to appreciate the village. We then walk past a scenic waterfall and canyon to our picnic spot at Bronze Age stone-walled terraces, discovered less than ten years ago. Fairly gentle trails then take us to Nderlysa, a quiet hamlet (850m). We can relax by the pristine turquoise pools of the nearby creek to round off our day. Night guesthouse.

     

    Trek approx. 5-6 hours / 11km

  • Our last day in the Accursed Mountains! A scenic trail takes us through a canyon to the aptly-named Blue Eye cascade. We stop here for a break before winding gradually up through the forest to emerge in grassy alpine meadows surrounded by mountain peaks. Our last steep climb takes us up to beautiful Thore Pass (1670m), which marks the end of our trek. Here we soak up the last of the magnificent views before meeting our vehicles and heading back through the stunning Boga Valley to Shkodra, seat of an impressive lake-side castle, where we break for a coffee-stop. We then head to Tirana, a dynamic, young town with interesting Italian-influenced architecture, which forms a significant contrast to our week in the remote Alps. Night hotel.

     

    (Dinner not included)

     

    Trek approx. 4–5 hours / 7km; drive approx. 4 hours

  • You’re free to explore Tirana before transferring to the airport for our late evening flight home (arriving home early hours of Day 9.)

     

    (Lunch and Dinner not included)


Prices may vary depending on date.

  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £99 Fundraising target £2,200 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £99 Fundraising target £1,700 Tour Cost £250.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £99 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,100 Airline Taxes - Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 weeks prior to trip departure

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 weeks prior to trip departure

    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £99 Fundraising target £2,200 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £99 Fundraising target £1,700 Tour Cost £250.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £99 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,100 Airline Taxes - Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 weeks prior to trip departure

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 weeks prior to trip departure

    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £149 Fundraising target £2,200 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £149 Fundraising target £1,700 Tour Cost £250.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £149 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,100 Airline Taxes - Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 weeks prior to trip departure

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 weeks prior to trip departure

    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £149 Fundraising target £2,200 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £149 Fundraising target £1,700 Tour Cost £250.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £149 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,100 Airline Taxes - Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 weeks prior to trip departure

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 weeks prior to trip departure

    Download Challenge Details

Detailed Information

  • Group flights leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick, (we regret that we are unable to book connecting flights), and are booked through Discover Adventure Ltd under ATOL licence 5636. By travelling with Discover Adventure you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We do not always use the same airline for each destination; if you wish to know the probable carrier please call for details. You will usually receive confirmed flight details several months before departure. Our itineraries are always based on current flight schedules and are therefore subject to change by the airline. If you prefer to book your own flights please ask us for a land-only cost.

  • All food is included except for a few meals as specified in the itinerary. The food is plentiful, generally local in style, freshly-cooked and will give you plenty of energy. Sometimes we have packed lunches, sometimes meals are buffet-style, other times we stop at small local restaurants. Dinners are generally eaten in camp or at our hotel, depending on accommodation.

  • Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home – we are often in very rural or remote areas and among people of a different culture who may not understand your requirements, however willing they are to help. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat we strongly recommend you bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice.

  • All our leaders are from the UK or other English-speaking countries. Most work for us on an ad-hoc basis and have ‘real’ jobs in-between trips! We never send our leaders to the same destination for months on end – we want them to be as enthusiastic about your trip as you are. Although our leaders are trained in expedition first-aid, they are accompanied by an expedition doctor or medic (dependent on group size), who is there to look after the well-being of the whole group and deal with any incidents. They help the leaders to ensure the trip runs smoothly and encourage you when things get tough. The number of crew looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but an average-sized overseas group would be led by two leaders and a doctor. At Discover Adventure we pride ourselves on our high leader: participant ratio and believe it leads to greater trip enjoyment as well as excellent trip safety.

  • Our local support crew is made up of local guides, assisted by drivers, porters, cooks and other support staff, depending on the type of trip. Local guides know the area well, and are a great source of knowledge about local lifestyles. The Discover Adventure crew work closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely. In some destinations we work together as a team with local guides to help set up or break camp, or prepare meals.

  • Your luggage, food, water and equipment is carried by vehicles, porters, mules, etc (depending on terrain and accessibility) from one night-stop to the next. Space is limited and hard-sided luggage is not suitable, so it is essential that your kit is packed in a soft bag, rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should also bring a small daypack to carry for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.

  • Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with mobile phones, medical kit and other safety apparatus where necessary. They always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. Our leaders are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration – such as compulsory medical questionnaires – is all done with your safety in mind.

Preparing for the Challenge

  • We could be exposed to bad weather at any time so be prepared for all conditions. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.

  • Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We expect all participants to train hard in advance to achieve this challenge, but we respect everyone’s limits. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners will find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.

  • Entry requirements vary depending on your destination and nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is up-to-date and any visas are obtained in good time. For further information please see our Factsheet and Visa information page.

    Your routine UK schedule of vaccinations should be up-to-date (especially tetanus). We recommend you check Fit For Travel for further details. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.

  • For most people, the main attraction of travelling to a different country is to see new sights and enjoy new experiences. Sometimes those new experiences can make life harder or more inconvenient than you may like, such as toilet hygiene or different food, or simply a different attitude to solving problems. This is all part of the challenge you are signing up for! We are very privileged to live in a country with a high standard of living, and travelling exposes us to different challenges – all of which help broaden our horizons. We can guarantee that coming face-to-face with experiences outside your normal ‘comfort zone’ will help you bond with your fellow trekkers and provide you with plenty of things to laugh about! A sense of humour and sense of adventure are two of the most important things to bring with you!

  • Can I book my own flight?

    If you prefer to book your own flights please ask us for a land-only cost. You will be responsible for making your own arrangements for meeting the rest of the group, though we can advise you. We need to know if you do not require our group flight as early as possible; please complete the form in the information pack you’ll be sent with your booking confirmation.

    Do I need travel insurance?

    Yes, you must have adequate travel insurance cover in order to participate in any overseas challenge. Most charities allow you to organise this independently as long as your insurance company is aware of the nature of what you are doing and that it is a charity event. Some charities have their own specific policy. Alternatively it can be arranged through us.

Trek Training Weekend

Snowdon_Training_Trekking

£160 Special Offer - Only when you book at the same time as registering for your main challenge

Discover Adventure Trek Training Weekends take place in Snowdonia National Park, Wales. This training weekend is designed to put you through your paces to enable you to gauige fitness levels and gain advice from our experienced leaders.

MORE INFORMATION

GRADE | tough (3)

This trip involves more rigorous days; weather, altitude or basic living conditions will add to the challenge. We will supply you with a thorough training guide when you have registered. Training for the challenge is all part of the preparation and requires commitment! Without it, you will find the challenge less enjoyable - and we want you to have the time of your life!
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