Around Peshkopi in eastern Albania you have some world class hiking places, but they have not been discovered yet by foreign tourists. When I went hiking there I did not see a single foreign hiker, but you should really go as this is world class hiking in pristine surroundings. Hiking in Albania rocks.
Hiking in Albania.
High up in the albanian alps, more than 2000 meters above sea level, is a mountain range that divides Albania and Macedonia. I went hiking there last week with an albanian friend and we had a fantastic trip, where we did not meet a single other hiker. The only people we saw were the local shepherds and their animals.
We started off in a small village outside Peshkopi and hiked up the mountain on a trail that has been marked recently and it worked pretty well. As we got higher up we originally planned to just follow the marked trail, but we saw 2 shepherds sitting on a mountain top and we decided to hike up to the top of the mountain to say hello to them. This was quite a steep hike, but we were rewarded with some stunning views of the surrounding area and we could also see Albania’s highest mountain Korab from there. The shepherds told us that they were living up on the mountain the entire summer period for 6 months and because they spend no money they could save all the money they earned, so they thought it was a nice job. They had 3 big dogs with them to chase Wolfs and bears away and on the way down we saw that it was no joke when they told us that there were a lot of bears in this mountain range as we saw fresh trails from a bear that had scratched the bark of a tree to mark it’s territory.
Going down a mountain is often harder than going up.
After a good rest and some lunch on the top of the mountain we decided to head down and went off the trail and took a steep decent to save a little time. Going downhill is often a lot herder than going up as you put a lot of pressure on your joints when descending down a mountain and that combined with being tired already makes it quite tough. I was honestly speaking a quite worn out on the way down, but this is part of the hiking experience and you get tired “the right way” when you do exercise like this and I feel like partying all night after such a hike, opposed to a day at work where I am tired in a way that just makes me want to go to bed cause I am so tired in my head too.
Back in the village, where we had parked our car, we got invited in for food and drink with a local family and was fed with goat milk, goat cheese, pasta, ribs and a few other things. One of the great things about the food in all the Balkan countries is that the folk is often home made country food, just like the booze that offer you is home made too. For a guy like me who grew up on the countryside in rural Denmark this is super cool and the Balkan region is one of my favorite places in the world for food. Hiking in Albania is good for the stomach too 🙂