Overview for Accursed Mountains: Via Dinarica in Kosovo
This walking holiday is a unique opportunity to explore one of the last hidden treasures of the European continent. The Via Dinarica trails offer spectacular views, rugged peaks, glacial lakes, rich history and cultural diversity.
The Via Dinarica is a mega walking trail that when completed will extend from Albania to Slovenia. The main part of the trail slices diagonally from south-east to north-west, naturally following the main ridge of the Dinaric Alps, running parallel to the Adriatic coast.
This itinerary in Kosovo offers you the opportunity to explore deeper into the hidden natural beauty of Kosovo with hikes in Rugova Gorge (part of Kosovo’s Accursed Mountains, Bjeshkët e Nemuna) and over mountain crests to the border of Kosovo and Montenegro.
The walking holiday includes a climb to the top of Mount Gjeravica (the highest mountain in Kosovo) where you will have magnificent views of Montenegro and Albania. The itinerary also includes short breaks in Prizren and Peja, two of the country’s oldest and most historic cities. The accommodation varies between three and four stars (including a spa hotel) in towns and basic family-run guesthouses in the mountains. All accommodation is hand-picked by The Natural Adventure Company.
- Rugova Gorge
- Glacial Lakes of Accursed Mountains
- Mount Gjeravica
- The historic towns of Prizren and Peja
Itinerary for Accursed Mountains: Via Dinarica in KosovoGo to top of page
Day 1: Arrive in Pristina/Peja
Arrive at Pristina Airport. Private transfer to the historic city of Peja. Depending on the time of arrival we will select a few stops to visit the natural and cultural landmarks of Kosovo, including UNESCO heritage Orthodox Monasteries or a cascade of beautiful waterfalls.
- Overnight in a 4-star hotel with spa facilities (Dukakjini Hotel).
Day 2: Livadhi i Sakes Via Ferrata
The city of Peja is unique in its proximity to the mountains and known as the gateway to the Rugova Gorge. A walk through the city will take you to the Orthodox Patriarch Church which in turn connects you to the forest and the hiking trail that takes you to Livadhi i Sakes. Climb the Via Ferrata accompanied by an experienced guide and enjoy some great views of the Accursed Mountains, Rugova Gorge and the city of Peja.
- Overnight in a 4-star hotel with spa facilities (Dukakjini Hotel).
Day 3: Reka e Allages – Drelaj
You will start today’s hiking in the village of Reka e Allages, at the guesthouse of Mustafe and Nafihe Nikçi. The hike itself goes through valleys and mountain crests. It is a moderate to easy walk which can be extended if you add Hajla crest (2,405 m). The views from the crest are spectacular and you will see the mountains that you will be hiking during the next days, including the Majestic Guri i Kuq, one of the most beautiful peaks along the Via Dinarica. The end of the trail will take you to Drelaj, to the guesthouse of the Shala family.
- Walking for the day: 10 km, 5-6 hours ↑980m ↓1,200m
- Overnight in Shala Family guesthouse
Day 4: Liqunat Lakes of Rugova to Zllanopoja
After a transfer to Liqunat, you will start hiking along a trail that runs on the southern side of the Lumbardhi river. You will be following the Peaks of the Balkans route up to Lugu i Shkodres, then turn towards Zllanopoja, a village in the Lumbardhi mountains, inhabited by shepherds from the Lekaj clan. The first part of the trail is one of the most popular walks in Rugova due to the beautiful glacial Lakes, however, as soon as you reach the 2,000 altitude mark you will most probably be walking alone. Through crests and some woodlands, you will reach the village of Zllanopoja and Zeka’s guesthouse.
- Walking for the day: 13 km, 6 hours ↑830m ↓660m
- Overnight in Zeka’s guesthouse
Day 5: Zllanopoja – Bjeshka e Belegut
Between Zllanopoja and Bjeshka e Belegut, the trail goes through even wilder areas of the Rugova Mountains, in really unspoilt natural surroundings. Most of the trail runs above 2,000 meters. You will be reaching the Bjeshka e Belegut or the mountains of the Belegu clan.
- Walking for the day: 16 km, 7 hours ↑950m ↓650m
- Overnight in Zeka’s guesthouse
Day 6: Gjeravica – Kosovo’s Highest Peak
Today’s walk will take you to the highest mountain in Kosovo and the second highest in the Dinaric Alps and the Accursed Mountains (2,656m). The trail to the top is rugged, but there are beautiful views through pastures and meadows towards the top of the mountain. You can also see parts of the Accursed Mountain Range sprawling over the Albanian and Montenegrin borders.
- Walking for the day: 22 km, 9 hours ↑1,100m ↓1,250m
- Overnight in a family-run guesthouse
Day 7: Prizren
From Gjeravica you will start a journey in the western parts of Kosovo and taste some great local wines in the Rahovec Valley and the town of Rahovac, an ancient winemaking centre. You will continue to the city of Prizren, a town of great cultural diversity and rich in historic landmarks. Overnight in a 3-star hotel in Prizren.
Day 8: Transfer to Prishtina / Departure
Hotels for Accursed Mountains: Via Dinarica in KosovoGo to top of page
3 and 4-star hotels in towns and family-run guesthouses in the mountains, as indicated in the itinerary. Some of them will have spa facilities. All places have been carefully handpicked by us and their quality is regularly monitored. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.
Breakfast is included, as well as lunches and dinners in the mountains. In towns, lunch and dinner are available either from the restaurant in your hotel or from restaurants located nearby.
Travel for Accursed Mountains: Via Dinarica in KosovoGo to top of page
Our recommended arrival airport for this holiday is Prishtina, Kosovo. Flights are available from London Gatwick with Germania Air/Air Prishtina () (https://info.airprishtina.com).
Alternatively, flights are available from London Luton to Skopje with Wizzair. Private car transfers from Skopje to Kosovo are available for 120 euros (maximum 4 persons) each way.
Transfers to/from Airports
Day 1- From Prishtina Airport To Peja Hotel
- A private transfer from Prishtina Airport to hotel in Peja is included in your trip
Day 8 – From Prizren Hotel to Prishtina Airport
- A private transfer from Prizren hotel to Prishtina Aiport is included in your trip
Baggage transfer is included on all walking days and your bags will be transferred to your next hotel. Baggage limit 25 kg per bag.
Kosovo: Country Info
Timezone: GMT +1
Language: Albanian. In big cities, many people speak English, but in remote areas, this might not be the case. However, most of the hotel personnel where we stay speak English and are ready to help you. Road signs/markers are normally in Albanian and sometimes in English too – and you can always call our 24/7 helpline if there are any problems.
Electric supply and plugs: 220V, 50hZ, two-pin round plugs.
Currency: Euro (EUR). We strongly advise taking adequate cash for your daily requirements. Banks and ATMs are available and credit/debit card payments are widely accepted in towns and cities and in big petrol station chains but might be limited at some of the villages we visit.
Cost of living: in Kosovo is much cheaper than in the UK or Western Europe. Some sample prices follow:
• A 3-course meal in a standard restaurant: € 7-10 pp
• A flask of mineral water from a street shop: € 0.5
• A cup of coffee: € 0.5 – 2
Up-to-date travel advice on Kosovo is available here.
Detailed travel and country information is provided in your holiday information pack.
Trip Info for Accursed Mountains: Via Dinarica in KosovoGo to top of page
Difficulty Grade: Moderate to Strenuous
Appropriate for regular walkers. Requires a reasonable level of fitness. The trip covers an average of 6-7 hours of hiking per day. Average daily elevation gain is 950 m (read more about difficulty grades).
We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to Go
This trip is available from June until October. Weather is best in July – September.
The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your holiday on any date in the season – so please indicate desired starting date when booking.
The climate is temperate continental. It is influenced both by the colder air coming from the north and by the warmer breeze from the Mediterranean. Depending on location and altitude, temperatures vary, but generally, in the June-September period, the daily averages are 20 – 25 C. Summer and autumn are pleasant with cool nights and occasional rain. High summer daytime temperatures are rarely too hot as even though temperatures can occasionally reach 30 C, the mountains and forests remain cooler, dropping at night to 12-18 C. The region is recognized as having some of the purest air in Europe.
What to Bring
We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, the place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing not more than 20 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your everyday essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc.). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack. If you need further advice, please contact a reputable outdoor retailer or us.
- Good hiking boots
- Hiking socks
- Several t-shirts (cotton or preferably breathable/fast drying)
- Packable waterproof and windproof jacket with hood
- Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
- Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside accommodation
- Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
- Hat/Baseball cap
- Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)
Included for Accursed Mountains: Via Dinarica in KosovoGo to top of page
- Detailed pre-departure holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions, road notes and maps (electronic copy + one printed copy per party)
- Accommodation in 3 or 4-star hotels in towns (3 nights), 3 breakfasts included
- Accommodation in simple guesthouses in the mountains (4 nights), 4 lunches and 4 dinners included
- Baggage transfers
- All internal ground transfers as listed in itinerary
- 24/7 assistance by phone
Single Room & Solo Traveller Supplements
- Single room supplement: add 20% to standard trip price
- This holiday is NOT available for solo travellers
On request, we can provide a private guide on the four walking days – £50 per walking day, or £200 total for a group of 2 – 6 people
Other Trip-Related Costs
- Entrance fees for attractions and museums
- Lunches and dinners
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses such as snacks, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
- Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the program