Logu i Bjeshkeve

This tour is perfect for anyone interested in attending the annual “Miss Mountains” Logu i Bjeshkeve festival in Lepushe, Kelmend, and would like to combine this event with moderate hikes in an environment almost unspoilt by tourism and gaining an understanding of the living conditions in Albania’s northernmost region.

The itinerary covers Albania from the capital Tirana to much more relaxed Shkodra and historical Kruja, as well as one of the last unspoilt valleys of the Dinaric Alps. Kelmend and its villages Selca, Vermosh, Lepushe, Vukel and Nikc including the pastures of Jeshnica, Greben and Koprisht will give you a unique insight into the way of living of the locals, and their heritage can be experienced live during the ‘Miss Mountains’ festival.

Hikes are of a duration of 5 hours on average, but for most days transport by car is available for those preferring to take a rest. Accommodation is in cozy guesthouses or hotels, with the exception of one night at a summer pasture with very basic conditions.

Trip duration 8 days
Average daily walking time 2-6 hours
Difficulty 2 / 4
Comfort level basic

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“Logu i Bjeshkeve” Highlights

  • spending the night at the beautiful Jeshnica summer pasture at 1554m – it won’t get any more authentic
  • enjoying fresh, local dairy products, honey, vegetables and home-made raki
  • staggering views of the nearby Accursed Mountains from Mt Greben
  • traditional singing, dancing and colourful costumes of the Logu i Bjeshkeve “Miss Mountains” Festival
  • the descend into the stunning Nikc valley’s natural amphitheater


After our rendezvous at the airport we continue straight away to Shkoder, the North’s dynamic hub to the mountains. Here we will visit several sites, like the Rozafa castle or the Marubi photo library and enjoy a traditional meal.

Leaving the city behind on the next day our transfer continues along Shkoder Lake in direction of Montenegro until we turn off near the border to descend on a breathtaking road to Cemi Canyon. We continue driving along the river passing the local hub Tamara before we arrive in Selca, where we load the horses and climb to the summer pasture at the rim of the canyon to stay in the biggest alp of the area, Jeshnica.

During next day we further explore the high plateau and continue through the karst to the alp Vila before we venture down in the Skrapatush Valley to Vermosh. We leave the village by foot, meet the shepherds and cross the Greben Range with beautiful views in every direction. From the top the descent to Lepushe, where the festival will be held, takes us across a ridge and forest roads, all along the way we can admire the central massif of the Accursed Mountains.

The following day is reserved for the Logu i Bjeshkeve Festival which offers us traditional costumes, dances, songs and food to enjoy and relax after our previous days of hiking.

On our last long hike we visit yet another pasture and ascend the Berizhdolit Range. On top of the ridge the view opens to the surprisingly close heart of the Accursed Mountains. From above nobody would anticipate that two of the least visited villages would be nestled in the gorge formed by Nikshit River until the first roofs of traditional houses and farm patches come into sight.

The next morning we take our leave from Kelmend and drive to the historically important city of Kruja. After we visited the bazar, castle and museum, we are being taken to the top of Mt.Kruja from where we slowly descend to the town center for our last dinner.

In the morning your departure time decides if we drive directly to the airport or go for a guided city walk through Albania’s capital Tirana before we bid our farewell.

  • meeting at Tirana airport and transfer to Shkodër (150km – 2h), Northern Albania’s oldest and most lively city with distinct Italian flair, an upbeat destination
  • check-in at hotel, afterwards we drive to nearby village Shiroke for a refreshing swim at the at the shores of Lake Shokdër
  • visit of Rozafa Castle with fabulous views over the surrounding area as far as to the Albanian Alps
  • walking tour of the Shokdër’s Old Town in the evening
  • dinner in a traditional Ottoman restaurant
  • overnight in a hotel in Shkodër

  • transfer along Shkoder Lake, almost to the border with Montenegro (40km – 1h)
  • we leave the paved road to enjoy views down to spectacular Cemi Canyon in which we eventually continue to the village of Selca (810m) (45km – 2:45h)
  • climb to the plateau at the rim of the canyon (1007m) where the first summer pasture named Javor is to be found (1153m), luggage is transported by horses in the meantime
  • we enjoy staggering views  to the mountains while we continue along the rim to slowly ascend around Maja e Kertolit to the mountain summer village of Jeshnica (1554m) with the most amazing views to the Accursed Mountains central massif only 15km away
  • overnight in the huts of the alp with local produce dinner – this is as authentic as it gets
    Please be aware that this is very basic – read no electricity, no running water or showers.

Hike details

Effective walking: 4.5 h
Distance: 9 km
Ascending: 850 m
Descending: 50 m

  • departure from Jeshnica (1554m) towards the alpine karst plateau in which the lonely secluded hamlet Gryka e Dhoz (1680m) with 3 huts is found, it is separated by a pass (1720m) which marks the highest point of the day and start of our slow descend
  • arrival at Vila (1594m), another alp that sits in the cauldron created by three peaks above 2000m overlooking the wooded Skrapatush Valley at which end it is located
  • walk through the beautiful upper forest and down along forestry paths besides the river, always less than a kilometer away from the Montenegrin border until we arrive at Velipoja (1089m) the western part of Vermosh village
  • overnight in a family-run guest house with a unique tree house and host

Hike details

Effective walking: 5 h
Distance: 14 km
Ascending: 340 m
Descending: 750 m

  • from our guesthouse (1050m) we leave through the forest along shepherds’ trails to the south up to the Greben Range
  • at 1600m we reach the border of the grassy meadows where one more scattered alp (locally called stan) is located, often one gets invited to Turkish coffee and Raki
  • further ascend towards the ridge crossing Qafa e Vushmace (1782m), optionally we can continue to the Maja e Grebenit Peak (1839m) with another amazing panorama before us
  • the climb-down follows the flat ridge dotted with more huts and eventually meets a loggers road which we follow passing farm houses, until we arrive at our accommodation
  • overnight in an old family run hotel or guesthouse (subject to availability), both with the most lovely views to the mountains and close to the venue where the festival takes place

Hike details

Effective walking: 6 h
Distance: 11 km
Ascending: 800 m
Descending: 550 m

A festival called the ‘Day of the Brides’ takes place once a year. The roots of the event can be traced to religious ceremonies that originated in the churches of the area. The feast starts with a traditional dance of the area called ‘the dance of Logu’ and continues with songs, dances, and a competition to select the most impressive bride. The brides wear traditional clothes during the wedding ceremony, and with the same clothes, they compete in the day of Logu i Bjeshkeve festival.

This festival is a gathering of mountain people showing dances, music, songs and folk dresses, local food etcetera. Groups from Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo and sometimes even Macedonia participate.

The day is reserved for relaxation and enjoyment of the festival, no hike will be undertaken.

  • from Qafa Bordolecit (1360m) we leave for the Stanet e Koprishtit (1710m) looking back at Greben (which we walked two days ago) framed by the higher ridges in the background
  • at 1830m we cross the Berizhdolit Range with views to the razor ridge of Maja Gelishti and plentiful peaks of the awe-inspiring central massif, the connection to popular Theth
  • we pass along several distinct mountain houses which mark the outmost reaches of Vukli, one of the least visited villages in Kelmend, before we catch the first glimpse of the beautiful village and dotted patchwork fields situated in a dramatic gorge
  • afterwards we turn towards Nikc, passing decorated cows on our way to our guesthouse This hike can be extended or shortened in many ways, plenty of routes are possible – transport is available for those preferring not to walk.

Hike details

Effective walking: 6 h
Distance: 15 km
Ascending: 470 m
Descending: 1170 m

  • early morning departure from Nikc and transfer to Shkoder (80km- 3.5h) for a break before we continue further towards Kruja (91km – 2h)
  • lunch at the castle of Kruja with panoramic views across the plain to the sea and Tirana
  • optional hike from the Bektashi shrine in a cave near the top of Mount Kruja (1134m) towards the city (615m)
  • visit of the castle, the ethnographic and Skenderbeg museum – compare the costumes you saw during the festival with the traditional exhibits
  • overnight in a hotel in Kruja[/two_thirds]

Hike details

Effective walking: 1.5 h
Distance: 2 km
Ascending: 0 m
Descending: 520 m

  • Transfer from Kruja to Tirana or the airport (depending on your departure time)
  • Walking tour of Tirana*, possibility to visit the colorful painted neighborhoods, the national history museum, mosque, central bazaar or headquarters of the Bektashi sect
  • Farewell coffee

If you’re interested in extending your trip, please let us know in advance. Add some days at the beaches of the Adriatic and Ionian Sea, discover Thethi and Valbona valleys in the Albanian Alps, or explore the UNESCO cities Berat and Gjirokaster.

Services included:

  • 1 night accommodation in huts of a summer alp
  • 2 nights accommodation in hotel
  • 4 nights accommodation in guest houses
  • 3 meals a day in mountain villages (5x)
  • 2 meals a day in the city (2x)
  • English & German speaking guide
  • luggage transfer by horse and vehicle
  • all transports within Albania incl. transfers from/to airport
  • entrance fees

At your own:

  • insurance
  • airfare
  • lunch a la carte (Shkodra, Kruja)
  • tips and personal expenses for drinks and souvenirs

tour price per person is 600€
group size 6-15 persons

The festival takes place once a year on the second Saturday of August (10.08.2013, 09.08.2014…)

Tour date 06.08 – 13.08.13

If the minimum number of participants isn’t reached one month before departure date, the tour can’t be realized.



Didn’t find what you were looking for? Get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to tailor a tour that suits your needs, organise transport or accommodation, or simply give advice for your independent visit to Albania.