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.
“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.
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.