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Our difficulty rating is based on walking times and height differences. Find facts of the walks such as distance in kilometer, ascend and descend in meters and average walking time in the day to day description for every tour.
Our calculation is based on the assumption that it takes one hour to:
- cover 1km level distance
- ascend 300m
- descend 600m
In addition trail conditions and gradient are taken into account. Please consider that trails are usually not marked, maintained or generally comparable to what you would encounter during a trip to, say, Austria.
4 Difficulty levels
According to these criteria we created four categories: ALL routes are generally safe, without direct danger of falling!
Suitable for beginners. You will enjoy walking in the nature on wide and easy paths. Expect walking times of around 4h and differences in altitude of up to 400m.
Recommended for active people, walking experience is an advantage as paths can be narrow, rocky and include steeper ascends/descend. Average daily walks of 5h with height difference between 400-600m.
Suits people who do sports regularly and have good stamina, a decent amount of hiking experience is needed as trails can be gravely and in bad condition, longer ascents are common. 6h average hiking time and altitude gain of up to 1,000 m.
Only for those with strong endurance, both physical and mentally. You should be sure-footed, have no fear of heights and be used to travel in difficult or pathless terrain. Climbs of over 1,000 m in 7-8h walking time will be conducted.
Accommodation is usually arranged in uncomplicated hotels (you won’t need to pack your suit or evening gown), guesthouses, (mountain) huts or bungalows. They are in style characteristic for the country and can sometimes be quite basic and simple (below Central European standards).
Please come with adequate expectations, respect and enjoy the local circumstances. The same goes for the road network, water and power supply – blackouts are still a common everyday life happening, even in larger cities.
We usually prefer a more authentic experience over comfort, as we believe that comfort isn’t the reason you’re visiting Albania. Still we try our best to make you feel comfortable and hope that the warm welcome and hospitality shown by the people of Albania will make up for it.
3 Comfort levels
For now we tried to simplify our comfort rating as much as possible and thus created three levels.
overnights only in places that offer single or double rooms with private bathroom attached
mix of accommodation in hotels, guesthouses, huts or bungalows where dorms are common (usually for 4-6 persons) or bathrooms shared
in addition to staying in hotels and guesthouses, some overnights will be in tents
Our small group will be different from what you might expect from group travel. For example, our average party size is just 10 people and should usually not exceed 12 persons. With such a small number of people we can avoid being tangled up in the crowds and visit sites not accessible to larger groups, or stay in remote villages that offer only a dozen beds at homestays.
All of us are trained, seasoned and experienced mountaineers. We speak German and/or English. Read more about us.
The main travel routes between the mountain villages and valleys consist of so called bridle paths. They are used by donkeys and horses and are wider and less steep than the usual walking trails. In certain parts they are fortified with walls to protect them from erosion. Paths are rocky, gravely and in the higher areas you will encounter razor sharp rock, so please choose your footwear accordingly.
Sturdy ankle-high hiking boots are a must for mountain trails, in the lowlands more comfortable walking shoes can be used. Comfortable sandals are handy for the time spent at accommodation places and in transit, be aware that many cities feature cobble stone streets which can be very slippery.
As tracks are not maintained, we always recommend to wear long trousers that protect you from scrub, useful are zipper trousers that come with easy-to-remove legs. We also suggest having a spare t-shirt ready to change into after a strenuous section of a walk and some kind of hat is a must. This will protect you from the heat in summer while during the rest of the year cold winds can be present at higher elevations. A windbreaker and/or light rain wear are recommended, as well as some kind of warm clothing for the nights.
- sturdy (ankle high) hiking boots (tip: wear your boots during the flight to decrease weight and be on the safe side should your luggage not arrive together with you)
- comfortable second pair of shoes or sandals
- hat or other form of sun protection, in addition to sun cream and glasses
- light rainwear (95% of rain falls in winter)
- warm fleece or similar clothing as even in summertime nights are cold
- 2l water gear
- small backpack 25-40l
- gaiters (if you hike with us in May or in areas above 2000m)
- swim wear (optional, but recommended)
- Non-refundable deposit for tailor-made tours
- Cancellation policy for open depatures:
• until day 31 before the arrival of the group: none
• day 30 to 15 before the arrival of the group: 80% refund
• day 14 to 7 before the arrival of the group: 70% refund
• day 6 to 2 before the arrival of the group: 40% refund
• a day prior or no show: 10% refund
Please note that for every tour that includes luggage transfers on mules or horses, that only one piece of luggage is allowed, which shall not exceed 15kg of weight. In addition please refrain from using hard-shell suitcases, as they are not suitable. Please bring big backpacks, duffel bags or any other soft bags instead.