Peaks of the Balkans / Via Dinarica – Border Crossing Permits

We’re happy to see your interest in the Peaks of the Balkans Trail! Applying for and receiving the necessary permits remains a big hurdle for individual walkers and we hope we can assist.

Please note that permits are applied in self-service. Kindly read the FAQ before sending questions, they may not be answered due to time constraints otherwise.

  1. Complete the form below with the correct details, click the link to open an easier to use full screen version.
  2. Once the details been checked, you will receive an email prompt to upload your scans of your travel documents and pay via PayPal (funded by credit card or bank account)
  3. An application for each border crossing is submitted to the respective police unit for review and approval, this usually takes 3-5 working days.
  4. You receive a confirmation letter and your application forms by email in PDF format. Please print or save on mobile device during the trek.
  5. The Montenegrin police requests you to pick up a finalized paper at the border police station of Plav.

Please apply 14 days before your crossing, ideally a month in advance! When fewer days remain we try our best, but cannot guarantee delivery prior to departure. We recommend to apply in any case as even without paperwork your crossings will be logged in the system of the border police.

We believe that 5 EUR per person and permit is a fair amount in return for sorting out the red tape that guarantees you a hassle free vacation time. Note that our fee is capped at 50 EUR, no matter the number of persons up to 5 permits.

Please note that an additional 10 EUR fee/tax is charged by the Montenegrin police for each crossing out of Montenegro, another 5 EUR go to banking fees for these payments.

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2 persons require 3 permits to complete Peaks of the Balkans Trail:

2 persons x 3 permits x 5€ + 15€ police fee = 45€.

Why do I need the permits?
At “green” border crossings away fron border points (airports, roads) police won’t register your ID/passport and the digital entree corresponding to your arrival/departure in the country is missing in the system. Your exit/entree needs to be recorded for legal reasons. Beware that problems can arise at random checks or trying to leave the country without a record of entering it.

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How many permits do I need?
To complete a circular tour of all three countries only three permits are required. If you only stride the border without actually crossing it for good (extended stay or overnight in the other country) you won’t need a separate permit.

No permits are required for example for:

  • Valbona – Cerem: via the Persllopit and Bor Pass
  • Cerem – Doberdol
  • Doberdol – Babino Polje
  • Doberdol – Gjeravica – Doberdol

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Are the dates flexible?
The police requires a set date, no exceptions. Plan ahead and try to stick to the plan. Walkers who are delayed by one or two days due to a valid excuse, say bad weather conditions, losing the trail, exhaustion and similar events, had never had problems and the police shows understanding.
Please note: This is not a legal council, if you have further questions please contact the police directly – neither Zbulo nor any of its associates can’t be held responsible for any negative results or legal charges that might occur. 

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I’m under 18 years old and am traveling alone?

The police requires written consent of your parents in English if you’re under 18 years old and don’t travel with a family member.

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Why does the Montenegrin police charge a fee?
In a mutual agreement, the police units of all three countries signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to process applications for free. Montenegro seems to have changed its mind and now requires a fee of 10 EUR. If this sounds outrageous to you too, why not let the Montenegrin Tourism Organisation know about it: info@montenegro.travel

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Can I collect the permits at your office?

We don’t have a front office and unfortunately don’t receive visitors.

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Does the police really check the permits?
While the Albanian police happily welcome visitors, their neighbors in Kosovo are are stricter and control mainly the Rugova Valley. The Montenegrin border guards are more serious with frequent patrol in their Land Rover Defender, especially in the area around Vusanje and Babino Polje. There is also a rather large police station in Plav, keep in mind that fully equipped hikers aren’t low profile in the streets of this small town. There are reports of hikers without permits being requested to pay a hefty “bakshish” to avoid legal proceedings. We recommend obtaining all permits for a worry-free walking holiday.

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Is it possible to just get them on the go / on short notice?
No, unfortunately this isn’t possible. The police processes permits from Monday to Friday and takes usually 3-5 working days plus potential processing time for verification and payment.

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What if I really need them on short notice? (this is an emergency!)
Apply ASAP, than drop us an email at permits@zbulo.org or give us a quick call to let us know. We advise to apply in any case, even if that means starting out without permits as your crossings will eventually be entered in the digital border police system.

The form is designed for up to 8 persons per party, with more participants in the group please fill it multiple times or send an email with a short explanation to permits@zbulo.org.

Required for each participant are:

  • first and last name
  • nationality
  • birth date and location
  • address
  • passport / ID number (we recommend passports)
  • date and location the document was issued as well as expiry date (be aware that it should be valid for another six months)

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Application for border-crossing permit

Click to open in new window for better overview or fill below, please read first and fill the form carefully, your application can’t be changed afterward and will be rejected otherwise!

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