Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro holiday
Description of Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro holiday
Experience the high life on the Balkan Peninsula as you hike through the plentiful forests and around the mountain lakes previously only traversed by shepherds and their flocks.
Tackling the southern section of the long distance Via Dinarica trail allows insight into the alpine areas of Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro with two weeks of walking and cultural encounters ensuring heavenly hiking way off the typical tourist trail.
From remote mountain communities still practising ancient agricultural traditions to the cultural contrasts to be discovered as you cross Balkan borders, this small group holiday conjures up a succession of trekking trails that capture the simplicity of life as a nomadic shepherd.
Nat Geo travellers recently voted Via Dinarica as one of the best destinations in the world and this is your chance to find out why on this challenging and fascinating small group walking adventure.
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PlanetAccommodation and Meals:
During this trip we stay at a variety of accommodation types from hotels to guesthouses and shepherd mountain huts. Most of the accommodation is owned by families which brings a great contribution to the local community. Most of the food is included in this itinerary, the majority of ingredients are locally sourced. A lot of their food is also grown and cultivated on their own for consumption. For example, all dairy farm products are made in house by each hut. Same goes for meat and crops cultivated where most farmers provide potato and fresh meat to clients.
Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a walking and trekking trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. We do believe in leaving no more than footprints and strongly advise clients to produce as little litter as possible during the trip as the Alpine areas are very inaccessible and difficult to manage waste or to be even brought down to urbanised centres. This trip takes clients off the beaten track and avoids using some of the peaks of the Balkans trail.
This is a small group tour, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.
It all starts at home where we work towards reducing our carbon footprint in our offices through energy conservation measures, recycling policies and the promotion of cycling and walking as a means for our staff to commute. Our head office has become a plastic-free zone with the use of plastic bottles being banned in our head office and we distributed reusable water bottles and tote bags to every staff member. We also support a large number of community and environmental projects in different parts of the world and try to give something back to the places we visit.
PeopleLocal Craft and Culture:
In Tirana, we will visit a local market called Pazari i ri also known as the new Bazaar. This new opera and ballet house in a typical Russian style market gives clients the opportunity to buy local produce and souvenirs, fostering local interaction. There are also a variety of restaurants clients can visit to try some local specialties. Of course, our guides will recommend some of the best local eateries to try.
During the trip, we have several stops at different tea houses where our visits provide an avenue of income for the local community. On our journey from Tirana to Northern Albania (Tropoja), we will stop at a turret type tower that is usually closed for most visitors but our local operator managed to strike an agreement with the custodian of the tower. As a result, our groups are able to visit this tower which is now a museum during the communist period dedicated to a local hero who died at the end of the 19th century. In return, our local operator donates money to the custodian to help with the upkeep and repair of the tower. This ensures that the custodian can gain financial benefit from our visit and the tower still remains as symbol of their history and culture.
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