Looking for a beautiful hike and are you curious about the great Balkan Trail?
As you walk along the Balkan Trail, you will see some amazing sights in Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro! Following this path, you can see some of Europe’s most beautiful and untouched landscapes.
While hiking, you’ll get to see how people used to live in the traditional Balkan mountains, which are stunning in both natural and cultural ways. Some people walk along the Balkan Trail, but it’s also a trip that takes you into the heart of the Western Balkans and gives you a chance to experience adventure, peace, and culture.
This guide will help you understand why the Balkan Trail is a must-see if you’re looking for an amazing hiking experience, no matter how much experience you have or how brand new you are to hiking.
What is the Balkan Trail?
You can enjoy the Balkan Trail, a.k.a. the Peaks of the Balkans Trail, which winds through three beautiful countries: Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro. Through this trail, you can see the Western Balkans’ untouched beauty and wide range of cultural settings.
It goes through rough mountains, peaceful valleys, and cute towns that look like they’ve been frozen in time. When hikers follow this trail, they can see stunning natural scenery that changes all the time, from tall mountains to dense woods.
So, how does the trail actually look? Well, you will cross the following (beautiful) areas:
– It goes through remote and beautiful places in Albania and gives you a look at how people used to live in the Albanian Alps.
– The Valbona Valley is important because it has beautiful alpine scenery, and the town of Theth is pretty cool because it has traditional stone houses and the historic Theth National Park.
– The trail goes through the Accursed Mountains (Bjeshkët e Namuna) in Kosovo. These mountains have some of the most dramatic views for you along the way.
– The town of Doberdol and the peaks that surround it are important stops, and you can also climb to the top of Mount Gjeravica, which is the highest peak in Kosovo.
– Parts of the Prokletije (Accursed Mountains), which are also called the Albanian Alps, are on the trail in Montenegro.
– The route goes through beautiful places like the Grbaja Valley, the peaceful town of Babino Polje, and the difficult but rewarding hike to the top of Taljanka.
It’s a great way to learn about the rich traditions and friendly culture of the Balkan people. It’s not just a way to see more of the Balkans; it’s also a way to get to the heart of an area rich in history, culture, and natural beauty.
How long is the Balkan Trail?
The Balkan Trail is a beautiful hike that goes through the middle of the Western Balkans. It is 192 kilometers long! This long distance makes it an amazing trip if you want to go hiking for several days.
As you walk this trail, you’ll see a wide range of scenery, from rough mountain terrain to peaceful meadows. Every day will bring new sights and experiences. The trail is long enough to allow for a full exploration; it usually takes hikers 10 to 12 days to finish. But you can also do a shorter version!
This amount of time gives you enough time to fully experience each country—Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro—giving you plenty of time to enjoy the Balkans’ natural beauty, meet local wildlife, and learn about their rich culture history.
The Balkan Trail is a great place to go hiking, whether you’re an experienced hiker or someone looking for a long trip. It’s full of beautiful scenery and interesting history.
How hard is Peaks of the Balkans Trail?
Good news! It’s possible for people of all skill levels to enjoy the Peaks of the Balkans Trail:
- Moderate to difficult: This trail is ranked as moderate to difficult. Due to its length and some steep parts, it does require some good physical fitness.
- Variability of Terrain: You will be able to go through rocky mountain roads, meadows, and forest trails.
- Getting ready: Hikers, especially first-timers, should get in shape and learn the basics of how to hike before they go on a trip.
When should I go on the Balkan Trail?
It is very important to plan when you will hike the Balkan Trail so that you have the best experience possible. When choosing when to start this adventure, here are some important things to keep in mind:
The best times to hike are:
- From June to September: This is the best time to hike the Balkan Trail. The weather is likely to be the most stable during this time. The days are usually warm and sunny, which is great for climbing and taking in the beautiful views. It’s less likely to rain, and the paths are in great shape.
- Late Spring (May): Don’t want the busiest time of year for hiking? Late Spring can be a great pick. The scenery is lush and colorful, and plants are in full bloom. But be ready for weather that is a little hard to predict, including rain showers now and then.
- Early Autumn (October): Like late spring, early autumn is a peaceful time to go hiking because there are fewer other people out and about. As the seasons change, the leaves make a beautiful background for your walk. There will likely be cooler temperatures and a greater chance of rain.
Things to Think About for Each Season:
- Conditions of the Weather: The weather in the Balkans can change a lot. Summer is the most stable and warm season. Spring and fall, on the other hand, can be hard to predict. Before you leave on a trip, you should always check the weather report.
- Conditions of the Trails: Most trails are well-kept and easy to get around on in the summer when it’s dry. In the spring and fall, problems could arise, such as trails that are too wet or snow at higher elevations.
There will be more people on the road from June to September, when it’s the busiest for tourists. If you want a more peaceful walk, you might want to go between May and October.
Things to Bring with you:
- What to Wear: If you’re hiking in the spring or fall, bring layers so you can adapt to changing weather. No matter the season, you need waterproof gear.
- Sun protection: The sun can be very strong in the summer. To avoid getting burned, bring sunscreen, a hat, and shades.
- Tools for Navigation: In remote places, cell phone service may not always work, so always carry a map, compass, or GPS device.
If you carefully consider when to hike the Balkan Trail, you can get the most out of it and enjoy the stunning natural beauty and cultural diversity of this one-of-a-kind area in the best conditions.
Book Your Tour!
I know that a lot of hikers choose or prefer guided trips because they are less stressful and can feel a bit safer. If you prefer a guided trip, I have a great recommendation for you. There is a great tour called the Peaks of the Balkans Trail in 7 days!
The Peaks of the Balkans are a group of stunningly beautiful mountains that are shared by Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro. In seven days, you’ll cross the border more than once, see some truly amazing scenery, and live completely away from people.
A great journey to see some of the world’s most beautiful mountain peaks!
Is it safe to hike in the Balkans?
Yes, it’s safe to hike on the Balkan Trail. The trail is easy to find, and most of the people who live there are friendly and willing to help. But yeah, you should always put safety first:
- Stay up-to-date: Regularly check the weather forecast and neighborhood information.
- Initial Preparation: Prepare for emergencies by carrying a first-aid kit, a whistle, and a way to get in touch with someone before you leave.
- Hiking with other people: This is especially helpful if you aren’t very experienced.
Balkan Trail: FAQs
The information below will give you some more great insights about the fascinating Balkan Trail!
What is the highest point in the Balkans?
But the highest point on the Balkan Trail is Mount Gjeravica in Kosovo. Its peak is 2,656 meters high and gives people who make it there a great sense of success.
What is the best way to travel the Balkans?
There are several ways to travel through the Balkans:
- Self-Drive: If you rent a car, you can go at your own pace and see parts of the city that are harder to get to by public transportation. If you’re looking for a car to rent, you can book it here!
- Public transportation: Buses and trains are cheap and a great way to meet people from the area.
- Biking: For those who like to take risks, biking through the Balkans is a great way to get close to the scenery.
Can you wild camp in the Balkans?
In the Balkans, you can really camp out in the wild, but you need to be careful and know the rules that vary from country to country. The Balkans provide many opportunities for camping in the wild, especially along the Balkan Trail. But here are some important things to remember:
- Check the local Laws in Your Area: Each Balkan country has its own rules about camping in the wild. It might be allowed everywhere, but in some places there might be rules against it or it might be against the law. Find out about the laws of the place you are in or want to visit.
- Permission: When needed to ask the owner for permission. In many rural places, landowners are willing to work with you if you kindly ask.
- Environmental Concern: It is very important to follow the “Leave No Trace” rules. This means taking all of your trash with you, protecting the environment as much as possible, and leaving the spot the way you found it.
- General Safety: As far as safety goes, you’re on your own when you’re sleeping in the wild. Bring a first-aid kit with you and let someone know where and when you’ll be camping in case of an emergency.
- Fire safety: Be very careful around fires. Because of the risk of forest fires, many places don’t let you start fires. Camp stoves are great for cooking, and if you do start a fire, keep water close by.
- Respect for Wildlife: There is a lot of different wildlife in the Balkans. Keep food safely away from animals and store it in a secure place.
- General rules: Camping rules say that you should set up your campsite a fair distance from walking paths and water sources. This helps protect the natural surroundings and keeps the experience private for you and other people.
Don’t forget that camping in the wild in the Balkans can be a great way to get closer to nature. Having that said, you are expected to respect the local laws, the surroundings, and the people who live there.
Are the Balkans safe for solo travel?
Yes, it is safe to travel alone in the Balkans. More and more solo travelers are choosing to visit this area, which is known for its long past, many different cultures, and beautiful scenery. The Balkan countries are usually friendly to tourists and have made big improvements in recent years to their tourist infrastructure and safety.
People who live in the Balkans are usually welcoming and friendly to solo travelers. Many of them speak English, especially younger people and people who live in tourist or urban areas.
Because the area is becoming more and more famous as a tourist spot, there is now a well-established network of ways to get around, places to stay, and things to do for all kinds of travelers.
The Wrap-Up: Balkan Trail
So, going on the Balkan Trail isn’t just like an ordinary hike. It’s actually a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It has stunning natural scenery, a lot of cultural activities, and the fun of finding the way that not many people take.
You know what it is? The Balkan Trail will give you memories that will last a lifetime, whether you’re an experienced walker or just looking for a different way to travel.
Are you ready to see the most important parts of the Balkans? Get your bags ready, and let’s start this amazing trip!
Your restless voyager,