Albania walking vacation

“A week of guided walking in the Albanian Alps, staying in different accommodations along the way, your luggage transferred by horse.”

Highlights

Tirana | Shkodėr | Albanian Alps or Accursed Mountains | Theth National Park | Grunas Waterfall | Tropojė District | Valbonė Pass | Rosi Peak | White Circle | Rosi Peak | Berat UNESCO World Heritage Site | Krujė

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05 Jun 2020
US $1499
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19 Jun 2020
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17 Jul 2020
US $1479
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07 Aug 2020
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21 Aug 2020
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04 Sep 2020
US $1399
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11 Sep 2020
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Responsible tourism

Albania walking vacation

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.

Environment

Activity:
Few vacations have such a low environmental impact as a walking trip. We are vigilant with litter disposal and avoid path erosion by sticking to routes which have been decided by guides. Although much of this trip is spent walking in very beautiful and isolated areas, we also make time for cultural activities. By visiting cultural sites like Berat’s Ethnographic Museum and the 17th century Sinan Pasha Mosque in Prizren, we are contributing to their upkeep. Our entrance fees go towards maintenance and often clients will buy souvenirs which benefit these establishments and local people.

Conservation:
Although we work in very remote areas, where there are not many charities set up, we always support a local organisation called PPNEA (Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania). They are based in Rilindja Campsite in Valbona valley and are currently working on several conservation activities including the ‘Balkan Lynx Recovery Program’. This involves allowing this threatened species to recuperate by setting up monitoring systems and protected areas.

Waste Management:
Waste management is a big problem in Albania and so we are very careful not to exacerbate this issue, operating with a ‘leave no trace policy.’ We encourage our suppliers and guides to minimise plastic waste in the mountainous areas by distributing paper bags for waste disposal. In Northern Albania, we can drink water fresh from the streams or taps, so we also encourage our clients to re-fill a bottle or canister to drink from. This prevents the needless buying of several plastic bottles.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Community

Accommodation and Meals:
We spend four nights in alpine guesthouses and four nights in hotels. By using local accommodation, restaurants and shops, we are supporting the community hugely by boosting businesses in low season. Where meals are supplied, we endeavour to use local produce. Otherwise, your guide will be able to recommend places which sell authentic and delicious meals such as baked rice, casseroles, stuffed aubergine and jani meat (beef or lamb sauteed with onions, garlic and spices). The mountainous regions particularly benefit from our commerce due to their remote location so we try to stop at coffee shops run by farmers from their huts.

A Fair Deal:
Our guides are all people who live and work in the areas in which we operate our tours. This gives extra support to the local economy and offers our clients a level of expertise which would be otherwise unattainable. For these trips we have also contracted part time farmers and horse owners to help with luggage transportation from one village to the next. We make sure to engage different farmers on a rota basis so that several individuals can benefit from additional income. These people are particularly skilled in that they have explored this terrain for many years and have extensive knowledge of the area.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, 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.

5 Reviews of Albania walking vacation

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 16 Jul 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Seeing our kit bags being carried up the mountain paths on horseback. Not really what you expect to see in Europe and quite priceless. The scenery around Theth and Valbona was fantastic.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be a bit wary of the walking category given. 'Moderate' is pushing the limit after consecutive days of >1100m climbs in well over 30c temperatures.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. We stayed in small hotels and guesthouses rather than chain hotels, had local guides everywhere as well as the tour guide and employed local drivers
and animal handlers. Single use plastic bottles were discouraged.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Brilliant. Albania proved to be a lovely place to visit and without exception the Albanians we met along the way were very welcoming and great to interact
with.

Reviewed on 07 Sep 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Visiting & walking in unspoilt areas, in a relatively unknown country. Eating local foods & dishes.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


To take some foods to suppliment the meals provided if a fussy eater.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. It was noticeable how the locals benefited in the mountains.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


We had a wonderful time, although the walking was more intense than we thought as first timers.

Reviewed on 23 Sep 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The stunning views at the Valbone pass and the boat trip.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Bring walking poles! The terrain was very rocky and steep in places and it really helps your balance and saves your knees.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Mostly, yes. Staying in different hotels most nights and using different bed linen/towels all the time will always have some environmental impact, but I still felt that this vacation reduced environmental impact. Both hotels in the mountains served local food and encouraged drinking tap water (which was lovely!) instead of using plastic bottles. I think it benefited local people too, as we were not using big international hotel chains.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Amazing experience!

Reviewed on 12 Sep 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Swimming in the Blue Eye and walking over the pass from Theth to Valbona.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Bring walking poles as the terrain is very steep and can be difficult on the descent.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The use of local guides and transport benefited local people from the areas we visited.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


I loved the vacation, the only down side was that perhaps we tried to pack in too much for the short time we had available.

Reviewed on 24 Jun 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The walk Theth to Valbona is tough, but worth the effort

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Berat is worth a visit, but takes up a lot of travel time

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Walking in Theth and Valbone used local hotels, guides, horses and minibuses so certainly benefited local people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


An excellent introduction to Albania, a country that more should visit, with a very knowledgeable Albanian tour leader

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