Trail Description

The official trail consists of the 16 main and 13 secondary stages listed and described below. All trails taken together allow you to plan tours that fit your preferences in terms of duration, difficulty and accommodation.

The 16 stages of the main trail are shown as a thick red-white dashed line on the map and labeled HST (for High Scardus Trail) from 1 to 16. This is the route of the full thru hike.

Each stage represents one day of walking and can be categorized into three regions. Between those a transfer is required and the continuity of the trail interrupted.

The 13 secondary trails are shown as a thinner red-white dashed line. They’re either alternative routes or offer additional entrance/exit points along the main trail.

There are also other trails in the area labeled with a yellow-white dashed lines, their real number is far greater and it’s only a small choice (May 2018).

  1. Shari & Korab
  2. Shebenik-Jablanica
  3. Galicica with Ohrid and Prespa Lakes

See also maps and GPS tracks.

Stages

Stages are labeled “HST” for High Scardus Trail followed by stage number starting from the North and finishing in the South. For each stage there’s a description of the trail, ia

The trail starts from the information board at the upper part of Staro Selo, just below the church, near the village fountain. Spatially, the trail can be divided into four parts. The first part of the trail is a wide dirt road combined with a mountain path, which passes through a beech forest all the way to the mountain hut Ljuboten. The second part of the trail starts just above the hut and goes sharply upwards through a short uphill terrain, then moving south along the ridge of the Ljuboten Peak, it passes the biggest stone colluvium in Macedonia named Kozja Stena. The third part of the trail is on the Shar Mountain ridge itself, where the grandeur of Shar Mountain can be observed. The trail extends along the ridge, passing several times through the southeast and northwest side and before the assent towards Livadica peak begins, the trail leads northwest through the green pass and then descends slightly to the glacial lake Livadichko Ezero. From the lake up to the ski center Brezovica is the beginning of the fourth part of the trail. In this part the trail ascends to an altitude of 2,333 m and from this point the trail starts descending in a south-southwest direction towards the foothill of the peak Livadica, i.e. its northwest side. On the peak Meanche, at 2,133 m, is the beginning of a wide dirt road descending to the ski center Brezovica.

Panoramas and landscapes:

    • On the first part of the trail, there is a prospect overlooking the falls of Vratnichka Reka and the Ljuboten Peak.
    • On the second part of the trail, after passing the stone colluvium, the Polog Valley can be seen, as well as the north peaks and the ridge of Shar Mountain, from where the view towards Kosovo opens up, more specifically towards the Sirinichka area in Kosovo (Brezovica and Shtrpce).

 

Altitude of the starting point:  The village of Staro Selo – 900 m

Highest point:  Kule – 2,324 m

Altitude of the ending point:  ski center Brezovica – 1,735 m

Altitude difference 1,425 m

Duration of the hiking tour:  8.00 – 10.00 hours

Length of the hiking trail:  24 km

Map to use: HST1 / Shar Mountain (Northeastern Segment)

 

Start: The village of Staro Selo, access via

    • Highway Skopje – Tetovo, 43 km
    • Local road Tetovo – The village of Stare Selo, 25 km

End: The Ski Center Brezovica, access via

    • Highway Prishtina – Shtrpce, 62 km
    • Local road Shtrpce – ski center Brezovica, 25 km

Accommodation and food:

    • Mountain Hut “Ljuboten” – On the foothill of the Ljuboten Peak (42°11’4.78″N 21° 7’38.71″E /  18466111, 21.12750000)
    • Villa “Ljuboten” – On the foothill of the Ljuboten Peak.
    • Motel Restaurant Bucan – Ski center Brezovica
    • Other accommodation and catering facilities in Brezovica

The trail begins from the center Brezovica, more specifically the Molika hotel. At the start the trail is wide and surrounded with elk woods and continues into a narrower trail surrounded with grass and berries spreading along the valley of Durlov Potok. Up to this point, the trail leads south and rises slightly. After an hour of walking, the trail starts to turn southeast, ascending to the Shar Mountain ridge, specifically Bela Rojna (2,300 m). At this spot, there is a fixed post with road signs showing the directions towards Crni Kamen and towards the ski center Brezovica. Here, the trail starts heading in a southwest direction along the Shar ridge, which is wide and covered with pastures. The trail climbs towards the Crni Kamen peak (2,536 m). From the top of the pastures the trail passes through a rocky section with granite slabs and spreads along the ridge until it reaches the saddle before Ezerski Vrv. Here, the trail descends steeply to the glacial lake Gorno Dobroshko Ezero (2,347 m) (on maps Ezerce) where it is possible to replenish water supplies and continue the hike towards Jazhinachko Ezero. From the lake Gorno Dobroshko Ezero, the trail ascends and slightly bypasses the southeast ridge of Ezerski Vrv and comes to the saddle between this peak and the Peskovi peak. The sequence from the saddle, at 2,452 m, to the lake is difficult because it passes through huge granite slabs. Jazhinachko Lake is at 2,145 m. From the lake, the trail ascends westward to the saddle west of the lake at 2,357 m, near the Dededenica peak. In this part there are three fixed wooden posts each 5,00 m apart, allowing an easier passage through this part of the trail. From the saddle the trail starts descending towards the Dolovi valley where the springs of River Lepenec are, as well as its waterfalls. In this part, the trail partially spreads across a rocky terrain and pastures, continues north – northwest and ends in the picnic site Prevala.

Panoramas and landscapes:

    • On the first part of the trail, from the ski center Brezovica to the peak Crni Kamen, the Durlov cirque is visible, and from the peak the whole southeast segment of Shar Mountain from south to north is also visible. Eastward is the lowest part of the Polog Valley, far beyond Skopje city can be seen, and westward the view is towards the Sirinichka area in Kosovo.
    • On the second part of the trail, descending towards Lake Dobroshko the view is towards the south and the whole Polog Valley is visible, and when the descent starts westward towards Lake Jazhinachko and Prevala, the populated areas of Sirinichka and Sredska in Kosovo can be seen.

 

Altitude of the starting point:  Ski center Brezovica – 1,740 m

Highest point:  Crni Kamen – 2,536 m

Altitude of the ending point:  Picnic site Prevala– 1,510 m

Duration of the hiking tour:  8.00 – 10.00 hours

Length of the trail:  22 km

Map to use: HST2 / Shar Mountain (Northeastern Segment)

 

Start: The Ski Center Brezovica, access via

    • Highway Prishtina – Shtrpce, 62 km
    • Local road Shtrpce – ski center Brezovica, 25 km

End: Small Village at Prevala Pass

    • Highway Prishtina – Prizren, 80 km
    • Local road Prizren – Prevala, 27 km

Accommodation and food:

    • Several accommodation facilities, restaurants and markets are available, both in the ski center Brezovica and at the end point – the picnic site Prevala.

The trail begins from Prevala and continues westward on a road 2-3 meters wide, which narrows down after 7 km. This narrow part of the road is 4 km long and surrounded by deep forest. Before arriving above the villages Ljubinjë e Epërme and Ljubinjë e Posthme the trail widens again, opening up a panoramic view in all directions. The trail then leads to the entrance of Ljubinjë e Epërme village, 15 km away from Prevala. The trail continues through the village streets southward to a place called Brod, where Abib Meta’s guesthouse and restaurant can be found. From Brod, at 1,057 meters above sea level, the trail ascends up to 1,710m passing through deep forest and pastures. From here,and heading 3.5 km southeast the trail leads up to the Shar Mountain ridge and then to the saddle at 2,182m, where the green pass is located. From this point, the descent towards the village of Vejce begins. The trail is visible from the very ridge until the sheep farm. It passes directly under Koblichka Karpa where Jemaili’s sheep farm is located and offers accommodation. From this location there is a wide dirt road leading to the village of Vejce.

Panoramas and landscapes:

  • On the first part of the trail, from the center of Prevala, passing the road to the village Ljubinjë e Epërme and climbing the Shar Mountain ridge, panoramic views mostly open out westward, towards the Sredska area, the city of Prizren, and the nearby peaks of the Shar Mountain (Ostrovica and Oshljak).
  • On the second part of the trail, from the ridge and all the way up to the village of Vejce, a view is open to the southward and eastward, towards the Rivers Vejachka and Pena, and the Polog valley and Tetovo.

 

Altitude of the starting point: Picnic center Prevala – 1,510 m

Highest point: Kobilica Green Pass – 2,182 m

Altitude of the ending point: The village of Vejce – 1,065 m

Altitude difference: 1,125 m

Duration of the hiking tour: 8.00 – 10.00 hours

Length of the tour: 24 km

Map to use: HST1 / Shar Mountain (Northeastern Segment)

 

Start: Picnic site “Prevala”, access via

    • Highway Prishtina – Prizren, 80 km
    • Local road Prizren – Prevala, 27 km

End: The village of Vejce, access via

    • Highway Skopje – Tetovo, 40 km
    • Local road Tetovo – The village of Vejce,12 km

Accommodation and food:

  • Accommodation facility near the sheep farm of the Jemaili family, village of Vejce.
    • (42° 5’24.40″N20°54’20.00″E / 42.09011111, 20.90555556)
  • Accommodation / private houses in village of Ljubinjë e Epërme.
    •  (42° 8’43.78″N20°51’42.65″E  /  42.14549444 , 20.86222222)

From the village, the trail begins sharply to ascend on a wide dirt road up to the Jemaili’s sheep farm, taking a mountain path from there and continuing slightly southeast until it reaches Guri i Epr. From this point until reaching Guri i Gjat the trail stretches on a 1700m altitude and passes through the south slopes of the peaks Kobilica, Shiledje and Vrtop. Due to the trail’s location, between the forests and the pastures, wild strawberries are inevitably accompanying the trail. From the point above Guri i Gjat, meaning Long Rock, the trail descends along the unique rock and through the forest leads to the village of Veshala. Before entering the village, the trail continues on a wide dirt road and descends to the village of Veshala.

Panoramas and landscapes:  

  • While hiking on this trail views southwards and eastwards are continuously opening before the hikers. The views are always in the direction of the Leshnica rocks and Leshnica. The most significant landscape opens from Guri i Gjat, from where the villages of Veshala and Bozovce can be seen, as well as the river Pena, Leshnichki rocks and the biggest peak of Shar Mountain, Titov Vrv, in the background.

 

Altitude of the starting point: Village of Vejce – 1,065,m

Highest point: Guri i Epr – 1,935,m

Altitude of the ending point: Village of Veshala – 1,245,m

Altitude difference: 870m

Duration of the hiking tour: 6.00 – 8.00 hours

Length of the tour: 20 km

Map to use: HST4 / Shar Mountain (Central Segment)

 

Start: The village of Vejce, access via

  • Highway Skopje – Tetovo, 40 km
  • Local road Tetovo – village of Vejce, 12 km

End: The village of Veshalaaccess via

  • Highway Skopje – Tetovo, 40 km
  • Local road Tetovo – village of Veshala, 20 km

Accommodation and food:

  • Accommodation facility near the sheep farm of the Jemaili family, village of Vejce.
    • (42° 5’24.40″N20°54’20.00″E / 42.09011111, 20.90555556)
  • Accommodation facility, The House of Veshala, village of Veshala.
    • (42° 3’44.13″N 20°50’46.03″E / 42.06225833, 20.84611111)

Even though the starting point is the village of Veshala, the hike starts from the village of Bozovce. The asphalt road between the village of Veshala and Bozovce is 2 km long, and instead of walking you can chose to drive, making use of a local taxi company. The trail starts from the information board at the entrance of the village, leading southwest on a wide, dirt road. From the village, with a slight ascent to an altitude of 1,600m, the trail starts descending towards Leshnica. Settled in the heart of the Shar Mountain, Leshnica is the most important spot on Shar Mountain from a biological, hydrological, geological, and touristic point of view, at an altitude of 1,450m. Above the Leshnica Valley the three rocky mountains, the so-called Leshnica Rocks rise to a height of 2,500 m. From this point, along with the River Pena, the trail moves to the springs of the river i.e. the place called Djinibeg, in a west-south direction and it bypasses Treta Karpa (2,511 m). The trail moves along the River all the way to the entrance of the Djinibeg cirque. From here, the trail veers westward and sharply ascends towards Shar Mountain ridge, specifically towards the Djinibeg green pass at an altitude of 2,200m. Then the trail continues westward in Kosovo passing through pastures. On the right side of the trail is the peak Chule (2,220m), and 1.5km on the left side is the peak Sulejmanica (2,029m). The trail continues all the way to the peak Sulejmanica and descends slightly towards the village of Brod at 1,326m.

 

Panoramas and landscapes:

  • The first part of the trail is filled with panoramic views that open towards the three majestic rocks of Leshnica and the highest peak of Shar Mountain, and Titov Vrv in the background.
  • The second part of the trail is the open canon of the River Pena with the sharp sections of the third rock of Leshnica Rocks) on the left side and the pastures of Ljubovishka Mountain on the right side.
  • The descent towards the village Brod is the third panoramic segment that leads hikers through the valley of Sulejmanica and opens the views towards the Opoljanska area.

 

Altitude of the starting point: The village of Veshala – 1,245m

Highest point: Djinibeg green pass – 2,200m

Altitude of the ending point: The village of Brod 1,326m

Altitude difference: 955m

Duration of the hiking tour: 7.00 – 9.00 hours

Length of the tour: 21 km

Map to use: HST1 / Shar Mountain (Central Segment)


Start:
The village of Veshala, access via

  • Highway Skopje – Tetovo, 40 km
  • Local road Tetovo – The village of Veshala, 20 km

At the entrance of the village there is parking available for a limited number of vehicles.

End: The village of Brodaccess via

  • Highway Prishtina – Prizren, 80 km
  • Local road Prizren – Dragash, 35 km
  • Local road Dragash – The village of Brod, 15 km

At the entrance of the village there is a parking spot available for a limited number of vehicles.

Accommodation and food:

  • Accommodation facility The House of Veshala, in the village of Veshala.
    • (42° 3’44.13″N 20°50’46.03″E / 42.06225833, 20.84611111)
  • Accommodation facility Guest House – Kurt Husein, in the village of Brod.
    • (41°59’31.01″N 20°42’29.98″E / 41.99194444, 20.70833333)

From the village of Brod an asphalt road 2.5 km long leads towards Hotel Ardzhena, where the hike towards the ski center starts. After climbing from an altitude of 1,931m to an altitude of 2,222m, the ridge of the mountain Zli – Potoke starts, which is approximately three km long and 2,286 m high. Then the trail moves southward until reaching the peak of Mramor. The trail continues to move to the south all the way to the peak Mramor. From here the trail starts to descend to a height of 2,072 m. From this point the trail moves south and passes the foothill of the peaks Mala Vraca (2,453 m) and Crna Karpa (2,404 m). From here the trail ascends to the ridge of Shar Mountain where the green pass is. On the green pass on the Radika Planina (2,295 m), the trail descends to the Cafa e Kadis (1,860 m), which is located between Bozina Planina and Radika Planina. From here, the trail moves along the western slopes of Bozhina Planina through tall grass and a soft base, passing several sheep farms, descending to a wide unpaved road. This road to the west leads to the triangle between Macedonia, Albania, and Kosovo on Lukovo Pole and on the east towards the area Srezimir and the asphalt road from Mavrovo to Debar. The path is the natural border between the mountain range Korab and the mountain range Shar Planina and is set beside the first spring of the River Radika. The trail ends at the locality “Torbeski Most” where a farm and a dairy are located. There is water near the farm and it is possible to erect tents close to the farm.

Panoramas and landscapes:

  • View towards Albania, Kosovo, springs of the River Radika, and the springs of the River Adzhina.

 

Altitude of the starting point: The village of Brod – 1,326m

Highest point: Radika green pass – 2,295m

Altitude of the ending point: Torbeshki Most – 1,331m

Altitude difference: 964m

Duration of the hiking tour: 7.00 – 9.00 hours

Length of the tour: 27km

Map to use: HST6 / Shar Mountain & Korab Mountain (Southwestern segment of the Shar mountain and the norteastern segment of Korab mountain)

 

Start: The village of Brod, access via

  • Highway Prishtina – Prizren, 80 km
  • Local road Prizren – Dragash, 35 km
  • Local road Dragash – Brod, 15 km
  • In the village parking is available for a limited number of vehicles.

End: Torbeshki Mostaccess via

  • Highway Skopje – Mavrovo, 88 km
  • Local road / dirt road Mavrovo – Nichpur – Torbeshki Most, 25 km

There is parking available for a large number of vehicles at the farm near the River Radika.

 

Accommodation and food:

  • Accommodation facility guest houses – Kurt Husein, the village of Brod.
    • (41°59’31.01″N 20°42’29.98″E / 41.99194444, 20.70833333)
  • The area offers numerous possibilities for enjoyment. Accommodation can be found in
    • Mavrovo
    • Trnica
      • (41°42’36.05″N  20°41’18.28″E / 41.71013889, 20.68833333)
    •  Zhirovnica, where guesthouses and restaurants are available, or a camping site near the milk farm close to the  River Radika.

The trail is one of the most visited trails in the Mavrovo National Park because of the peak, Golem Korab, (2,753m) which is the highest peak in the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Albania. This stage of the trail starts from the farm under Bozhina Planina located on the road from Strezimir towards the tripoint between Macedonia, Albania, and Kosovo and continues eastward along the River Adzhina and up to the place where the path diverges right towards the border post “Karaula Pobeda” and left towards Strezimir. Following the dirt road for approximately one kilometer, turning left after passing a concrete bridge and walking up for approximately ten meters leads into the yard of the border post “Karaula Pobeda” at altitude of 1,475m.

From here, the trail continues through beech forest until it reaches the sheep farm Belandja at altitude of 1,750m where the pastures begin to spread out. Above the sheep farm, at 1,860m, there is a spring, which is the last in this part of the mountain. The next spring is in the foothill of the Golem Korab peak. The trail is visible, easy to follow and marked.

From Kobilino Pole starts a southward traverse until reaching an altitude of 2,450m where a view towards Golem Korab, which is at 2,753m opens up. The climb towards this point is through the north – east slopes of the peak on a visible and marked trail. The descent is made through the western slopes of the peak until reaching the village of Radomirë. The trail passes through pastures and a small rocky part. While descending, several glacial lakes are can be seen and the trail is visible until entering the village of Radomirë.

 

Panoramas and landscapes:  

  • View from Kobilino Pole (2,380m) – a beautiful panorama of the surrounding peaks (Ribnichka skala, Kabash, Mal Korab, Dlaboka Reka, Mavrovo Lake, Stogovo, Bistra, Deshat, and Shar Mountain).
  • The view from the top is unforgettable, with favourable weather conditions allowing for a view that stretches westward as far as the peaks of Rila Mountain and Pirin and eastward to the peaks of the Prokletie Mountain.
  • Descending towards the village of Radomirë, the populated places in the foothill of Korab in Albania can be seen to the west.

 

Altitude of the starting point: Torbeshki Most – 1,331 m

Highest point: Korab – 2,753 m

Altitude of the ending point: The village of Radomirë – 1,265 m

Altitude difference: 1,433 m

Duration of the hiking tour: 8.00 – 10.00 hours

Length of the tour: 23 km

Map to use: HST7 / Shar Mountain & Korab Mountain (Southwestern segment of the Shar mountain and the norteastern segment of Korab mountain)

 

Start: Torbeshki Most, access via

  • Highway Skopje – Mavrovo, 88 km
  • Local road Mavrovo – Nichpur – Torbeshki Most, 25 km

There is parking available for a large number of vehicles in the farm near the River Radika on Torbeshki Most.

End: The village of Radomirëaccess via

  • Highway Tirana – Kukës, 145 km
  • Local road Kukës – Radomirë, 45 km

There is parking available for a large number of vehicles in the village of Radomir.

Accommodation and food:

  • The area offers numerous possibilities for enjoyment. Accommodation can be found in Mavrovo, Trnica, and Zhirovnica, where guest houses and restaurants are available, or a camping site near the milk farm close to the River Radika.
  • Multiple options for accommodation in the village of Radomir.
    • (41°48’58.00″N 20°29’6.03″E / 41.81611111, 20.48500000)

This trail connects the village of Radomirë with the mountain pasture of Lake Grama (in maps referred to as ‘Bjeshka e Zonjave’ as well). From early June to the end of September there are shepherds in the area and one of them has a couple of simple huts to accommodate hikers.

From the two hotels located near the center of the village (400 m east of the mosque), the trail moves onto a dirt road heading towards the Stordok neighborhood. This dirt road was built for a water supply but has been in very bad condition for a few years and is impassable for cars.

The dirt road continues with gently uphill southwest, with the river gorge on the right and the steep meadows on the left. Passing a few shepherd huts on the way, it soon hits the river at an altitude of 1,840m. At this point, it crosses the stream and ascends towards the west for about 1.5 km until it reaches a dirt road that goes down (south) towards Lake Grama. From here, moving in a south-westerly direction, the trail gets close to the rocky mountain ahead. The only accommodation (at the time of publication of the maps in 2017) is by the stream that separates the meadow of Lake Grama and the rocky mountain at an altitude of 1,780m.

Panoramas and landscapes:

From a remote village in the foothills of the Korab where agriculture takes place on its steep slopes, the hike takes us through beautiful meadows and further on to Bjeshka e Zonjave (the Ladies’ Pasture) the view opens up towards the rugged peaks of Grama Mountain inviting us on to the next more challenging walk.

 

Altitude of the starting point: Radomirë – 1,260 m

Highest point: 2,000 m

Altitude of the ending point: Grama – 1,780 m

Altitude difference: 1,080 m

Duration of the hiking tour: 6.00 – 7.00 hours

Length of the tour: 14 km

Map to use: HST8 / Korab , Deshat & Krchin Mountains (Macedonia-Albania)

 

Start: Radomirë, access via

  • Highway Tirana – Kukës, 145 km
  • Local road Kukës – Radomirë, 45 km
  • There is parking available for a large number of vehicles in the village of Radomirë.

End:  Gramaaccess via

  • Highway Tirana – Kukës, 145 km
  • Local road Kukës – Radomirë, 45 km
  • Dirt road Sllatinë – Grama, 15 km

Accommodation and food:

  • Multiple options for accommodation in the village of Radomirë.
    • (41°48’58.00″N 20°29’6.03″E / 41.81611111, 20.48500000)
  • Accommodation at Xhemal Kaloshi shepherd’ s hut, Grama.
    • (41°44’27.8″N 20°30’11.4″E /741057, 20.503176)

This trail connects the summer pasture of Grama with the villages on the foot of Deshat mountain range via the mountain of Grama (2,345 m). From the hut, the trail moves uphill on the left side of the stream until it reaches the meadow and then continues the climb south, traversing along the left side of the gorge with the stream on the right. After a gentle uphill of about 2 km, the climb continues towards the east, to the highest point of the pass at 2,992 m.

From the pass, a steep zigzag trail moves down. Losing about 340 m of altitude over approximately 1 km, the trail towards Zagrad continues left (west), traversing the grassy slope where it gains about 150 m of altitude over a 2 km stretch. This almost level stretch leads close to the border, where it descends south along a steep meadow trail. Within 1.5 km it passes by a shepherd’s hut and from there the trail continues the descent southwest towards the village of Zagrad on a gravelly trail.

Panoramas and landscapes:  

From the wide pastures of Grama where water doesn’t dry at any time of the year we climb Grama mountain and our views open up towards the Deshat range and a small village on the foot of the mountain to the south, and Mount Korab on the north.

 

Altitude of the starting point: Grama – 1,780 m

Highest point: 2,300 m

Altitude of the ending point: The village of Zagrad – 1,190 m

Altitude difference: 500 m

Duration of the hiking tour: 5.30 – 6.30 hours

Length of the tour: 12 km

Map to use: HST1 / HST9 / Korab , Deshat & Krchin Mountains (Macedonia-Albania)

 

Start: Grama, access via

  • Highway Tirana – Kukës, 145 km
  • Local road Kukës – Radomirë, 45 km
  • Dirt road Sllatinë- Grama, 15 km

End: Zagradaccess via

  • Highway Tirana – Kukës, 145 km or road Tiranë – Burrel – Peshkopi, 155 km
  • Local road Kukës – Zagrad, 82 km
  • Local road Peshkopi – Zagrad, 8km

 

Accommodation and food:

  • Accommodation at Xhemal Kaloshi shephard’s hut, Grama
    • (41°44’27.8″N 20°30’11.4″E/741057, 20.503176)
  • Accommodation in Zagrad:
    • Xhavit Feta (homestay)
      • (41°42’04.1″N 20°29’59.9″E /701144, 20.499971)
    •  Pajtim Feta (homestay)
      • (41°42’07.6″N 20°30’00.0″E / 41.702100, 20.500003)

This trail climbs from the village of Zagrad back to the meadows of the Deshat range and follows the ridge along the border, finishing in the summer pasture of Hinoskë, at the foot of Velivar peak (2,373 m). The hike starts steeply uphill heading northwest on a gravel trail. It moves right from the shepherds’ hut (the left one goes towards Gramë) and after awhile reaches the meadow where the grassy trail continues south gently undulating. Approximately 1.5 km from this point, there are a few shepherds’ huts on the meadows on the right. There is another trail that descends to the village of Rabdisht but this trail continues along the meadow trail that stays fairly level for a while before it continues to climb towards the ridge that crosses the border into Macedonia, this way avoiding the rocky terrain on the Albanian side of the border. The trail stays fairly level on the Macedonian side for about 2 km and then crosses the border again back into Albania, losing about 300 m of height over the last two-kilometer-stretch towards the Hinoskë mountain pasture.

 

Panoramas and landscapes:

From the crest the views open out towards the Drin valley to the west and the town of Peshkopi as well as the mountain ranges of the Lura National Park. Lake Debar in Macedonia can also be seen from high points along the trail.

 

Altitude of the starting point: Zagrad – 1,190 m

Highest point: 2,005 m

Altitude of the ending point: Hinoskë pasture – 1,690 m

Altitude difference: 1,060 m

Duration of the hiking tour: 6.00 – 7.00 hours

Length of the tour: 11 km

Map to use: HST1 / HST10/ Korab , Deshat & Krchin Mountains (Macedonia-Albania)

 

Start: The village of Zagrad, access via

  • Highway Tirana – Kukës, 145 km
  • Local road Kukës – Zagrad, 82 km

End: The village of Hinoskë , access via

  • Highway Tirana – Kukës, 145 km
  • Local road Kukës – Peshkopi, 75km
  • Gravel road Peshkopi – Zagrad, 8 km
  • Local road Peshkopi – Melan, 6km
  • Dirt road (4×4) Melan – Ilnicë – Hinoskë, 9 km

Accommodation and food:

  • Accommodation in Zagrad:
    • Xhavit Feta (guesthouse)
      • (41°42’04.1″N 20°29’59.9″E /701144, 20.499971)
    • Pajtim Feta (guesthouse)
      • (41°42’07.6″N 20°30’00.0″E / 41.702100, 20.500003)
  • Accommodation in Hinoskë
    • Tush Fida (guesthouse)
      • (41°38’47.0″N 20°30’23.3″E / 646375, 20.506475)

Due to the trail from Hinoskë being at a high altitude, there are a two options to trek to the next point. The suggested itinerary along the main trail goes back to the ridge and to walks along the border, behind Velivar peak, and on the Macedonian side of the border, with an optional climb of the southern slope of the peak. From there the trail descends to the villages of Popinar and Grazhdan, back on the Albanian side. The second shorter option takes a different trail in a southern direction that leads through the forest, reaching Popinar after about 6 km with an elevation gain of 180 m, from where the trail continues on further to Grazhdan.

The main trail (HST 11), goes back northeast towards the border and then follows the border line on the Macedonian side with little ups and downs for about 4.5 km. Eventually, the trail reaches the ridge (the border line), from where the approach to the peak is shortest (1 km, 320 m, ~1:15 h). From here, the southwestern descent leads to the village of Popinar and further down to Grazhdan (main trail), while the south-eastern descent leads in the direction of the village of Bitushë.

The path towards Popinar is well trodden, initially on meadows and later on gravel trails. The descent passes a few shepherds’ huts on the way and after approximately 5 km reaches the small village of Popinar, surrounded by lots of chestnut trees. Popinar is connected with the small town of Maqellarë only via a dirt road, so it is advisable to continue the descent further to Grazhdan, which is located along the main road that connects Peshkopi with the official border crossing point to Macedonia.

To continue the trek after Grazhdan, a taxi can be taken to Debar (in Macedonia, about 1000 ALL / € 8 by taxi) and then further on to Modrich, the trailhead of the next hike.

 

Panoramas and landscapes:

The best views are from Velivar peak, which provides some unusual views of other peaks which are typically admired from the opposite side, such as Korab (now seen from the south) or Mali i Dejes and Kurora e Lures in Lura National Park (from the east).

The meadows around Velivar create a great place for summer pastures that can be seen from both sides of the border. Apart from sheep herding in the high altitude during summer months, locals plant extensive fields of potatoes as well.

 

Altitude of the starting point: Hinoskë – 1,690 m

Highest point: 2,100 m

Altitude of the ending point: Grazhdan – 650 m

Altitude difference: 570 m

Duration of the hiking tour: 6.30 hours

Length of the tour: 14.5 km

Map to use: HST1 / HST11 / Korab , Deshat & Krchin Mountains (Macedonia-Albania)

 

Start: Hinoskë, access via

  • Tirana – Burrel – Maqellar, 163 km
  • Local road Peshkopi – Melan, 12 km
  • Dirt road (4×4) Melan – Ilnicë – Hinoskë, 9 km

End: Grazhdanaccess via

  • Tirana – Burrel – Maqellar, 163 km
  • Local road Peshkopi – Grazhdan, 4 km

Accommodation and food:

  • Accommodation – Selami Veilu (not more than 2 persons)
    • (41°36’47.8″N 20°29’33.3″E / 613273, 20.492569)
  • Accommodation in Hinoske, Tush Fida guesthouse
    • (41°38’47.0″N 20°30’23.3″E / 646375, 20.506475)

 

The trail can be divided into four parts. The first part of the trail is from the village of Modrich to the village of Jablanica. From the village fountain the trail continues westward towards the river and the spring of Devojkina voda. From here, moving southwest, the trail climbs slightly towards the saddle, Slecharin. On the saddle, the trail sharply changes direction towards the east and climbs the peak Strmnica (1,904 m). In the east direction, the trail follows the ridge and descends to the village of Jablanica. The substrate of the trail is generally earthy-rocky.

The second part of the trail starts from the village of Jablanica near the River Jablanichka, well-marked with an information board and signalization. The direction of trail is west from the starting point and a small section goes along a forest road, and then connects to a hiking trail that goes along the green meadows from which there is an excellent view of the Drimkol valley and Lake Ohrid. Further on the trail moves along the ridge above the River Lakaichka near some small streams, and through the beech forest near the River Lakaichka, where there are the remains of an old road – the Dervenj road to the village of Lakaica.

The third part of the trail begins from the village of Lakaica where the trail moves along a dirt road through the beech forest over the small confluent of the River Lakaichka to the west. On the left side of the trail there is the peak of Strizhak (2,233 m), and on the right side there is the peak Raduch (2,088 m) and then the trail approaches the military guard left of the trail near the border crossing to the village of Steblevë in the Republic of Albania. After about a hundred meters the trail reaches the border crossing at the Macedonian-Albanian border.

The fourth part of the trail starts after the green pass. From the border, the trail continues with a gentle descent on a dirt road. After approximately 1.5 km the trail turns right, not taking the left road that continues to Qafa e Kryqit (the next hike).

When reaching the main road, the trail turns left and continues on the main road for 500 m and then to the right, following the road to the village of Steblevë.

Alternatively, for a shorter connection, when reaching the main road (Steblevë – Klenjë) across it there is a direct trail connection to the village.

 

Panoramas and landscapes:

Along the first part of the path a panorama overlooking the Dolnodrimkolski region with Lake Globochko, an aspect towards Lake Ohrid, landscapes along the River Lakaichka, and a vista towards the church St. Preobrazhenie in the village of Lakaica.

From the border the trail travels through a forest road and afterwards the steep and remote village of Stebleve.

 

Altitude of the starting point: Modrich – 870 m

Highest point: Strmnica Peak 1,904 m

Altitude of the ending point: Steblevë 1,200 m

Altitude difference: 1,400 m

Duration of the hiking tour: 10 hours

Length of the tour: 14.5 km

Map to use: HST1 / Jablanica Mountain (Macedonia – Albania) 

 

Start: The village of Modrich, access via

  • Highway Skopje – Gostivar, 66 km
  • Local road Gostivar – the village of Modric, 96 km

End: The village of Steblevëaccess via

  • Tiranë – Librazhd, 70 km
  • Librazhd – Stebleve (partly unpaved), 34 km

 

Accommodation and food:

  • In the village of Jablanica there is accommodation and food in private houses, food can be brought from one of several shops
    • (41°19’11.61″N20°34’23.88″E / 41.31989167, 20.57333333)
  • In the village of Lakaica there is only accommodation
    • (41°19’30.89″N20°31’58.67″E / 41.32524722, 20.53305556)
  • Accommodation and food in Stebelevë can be obtained from the Mersin Hoxha stacker and the catering facility of Teqeralli.
    • (41°20’17.69″N20°28’15.75″E / 41.33824722, 20.47111111)

From the starting point of the village of Steblevë, this hike initially backtracks towards the border. When reaching the junction before the border (approx. 1.5 km), the trail turns right following the forest road that gently climbs through the woods for about 7.5 km, until it reaches a deserted military station.

From the ruined building, the trail leads uphill on a meadowy trail that travels southeast towards the border ridge before continuing along the ridge for about 2 km and then descending southwest. Before leaving the ridge, there is a view of Podgorechko and Labunisko glacial lakes on the Macedonian side of the border.

The descent leads to another ruined military post after roughly 1.5 km, followed by a short climb of 150 m towards the southeast. When it reaches the highest point, there is a junction where the trail on the left goes to the border with Macedonia, while the one on the right (southwest, following the trail between two big rocks), goes to the shepherds’ hut of Bilbil Biçaku. If this hut is not available for the night, there is the possibility to check the other huts in the area by crossing the field to take the dirt road and then follow it southwards. The first shepherds’ hut can be reached after about 1.5 km and the next group of huts after 3 km.

 

Panoramas and landscapes:

After the first views, the big meadows start to open up and several shepherds’ huts can be seen. Along the crest one can enjoy the dense forest of Shebenik-Jabllanica National Park (partly a UNESCO World Heritage) and the small, few glacial lakes seen from both sides of the border.

 

Altitude of the starting point: Steblevë – 1,135 m

Highest point: 2,120 m

Altitude of the ending point: Qafa e Kryqit – 1,790 m

Altitude difference: 1,275 m

Duration of the hiking tour: 8 hours

Length of the tour: 16 km

Map to use: HST13 / Jablanica Mountain (Macedonia – Albania) 

 

Start: The village of Steblevë, access via

  • Tiranë – Librazhd, 70 km
  • Librazhd – Stebleve (partly unpaved), 34 km

End: Qafa e Kryqit, Qarrishtë access via

It is possible to get up to the military post by offroad vehicle (beginning of the hike), afterwards walking from either Steblevë or Qarrishtë.

 

Accommodation and food:

  • Accommodation
    • Accommodation and food in Stebelevë can be obtained from the Mersin Hoxha stacker and catering facility Teqeralli
      • (41°20’17.69″N20°28’15.75″E / 41.33824722, 20.47111111)
    • In the Albanian side is possible to stay in high altitude by using sheperherd hut, Bilbil Bicaku.
      • ( 41°14’36.5″N 20°30’21.1″E /243483, 20.505850)
    • Otherwise, further down in the village is possible to ask the locals spending the night in one of the houses of the Qarrishte village but at the moment there is no official accommodation.

From Qafa e Kryqit, the trail moves along the valley above the village in an easterly direction, and then south-east towards the border with a gentle uphill hike, and from the junction follow the trail south-west that leads towards the border (approximatley 1 km). At the foothill of the Peak Lapa the trail turns north-west to the green border pass, which is located on the saddle at 1,930 m on the west side of the peak Crn Kamen / Zeze. From here the trail extends along a former patrol trail from Yugoslavia, ascending on the western slopes of Crn Kamen / Zeze. From the peak, the trail continues to the east following the ridge that descends to Vevchanska Lokva and the area Vevchanska Golina. This part of the trail is a rocky area, but the trail is well-marked, and the base is stable. From the glacial lake Vevchanska Lokva the trail continues in a south-eastern direction along the eastern slopes of the mountain in the area called Vevchanska Golina. At a height of around 1,800 m the trail goes into the forest belt, moving through beech forest, along a well marked trail. At first part the trail passes the Vevchani Sheepfold, and then continues on a wide dirt road about 500 m long, were the trail turns left, onto the old village road which connects the villages of Vevchani and Gorna Belica, descending through areas with forests and meadows, following the river. The entrance of the village of Vevchani is on the upper end of the village, near the well-known Vevchani Springs, where is a possibility for a picnic and a rest.

 

Panoramas and landscapes:

  • From the border one can see the highest peak of Shebenik-Jabllanica National Park, Maja e Shebenikut (2,253 m).

 

Altitude of the starting point: Qarrishte – 1,030 m

Highest point: m. Zeze /  Crn Kamen Peak – 2,257 m

Altitude of the ending point: Vevchani – 910 m

Altitude difference: 1,300 m

Duration of the hiking tour: 10 hours

Length of the tour: 13 km

Map to use: HST14 / Jablanica Mountain (Macedonia – Albania) 

 

Start: Qafa e Kryqit, Qarrishtë access via

It is possible to get up to the military post by offroad vehicle (beginning of the hike), afterwards walking from either Steblevë or Qarrishtë.

End: Vevchani access via

  • Road Skopje – Ohrid, 172 km
  • Lokal road Ohrid – Vevchani, 27 km

 

Accommodation and food:

  • There is accommodation and food in Vevcani at Kutmichevica Guesthouse, Restaurant Via Egnatia, Villa Alula, Restaurant In Izvor, Restaurant Household House, Restaurant Shutinoski, Restaurant Pelvetec, Restaurant Pupina House. There is also no accommodation available in private facilities. Food can be provided in the bakery Almico, as well as in markets and stores.
  • On the Albanian side it is possible to stay at high altitude by using the shepherds’ hut, Bilbil Bicaku.
    • ( 41°14’36.5″N 20°30’21.1″E /243483, 20.505850)
  • Otherwise, further down in the village it is possible to ask the locals about the possibility of spending the night in one of the houses in the village of Qarrishte, but currently there is no official accommodation there.

The trail starts at the eastern end of Ohrid, right next to the gas station and sports and recreation center Biljanini Izvori. The very beginning is characteristic in that the trail moves along stone stairs, which lead to the monument of the fallen fighters from the National Liberation War and passes to the information center and the administrative building of Galicica National Park. This point passes along the educational trail of the National Park, passing the early Christian archeological locality of Studenichishta and heading south, south-east continues on an asphalt road. After a short distance, the trail turns to the east, north-east, of the asphalt road, going around the hill of Vrshek 884 m, and continues to south, south-east to the village Velestovo. The trail goes through the village on the old road and ends at its south end. Here the trail passes the center of Red Cross Ohrid and the farm of Naumce Dzhajkosi, which offers the possibility of obtaining homemade food products.

The trail leaves the village following the characteristic valley in a southeast direction, to the karst field Studino. Passing Studino, through its length heading south, the trail continues through Bojazon, a dense, old beech forest, from where it starts ascending to the peak Bugarska Chuka. After leaving the forest, moving in west, the trail leads to a crossroad from which to the south, south-east it starts ascending the peak of Bugarska Chuka. From the peak, the trail continues to move along the ridge of the mountain, passing by a number of remains of buildings and trenches from the First World War and providing excellent panoramas above the horizons from Lake Ohrid to the west and Lake Prespa to the east, as well as the mountains surrounding them. Moving up and down along the peaks of the ridge, the trail gently ascends the peak of Lako Signoj (1,984 m) which from distance is recognized by the high radio antennae on it. From the peak the trail sharply descends south, to the asphalt road Ohrid-Oteshevo, a place called Lipova Livada, and the mountain hut Magaro, at the foothill of the peak of Magaro.

 

Panoramas and landscapes:

  • At the start of the path, a view gradually opens out towards the south and southwest towards Lake Ohrid, Struga, and Jablanica.
  • The second part of the track is the most attractive. From Bugarska chuka to Lako Signoj, wonderful 360° panoramic views are visible. Towards the east and southeast, the view is of the mountain Pelister and Lake Prespa, and towards the west – southwest Lake Ohrid and, to the northwest Jablanica Mountain.

 

Altitude of the starting point: Ohrid – 690 m

Highest point: Lakosignoj Peak – 1,984 m

Altitude of the ending point: Mountain Hut Magaro – 1,630 m

Altitude difference: 1,400 m

Duration of the hiking tour: 9 hours

Length of the tour: 16 km

Map to use: HST15 / Galichica Mountain (Macedonia – Albania)

 

Start: Ohrid, access via

  • Road Skopje – Ohrid, 172 km

End: Mountain Hut Magaroaccess via

  • Road Skopje – Ohrid, 172 km
  • Ohrid – Saint Naum, on the 23rd km there is a junction for a local road to Oteshevo
  • From the junction, after 17 km driving is the Mountain Hut, Magaro

 

Accommodation and food:

  • Several accommodating and catering facilities, restaurants and markets are available in Ohrid.
  • Mountain Hut “Magaro” – on the foothills of the Magaro Peak.
    • (40°57’5.80″N20°49’48.16″E / 40.95161111, 20.83000000)

This hike takes you across the border to Albania, climbing two peaks of this shared mountain ridge between the two countries – the summit of Magaro peak in Macedonia (2,245 m) and Pllaja e Pusit peak in Albania (2,288 m).

 

The trail starts from the mountain hut Magaro. The first hundred meters the movement is along a wide dirt road, and then it transfers to a mountaineering trail through a beech forest. The trail is well marked and easy to follow. After leaving the forest belt, the trail continues along the valley to a cirque at a height of 1,930 m. In the south-east part of the cirque, through a dry stream the marked trail ascends mildly to the south-east, to the ridge and right beneath it the trail continues on an old patrol trail, which is well marked and passes beneath the ridge, and leads to the south-west to the green pass, which is on the peak of Kota (2,265 m), where there is also the border stone F10.

 

From the border, the trail continues at the same level, staying on the right side of the ridge. After approximately 2 km the trail passes by the ruins of former military buildings and from here the trail becomes wider and turns into a gravel road that was used before the 1990’s by border police. This road gently ascends to the summit, which is about 100 m above the gravel road.

The trail goes around Pllaja e Pusit peak and it starts descending north direction on an open terrain for about 3.7 km and then turns west to enter the forest. Soon after entering the forest it hits a dirt road that goes down on the asphalt road that connects the villages of the Albanian with Macedonian side. The closest accommodation possibilities will be in Dolna Gorica (Albania) or Stenje (Macedonia).

 

Panoramas and landscapes:

Aside from the coastal hikes, there are no other mountains in the region from where as much water can be seen. From the summits of Magaro and Pllaja e Pusit both Lake Prespa and Lake Ohrid can be seen at the same time. In good weather the surrounding mountains can be seen, too. Towards the north the mountains of Shebenik – Jabllanica can be seen. On the west side is Mount Valamare with its glacial lakes, and to the East Mount Pelister, bordering Greece.

 

Altitude of the starting point: Mountain Hut Magaro – 1,630 m

Highest point: Pllaja e Pusit peak – 2,288 m

Altitude of the ending point: The village of Gorna Gorica 930 m

Altitude difference: 700 m

Duration of the hiking tour: 9 hours

Length of the tour: 21 km

Map to use: HST16 / Galichica Mountain (Macedonia – Albania)

 

Start: Mountain Hut Magaro, access via

  • Road Skopje – Ohrid, 172 km
  • Ohrid – Saint Naum, at the 23rd km there is a junction for a local road to Oteshevo
  • Form the junction, after 17 km driving is the Mountain Hut Magaro

End: The village of Gorna Gorica, access via

  • Tirana – Korça, 167km
  • Local road Korca – Gorica e Madhe / Gorna Gorica, 45km

 

Accommodation and food:

  • Mountain Hut Magaro – in the foothill of the Magaro Peak
    • (40°57’5.80″N20°49’48.16″E / 40.95161111, 20.83000000)
  • Vali Guesthouse in the village of Dolna Gorica
    • (40°52’46.4″N 20°55’40.8″E; 879551, 20.927993)
  • Edi Metri guesthouse in the village of Globoceni
    • (40°51’26.4″N 20°56’47.8″E; 857336, 20.946605)

Overview


Rating

DifficultyLengthDurationAltitude +/-FitnessRating
Easy1-5 km0-3 hours<500 metersEveryone⭐ or ⭐⭐
Moderate5-10 km3-6 hours500-1,000 metersMedium⭐⭐⭐
Difficult10-15 km6-10 hours1.000-1,500 metersHigh⭐⭐⭐⭐
Tough>15 km>10 hours>1.500 metersIron Man ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Along the trail you find very little garbage disposal facilities so please keep in mind: Please take only pictures, leave only footprints and take your rubbish to the nearest bin!