Highest peaks of Balkan

Experience 6 countries, 6 highest peaks, all in this ultimate trekking adventure in 15N/16D

Climb the highest peaks of Balkan, made for true trek adventurers out there. Spanning across six countries, covering six highest peaks, a perfect blend of adventure and adrenaline. Experience it all in one go all the best tracks and mountain roads. All leading up to the highest peaks that this region can offer.

We start from a UNESCO World Heritage site, Durmitor National park, from where we’ll get to know all the nature wonders that made this region deservedly a special, protected site. From there, we march on to our first peak, Bobotov Kuk, the highest peak of Montenegro. Our next stop will be in warm and friendly Macedonia, where our next peak awaits: Titos peak. Bordering with Kosovo this peak represents the highest peak in the Šar mountain range.

Trekking on, we proceed to the highest peak of Macedonia – Great Korab. Where the border between Albania and Macedonia meets right at the middle of the peak, so we’ll basically be in two countries at the same time. Heading south, to sunny Greece, where the mountain of the Greek Gods themselves awaits us. There we’ll climb Mitikas peak, highest point of Olympus and all of Greece. Here we’ll make a brief brake for one day, because we are after all in Greece, where the beaches are plentiful. Moving on, we cross another border to Bulgaria, and onto our next highest peak on our list – Musala. And, for our final peak, we travel to next door Serbia. Here, we’ll climb Midzor, highest peak of Old Mountain range, right at the very border between these two countries.

Tired and happy, with all the highest peaks of Balkan conquered, we transport you to Nis or Belgrade to catch your flight home.

Itinerary

Day 1

Saturday

Landing and arrival at Belgrade airport. Transfer to Zlatibor (3h).

We welcome you to Serbia’s capital, Belgrade. After a few welcoming words, we pack our bags and head on to our first location in nature – Zlatibor mountain. Here you’ll simply lounge around and recover from your long flight, enjoying the hotel amenities.

In the evening, welcoming dinner and overnight stay.

Day 2

Sunday

After our breakfast, we pack our bags and head on to our first proper trekking destination. Transfer to Zabljak (3h).

Our path will then take us to Durmitor National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There we will situate ourselves in the small town of Zabljak, from where we will then have a short walk to the nearby Black Lake. Black Lake lies at the foot of Medjed, one of Durmitor’s numerous peaks, and is actually composed of two smaller lakes tied together, one distinctly larger than the other, called Big and Small Lake, respectively.

The depths of these lakes harbor numerous underwater passages, through which water flows into the rivers of Tara and Piva, representing a distinct natural phenomenon, a bifurcation of sorts. Black Lake, as well as the remaining glacial lakes in the vicinity of Durmitor, are collectively known as Eyes of the Mountain.

After our brief walk, we will return to our accommodation for dinner and our first night in the mountain.

Day 3

Monday

After a good mountain breakfast, the road takes us to the highest peak of Durmitor, Bobotov hook (2.522m). The path leads us from the passage of the saddle to 1,900 m, all while surrounded with beautiful landscapes. At the very top, a little steeper section of the track needs to be overcome, which is secured with steel cables. After reaching the top and just enjoying the stunning view that made all this hike worthwhile, we descend back to our accommodation. The whole hike takes about 7 hours with all breaks and rests. Total climb is about 700 meters.

In the evening, we rest in a beautiful mountainous environment, collecting strength for our further adventure.

Overnight stay.

Day 4

Tuesday

After breakfast we depart for Macedonia, specifically Shar Mountain National Park, towards the city of Tetovo. After a little longer driving (about 7 h) that leads us through Kosovo, we reach Tetovo, a small place in Macedonia where we rest and prepare for our tomorrow’s ascent.

Day 5

Wednesday

After breakfast, we start to climb.

Area of mountain Sara covers three states, Serbia, Macedonia and Albania. The highest peak, Titos Peak (2747 m), is in Macedonia and is located near Tetovo. This mountain includes a really huge area. It looks like Sara will grab you and swallow you, while you climb its slopes.

Trail to Titos Peak starts from tourist place Popova Sapka, which is located at 1620 meters above sea level. We’ll go through a very demanding path, which includes climbing several peaks. This strenuous tour lasts about 6 hours in one direction and goes over the peaks Ceripasina (2540 m) and Bakrdan (2704 m). We return to Popova Sapka, going through a different route, bypassing all these peaks and shortening our hike to about 3 hours. This track is also a path to the top of the mountain, but then you will be deprived from amazing viewpoints along the way.

We go back to our accommodation and spend the night. Total climb is about 1,300 meters. Duration of the tour, from 8 to 9 h.

Day 6

Thursday

The fifth day is reserved for a short drive to the National Park Mavrovo (1.5 h) in Macedonia, to enjoy its paths and landscapes. National Park Mavrovo is the largest protected natural area of Macedonia and its largest national park, near the Macedonian border with Albania and Kosovo. The National Park Mavrovo covers an area of 73800 hectares and includes the most beautiful parts of western Macedonia. The relief of the National Park Mavrovo is especially dismayed and is distinguished by 52 mountain peaks over 2,000 meters above sea level. Here we enjoy the landscapes surounding us while we prepare for our next day climb. Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 7

Friday

After breakfast, we set off. Mountain Korab is the highest mountain in Macedonia and Albania and it represents a border mountain between these two countries. Its highest peak is the Great Korab (2764m) and the state border crosses precisely over that top.

Our ascent starts from the old Strezimir stall (1.454m), from where we plan our ascent to the top of Veliki Korab. The first part of the path goes alternately through a macadam and forest path until we reach about 1700 m, where we leave the forest and macadam road for a mountain path that leads us straight to the top. Next, we continue with constant climbing up to the passage to about 2,390 m. The next 2 km of hiking is almost by isohypse (100 m climbs up-down), which will take us to the peak itself. After a congratulatory hug, we return with the same path all the way to our accommodation, for a well-deserved dinner and a guaranteed good night rest. Total climb is about 1,200 meters. The duration of the trek is about 7 to 8 h.

Day 8

Saturday

After breakfast, we are heading to Greece, towards Olympus, the mountain of the Gods! It is located in Thessaly above the city of Litochoro, about 30 km southwest of Catherine. In 1938 Olympus was declared a national park. 50 years ago, a strict regime of protection of this part of the country was carried out with the aim of preserving the flora, fauna and its historic Greek culture, so it’s possible to see many preserved plant and animal species there, today. Our goal is to climb the highest peak of Olympus, called Mitikas (2918m).

After 4 hours of drive, we arrive at Leptokarya on the seashore. We use this day to rest, bathe and enjoy the sun.

Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 9

Sunday

After breakfast we start lightly to our godly adventure. We will make the climb to Mitikas in 2 successive days. We drive to the city of Prioni (1100m) and after preparing and equipping for the hike, we start our ascent. The ascent goes through a beautiful coniferous forest, and then continues with an interesting terrain overlooking some of the surrounding peaks. After 3 hours we arrive at Spilios Agapitos home (better known as home A) at a height of 2100m. Here, we’ll dine and spend the night. Total length of the hike is 6km and 1000m climb.

Day 10

Monday

We get up early, around 5h, for a quick breakfast, and then we start our final climb. The beautiful mixed forests from the first day give way to stony areas, and the trail becomes more strenuous due to a somewhat stronger climb. As we approach the summit, a glimpse of the beautiful landscapes of Olympus opens. We come to the top of Skala (2866 m), through a slippery path, which can be tiring due to a slightly higher inclination and partly unstable soil. From Skala we can go left for another top, Skolio (2911 m), and if someone is not able to climb Mitikas, this will be our plan B. We’ll reach the top of Mitikas just before 9h, so 3h from our beginning of the ascent, in a perfect time to enjoy the view from the top of Greece. After that, we are going the same way back to Prioni. It takes about 5 hours for our descent. The total length of the climb is about 3.7km with an 800m of climb. The total length of our descent is about 9.5km along the 1800m altitude difference. We dine and rest in our accommodation, knowing that we conquered Greece’s highest peak.

Day 11

Tuesday

Today, we’ll take a deserved rest, a day off if you will, to swim and sunbathe on gorgeous Greece beaches. Alongside good cuisine we summarize our impressions so far. Free time in the afternoon, then dinner and overnight stay.

Day 12

Wednesday

After breakfast we head to our next stop, Bulgaria. To a place called Borovets at the foot of the Musala Mountain (5.5 h). Musala is the highest peak of Bulgaria and the Balkan Peninsula. The summit is 2,925 meters above sea level. The name Musala comes from the word “Mus alah”, which means “closer to Allah”. The climb to Musala starts from Borovets, the oldest and most famous Bulgarian ski center. The region around the peak Musala on the Rila mountain is rich in glacier lakes with incredible blue color. One of them is the Ice Lake, which is located near the peak Musala.

We settle down in our accommodation and rest.

Day 13

Thursday

We rise early for breakfast, and at 08:30 am sharp, we start our climb. A ski lift takes us up to 2350m, from where we continue on foot to the mountain lodge. The house is at 2530m and our planned arrival time is around 10:30 am. In the lodge, we leave things for overnight, surplus things, with a quick 45-minute break. After the rest, we continue the ascent to the top of Musala, to which we still have about 3 hours of walking. At the top of Musala, we make a break of 45 minutes for a brief rest and some quick photos from the top. We then return to our mountain lodge. In the lodge, we accommodate in our rooms for the night, followed by a well-deserved break and overnight stay.

Total climb is about 700 meters.

Day 14

Friday

Departure from the mountain hut is planned for 7:00 am. We start a light trekking walk all the way down to Borovec at 1350m. After that, we pack our gear and head towards Serbia – Old Mountain (4.5 h of drive).

In the afternoon we arrive at the Old Mountain, just in time to accommodate in our lodge, have some free time in the afternoon to get to know our surroundings and have a good, hearty local dinner. Overnight stay.

Day 15

Saturday

After breakfast, we start to climb. Midzor (2,169m) is the highest peak of Old Mountain, located in Serbia, more precisely at the very border with Bulgaria. The beauty of Old Mountain is its dull and easily accessible peaks. We start from 1,700m, and with an easy hike through a not-so-demanding trail, we enjoy our view and hike throughout Old Mountain. The whole tour lasts around 6 h, with the total length of the hike to be 16 km and the height difference is about 700 meters.

After the descent from the top, we transfer to the city of Niš. Overnight stay.

Day 16

Sunday

We rise for breakfast, and just in time to pack our bags and drive to Belgrade airport so you can catch your flight home. We say our goodbyes and wish for a safe flight.

Dates & Prices

July 13th, 2019
Spots available: 15 1690 €, Per Person
October 05th, 2019
Spots available: 14 1690 €, Per Person

Price includes?

To maximize your convenience, we include as much as possible, so you can just relax and enjoy our tour. Here’s what’s included:

  • All local transfers throughout the tour
  • Transfers from and to the airport
  • Half board based accommodation
  • Guided tours
  • Climb to the mentioned peaks
  • All necessary technical equipment for individual peaks (helmet, belt)
  • All taxes and tickets for national parks
  • Licensed UIAA guides

F.A.Q

What extra costs are there?

The following are not included in the tour price:

  • Additional charge for a single room
  • Flights to/from Belgrade
  • Travel insurance
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Personal expenses

What skills/experience/fitness do I need?
You need good hiking experience. All hiking is around 4 to 8 hours per day of normal pace.

What do I need to bring with me?

For your trip, we recommend you bring:

  • Hiking shoes
  • Hiking pants
  • Slippers
  • Jacket for rain and wind
  • Polar-dux
  • Active underwear, upper and lower part with long sleeves
  • 30 liters backpack (minimum)
  • Water container
  • T-shirts with short sleeves
  • Swimsuit
  • Shorts
  • Travel shoes
  • Towels
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen and lip cream, min 30 SPF
  • Hat and/ or scarf (for wind and sun protection)

What are the guides like?
All the activities on this trip will be led in English by qualified and professional local guides, with UIAA licenses.

What’s the food like?
All food is local and is freshly cooked, hearty mountain meals. These include domestic cheese and other local milk products, dry meat specialties, fish, local fruit, fresh vegetable. We can organize your meal in the way you like. The drinks are not included.

Can my dietary requirements be catered to?
Absolutely. Just let us know when you fill in your travel documents.

When can I go on this trip?
The perfect time for this adventure is between May and late September.

What’s the weather like?
In summer the average temperature is around 25-28 degrees but mountain is little colder in the evening. Autumn is slightly chillier but still really pleasant and colors are stunning.

What flights should I book?

Start point?
You will be met at the Podgorica airport on Saturday. Your transfer will meet all flights scheduled to land by 16:00 or earlier. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalize all details.

Finish point?
Your tour will end at Niš or Belgrade airport(depending on your preference) on Saturday. You are free to book any flight that departs after 10:00 am for Nis, or after 02:00 pm for Belgrade.

Getting there and away?
Podgorica and Niš/Belgrade Airports are served by regular, low cost flights. You can get any flights that suit you, but make sure they fit the times above to take advantage of the included transfers. We will contact you before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

How do I meet the transfer?
At your arrival, the transfer will be holding a sign with the name of the tour. We’ll give you all extra details before travelling.

How big will the group be?
This trip will run with a minimum of 6 people, and a maximum of 15. Please note, if there are not 6 people booked the trip may be rearranged or cancelled. Please contact us for confirmation before booking your flights, or book with a credit card.

Important notes:

This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, weather conditions and forecasts, special events, etc.

We can’t guarantee availability of twin rooms for the duration of the tour. All rooms will, in most cases, be double, or single upon request.

In a highly unlikely case of insufficient number of people accommodated in one of our selected hotels, dinner will be served on a basis of a predetermined menu of 2 or 3 meals.