All photographs: Hiking the Balkans

A long-held ambition to visit The Accursed Mountains in Albania was worth the wait for Maja Trajkovska:

I have wanted to go to the Accursed Mountains since the mid-90s, having visited Albania for the first time in 1994.

The north of the country was a ‘no go’ area for many years. It was impossible to go to places that are now starting to have a regular stream of tourists seeking adventures. Whether it was the lawlessness and the wide spread use of weapons, the smuggling and the lack of infrastructure, or the combination of all these, it took me 20 years to come. I managed to organise my long-planned visit in September 2014 and I was hooked. The first time I saw Theth valley, I knew I would be back.

We chose to come from Montenegro via Bor mountain, having arranged our cross-border passes in advance. Crossing the fog-covered mountain a sign that said ‘turn back from this point’ appealed to my sense of adventure. What used to be smuggling routes for drugs, weapons, cigarettes and people, prior to and during the Kosovo conflict in the late 90s, have now become a marked trail called the Peaks of the Balkans.


To read the full article at click here.

To visit Albania and hike the Peaks of the Balkans described in this article, click here.