This unique tour traverses three Balkan countries—Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo—in search of peaceful nature, vibrant cities, and interesting history. Visit the cities of Tirana, Shkodër, and Gjakova discovering charming old towns, historic fortresses, and stunning monuments. Then head into nature for hiking in the Prokletije Mountains, zip lining in the Rugova Canyon, riding the famous Lake Kolmani Ferry, and resting at a popular farmstay with delicious, locally-sourced cuisine.

Highlights

  • Discover historical cities in Albania, Montenegro, and Kosovo
  • Test your nerves zip lining in beautiful Rugova Canyon
  • Hike the famous "Accursed Mountains" in a forgotten corner of Montenegro
  • Take the scenic Lake Komani Ferry through the hills
  • Spend a night at an acclaimed farmstay and enjoy a local meal

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Tirana - Explore Tirana
Day 2 Transfer to Shkodër - Enjoy a Traditional Meal Shkoder
Day 3 Drive to Vusanje Through the Stunning Proteklije Mountains Vusanje
Day 4 Enjoy a Day Hike in Beautiful Prokletije National Park Vusanje
Day 5 Enjoy Scenic Views Atop a Mountain Pass - Arrive in Peja Peja
Day 6 Zip Line in the Rugova Canyon - Head to Gjakova Gjakova
Day 7 Go Wine Tasting on Your Way to Prizren Prizren
Day 8 Take a Scenic Ferry Through Koman to a Farmstay Fishtë
Day 9 Depart Tirana  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Tirana - Explore

Typical Communist-Era Apartments in Tirana,
Typical Communist-Era Apartments in Tirana

Welcome to Albania!

Upon arriving to the airport, you'll be transferred to your hotel by a private driver. After settling into your accommodation, you can explore the surrounding area to get your footing in the Albanian capital. Enjoy walking around Skanderbeg Square, the center of the city and a common meeting point for tourists and locals. You'll find the area buzzing with life. You can visit the Friendship Monument, the National Library of Albania, and the Palace of Culture, all within feet from one another. Even if you're not a museum person, the House of Leaves, which explores the role of the feared Sigurimi security police during the Communist dictatorship, is highly recommended.

Other interesting sites nearby include the "Cloud" art sculpture and the Pyramid of Tirana, which once housed the Enver Hoxha Museum to honor the late Communist politician. Now it's a defunct building, sitting as a unique piece of architecture in the city center. You can also visit the 18th-century Tanners' Bridge spanning the Lana River for a little greenery.

At the end of your afternoon exploring, settle into one of Tirana's many restaurants for dinner. The culinary scene in Tirana has grown in recent years, offering an array of cuisine and taste, perfect for the foodie traveler.

Day 2: Transfer to Shkodër - Enjoy a Traditional Meal

Charming Streets of Shkodër, Albania
Charming Streets of Shkodër, Albania

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast to stave off any jet lag, then continue exploring the city of Tirana. Visit any sites you weren't able to fit in yesterday evening, or add some new ones such as the 18th-century Et'hem Bej Mosque or the National Arts Gallery. Bunk'Art, a unique history museum set inside a preserved nuclear bunker from the Cold war, is an interesting place to spend a morning.

You'll enjoy lunch on your own in Tirana, then meet your driver for your transfer to the city of Shkodër. Upon arriving, you'll settle into your accommodation, which will be a charming hotel built around an 18th-century Ottoman han, or coaching inn. The on-site restaurant is famous throughout Albania for its take on traditional northern Albanian cuisine. You can opt to enjoy dinner here, or find another restaurant along the charming stone streets of Shkodër.

Day 3: Drive to Vusanje Through the Stunning Proteklije Mountains

Vusanje Village and Ropojana Valley
Vusanje Village and Ropojana Valley

After breakfast, take advantage of your morning in Shkodër to explore its streets. The city's center is lined with colorful buildings offering quaint shops and cafes. You can also walk up to Rozafa Castle, the ruins of a Venetian fortress made of limestone. You'll also find the remains of the Kisha e Shen Shtjefnit Church. Enjoy the incredible views of the surrounding landscape, including across Lake Skadar to Montenegro.

After lunch in Shkodër, your driver will take you along the eastern shore of Lake Skadar, then up into the spectacular Proteklije Mountains (the famous “Accursed Mountains”). As you twist and turn along the mountains, you'll quickly understand why the scenery on this route is some of the best in Albania.

You'll cross into Montenegro at a very small border post, and then continue the short distance to Vusanje. This scenic village set on the border of Prokletije National Park, surrounded by leafy forests and jagged peaks. Settle into your accommodation and enjoy a hosted dinner.

Day 4: Enjoy a Day Hike in Beautiful Prokletije National Park

Lepushë, on the Albania-Montenegro Border
Lepushë, on the Albania-Montenegro Border

Today is a day for outdoor exploration! Prokletije National Park is a perfect place to enjoy nature. You'll enjoy a day hike into the park, which can be discussed with the help of your guide, depending on your interests and physical abilities. 

After setting off on your route, enjoy the peaceful hike into the park. Whether you're walking along riverbeds, through forests, in alpine meadows, or up mountains, you will surely enjoy the stunning scenery. For lunch, you'll stop at a viewpoint to enjoy a picnic provided by your guide. 

After returning to to Vusanje, you'll have time to freshen up and relax before your hosted dinner.

Day 5: Enjoy Scenic Views Atop a Mountain Pass - Arrive in Peja

Mountain Landscape of Kosovo
Mountain Landscape of Kosovo

After breakfast, your driver will head to the city of Peja, Kosovo. Despite the close proximity, the nearest border crossing into Kosovo has been closed since the late 1990s, so you'll take a longer route via the town of Rozaj. As you near the border, your efforts will be rewarded with spectacular views across the rolling plains of Montenegro.

After a lunch stop at a popular restaurant on the banks of the White Drin River, you'll continue towards the city of Peja. This riverside city is nestled at the foothills of the mountains, providing quite the backdrop. Settle into your accommodation and then explore the town. A good place to start is the Bazaar of Peja, a pedestrian-friendly area lined with shops selling handmade goods, like jewelry, clothing, and art.

If you have time, head to Patriakana e Pejës, a red-stone Orthodox Church set in a pine forest. Then settle into a cozy restaurant for dinner.

Day 6: Zip Line in the Rugova Canyon - Head to Gjakova

Enjoy an Adventurous Day Zipling
Enjoy an Adventurous Day Ziplining

Enjoy a hearty breakfast; you'll need a little extra sustenance for an active day. Just outside of Peja is the Rugova Canyon, where a zip line takes you through the incredible mountain scenery for an adrenaline-pumping experience. You can also try the recently-constructed Mat Via Ferrata trail, a course of clip-in routes where a safety harness secures you to the cliffside as you navigate some of the most breathtaking scenery in Kosovo.

After a morning enjoying the mountains, and after a quick lunch, you'll continue to your next destination, the historic little city of Gjakova. Along the way, you'll visit the incredible 14th-century Serbian Orthodox monastery of Visoki Decani. In Gjakova, settle into your accommodation near the city's bazaar, then go out and explore. There are plenty of cafes, restaurants, and bars to enjoy your evening.

Day 7: Go Wine Tasting on Your Way to Prizren

The Old Stone Bridge in Prizren
The Old Stone Bridge in Prizren

After breakfast, meet your guide for a walking tour of Gjakova. It’s an interesting little city with a lot of history, once an important trade center for the Ottoman Empire. It's bazaar is one of the oldest in Kosovo. More recently, the city suffered during the conflict in the 1990s. After the war, many returned to Gjakova to rebuild and open new shops, aiding in its recovery.

In the late morning, your driver will take you to Prizren. Along the way, you'll make a short detour to Kosovo’s wine region to enjoy a tasting and lunch. Although the wine industry came to a halt during the war, it's recovery has been steady. The country is known in particular for its fruity reds.

Upon arriving In Prizren, settle into your accommodation and freshen up. You'll then have plenty of time to enjoy the historical center. For aerial views of the city's sea of red roofs, head up to Prizren Fortress. On your way down, you can stop at the Church of Saviour and then head into the old town for dinner.

Day 8: Take a Scenic Ferry Through Koman to a Farmstay

The Lake Komani Ferry
The Lake Komani Ferry

Today you'll head back into Albania via the border crossing in Tropoja, the home of the villains in the movie Taken. You'll then descend into the town of Fierze and the eastern tip of Lake Koman. From here, the famous Lake Komani Ferry will take you through the mountains along the Drin River. This route is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful inland ferry journeys in the world.

After disembarking at Koman, you'll head to your accommodation, Mrizi i Zanave, a well-known farmstay with an amazing restaurant. Your farewell dinner will include locally-sourced meats, cheeses, and produce, as well as homemade bread and dessert. It's the perfect way to end your trip in Albania.

Day 9: Depart Tirana

Tirana, Albania
Tirana, Albania

It's time to say goodbye to beautiful Albania! Your driver will transfer you to the airport in time for your flight.