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Hiking trail

The Coastal Ridge Traverse

Hiking trail · Albania
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The wildest and most demanding trek of the region travels on the crest above the coast and climbs the highest peak of the Albanian Riviera, Maja e Çikës (Mt. Çika, 2044 m). The hike can be walked in two or three days and having a tent for overnights is necessary. If you prefer not to camp, you can shorten the trail according to your needs to make it a day hike by turning around either at Dhjopuri Saddle (8 km, 600 m, 4 hours), the peak of Mt. Qorre (7 km, 1000 m, 6.5 hours) or at the peak of Mt. Çika (14.5 km, 1400 m, 10.5 hours).

If you choose to walk the entire traverse, be aware that there is only one water source along the mountain crest, which can be accessed either on the second day, or at the beginning of the third day, depending on how you split up the different parts of the hike. While the direction is clear most of the time, the trail is not always visible and the weather can change very quickly. A GPS device or a local guide is strongly recommended if you plan the coastal mountain traverse. Furthermore, it is recommended to check the weather forecast for wind conditions around the summit. Even at the Llogara Pass, at only half the elevation of the peaks, winds can be fierce, while down at the coast you would be in a sweat just lying on the beach. Keep in mind that the weather can change rapidly in the coastal mountains, and you should start early, planing to return from the mountain around midday.

After the rocky descend, the trail continues to gently go down in open meadows and passes a pond before arriving at the big meadow of Valja e Bufit (1500 m). There are a couple of shepherd huts on this high plain, inhabited seasonally by shepherds who stay here with their livestock from May to November. This makes another good spot to camp after a long day.

The next day leads along the western side of the ridge to the only water source of the mountain and then to another big elevated plain, Valja e Bogonicës (1250 m), another savanna-like meadow hidden in the mountains. From here the trail continues along the western side of the ridge, climbing for about 200 m, passes a pond close to the pass and descends to Valja e Mesit (1330 m), a smaller meadow with a shepherd hut. Continue the ascend after the hut (1400 m) and after this point the hike starts the descend to the village of Pilur.

difficult
Distance 21.3 km
12:00 h
1,553 m
1,555 m
2,014 m
808 m
Difficulty
difficult
Stamina
Landscape
Highest point
2,014 m
Lowest point
808 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Start

Coordinates:
DD
40.213680, 19.579313
DMS
40°12'49.2"N 19°34'45.5"E
UTM
34T 379107 4452441
w3w 
///referred.accents.handrail

Note


all notes on protected areas

Coordinates

DD
40.213680, 19.579313
DMS
40°12'49.2"N 19°34'45.5"E
UTM
34T 379107 4452441
w3w 
///referred.accents.handrail
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

Basic Equipment for Hiking

  • Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Hiking socks  
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking poles
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Kit para bolhas
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

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Difficulty
difficult
Distance
21.3 km
Duration
12:00 h
Ascent
1,553 m
Descent
1,555 m
Highest point
2,014 m
Lowest point
808 m
Out and back Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest Geological highlights Healthy climate

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