Mountain hiking is one of the most popular activities in Kosovo’s western region. Peja stands out as it is the gateway to the Bjeshkët e Nemuna (Accursed Mountains) National Park. Being also the gateway to this park, from the city of Peja, many mountaineers, climbers, and nature lovers walk past who visit these mountainous parts not only to spend the weekend but also to carry out hiking expeditions and conquer the mountain peaks in the Accursed Mountains of or as they are otherwise known to the population by the names Albanian Alps and Blessed Mountains. Rugova, the most extensive mountainous area in the Accursed Mountains, belongs to the municipality of Peja and offers great attractive opportunities for the development of mountain hiking activity. Now in this mountainous area are developed trails that provide daily and weekly but also longer experiences that last up to 12 days and cross the state borders. In contrast, these trails are prepared very suitable for all ages and genders by providing experiences for beginners to professionals.
What sets Peja apart is the proximity to its mountains and hiking enthusiasts. Still, many tourists who visit Peja can start walking right from the city and approach the mountains to continue the paths for those who have chosen to cross and enjoy the same. In this regard, all hikers and visitors to Peja can experience local daily trails that reach a length of up to 20km. Regional ones can last up to 1 week, passing some municipalities of the western region among themselves. The size can reach up to 100km or even cross-border ones such as the paths “Balkan Peaks, Via Dinarica and Accursed Mountains Experience” that connects the state of Kosovo with Montenegro and Albania, and their length reaches up to 200km. Fans of this activity are active during the four seasons (spring, summer, autumn, and winter), experiencing the many natural beauties and experiences from meetings with locals.
CONQUEST OF MOUNTAIN TOPS
The highest peak in Peja is Guri I Kuq (Red Rock) reaches a height of 2522m, but Peja is the gateway to the Accursed Mountains. Thus, the peaks of Peja and many other peaks found in other municipalities that are part of the national park Accursed Mountains can be made through Peja. The conquest of mountain peaks or alpine activity is entirely developed in Peja, and this dates to 1928 with the establishment of the first mountaineering association in Kosovo, known as “Gjeravica.” All this is thanks to the easy access to the Rugova and Accursed Mountains from the city, the mountainous terrains suitable for access to the most profound mountain areas, and the peaks Peja offers itself. Some peaks exceed the level of altitude above 2000m, but those that are more tractive can be distinguished as Red Rock 2522m, Çfërla 2461, Hajla 2403m, Vjellaku 2014m, Rusolia2381m, Maja Hasanit (the Peak of Hasan) 1900m, etc. What made Peja stand out is that some of the peaks, such as the peak of Çfërle, the peak Vjellaku, the peak of Hasan, the peak of Kopranik, etc. can be realized starting from the city center without the need for transport. In contrast, for the other peaks you must travel to the mountainous area of Rugova which has no great distance and the road to the points where you will start your climbing is very attractive and with many natural beauties such as waterfalls, rivers, gorges, caves, etc.