Tropoja Vjeter (Old Tropoja)

Some years ago, I added the appeal to “stay longer!” to our “What to Do Here” page.  Well, I’m delighted that so many of you have tried to do just that – and you’ve challenged me to explore my own backyard to discover how you can enjoy Northern Albania even more.  In 2016 we collected a lot of trail notes and GPS data for some new through hikes (which I’m still trying to write up in a useful form).  Many of the paths East from Valbona (ie, towards Kosova) lead to one of my long standing ‘mysteries-to-explore’: the town of Tropoja Vjeter.  I must have driven past it several hundred times on the way to the Kosova border.  “Oh, there’s nothing there,” said Alfred, when I asked why we never went there.  I should have known better. What there is is a completely undiscovered village, charming and rather vibrant (in a restrained, Northern-Albanian way).  Tropoja Vjeter is also a very nice gateway also to the Peaks of the Balkans trail network – which is to say, the trails encompassing Valbona valley (running E-W), Gashi Valley (N-S, with the Shepherd’s summer village of Doberdoll at its Northern extremity) and Tropoja River Valley (also N-S, but along the Kosova border).  There are also a bunch of potential mountain biking trails, which I’m now working with the owners of Aste Guesthouse to develop.  So what I’m really saying is, if you’re trying to put together a tour of the North, consider spending some time here, and keep in touch as we develop the linkages between routes.  For those of you who also like to discover the “undiscovered corners” this is definitely the new news for 2017.  I’m actually going to stay there this weekend, to explore the village and scope out some hiking trails to mark, in a collaborative spirit.  I’ll also find better contact information, but for now, feel free to contact me, to pass on bookings.  Or take a look at their website.  If you think of it, let them know we sent you.

Aste Guesthouse

Capacity: 12 people

Features:  Lovely family running it, with links to some of the more forward thinking locally-based tourism developers (trying to create grassroots benefits).  ALSO: Cows in the back yard (and yes, you can milk them and make cheese, etc.)  Also a very nice resident dog named “Spike” who is so civilized, he’s actually allowed indoors.  Flowers and plants everywhere.  They even have reliable wifi. By this summer they (we) will have also through hiking routes to the Bjeshk (alpine meadows) and Valbona with information, maps etc, and also probably suggestion for mountain bike routes, WITH shared bike rentals (ie, you can pick up a bike at either end, and ride ’em across, and we’ll worry about how to return them to whence they came).

Contact:  Feriz +355 (0)68 24 05 080, Hasime +355 (0)68 51 33 130 or Emmanuel +355 (0)68 58 27 445

Email:  hello@asteguesthouse.com or you can also email me: catherine@journeytovalbona.com

 

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