Gjarper Mountain Loop

4 nights, 4 days

  • Guesthouses & Stans (Camping Optional)
  • Only one tricky bit to cross on the Çerem Path
  • Could probably bring a horse, if you want choice for tired children
  • Best time of Year: July to September

Here’s a very nice loop with gorgeous views, taking in one peak, which you could do with sturdy children.  Not much to fall off of, except when crossing the “Horrible Hole” on the Çerem Path.  The H.Hole is actually a natural drainage channel, which is tidied up every year by local volunteers who cut a basic path across it as soon as the heavy rains stop and it stabilizes – usually in July. The circuit round the mountain (from Trailhead to Trailhead) can actually be done in one VERY long day, so this plan is designed to give you time to take in views, watch birds (best place for spotting Rock Partridge!), look at flowers (like the incredibly rare Gentianella albanica) and experience traditional culture.  Still, feel free to modify the plan if you want to use it as a 2-day /camping hike instead. Çerem village is not electrified, and there’s no phone signal from Çerem until you pass Gjarper Mountain, so be aware of safety limitations.  There’s some (very old) information about Gjarper Mountain HERE.  Anything to do with trails etc has changed, but the mountain itself hasn’t, so the pictures and such are still useful.

If you want us to book all the accommodation with dinners and packed lunches along the way (and including our very own, top-quality hiking map!) it should come out to around 115€ per person, for two people.  That’s 4 nights accommodation and all breakfasts, dinners and packed lunches included.  You can start by downloading this list of questions, fill it out and email it back to me.  I’ll figure out the cost and availability and let you know.

Day 1:  Komani Ferry to Dragobia (Motina)

Arrive in Valbona, via Komani Lake Ferry/Buses

Ask to be dropped off at Motina, and stay at Motina River Guesthouse (Homestay)

[Options: Camping at Fatjon’s Camping, with food from Klodian Ismali.  Spend an extra day in this very pretty village, and hike south along the Motina River to Zalli i Motines, or even up toward the Qafa e Ndroqes pass (Curraj i Eperm)]

Day 2:  Dragobi to Çerem

Elev. Gain: 600m

Km: 10k

~ 5 hours hiking

Hike up the river to Relax Restaurant, cross over, walk 1km down the cars road to the Çerem Trailhead and hike up to Çerem.

Sleep in Çerem either at Goçaj “Hotel” or the Homestay of Avdi Isufi

[Options: Camping at Avdi Isufi’s.  If this isn’t enough hiking for you, you can also spend some time exploring the Shpati i Mijushes area, which actually brings you back onto the South-facing slope of Kollata Mountain]

Day 3:  Around Gjarper to Livadhet e Gjarperit

Elev. Gain: 800m

Km: 9k

~ 7 hours hiking

Hike through Gjarper Ceremit

Visit the Peak of Gjarper

Sleep at Stani i Arif Kadris.  Working shepherds’ farm, with amazing fresh sheep cheese, yoghurt, milk, byrek etc.  (Anything and everything SHEEP!)

[Options: Camping at Arif Kadris.]

Day 4:  Back to the Valley

Elev. Gain:  mostly downhill 300m

Km: 5k

~2 hours hiking

Take your time and wander back down the 4×4 track through plum orchards of Gurihul.  Great place to spot Brown Bear tracks in August/September (and join the bears in eating plums!).

Cross the river again at Relax, and hike to Rilindja and take a room or camp (Hot showers! Wifi and Restaurant!  Information about What To Do Next!)

[You could obviously skip this day, or bust past Arif Kadris’ the night before but it really is a pity to miss out on staying there.  Anyhow, what’s yer hurry?]

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