The stage of the Peaks of the Balkans Trail takes you from the remote of village of Doberdol to Kosovo’s tallest peak, Gjeravica is special for two reasons. First, you get to say you have bagged the tallest peak in Kosovo and witnessed the unmatched panoramic view from the top. Second, this hike features numerous alpine lakes that you can’t help but dream of swimming in. Pack your bag, lace up those smelly boots and get ready for adventure with this Doberdol to Gjeravica hiking guide.
DURATION: 7 hours
ELEVATION GAIN: 915m
ELEVATION LOSS: 915m
Luckily, the hike from Doberdol to Gjeravica is a there and back, so if you can make it to the peak, you’ll have no trouble finding your way back. The hike features two main climbs for the day. The first is right when you start and the second waits for you at the base of Gjeravica. Other than those two climbs this is a straight forward hike.
There are two options to begin the trail. The first and easier options is to walk following the dirt road into the valley heading Southeast. Follow this road for about 2.5km and you will see the trail go up the hillside on your left side. Climb this trail until you reach the pass marking the border with Albania and Kosovo. From here you will find the trail taking you directly to Gjeravica.
The other, more scenic way to hike to Gjeravica begins by crushing the almost 600m climb to the top of Tromeda. It’s okay, we eat these climbs for breakfast. Once you finish climbing, you will bear right and follow the trail traversing the ridgeline towards Gjeravica. For a long while the trail will generally stay at the same elevation.
Keep following the trail that hugs the Albanian and Kosovari border. This part of the hike will be simple and leisurely. Be sure to take the time to appreciate all the alpine lakes around you. You could even stop to enjoy water from one of the many fresh water springs. Follow the rolling trail as it curves through the hills.
When you come to the part of the trail marked by a sheer overhang, you know you are almost there. Watch your step here, things get pretty slippery on the loose gravel and as you’ll notice, this isn’t somewhere you want to take a fall. At the top you’ll come to a small mountain pass looking over the iconic heart shaped lake at the base of Gjeravica. Now, the finish line is within your sight.
The last climb of the day is to the peak of Gjeravica. It looks a lot smaller than it is. Expect about half an hour until you reach the top. Also, watch out for the loose rocks that are more frequent near the top. Once you reach the top, take a deep breath, soak up the view and write your name in the history of Kosovo.
Like I said, getting back is easy. Just retrace your steps back to the village of Doberdol. If you’re feeling tired, keep in mind, the way back is always easier. Besides, you just had one hell of a day.
HIKE WITH ME!
If you like what you see and want to be guided by a local, this hike is a part of the specialized Peaks of The Balkans Tour I provide with Balkan Mountain Adventure Company. Adventure is what we do. These experiences have changed my life forever. I want everyone to share the joy of the mountains with me and experience the wonders of my home. BLKNMTN gives you the opportunity to explore like a local and have the adventure of a lifetime. We also provide a self-guided tour for those who want to take on the trail on their own. Click the link for more information and feel free to reach out with any questions!
ADVENTURE IS WHAT WE DO
MY EXPERIENCE HIKING FROM DOBERDOL TO GJERAVICA
To begin this story, I have to begin with the night before. I had been in Montenegro for one week and this was my first Friday night in town. My cousin Nermin insisted we go out. Of course, it didn’t take me much convincing. At around 11pm I’m pretty wasted already and I get a phone call from my uncle. “These guys are taking you hiking in the morning be ready at 4:30.” Obviously, when you have something to drink you think everything is possible, so I agreed. The night went on and I got home at a lovely 3am. Two hours of sleep later, my alarm rung and the car was swiftly waiting for me outside.
There I was in a car of four other people I had just met. It was still dark outside so I couldn’t make out their faces. All I remember is some one’s breath was making me nauseous. After an hour drive on a dirt road up into the mountains we finally parked. The sun was just starting to peak it’s head out. I will never forget the way it illuminated the Peak of Hrid rock. A few hours ago I was surrounded by a cloud of smoke and the roar of music, now I was watching the sunrise in a beautiful and wild landscape. The sheer contrast made the experience that much more sweet.
We started the hike with a climb and honestly, I was too excited to be hung over. I forgot all about it. The beauty in front of me sobered me up. Also good, I could finally see the faces of my new found friends. They were awesome guys. Zuvdo, the 74 year old machine, Sadat, the friend of my uncle, Boban, the man who is non-stop hiking and Bejto, the doctor who smokes too many cigarettes.
We spent the day hiking while deep in conversation. I didn’t talk much. I listened and got lost in my breathtaking surroundings. I remember passing lake after lake wondering to myself how is this possible. Soon enough, we reached the base of the peak. A short half hour later I was standing at the top of the tallest mountain in Kosovo, Gjeravica. I signed my name in the record book and took some awesome shots with my drone.
We hung out for a while, but the chilling wind sent us back on our way. The walk back went by quick. I kept turning my head, soaking in all the sights and getting lost in thought. Before, I knew the jeep was in sight and I had just completed the biggest and best hike of my life. Since then, the bar has been set much higher and I have hiked so much more, but I will never forget just how special the hike to Gjeravica is.
CONTINUING THE PEAKS OF THE BALKANS