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  • Writer's pictureErin

The Most Secluded and Mysterious Place in Europe

On the border between Albania and Montenegro is the southernmost part of the Dinaric Alps, known as the Accursed Mountains. The mountain range consists of very rigid and steep limestone slopes and is, for the most part, entirely unexplored. The range seems completely erratic and unorganized, which adds to the beauty. The deep canyons that were cut by the glacial waters make the remote area even more difficult to explore. Though it is difficult, it is worth the trek, and there are ways to ensure that the hiking is accessible for even the weekend warrior.

Mountain Lakes in the Albanian Alps
Mountain Lakes in the Albanian Alps

Accursed Mountains

The mountains have a unique name with many stories and tales as to how they got the name Accursed Mountains. Two stories are the most common. The first is that the Slavic soldiers were ordered to cross the mountains, but due to the endless mountains and valleys, it was incredibly easy to get lost and turned around. The Slavic soldiers were never able to escape the mountains. The second story, and probably the most popular, is about a mother with her children were escaping from her enemies through the Albanian Alps during the long hot, dry summer day. Her children kept begging for water, but that resource was difficult to find in the alps. She was so discouraged and frustrated that her children were suffering that she cursed the mountains, so they never received water.

Albanian Alps from Theth
Albanian Alps from Theth

Theth National Park

If you are adventurous enough to hike through the alps, the views are incredibly rewarding. Some of the sights that you will see as you trek through the wilderness is opportunity to take in a glimpse of Maja Jezercë, which stands 8,839 ft and is the tallest mountain in the range. Then you can take in the 100 ft waterfall known as the Grunas Waterfall in Theth National Park. Viewing this incredible waterfall, you will often see a rainbow on its surface during the high sun. Though most of the mountain range lacks rain, you can find high trees near the region's alpine lakes. These lakes are the lifeblood of the region, and though the area is remote, there are stone villages that can date back to the 15th century. Theth is a very popular place to start and end treks through the backwoods of the Accursed Mountains.

Are you ready to truly get off the beaten path and explore the outdoors? Albania is the answer. The relatively untraveled country is pure and hasn't fallen trapped in the touristy nature of many European destinations. If you are ready to dive in and explore, schedule a consultation to learn more about your perfect trip to Albania.

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