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Camping at the foot of Guzhbaba peak, Kosovo. Photo: Host/Butterfly Outdoor Adventure
Brand New!

Hike the Sharr Mountains in Kosovo & North Macedonia

Two countries, a couple of 2500m peaks and a spectacularly wild border-hopping route through forests and over mountain ridges

Duration

7 nights

Annual Leave

5 days off work

Group Size

Up to 12 people

Season

Jun–Oct

Location

Kosovo, North Macedonia

Meeting Point

Pristina International Airport, Pristina

Classic Accommodation

Hotel · Mountain hut · Guesthouse · Hostel · Spa Hotel · Wild camping

Customer Reviews

This trip is brand new

Difficulty

Challenging

From

From

What's it like?

Camping at the foot of Guzhbaba peak, Kosovo. Photo: Host/Butterfly Outdoor Adventure
Hikers walking along a ridge in the Sharr Mountains, Kosovo. Photo:  Butterfly Outdoor Adventure
Hiker in the Sharr Mountains. Photo Host Butterfly Outdoor Adventure
Two hikers in the Sharr Mountains, Kosovo Photo Butterfly Outdoor Adventure
Hiker in the Sharr Mountains, kosovo. Photo Butterfly Outdoor Adventure
Kosovo Sharr Mountains. Photo Butterfly Outdoor Adventure

Trek 95km of the High Scardus Trail, one of Europe's newest long-distance hiking routes known as the 'Soul of the Balkans'

Tackle the lofty summits of Ljuboten (2498m) and Tito (2748m) for the best views in the rugged Sharr Mountains

Hike along the border between Kosovo and North Macedonia, brimming with glacial lakes, alpine plateaus and dramatic limestone cliffs – eyes peeled for bears, boars, lynx and deer

Bunk down in a cosy mountain hut, wild camp in a remote spot under the stars and rest your weary legs in a spa hotel

Day 1

Meet your crew in Pristina

Pristina, Kosovo. Photo: iStock-134189105

Arrive in Pristina, Kosovo's capital – the youngest capital city in Europe. Meet your fellow travellers and get a quick pre-trip briefing with your host, before getting a good night's sleep ahead of your first day of hiking tomorrow.

Day 2

One summit, two countries

Hiking the Sharr and Bistra Mountains, Kosovo. Photo: Host/Butterfly Outdoor Adventure

Hiking

7 - 8 hours · 15km · 1500m up · 1078m down

After breakfast in Pristina you'll be driven to the village of Shterpce, close to the border with North Macedonia, where your hike into the wild Sharr Mountains begins. Starting at 1000m, you'll hike up through an enchanting forest (eyes peeled for lynx and bears) before the trail opens to a panoramic view of the entire Sharr range. You'll hike up to the summit of Ljuboten, a local favourite, which at 2498m stands alone from the peaks around it and can be seen from both Pristina and Skopje. Having climbed up in Kosovo, you descend into North Macedonia, as you make your way to the country's oldest mountain hut. The historic Ljuboten Mountain Hut – built in 1931 – promises a warm and cosy evening of traditional food, good company and intriguing tales of the surrounding mountains and their adventurous history.

Day 3

Hike the border ridge and cool off at Livadica Lake

Hikers walking along a ridge in the Sharr Mountains, Kosovo. Photo:  Butterfly Outdoor Adventure

Hiking

5 - 6 hours · 15.5km · 870m up · 2050m down

After fueling up with a hearty mountain breakfast an exciting day of hiking awaits. Warm up your legs on a charming single-track trail to start the day before reaching the bottom of a rocky scramble. As you ascend, enjoy Ljuboten's quirkily named rock formations – including Ljuboten's Neck, Goat Rock and Pointed Rock. Your midday reprieve awaits at the picturesque Livadica Lake, offering not only the chance to refuel but also an opportunity to cool off with a refreshing swim (braving the cold lake waters if you fancy it). The views from this vantage point are nothing short of spectacular. After lunch, it's downhill back into Kosovo and the mountain resort of Brezovica, where your guesthouse awaits.

Day 4

Another border hopping trail

Hikers climbing through the forest, Sharr Mountains, Kosovo. Photo Butterfly Outdoor Adventure

Hiking

5 - 6 hours · 12km · 1300m up · 1200m down

Hop in the van for a quick transfer to today's start point above the village of Lubinje, one of the most lush and captivating sections of the Sharr Mountains. Venture through the heart of a dense forest, where the trail winds its way amidst towering trees and serene surroundings. As you climb, the trees thin to reveal a panoramic vista of high, rugged peaks. Ascend the pass that marks the border with North Macedonia discover to a refreshing oasis – a natural spring and small lake beckon for a brief respite before the final ascent. Having conquered the pass, enjoy a gradual descent to the charming Macedonian village of Vetjse.

Day 5

Waterfalls and glacial lakes

Crossing waterfalls in the Sharr Mountains. Photo Host Butterfly Outdoor Adventure

Hiking

5 - 6 hours · 17km · 700m up · 850m down

Another quick transfer takes you to the start of today's trail, which weaves beneath some of the Sharr Mountain's most stunning peaks. You'll hike up through pasture, over rocky terrain and past waterfalls until reaching the glacial gem of Karanikola Lake. After another incredible day, and a thorough exploration of the northern Sharr Mountains, it's time to descend to the remote village of Bozovce before driving on to the resort of Popova Shapka. After a few nights in rustic mountain accommodation, kick back and relax with a night in a spa hotel complete with a pool and sauna, a chance to rejuvenate before tomorrow's big day.

Day 6

Climb Tito and wild camp under the stars

Tito Peak, Sharr Mountains Macedonia. Photo Host Butterfly Outdoor Adventure

Hiking

6 - 7 hours · 15km · 1200m up · 750m down

Limber up the legs for another big day of climbing, tackling the highest peak in the Sharr Mountains. At 2748m, Tito is also the second-highest summit in North Macedonia – the highest not shared with a neighbouring country. At the summit stands a curious tower overlooking stunning 360-degree views of the expansive mountain range you have traversed. Taking a detour from the summer trail on the way down takes you to a hidden camping spot on the mountain for a unique night under the stars. Your hosts will prepare a comfortable wild camp, complete with warm food brought up from the valley. It's sure to be a special night and the perfect way to end your mountain adventure.

Day 7

Glacial lakes and mountain scenes

Wake up to this view!

Hiking

5 - 6 hours · 20km · 650m up · 1200m down

Wake up in your beautiful wild camping spot, have breakfast, and embark on your final day of hiking out of the mountains. Last is definitely not least, as another stunning day's walk awaits. Descending from camp you reach the Smreka River before climbing above Bogovinje Lake, the largest lake in the Sharr Mountains. You traverse Kosovo's 'Silent Waters', passing Shutman Lake and finally descend to the village of Brod. Celebrate with a beer at a local hotel before your host drives you on to Prizren, where you have the evening to enjoy the charming city. Head out and swap stories with your new hiking friends over a traditional Kosovan meal.

Day 8

Goodbye Kosovo!

Prizren, Kosovo. Photo Canva Link: https://www.canva.com/photos/MAFdQhv_21M-prizren-kosovo/

After breakfast in Prizren, and a short walk around the old city, your host will transfer you back to Pristina and the airport.

Included

Guides

Local, certified English-speaking guides

Accommodation

3 nights in hotels, 1 night in a mountain hut, 2 nights in guesthouses and 1 night wild camping

Meals

7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners

Transfers

Airport transfers and everything in between

Equipment

All of your camping equipment

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Personal expenses

Travel insurance

Some meals as described

Visas where required

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Mountain hut · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3

Guesthouse · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Hostel · Same sex dorm

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Spa Hotel · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6

Wild camping · Twin tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 8

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Hike ‘The Edge’ in Kosovo

Your host will be able to give you recommendations for eating out on the first night, and on the last night you’ll enjoy dinner together at a local restaurant. You’ll have a choice from a few dishes, with extra orders and drinks payable separately. Throughout the trip, the food reflects local flavours and traditions. Each morning in your accommodation, you'll enjoy local delicacies like homemade bread with Sharr cheese, fresh veggies, eggs, mountain tea, and Turkish coffee for breakfast. When hiking, picnic lunches include a sandwich, fruit and biscuits. Dinners include savoury burek pies, hearty casseroles, spiced sausages, roasted lamb, stuffed peppers and fresh vegetables. You may want to also bring a few personal snacks to keep you going whilst hiking.

Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for – please just let your host know on booking.

What is the accommodation like?

Museum Hotel, Pristina, Kosovo. Photo: Butterfly Outdoor Adventure
Pristina

Your first night will be spent in Pristina (Kosovo), usually at the Museum Hotel. You'll be in twin-share rooms with private bathrooms. It's in an excellent location and offers friendly service.

Ljuboten Mountain Hut, Sharr Mountains, Macedonia - Photo: Butterfly Outdoor Adventure
Ljuboten

You'll spend one night in the Ljuboten mountain hut (North Macedonia). The hut was built in 1931 and has a capacity of around 35 people. You'll stay in same-sex shared rooms with 2-3 people per room, with shared toilets and kitchen facilities. Breakfast, a packed lunch, and a traditional dinner are all provided while at the hut.

Bozovce Village, Sharr Mountains, Kosovo. Photo Host Butterfly Outdoor Adventure
Village guesthouses

On Day 3, you'll stay in a guesthouse in the mountain village of Brezovica (Kosovo) in same-sex shared rooms with 2-3 people per room. On Day 4, you'll stay in the Hostel Hana in Vetjse (North Macedonia) in same-sex dorms with shared bathroom facilities.

Hotel Scardus, Photo Host - Butterfly Outdoor Adventure
Popova Shapka

For the night in Popova Shapka (North Macedonia) you'll stay in the Hotel Scardus, a 4-star spa hotel with pool and sauna facilities. You'll be in a same-sex twin- or triple-share rooms, which are ensuite. Breakfast, a packed lunch and dinner are included during your stay.

Tents on the ridge line
Tito camp

Your sixth night will be spent camping under the stars with stunning views of the mountain range when you unzip your tent in the morning. You'll share a tent with one fellow adventurer tonight.

Hotel Alvida, Prizren. Photos Host Butterfly Outdoor Adventure
Prizren

Your final night will be spent in a hotel in Prizren (Kosovo). This will usually be the Hotel Alvida Prizren, which offers rooms with private bathrooms, an excellent location and friendly service.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room and solo tent can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Pristina Airport

Arrive by 22:30 on Day 1

Ends

Pristina Airport

Depart by 20:00 on Day 8

Transfers

Your transfer will collect you on Day 1, timed with the arrival of Wizz Air flight arriving at 22:30, and drop you back at the airport at 20:00 on Day 8, in time for the return Wizz Air flight at 22:55. If you arrive outside of these times, your host can arrange a private transfer for an extra cost. Please see Optional Extras.

Travel options

There are regular flights to Pristina from major airports across the UK and Europe.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag and liner
  • Roll mat

What do I need to bring?

BAGS

  • Duffel bag for excess kit
  • Day pack (35+ litres/big enough to carry overnight belongings on some trekking days - see FAQs for more details)

CLOTHES

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Warm jacket or fleece
  • Thin, wicking base layers (top and bottom)
  • Additional upper body layers and trousers/shorts (not cotton)
  • Hiking boots/shoes (worn-in, waterproof)
  • Walking socks
  • Warm hat and gloves
  • Something to sleep in

OTHER

  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Ear plugs
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Sun protection
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Head torch
  • Energy bars and snacks - read our article on Best Hiking Snacks
*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Extra night in Pristina

Payable Before Departure

Extra night in Pristina

Optional Private Room and Tent Upgrade (Nights 1, 5, 6 and 7 only)

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room and Tent Upgrade (Nights 1, 5, 6 and 7 only)

Per Person

Private Airport Transfer

Payable Before Departure

Private Airport Transfer

Per Person

This trip is brand new

We’re still waiting to collect any reviews from other travellers on this trip. However, all our hosts go through an extensive vetting process to ensure that your adventure is awesome.

We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 220.86kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity, ensuring the protection of the reserve and its wildlife.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

This trek has multiple long days with plenty of climbing up and down, so you should be in good shape and used to walking in the hills for consecutive days. Although not technically difficult, the hiking and topping a number of peaks is bound to make you puff so some strong walking legs will go a long way.

Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

The Sharr Mountains are pretty similar to most European mountain climates: cold and snowy in the winter and sunny and pleasant in the summer.

We recommend going on this trip between May and October when daytime temperatures in Pristina average between 21-27°C and days are usually in the region of 10-17°C in the mountains. It gets cool at night with the potential for temperatures to hover only a few degrees above freezing, so make sure you pack some warm clothing too.

Like any mountain environment, be prepared for sudden changes in the weather. Although the summers are generally nice and warm, the rain can set in without a moment's notice, so do pack accordingly. A layering system is essential in the mountains.

Yes, you can leave any luggage you don't want on the hike with the host, it will be transported by vehicle and available on Days 4, 5 and 7.

No. You'll need to have a larger bag suitable for all your belongings which will be transported for you, and then a good-sized and comfortable backpack to carry personal items during each day of hiking. You'll have access to your main luggage on nights 4, 5 and 7. Between these nights (i.e. days 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7), you'll need to carry overnight belongings and your daily hiking kit, lunch and water.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're always in good company on one of our adventures.

Our trips are typically made up of a mixture of solo travellers and small groups of 2 or 3 friends, with most in their 30s-50s.

Our sociable adventures are solo-friendly by design and naturally attract outdoorsy people with a shared mindset; a love for adventure, a desire to push themselves and meet awesome, like-minded people along the way.

It’s this camaraderie that has so often turned a great adventure into a life-changing one.

Don't just take our word for it:

  • 95% of people rate the group dynamics on our trips 5/5
  • 90% of people recommend joining a trip to make new friends
  • 75% of people have met people on our trips that they would now consider friends

See here for more info about the Much Better Adventures tribe.

Interested in a more exclusive experience? Opt for a 'Private Group' through the dates and prices tab to book this adventure for just you and your chosen companions.

Our team of Adventure Hunters create exclusive adventures with highly vetted, specialist hosts. We only work with independent, local in-destination experts who know the very best places to explore and how to stay safe. See here for more info about the local teams we partner with.

TRIP DEPARTURE DATES

September 2024

Friday • 6th September 2024

to Friday • 13th September 2024
Guaranteed to run

Friday • 20th September 2024

to Friday • 27th September 2024
Guaranteed to run

Sunday • 6th October 2024

to Sunday • 13th October 2024
Guaranteed to run
Only 2 spots left at 10% off

Friday • 13th June 2025

to Friday • 20th June 2025
Guaranteed to run

Friday • 27th June 2025

to Friday • 4th July 2025
Guaranteed to run

Friday • 11th July 2025

to Friday • 18th July 2025
Guaranteed to run

Friday • 25th July 2025

to Friday • 1st August 2025
Guaranteed to run

Friday • 8th August 2025

to Friday • 15th August 2025
Guaranteed to run

Friday • 22nd August 2025

to Friday • 29th August 2025
Guaranteed to run

Friday • 5th September 2025

to Friday • 12th September 2025
Guaranteed to run

Friday • 19th September 2025

to Friday • 26th September 2025
Guaranteed to run

Friday • 3rd October 2025

to Friday • 10th October 2025
Guaranteed to run
Private trip

Go private and split the bill with ease.

Forget complex logistics, we've taken care of all the details to ensure a hassle-free get together. All of the adventure, none of the faff.

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