Training Trek for the Real Trek!

Rebecca on the Permet to Peshtan Hike

My daughter, Rebecca, joined me to travel through the Balkans for three months—Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. We are currently in Albania. The main thing that we are most excited about is coming up next week when we embark on a 12-day trek around the Albania Alps on the Peaks of the Balkans Trail.

Here are just a few of the elevation maps for that trail:

Three Elevation Maps for the Peaks of the Balkans Trail

We do need to be in shape for this hike!

So, since we hit Montenegro on May 6, we have been putting in quite a few training days to build up our stamina and sure-footedness. This training culminated last week as we did a three-day test trek in the Zagoria Valley near Permet in Southern Albania. 


Map for Permet to Peshtan Hike

The nice thing about these walks is that we don’t have to carry camping gear—we stay in guesthouses in small villages along the way. The hosts feed us dinner and breakfast and provide food for a picnic lunch. This really lightens our load. For our “test trek” we loaded up our bags as we will pack them for the Peaks of the Balkans trail. We have not been able to weigh them, but we are guessing they weigh about 24 pounds (12 kilos). Pretty light for a multi-day trek.

Backpack I use for trekking


For this “test trek”, we stayed overnights in the villages of Sheper and Limar.

 To give you an idea of what this trek was like, I created a three-part video series. You can view the three videos below. 

Day 1: Permet to Sheper


Day 2: Sheper to Limar

Day 3: Limar to Peshtan and Return to Permit

Our Peaks of the Balkans trek commences on June 24 and finishes on July 6. Our friend, Nev Chamberlain from the UK will join us. I will be documenting the Peaks trek in a similar way and I plan to share those videos sometime in the future. Stay tuned!

Map of the Peaks of the Balkans circuit
Maps of Peaks of the Balkans Trail. We will be beginning the trek in Valbone, Albania. We will cross into Kosovo and Montenegro and then back into Albania, ending the journey in Theth. 145 kilometers

Other Blog Posts You May Find Interesting

Walking up to the pass after leaving Milishevc in the Peaks of the Balkans

Peaks of the Balkans-Day 4: Milishevc  to Rekë e Allegës

We started out walking uphill on the road out of Milishevc. Then we had to climb a steep hill with no real trail—just using our GPS to get us up to the main trail. Even then, the trail was non-existent in places, and we had to rely on GPS and the occasional Peaks of the Balkans trail markers.

Read More »
Picture of Cathy Fulton

Cathy Fulton

I am Cathy Fulton and I became a world nomad in 2014. Traveling has become a way of life for me. Except for the fact that I am a citizen of the United States, I don’t have a residence. I am retired and I like to travel solo and independently. I don’t know how many times I have heard, “You are living my dream.” My reply is, “It doesn’t have to be a dream. It can be a reality!"

2 thoughts on “Training Trek for the Real Trek!”

  1. Hi Cathy! Just watched your Albania series. I met you at the JCC in New Orleans one Saturday morning (in ladies locker room-Lol!) Hubby and I have been looking at Northern Greece, maybe Albania trip in October. I’ll keep following your wonderful adventures…

    1. Yes! I remember you, Paula. Glad you enjoyed the post. I am working on a series of posts documenting our experience on the “Real Trek.” I hope to get some of them up in the next couple weeks. If you are signed up on my mailing list, you will get an email notice when they are published.
      (BTW: I recommend visiting the monasteries of Meteora when you are in Greece!)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *