Vusanje - Montenegro
Vusanje (Vuthaj), Montenegro – Theth, Albania
Elevation min: 726 meters max: 1,748 meters
Accumulative height uphill: 1,111 meters downhill: 1,437 meters
Time: 8 hours
Difficulty level: Moderate
Markings to the border: red circle/white fills from the border to Theth:
This is a relatively long hike which crosses the border between Montenegro
and Albania. The path passes along the craggiest part of the Prokletje/Bjeshkёt
e Namuna/Alpet Shqipёtare mountains. Almost the entire hike is surrounded
by steep mountains with stunning views. This itinerary allows us a glance into
the region’s past when it was a forbidden zone during the Communist era. A
border military post, a bunker and the border crossing pyramid sign still remain
by the crossing. The transfer hike finishes at the beautiful village of Theth with its
traditional tower houses surrounded by steep mountains.
If you would like to divide this hike into two parts (two days), the best place
to stay overnight is the meadow at Sheh i Bardh (WP 6i) where you can set up
your tent. There might also be shepherds during the summer time at the former
border police building from whom you can buy fresh food. This place is located
almost in the middle of the trail.
The hike starts at Vusanje (WP 4h) and follows southwest along a dirt road. After
approx. 300 meters, we find a wonderful waterfall flowing out of the Grlja river (WP
1i). Our hike continues along the dirt road and after approx. 1.4 kilometers we take
a right turn, continuing over a narrow foot path for about 50 meters, until we arrive
at another area attraction – the “blue eye”. The blue eye is a small lake whose rich
groundwater sources grant it the bluish color of its water (WP 2i).
From the blue eye, we turn back to the dirt road and follow it southwest. After
approx. 2 kilometers we reach a nice meadow (WP 3i). Travelers can also reach
this point by 4WD.
Our route gently ascends southwest along a path, which can be easily followed,
lined by steep mountains. After approx. 2 kilometers of following the valley
southwest, we will reach a lake (Lićeni Gšfars) which might be dried up during
the summer time. We follow the path southwest and after approx. 500 meters
we reach the Albanian border where a pyramid (WP 4i) from Communist times
reminds you that you have entered a border area. The Albanian motif and the
letters “RPSSH” are written on the pyramid. RPSSH is an acronym for the “People’s
Socialist Republic of Albania” (Republika Popullore Socialiste e Shqipёrisё).
From the border, we continue ascending southwest, first through an oak forest,
and then through a pine forest, for approx. 1.4 kilometers until we reach a very
nice meadow (Fusha e Ruinicёs). This is an inviting spot to rest awhile. At Fusha e
Ruinicёs a water source is located close to the shepherds’ summer huts (WP 5i).
The route continues along a visible path south over flat terrain which gently
begins to ascend through the valley. After approx. 1.5 kilometers, we reach a
bunker followed by a water source (WP 6i) approx. 100 meters further on. The
abandoned building close to the water source used to be a military building
protecting the border. There is also a nice meadow here (She i Bardhё), a good
option for camping if you are not planning to go directly to Theth.
From She i Bardhё, the route follows the gentle ascent south along a visible path.
We start to descend for several meters as we approach Lake Pejёs (Albanian:
Liqeni i Pejёs or Liqeni i Peshkeqes) at WP 7i. From the lake, we start an ascent
south and reach the Pejёs pass (Qafa e Pejёs) after approx. 400 meters. Qafa e
Pejёs (WP 8i) offers a stunning view towards Theth valley.
Our descent from the pass zigzags south along a very steep, but well-maintained
and safe path. This takes us to Theth valley. As the descent becomes gentler, the
visible track passes through a wooded area of pines. After approx. 1.3 kilometers
through the forest, we reach a water source (WP 9i). The source itself is located
approx. 700 meters before Okol village in Theth valley. From Okol we follow a dirt
road southeast over flat terrain bordering the Thethi River, reaching Theth village
(WP 10i) approx. 3.8 kilometers later.
In both Okol and Theth, village guesthouses can be found. Theth is also a good
option for spending one or two days to visit the surrounding attractions (e.g.
blue eye, waterfall, blood tower, ethnographic museum, etc.).