Divided into stages, the trail accommodates hikers of varying preferences and abilities, allowing them to choose sections that align with their interests. Each stage of the trail unveils the natural splendor of the Shar Mountains and provides opportunities to delve into charming villages, engage with local communities, and witness the region’s rich biodiversity.
Trail Sections: The High Scardus Trail is divided into several sections, each offering its own unique beauty and challenges. Whether you choose to tackle the entire trail or select specific sections, you’ll find plenty to discover:
- North Macedonian Section: Experience the rugged and untamed wilderness of North Macedonia, with its dramatic landscapes, rich history, and cultural heritage.
- Albanian Section: This section takes you through the remote and untouched landscapes of Albania, offering stunning views of towering peaks, deep gorges, and traditional Albanian villages.
- Kosovo Section: Explore the breathtaking beauty of Kosovo’s Scardus Mountain range, passing through picturesque valleys, glacial lakes, and encountering the warm hospitality of the local communities.
The Scardus Mountain range is renowned for its exceptional biodiversity. Along the High Scardus Trail, you’ll encounter a wide range of flora and fauna, including rare and endemic species. Nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers will be captivated by the abundance of life thriving in these pristine ecosystems.
Traditional dishes found in the Shar Mountains are a fusion of Mediterranean and Eastern European flavors, showcasing the culinary heritage of the Balkans. Here are some noteworthy local delicacies to indulge in:
Tavče Gravče: A traditional Macedonian dish featuring baked beans seasoned with paprika, onion, and garlic. Often served with freshly baked bread, this hearty meal can be enjoyed in both vegetarian and meat-based variations.
Burek: A savory pastry popular across the Balkans, consisting of layers of thin dough filled with cheese, spinach, meat, or potatoes. Baked to a golden crisp, burek is a delightful treat for the taste buds.
Flija: An Albanian specialty comprised of multiple layers of crepe-like pancakes, cooked with butter, cream, and yogurt. Each layer is accompanied by a tantalizing blend of meat, cheese, or vegetables, resulting in a flavorful and comforting dish.
Kačamak: A hearty cornmeal-based dish that forms a culinary cornerstone of the region. Prepared by boiling cornmeal and combining it with cheese, butter, and milk, kačamak is often served alongside grilled meat or enjoyed as a standalone main course.
With multiple trail sections to explore, you have the freedom to tailor your High Scardus Trail experience. Whether you tackle the entire trail or select specific sections, the adventure awaits.
Photos by: Johnatan Andrew