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The Accursed Mountains

Names don't come much more evocative than the 'Accursed Mountains' (Bjeshkët e Namuna; also known as the Albanian Alps), but the dramatic peaks of northern Albania truly live up to the wonder in their name. Offering some of the country's most impressive scenery, and easily its finest hiking, the mountains spread over the borders of Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro, and in Albania they reach a respectable height of 2694m. But as we all know, size isn't everything and what these mountains lack in Himalayan greatness, they more than make up for with lyrical beauty. There are deep green valleys, thick forests where wolves prowl, icy-grey rock pinnacles and quaint stone villages where old traditions hold strong. Indeed, this is where shepherds still take their flocks to high summer pastures and where blood feuds continue to hold sway, and it feels as if you're far, far away from 21st-century Europe.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout The Accursed Mountains.