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Mali i Kallabakutgreen hikeblue drive

Summary: Mali i Kallabakut is an interesting rocky outcrop in the vast grassy hills of the Shishtavec area. It sits on the border between Albania and Kosovo, quite close to where the borders of Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia meet on a rather inconspicuous hill. Shishtavec, Novosele and Turaj are high altitude villages (between 1400 and 1500 meters). Some of the villages are home to the Goran people, a linguistic minority in Albania.

The area is unlike many others. There are not many trees, the views are expansive, and the climate and grazing is good for horses and cattle. There is heavy snowfall in winter (with emerging ski resorts on the Kosovo side), cutting off the villages from the rest of the world. The snow lingers long into spring and summer.

We went to climb Kallabaku in late May, and were delighted by the spring flowers. The best month to visit, so we were told, is June, when the flowers are at their best.

The climb: We started the hike of Kallabaku from a stan near the village of Turraj. The hike is not difficult and steep gradients can be avoided (or taken, for a shorter trail). Kallabaku can be easily climbed from all directions, though the summit has some cliffs on the eastern side.

If the weather is fine, views to Gjallicia and Koritnik can be had throughout. From near the summit, Korab Mountain appears very close, and the Sharr Mountains beckon.

At the trailhead, we were treated to fresh milk and - on our return - to yoghurt by Mahmut Noka and family who run an agrobusiness enterprise.

Maximum altitude: 2174 meter
Minimum altitude: 1537  meter
Cumulative height: 642 meter
Cumulative length: 8.48 kilometer roundtrip
Difficulty easy
Time: 3.5  hours
Date of this record May  2014
Download GPS info: Mali i Kallabakut

Drive to the trailhead, guesthouse, Shishtavec and back to Kukes: We approached Turaj and the trailhead of Mali i Kallabakut from Kolesjan, which is along the the excellent asphalt road connecting Kukes and Peshkopi. Once you take the fork in Kolesjan, the road leads up onto Gjallicia Mountain. High on the mountain, do not turn off (left) to Gjallicia, but continue (straight) to cross a pass of 1800 meter altitude. Should you travel in May or earlier, you need to enquire beforehand whether the road is clear of snow. Views will be had to the Bushtrice hydropower plant.

If you intend to climb Kallabaku, you can do so from Turaj village or nearby, as indicated.

A bit further on, before reaching Novosele, are cabins where one may stay the night (or longer). The cabins are very nice and well equipped with beds, linen, electricity, warm showers and all. A hotel is being built nearby. There are no signposts to point the way, so you have to follow the coordinates. We stayed in the cabins in May, after some negotiations with resident staff, as the cabins are said to open in June only. This being the case, we were treated very well, and provided with generous portions of tasty cheese and home-baked bread.

We also continued to Shishtavec, just to see the place. From Shishtavec, you may proceed to Kosovo, or to Borje village.

For the regular road from Shishtavec to Kukes, go back to Novosele. Pass through Topojan along a steep mountain road. The last few kilometers are on asphalt.

Maximum altitude: 1840 meter
Minimum altitude: 212  meter
Cumulative height: 1978 meter
Cumulative length: 65  kilometer
Difficulty moderate
Time: 5 hour or two days
Date of this record May 2014
Download GPS info: Shishtavec

General location and approach: Kukes district, on the border with Kosovo.

Other Information: The contact for the cabins at Novosele is Gezim Basha, +355662001718.

The contact for the agrobusiness at the Kallabakut trailhead is Mahmut Noka: +355684129586. He can arrange mules, horses, parties and festivities, including catering with roasted sheep and all.

GPS and trailmaps: The map and trailinformation is generated by wikiloc, based on GPS information collected from the actual hike. Waypoints can be downloaded to a GPS device from Wikiloc. If necessary, use GPSBabel to convert GPS data to different formats. For more hike descriptions by Palmtreetreeproduction, browse this website or visit Wikiloc and search for "Palmtreeproduction". You may also find nearby trails from other authors.

Google Earth: You may also view the trail in 3D by clicking "view in Google Earth" when on Wikiloc. You need to have Google Earth installed on your computer.