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Pellumba Cavehiking

Summary: Pellumba Cave is - and should be - one of the top hiking destinations from Tirana, especially for those with little time to spare. Half a day can be sufficient, though one could spend many hours in the cave itself. The cave is cool during the hot summer months, and probably warm in winter (though we didn't try). The trail to the cave is very pleasant, well signposted and secured to protect the inexperienced from the sharp drops into the Erzen Gorge. There are rest places, with benches, at several view points along the way. But don't take it too easy - this is not a stroll in the park, but a hike!

Maximum altitude: 479 meter
Minimum altitude: 341 meter
Cumulative height: 177 meter
Cumulative length: 2.46  kilometer each way
Difficulty easy
Time: 1 hour to cave - plan to spend 1-2 hours inside cave
Date of this record September 2011
Download GPS info: Pellumba Cave

General location and approach: The trail starts in the village of Pellumbas, which is reached from Ibe along the Tirana - Elbasan road. The turn off to Pellumba is signposted. Follow this road, to a sign and large infomation board, which is the trailhead. Park your car here.

Other Information: The trail runs along some steep drops with excellent views across the Erzen Gorge. Aid money was used to secure the path with handrails, where needed.

The cave is 380 meter long, and may take some time to explore. After the first 40 meter or so the cave becomes absolutely dark. The floor can be muddy and slippery. There are bats in the cave, but not too many.

For the hike, but especially for the cave, take hiking shoes. If you have, take a walking stick, to help you balance when in the cave. Also take at least one torch for every visitor. A guide is supposed to issue flashlights and helmets for every visitor (for a 100 Lek fee), but on our visit only one lamp was available from the guide (we brought our own). The fee is charged nevertheless, per person.

If you want to create photographs like those below, take different types of flashlights (e.g. an LED lamp, a regular flashlight, and so on). The light emitted from different types of lamps has different "color temperatures", which creates the impression of blue light, or yellow or red light on the photograph. Also take a tripod or other rest for your camera. Turn off the flash, and choose a long shutter speed (the images below were taken with between 2 and 5 seconds). Use your various flashlights to illuminate the objects in the cave, but wave the lights around during the camera exposure to avoid "burning" the image.

It might be worth hiring a local guide, especially if you want more than just "peeping"into the cave. Here are some contacts:

Genc Drita: +355682009089

Local guide, Behar Duqi: +355683607843

www.shpellaepellumbasit.com (not working when last visited)

GPS and trailmaps: The map and trailinformation is generated by www.wikiloc.org, 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.

Images: Click the full screenbutton at the end of the page to view the slides in full screen