Recently I was hiking with a lovely hikers group I’m part of (EDEN’s Nature Guides) toPellumbas village which is located just half an hour drive from the city of Tirana and is surrounded by beautiful nature and silence. From this small village you can visit the beautiful canyon of Erzeni and the cave of Pëllumbas, also known as The Black cave.
I have been so many times in this little village and still I like going there not only for the beautiful nature but also for the dudes that always warmly welcome me at the little bar of the village. I always hand up with beers and qofte (peaces of meet) after my hikes around the village. The bar doesn’t really has a name but you can easily recognize it since this is the only bar so far in this little village and the only modern building (with mirror glasses). The prices are extremely cheep. 50 Lek (30 Euro cents) a raki (traditional alcoholic drink).
How to Get There?
There is no direct bus from Tirana to Pellumbas. The bus lives you 4 km far from the village. In case you are a big group (up to 10 people) the bus drives you at the village and get you back for 200 Lek per person.
The bus station is at Rruga e Elbasanit, close to the junction. The bus line is Tirane-Berzhite. The regular ticket cost 80 Lek.
If you chose to drive there, follow the road to Elbasan and turn of at the sign of Pellumbas village. Follow the route to the village and park the car at the bar of the village (the trail head).
The Hike to Black Cave and Erzeni River Gorge
Hiking to Black Cave will take you about 1 hour to go there and 45 minutes to get back. The trail is very well maintained, marked and with some benches on the way. I don’t really like this kind of intervention but is OK for people who are not so interested in hiking in a wild nature.
The cave is valued by specialists as one of the most precious archeological sites of Albania. In this cave there were found skeletons, which according to the confirmation of the Museum of Natural Sciences of Florence University, belong to cave bears (Ursus Speleaus), that lived from 10.000 to 400.000 years ago. Different from similar European caves, the Cave of Pëllumbas has also remnants of human culture, which according to the confirmation of Tirana Archaeological Institute belong to the period of Ancient Middle Ages. The cave is about 360 m long, 10 – 15 m wide and 15 – 45 m high, filled with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites.
The views are fantastic towards the mountain of Fag, Tirana and the Erzeni River Gorge. At the trail head (at the bar) there is also a guide if you would need one. You will have to pay only 100 Lek per person for visiting the cave and no fee for the guide is required. The GPS track to the cave along with photos and practical information is available at Palmtreeproduction site. Make sure to take headlight for visiting the cave.
If you follow the river from the village you can have stunning views of Erzeni River Gorge. Really worth to visit in summer time and combine you hike with swimming. There is also a track from the other side of the river which goes through all the gorge. Thanks to Palmtreeproduction site you can find GPS track, photos and practical information here.
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