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Monastery of Shën Pjetër on the way, near Vithkuq

Voskopoja and Vithkuq have seen past glories back on 18th centuries when these villages were the most important centers of the region. Voskopoja still sees many visitors today comparing with Vithkuq. Both of the villages are very rich in old churches and nature and have a lot of potentials to attract visitors.

Since these two villages have a road that connects them with the main national road Korçë-Ersekë, the dirt road that connects them is almost forgotten even though is shorter. This dirt road might be a good option for visitors to transfer from one village to the other either by bike or off-road car.  At the moment there are no places where you can rent a bike there so we drove this road which offers amazing nature and stunning views on high parts.

The Route 

Activity: Off-road Driving

Maximum altitude: 1496 meter
Minimum altitude: 869 meter
Cumulative height: 663 meter
Cumulative length: 20.3 kilometer
Difficulty moderate
Time: 1.6 hours
Date of this record July 2013
Download GPS and Google Earth 3D  info: Voskpoje

The trail starts at the entrance of the village of Voskopojë by turning off left at the Lekas village sign (WP 1). Initially the trail ascends gently on a cobbled road which turns to be dirt road after a while. After approx. 2.5 km follow left for Vithkuq and take the right trail for visiting the lake which is visible from this point (WP 2). The trail follows the gentle ascend with beautiful forest and meadows views in all directions. After a little more than 12 km from the trailhead, you reach a pass with glorious views towards the jagged ridgeline of Ostrovicë Mountain (2362 m), one of the highest and the most challenge of Korça region. Near the pass we keep left while the right trail goes towards Lekas and to the remote hinterlands villages of Ostrovicë Mountain (WP 3).

From the pass the trail follows on flat for few meters and then follows a very gentle ascend for descending on a big meadow, called Fusha e Avjonit (Airplane meadow) by the locals (WP 4). They explain that the military airplanes used to land here and few years ago this meadow was used by military to explode the unneeded mines. We saw people collecting left over metals on this field. From the military field the trail starts ascending again for descending in a nice meadow surrounded by beautiful pine forest. At the meadow, keep left at the next fork (WP 5). These meadows used to be agriculture land during the communism time.

From the meadows the trail ascends for few meters to the pass (WP 6) and then descends on a nice dirt road through pine forest. After approx. 3 km further on cross a stream that doesn’t have much water but might be difficult for off-road cars because of the big stones (WP 7). Keep straight, the main trail at the crossing where the left trail goes to Leshnje village and then take left few hundred meters further on ascending the hill for visiting the old Monastery of Shën Pjetër (WP 8). From the fork of the monastery follow the main trail that leads you to the main asphalted road of Vithkuq (WP 9) and then follow right towards the village for about 2 km more (WP 10).

Voskopoje from the trailhead to Vithkuq
Voskopoje from the trailhead to Vithkuq

 

The trail to Vithkuq
The trail to Vithkuq
Parts of the trail travels on nice meadows
Parts of the trail travels on nice meadows
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Water reservoir
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Ostrovica Mountain
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Ostorvica Mountain
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Collecting metals at the former military point
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Parts of trail travels on nice meadows and pine forest
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Farmers near Leshnje village
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Monastery of Shën Pjetrit
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Farmer on the horse at Leshnje village

This trail is part of a tourism development project and soon will be marked and signposted. Visit the official website of Voskopoja for more information.

 

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