Trail distance: 23.26 kilometers
Elevation min: 1,072 meters max: 1,820 meters
Cumulative height uphill: 1,257 meters downhill: 1,139 meters
Difficulty level: Moderate
Time: 8-9 hours
The transfer hike to Kuçishtё is long and interesting and allows for the possibility to visit some other villages along the way. Although it is a long day hike, the difficulty rating is low because the major part of the hike goes along dirt and gravel roads. There are also options to stop the hike and continue to the last point by vehicle.
For a less challenging hike, the trail can be divided into two parts. The best option for an overnight stay is Drelaj village (WP 9e) where accommodation can be found at the family of Osman Shala’s, tel. +37744586740. The trail distance from Reka e Allagёs to Drelaj is 10.1 kilometer long and from here to Kuçishtё (Guri i Kuq) or Leqinat i Kuçishtes 12.9 kilometers.
The hike starts with an ascent northwest through the meadow behind Mustaf Nikqi’s guesthouse (WP 15d). Upon approaching the pine trees, we turn right (east) along a mule track. The track is lined by a fence on our right, and a few meters further on we turn left at the junction (WP 1e). After a few hundred meters following northeast, we reach a meadow with beautiful views towards Reka e Allagёs and the surrounding mountains. At WP 2e, we cross the dirt road and follow the ascent northwest through the forest. We take a left turn at the junction (WP 3e), then we follow north until we exit the forest and reach a nice meadow and tourist shelter (WP 5e). This is an inviting place to rest awhile.
From here, we follow west along a dirt road to Pepaj village. On the way to Pepaj there are two water sources along the road. At the junction of WP 6e and 7e, we turn left and the descent to Pepaj village can be seen from both positions. After approx. 1 kilometer, we see the cemetery (WP 8e) and take a right turn at the junction a few meters further on. The descent follows very gently along a gravel road no longer used by cars; auto traffic having moved to a more recently built road. By following this road for a few kilometers, we reach Drelaj village (WP 9e) and from here we turn right at the junction. We continue southwest through the village along a road lined by fences. This road leads us to the village exit, a bridge (WP10). We cross the bridge and follow a gravel road ascending north along the river into a beautiful canyon.
If you want to finish this hike, you can take a left turn after crossing the bridge and approx. 1 kilometer further on you meet the main road. Here you can hire a taxi to Kucishtё (WP 20e). At WP 11e, bear left at the junction and follow the ascending gravel road northwest. When we arrive at Dugaivё (WP 14e), we do not take any of the dirt roads; rather, we follow southwest along a meadow, then south to the forest. We follow south at WP 15e and approx. 200 meters further on we start descending along a mule track through the forest which leads us to Kucishtё village (WP 16e). At the village, we take the dirt road and continue southwest until we meet the paved road at the bridge (WP 17e). Worth visiting in this village is the Catholic Church which is located in a place called “Church Hill” (ask locals for a guide or directions). Ruins of this church represent one of the most valuable monuments of medieval Rugova. To go to Guri i Kuq Hotel (the point nearest to the trail head of the next hike), follow south for approx. 3.8 kilometers and bear left at the junctions of WP 18e and 19e.
15d. 34 T 430988 4730890, 1300 m, Mustafa Hakaj guesthouse
1e. 34 T 430906 4731108, 1370 m, turn left at the junction
2e. 34 T 430550 4731248, 1477 m, dirt road
3e. 34 T 430171 4731535, 1588 m, turn left at the junction
4e. 34 T 430126 4731850, 1656 m, turn left at the junction
5e. 34 T 430120 4732624, 1820 m, tourist shelter
6e. 34 T 428691 4731186, 1651 m, bear left at the junction
7e. 34 T 427959 4730751, 1557 m, bear left at the junction
8e. 34 T 428571 4730553, 1477 m, cemetery and bear right at the junction
9e. 34 T 427977 4728774, 1125 m, Drelaj village
10e. 34 T 427762 4728500, 1072 m, bridge and follow SW
11e. 34 T 426958 4729709, 1190 m, turn left at the junction and follow the ascent NW
12e. 34 T 425195 4730312, 1307 m, turn left at the junction
13e. 34 T 424812 4730283, 1358 m, turn left at the junction
14e. 34 T 424996 4729735, 1401 m, Dukaivё village
15e. 34 T 424444 4728905, 1475 m, follow S at the junction
16e. 34 T 424179 4727984, 1208 m, Kucishtё village
17e. 34 T 424379 4727310, 1107 m, bridge
18e. 34 T 423971 4726616, 1154 m, bear left at the junction
19e. 34 T 424790 4726670, 1212 m, bear left at the junction
20e. 34 T 424800 4726178, 1420 m, Guri i Kuq Hotel