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Summary: Valamares is among our most favorite hikes in Albania. It has all attributes that make a good hike: a hotel right at the trailhead - so you just get up in the morning and start walking. There is 1000 Meter elevation gain, but it feels like a breeze as the trail has a steady gentle slope. The first part of the trail leads through cool and shady pine forests. The second part leads over open grassy ridges, with occasional shade and glorious views. Valamares is a relative isolated mountain, so the views are far and wide.

As a bonus, the village of Grabove Siperme has some interesting historic monuments, and it is worth staying a long weekend.

Maximum altitude: 2372 meter
Minimum altitude: 1343 meter
Cumulative height: 1050 meter
Cumulative length: 11  kilometer roundtrip
Difficulty easy
Time: 5-6 hours rountrip
Date of this record June 2011
Download GPS info: Valamares

General location and approach: The Valamares trail starts at the only hotel in Grabove Siperme, which looks like an alpine chalet. It might be of advantage to announce your intention to stay. To reach Grabove Siperme, drive to Gramsh and follow the road towards the direction of Korca.Cross two large bridges. The left turn after the second bridge would lead to Kukur; do not take it but continue straight and through the village of Bulcar. After Bulcar, turn off left at a sharp angle - the road continues for many kilometers up the mountain until you reach the villages of Grabove Poshtme and, later, Grabove Siperme. You have to turn off left from the Grabove Poshtme road - from here the road becomes quite rutted and a high clearance vehicle is necessary. You will see the typicall "split rock" formation, and shortly after Grabove Siperme and at the end of it, the hotel. The road to the hotel is atrocious, but managable. Otherwise, leave your car in Grabove Siperme and walk to the hotel.

Other Information: We have marked two trails to Valamares. We used the "upper" trail for the ascent, and the lower trail (along the river) for the descent. If in doubt, ask the staff or the owner at the hotel. Unless you are bent to take different routes, the upper trail might be an easier way also for the way down.

From the summit ridge of Valamares, you will see several beautifil lakes. It should be possible to descend to them (from near the southern end of Valamares), but remember you have to climb back up Valamres for the return trip.

Grabove Siperme is inhabited by Romani People, and the owner of the hotel can tell many stories. Several centuries ago, Grabove Siperme was home to 12,000 houses and 35,000 people. The church in Grabove Siperme was originally built in the 15th century. It has been nicely renovated and one must visit it. Many shorter walks are possible in the area and around the village.

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.

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