Experience the fascinating journey of King Skerdilajd's conquest of Kaonia 2,300 years ago. This unique tour lets you explore nature's beauty, cultural richness, and warm hospitality while riding sturdy horses, spending 5-6 hours on horseback each day. Traverse various landscapes like mountains, hillsides, river crossings, forests, and the seaside. Discover ancient ruins, castles, churches, and bunkers from the communist era.
Feel the authentic Albanian lifestyle, savoring local cuisine, exploring history, and enjoying warm hospitality in family guesthouses each night. Fresh ingredients from local gardens and farms provide a genuine taste of the region.
From May to September, you can also enjoy two days of sea swimming (without horses) during the trail.
Kristina, born in Albania, is a journalist with a unique background in history and archaeology,
adding depth to her perspective. Having worked in various national and international media outlets, she
has honed her skills in storytelling. However, her professional journey takes a distinctive turn as she
intertwines her passion for horses with her journalistic pursuits.
Kristina`s deep affinity for horses goes beyond a mere interest, it is a lifelong passion that has become a
driving force in her endeavors. Recognizing the potential of Albania`s cultural and natural treasures, she
has committed herself to building some of the finest horse holidays in the country. Her vision extends
beyond tourism, emphasizing the importance of partnerships with horses, the preservation of nature,
and support for local communities.
In Kristina`s philosophy, a horse represents more than a companion on the trails it symbolizes a
partnership rooted in mutual respect and understanding. Her commitment to nature protection
underscores a belief in sustainable practices, ensuring that the beauty of heritage, culture, and nature is
preserved for future generations.
Away from the bustling world of journalism and equestrian ventures, Kristina finds solace in her
hobbies—reading, travel, horse riding, and writing. These activities not only reflect her diverse interests
but also contribute to the well-rounded perspective she brings to her role as a journalist and an
advocate for responsible tourism.
Kristina Fidhi stands at the intersection of passion, profession, and purpose, weaving together a
narrative that celebrates the rich tapestry of Albania`s history, culture, and natural beauty while
championing the symbiotic relationship between humans and horses. Her story is one of dedication to
sustainable practices, community empowerment, and the enduring connection between people, horses,
and the environment.
Enjoy the Breathtaking Views
Prepare to be amazed as the mountainous ecosystem rapidly transforms before your eyes
Live Like a Local
Experience the evening and night in a village houses, relishing homemade traditional food and beverages
Travel in Time
Visit the sites that offer glimpses into the rich history and ancient civilizations of the region
Upon your arrival at Tirana airport, ideally in the morning but no later than 14:30, our team will greet you and transport you to Gjirokstra, a journey of approximately three hours.
Settle into your hotel, conveniently located a short walk from the historic center of Gjirokstra. Before dinner, take a stroll through the town, exploring the old Bazaar, Gjirokstra Castle, the Church of the Old Bazaar, the Mosque of the Bazaar, and Skenduli House, offering a glimpse into traditional life in Gjirokstra. Enjoy a traditional dinner at a local restaurant, where our guides will discuss the trail, answer any questions, provide advice, and offer valuable insights. We recommend purchasing a map of the area before dinner to familiarize yourself with the itinerary.
Ride towards the village of Fushbardha
Begin your riding adventure from our stable, a 15-minute drive from Gjirokstra, at an elevation of 360 meters above sea level.
Prepare to be amazed as the mountainous ecosystem rapidly transforms before your eyes. The ride starts with traversing valleys, allowing for exhilarating canters, before crossing the Drino River. The rest of the day entails riding through hilly terrain, small rivers, pine forests, and steep ascents and descents.
Enjoy a homemade picnic lunch at the Cepo Monastery, an essential Orthodox site boasting breathtaking views of the Drinos Valley.
Afterward, ride down to the Kardhiq River, where you’ll encounter intriguing natural formations like the “Gods of the Light” pillar rocks.
Conclude the day’s ride after approximately 5-6 hours in the village of Fushbardha, a significant hub in the Laberia region. Experience the evening and night in a village house, relishing homemade traditional food and beverages.
Following the tracks of King Skerdilajd’s army
After enjoying a traditional breakfast at the family house, you will prepare for a long day of riding, which can last up to 8 hours. Today’s ride follows the tracks of King Skerdilajd’s army, which passed through the “Neck of the Rock” around 2,300 years ago. King Skerdilajd played a crucial role in Queen Teuta’s plans to create an Adriatic Front against Rome.
The trail takes you through beautiful woods, mountain climbs, rocky landscapes, and ancient ruins. Along the way, you will encounter various landmarks such as the Basha Stones, Dhespina cave, the Rock of Kaze, The Valley of Cheries, the Crooked Brook, Shameti Brook, Trullas Neck, and Derrasa Hole. These sites offer glimpses into the rich history and ancient civilizations of the region.
During the day, you will have a lunch break in a mountain valley surrounded by a small oak wood. The picturesque landscape and serene atmosphere provide a perfect setting for a relaxing meal. Be prepared for some walking during the day, as you may need to lead the horses for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes through difficult paths and steep downhill sections. It is advisable to wear good mountain hiking shoes to ensure your comfort and safety.
By late afternoon, you will arrive at a family house where you will spend the evening and night. The hosts will treat you to homemade traditional food, often prepared with olive oil, which is abundant in the region. You can also enjoy local wine, raki (a traditional Albanian spirit), and mountain tea, which will help you unwind after a long day of riding.
Riding hours: 8 (including walking by leading the horses)
Ride through the time
After a hearty breakfast with the shepherd’s family, you will embark on a shorter but pleasant riding day. The first stop is the castle of Borsh, also known as the Castle of Sopot, situated on a hill in Borsh village at an altitude of 500 meters. This ancient castle dates back to the 4th or 3rd century BC and has witnessed the influence of various civilizations, including the Byzantine Empire and the Republic of Venice.
After exploring the castle ruins, you will start a 3-hour ride along the old road that runs parallel to the seaside. Olive trees, citrus fruits, and grapefruits adorn the upper part of the road, while remnants of defense bunkers from the past can be seen along the coastline of Piqeras, an old fishing village. The ride concludes in a village where you will have lunch on the terrace of a hosting house.
Following lunch, you will have the opportunity to relax and enjoy the afternoon by the sea. You can swim, sunbathe, and take leisurely walks along the beach. The day’s ride continues as you enter a small “jungle” of trees, bushes, and rocks, encountering the remains of an old road that once connected the sea with the villages along the coast. In the afternoon, you will visit the village of Shen Vasil, a medieval center with a dark history during the dictatorship era, as it served as a labor camp for political prisoners. Traces of this tumultuous past can still be seen throughout the village.
For accommodation, you will stay in a typical house of the coast, immersing yourself in the local atmosphere.
Riding hours : 4
Towards the coast
Start your day with a delightful breakfast on the terrace, overlooking the Ionian Sea. Traditional coastal delicacies such as byrek (cheese pie), cookies, butter, fresh milk, and honey will be served. The day’s ride takes you through olive tree terraces, offering magnificent views of the sea. You will ride along the beach of Bunec, a pristine stretch of sand and pebbles, enjoying the refreshing breeze from the sea.
As you explore the challenging landscapes of the region, you will continue your journey towards the village of Shen Vasil, which you visited the previous day. Along the way, you may encounter herds of sheep and goats accompanied by local shepherds. This region has a strong rural tradition, and you might get a glimpse into the daily lives of the local population.
In the late afternoon, you will arrive at a typical coastal house where you will be accommodated for the night. The house provides a cozy and comfortable setting, allowing you to rest and recharge for the next day’s adventures.
Riding hours: 5
Through the valleys of Kalasa river and Prapanica
Today’s ride takes you through the valleys of Kalasa river and Prapanica. As you ride, you’ll have opportunities for exhilarating gallops, letting your horses stretch their legs. Throughout the journey, you will witness the remains of old roads and bunkers, reminding you of Albania’s history of isolation and militarization during the communist era.
One notable landmark you’ll encounter is an ex-phosphor mine, a relic of the country’s industrial past. The mine’s remnants offer a glimpse into the region’s mining history and the impact it had on the local communities.
In the afternoon, you will reach Fushbardha village, where you will be welcomed by a family who will provide a warm and hospitable atmosphere. You can expect a homemade dinner prepared with fresh local ingredients, allowing you to savor the authentic flavors of Albanian cuisine.
Riding hours: 6
Back to Gjirokstra
On the final day of the ride, you will make your way back to the stables near Gjirokstra. The trail will take you through diverse landscapes, including pine woods, valleys, and the picturesque Drino’s valley. You’ll have the opportunity to enjoy cantering and galloping through open fields, relishing the exhilaration of riding freely.
During the ride, you will stop in Asim Zeneli village for a lunch break. This village, like many others in the region, retains its traditional character, providing an authentic glimpse into rural life in Albania.
After lunch, you will resume your ride, gradually approaching Gjirokstra. By late afternoon, you will arrive back at the stables, marking the end of your equestrian adventure. You can take some time to bid farewell to the horses and express your gratitude to the riding team.
Riding hours: 5
After breakfast, from Gjirokstra, we can arrange transportation back to Tirana or other destinations, reflecting on the remarkable journey you have experienced and the memories you have created along the way.
Tour organizer's comments
Horse riding is a risk sport and activity and it can be dangerous. We train our horses to be friendly, confident and with a good understanding about their environment, but they are given to the rider with the understanding to ride at own risk.
Single Supplement It may be possible to pay for a single supplement on the first and last night of the trail, but riders must be prepared to share accommodation on the other nights. The single supplement, if we provide a single room, is 25 Euros per night paid here.
Group meeting place
all accommodations and meals from dinner of day 1 till breakfast of day 8;
English speaking guide (second guide if there are more than 4 riders);
water and drinks during the meals;
luggage transport by car from destination to destination.
entrance tickets to monuments or parks;
lunch on day 1;
other services or expenses during free time;
transfer from/to the airport;
the small group supplement (158 Euros/person). This is applicable if only 2 riders are booked onto the ride. If, at the time of departure, more than 2 riders are booked, the small group supplement will be refunded.
up to 10 tourists
It's important to know
Personal equipment you need for the tour
Normal riding clothes: riding hat, long-sleeved shirts (please avoid packing your favorite or expensive clothing due to the risk of damage), riding trousers and chaps, gloves.
Good mountain shoes – with a grip for walking but not too thick, as you will need to ride in them too. Normal riding boots with a smooth sole are not recommended as they can be slippery when walking on foot.
Casual clothes for the evening.
Sun cream, sunglasses, hat, swimming clothes, shoes to walk on a rocky beach, towels for the beach.
Anti-allergy medicine for possible insect bites.
Camera – please bring small cameras as large professional ones are very difficult to transport on horseback.
Copy of passport.
Personal saddlebags are welcome if riders would like to bring their own. Small saddlebags are provided by the ride but just for food and water.
Cancellation of booking
In case of early cancellation of the reservation, we will be forced to withhold from you a percentage of the price paid:
cancelling 90 days prior to starting your tour - The complete amount will be refundable
cancelling within 90 - 40 days prior to starting your tour - The deposit of 20 % is not refundable
cancelling within 40 - 30 days prior to starting your tour - 50 % of the total amount will be charged
cancelling within 30 - 20 days prior to starting your tour - 70 % of the total amount will be charged
cancelling within 20 - 7 days prior to starting your tour - 90 % of the total amount will be charged
100 % of the tour price will be charged - Cancelling within 7 days prior to starting your tour
If you want to postpone or change the dates you can do it free of charge 30 days prior to starting your tour. In case you do it less than 30 days prior to starting your tour your deposit of 20% isn’t refundable. Note Paying with a credit card at the place is not possible at the moment.