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Hiking trail recommended route

From the Bovilla Reservoir to Gamtit

Hiking trail · Albania
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Outdooractive Editors Verified partner 
  • Gamtit (in the background) is certainly one of the most striking mountains in the Tirana area. The ascent is from the reservoir on the back side.
    Gamtit (in the background) is certainly one of the most striking mountains in the Tirana area. The ascent is from the reservoir on the back side.
    Photo: Simon Reuter, Outdooractive Editors
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The Bovilla reservoir above Tirana is becoming increasingly popular not only among sport climbers - the surprisingly wild valley between gentle hills on one side and imposing rock faces on the other promises an impressive nature experience just a few kilometres outside the capital. The best view is from Gamtit, but the way up is a bit tedious.
Distance 10.6 km
5:15 h
899 m
856 m
1,273 m
412 m
The trail up Gamtit mostly follows old shepherds' paths - and therein lies the problem: numerous paths get lost in the undergrowth of the dense vegetation, making finding your way a real challenge. Also, especially in summer, the branches of the bushes overgrow the path, which makes progress very frustrating at times. On the last few metres to the ridge, however, the vegetation opens up and the views on the way to the summit compensate for the drudgery.

Author’s recommendation

The heavy vegetation makes it extremely difficult to find the way and make progress in the summer months. It is therefore well worthwhile to tackle this tour in the winter months - then the temperatures are also much more bearable.
Profile picture of Simon Reuter
Author
Simon Reuter 
Update: January 11, 2022
Highest point
Gamtite, 1,273 m
Lowest point
412 m

Track types

Path 100%
Path
10.6 km
Show elevation profile

Safety information

The Dajit National Park is home to several brown bears, which are shy but at the same time increasingly restricted in their territory. So encounters cannot be 100% ruled out. The best way to avoid this is to talk loudly, whistle or warble a (nice) song. If you feel safer, you can of course also pack a pepper spray - but please practise using it beforehand, otherwise you will only "spice up" yourself in the worst case.

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Snakes are rare, but not without danger (European horned viper). It is therefore recommended to wear sturdy boots.

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Tips and hints

Even though the tour is on the northern slope: in summer it can be over 40 degrees here. This tour is therefore most beautiful in the winter months; you don't usually have to worry about too much snow.

Start

Coordinates:
DD
41.448481, 19.866206
DMS
41°26'54.5"N 19°51'58.3"E
UTM
34T 405294 4589165
w3w 
///imparts.relaxation.enraged

Turn-by-turn directions

The unpaved road is easy to follow for a few more switchbacks until a flat gravel surface of darker material appears on the right. This is where we begin our hike. The steep rock face of Gamtit already towers above us, from here the mountain looks almost impregnable. At first we still follow the gravel road (although we can shorten it a little here and there) until we come to some fences and a T-junction. Now keep to the left and walk along relatively level ground above a beautiful vegetable garden. The track runs off and ends at the terraced olive grove below the rock face. Here we bear north and work our way pathlessly up the slope between the trees - turning regularly to enjoy the view over the lake!

Further up, small paths become increasingly visible, it is best to simply follow one, most of them unite to form a shepherd's path that leads into the increasingly dense vegetation. From here on, the most strenuous part of the ascent begins: you have to fight your way through the increasingly overgrown vegetation, sometimes considerably, and in addition, goat paths branch off to the left and right again and again and the right path is not always recognisable. The only thing that helps here is trial and error and not losing courage. For the most part, the trail continues at the same altitude (approx. 650 metres) in an almost straight line to the north. Relatively surprisingly, at some point we come to the edge of a considerable (albeit overgrown) rock step. We follow the edge a little further north until the path leads up the slope to the left.

Now it becomes increasingly steeper. At first through dense vegetation, then over a small scree field and up a steep, sometimes somewhat slippery gully. The path here is relatively clearly recognisable, but a GPS device helps immensely. Here and there you can even make out old markings (red and white), which you can trust. After an arduous half hour, we reach a slope overgrown with waist-high farms, which is very pretty to look at, but makes it virtually impossible to recognise the way ahead. Here, just optimistically follow the path, which is still easy to recognise at first, and roughly keep to the right upwards - you can actually find your way back to the path quite reliably in the upper part. The last hundred metres of altitude are again between bushes and trees on a now much more recognisable path up to the ridge.

Once you reach the top, you can enjoy the view from the top.

On reaching the top, we enjoy the first views and the now clearly thinner vegetation. Further progress is no longer a problem: on the left, the ridge runs more or less straight up to the summit. We follow the path to the flat, vegetation-free summit and enjoy magnificent views over Lake Bovilla, the surrounding hills, the plain and Tirana, as well as the Adriatic coast and Durres on clear days. 

On the descent we follow the same path.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

As of today (summer 2019), Lake Bovilla cannot be reached directly by public transport. However, you can take the bus from the city centre (Tirana) to Kamez and get off at "Bathore" (Rruga Demokracia). From there there are regular buses to Zall-Herr, which go to the end of the asphalt road. From there, it is about 7km to the lake. Extensive construction work is taking place just below the dam, which will probably continue for several years. It is therefore relatively easy to hitchhike with one of the numerous trucks to about 2km below the dam. From there it is a matter of walking. So it is quite possible to get to the reservoir without your own car.

Getting there

In Tirana drive northwest on Rruga Dritan Hoxha. 400m after the huge roundabout (always traffic jam) keep right towards Kamez. Continue on Rruga Kastriotit and past the Agricultural College until you reach the intersection "Rruga Demokracia". Turn right there in the direction of "Zall-Herr". From now on, just follow the road, which turns into a gravel road after about 6km. Follow this for another 7km until you reach the dam wall (very beautiful route). Behind the dam wall, follow the serpentine road up the slope for about another kilometre until a flat, dark gravel area appears on the right where you can park.

Coordinates

DD
41.448481, 19.866206
DMS
41°26'54.5"N 19°51'58.3"E
UTM
34T 405294 4589165
w3w 
///imparts.relaxation.enraged
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendations for this region:

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Equipment

Important: There is no water along the entire trail! There is a small café at the Bovilla reservoir, but it is not always open. So be sure to stock up on enough drinks for the entire tour in Tirana or in the villages along the way.

As the tour moves along unpaved paths and partly steep slopes, high, closed boots with good tread are recommended.


Localization

Parts of this content were machine translated using German as the source language

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Distance
10.6 km
Duration
5:15 h
Ascent
899 m
Descent
856 m
Highest point
1,273 m
Lowest point
412 m
Scenic Geological highlights Botanical highlights Flora and fauna Insider tip Summit route

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