Rugova Mountains

The Rugova Mountains are in the north-western part of Kosovo. It is a region within “Bjeshkët e Nemuna” (The Cursed Mountains), also known as The Albanian Alps. It was proclaimed a national park in 2013.

The Rugova Mountains are ranked 45th in winter sports by the International Ski Federation. People also hike, mountaineer, paraglide, and have picnics in the area.

There are many caves, waterfalls, glacial lakes, high peaks and tunnels in Rugova. The highest peak is Hajla (2,403 m), with Volujaku almost as tall. There is a panorama of Peja from the top of "Qafa e Qyqes" (Cuchoo's Neck). Guri i Kuq (1,522 m) also offers tremendous panoramas.

Understand

Rugova is 93 km from Pristina. It covers a territory of 20,330 ha. The Lumbardhi River splits the mountain in half, creating a valley and a canyon (Rugova Gorge).

85% of the territory is covered by forests, 15% by pasture. The terrain is rugged with limestones and bluff slopes and deep-narrow erosive gorges. Mountain sites are with a slope of 15°-30° but occasionally they reach 45°-90°. The terrain is composed of various forms of numerous karst such as caves, natural tunnels, waterfalls, glacial lakes etc.

The region of Rugova is divided into 13 villages (Shtupeqi i Vogël, Shtupeqi i Madh, Reka e Allagës, Drelaj, Pepiq, Malaj, Kuqishtë, Dugaivë, Haxhaj, Stankaj, Bogë, Shkrel dhe Koshutan) and five small neighbourhoods (Llaz, Bellopaq, Pecaj, Ujëmirë, Dreshaj). These villages are 2–7 km apart.

Flora and fauna

Flora

A flower in Rugova

Rugova region is characterized by a multitude of habitats such as meadows, pastures, bushes and shrubs, forests, foothills, holes, slopes, streams, gorges, river water, pond water, caves, karst pits, half-wet properties, almost dry properties and limestone, acids with red, purple and black colours, coastlines and valleys, massive rocks and shed stones.

This variety of habitats indicates high diversity of vegetation.

Rugova's region vegetation is present as in central Europe altitudes, but it also grows plants that are characteristic of Balkans or only for this region. Rugova region distinguishes four areas of plants (beech, oaks, coniferous forests and alpine pastures):

Beech zone

This area lies at the height of 800-1000 m and it is quite rich. It mainly occupies the lower part of the region and is represented by dudi, ahu, and qarri. One can also find Mëllëza, Krekëza, Frashëri, etc. Herbaceous vegetation consists of clover, violet, vicia, flokëzi, melilotus, zhabinat, etc.

Oak zone

This zone lies above the beech zone at the height of 1000-1600 m, but it can be found in lower areas too. It is a generally degraded forest, where a massive cut for use as coal and heat is seen. This forest is young, with thin and tall trees, and in shrub forms too. The oaks form a strong shadow; therefore, low vegetation is rare and favours the growth of fungi.

Coniferous zone

In the upper part of the beech you can find Rrobulli that reaches the height of up to 2,200 m altitude, making it the highest limit of tree vegetation.

These forests are composed by black pine, white spruce, black spruce etc. Coniferous forests are dense, while the plant cover is composed of xerophyte vegetation that favours funghi growth. Perennial herbs are: pteridophyte, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries etc.

Alpine pasture zone

Characteristic of this zone is the lack of the forest. This zone is mainly formed from herbaceous plants and shrubs

The types of vegetation are:

Campanula foliosa is a perennial plant that grows in subalpine meadows and on the foot of forests. In Rugova region this plant can be found in Neqinat.

Phyteuma orbiculare is a perennial herb of alpine pastures. In Rugova it is found in the peak of Rusolia.

Asyneuma trichocalycinum is a perennial herb of subalpine forests. This plant is also found in Neqinat.

Fauna

Rugova consists of an entirety of habitats that are very suitable for the abundance of living organisms. The region features a rich fauna both in diversity, spread or rare and endangered species. The most common mammals include hedgehogs, moles, shrews, squirrels, rabbits, bats, bears, and ungulates. Common birds include the golden eagle, the rock partridge, the griffon vulture, the European green woodpecker, and the Eurasian sparrowhawk. Several species of trout are found in the streams.

Colored sheep
Paradise horse in Rugova

Climate

Rugova has wet continental climate with mountain influence, short and hot summers, but long and harsh winters. Spring is belated and the temperatures change within a day. Sunny hours are not very long. High level of precipitation is a result of clashes between hot/humid tropical and continental climates. Maximum precipitation is in December (372.6 mm), and minimum in July (0.3mm). Annual minimum and maximum are 540.6 mm and 1336 mm, respectively.

Snow is present on the peaks until August, with a depth ranging from 30 cm to 2 m.

Average temperature during springtime fluctuates from 4.4° C – 7.5° C, during summer from 10.6° C – 17.2° C, during fall 5.2° C and in winter from -10° C until -15° C.

Get in

Rugova Lake

Many important roads pass through Rugova: Shkodra’s valley relates Rugova with Tropoja and Shkodra, Qafa e Çakorrit leads to Plave and Guci, Qafa e Dasmorëve relates Rozhaja and Qafa e Hajlës with Dacaj and Husaj.

Minibuses leave Peja in 8 AM (3.00€). It goes at each village and also came back in Peja. Also there are private taxis that can send a group of 10 persons and bring them back for 50.00 €

Fees/Permits

None.

Get around

The region of Rugova is divided into 13 villages (Shtupeqi i Vogël, Shtupeqi i Madh, Reka e Allagës, Drelaj, Pepiq, Malaj, Kuqishtë, Dugaivë, Haxhaj, Stankaj, Bogë, Shkrel dhe Koshutan) and five small neighbourhoods (Llaz, Bellopaq, Pecaj, Ujëmirë, Dreshaj). These villages are 2–7 km far from each-other. Roads are partially paved and can be blocked during Winter.


See

Do

Due to the historical past, sports in Rugova started developing later than in other countries, although there are sufficient resources. Today Rugova has several ski areas (one of them is equipped with a telpher), trails for hiking, parachuting runway etc. Also climbing rocks and mountaineering are towards development.

Skiing

Boge, Rugova

Up to 1974 skiing was a part of mountaineering. Rugova is known as a cradle of skiing in Kosovo and Balkans. “Rusolia” was the first club from which were formed three other groups: “Peja”, “Alpi” and “Rugova”. “Rusolia” club has participated in the Olympic Games too.

The most advanced track it is placed in Bogë, but it has many favorable tracks in other places too, for example: in Stankaj. In Bogë we can also find two skiing schools “Dardani” and “Ke Luani”.

Mountaineering

Mountaineering presents a recreation and sporting activity which has started in Peja in 1928.

Mountaineering, unlike Alpinism (hiking), means walking on the ground and climbing in height without any tool until you encounter with difficulties of nature: high craggy rocks.

Within the mountaineering group works the rescue group with the consisting of 30-40 people who help in cases of nature disasters.

Mountaineers march in four marching lines:

Eat

Sleep

Business tourism

Business buildings suit the highlander nature of Rugova Mountains. Besides of the prosperous menu from European tables they also offer traditional foods. Motels and villas for long stay offer conditions and comfort for a wonderful vacation. Places that contribute more to the development of tourism are:

Each from the aforementioned places has its particulars that in one way or another attracts visitors. Thus, for example “Gryka” possesses two bears, “Mulliri” is the most antique restaurant built on the foundations of a mill, “Magra Austria” is provided with an internal pool and some other restaurants and hotels enable riding (horsemanship) and such activities that correspond to Rugova`s nature.

Household tourism

This tourism is represented from 6 home-hotels which offer place to stay as a guest house and where better than in any other place tourists set to know local traditions and the life of residents there. This tourism is developed from these resorts:

Camping

Camping in Bregu i Zenel Ages

Go next

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