Hiking through Balkans from the eastern coast of Cyprus to Dolomites : the way, the daily stages, advices, accommodation, GPS tracks..
4 months hiking, around 3450 kilometers through nine countries (Cyprus, Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Italy). A way through mountains with 160 kilometers of ascents but also a way through history between greek and roman worlds, Eastern and Western empires, Austria-Hungary and Ottoman, at the border of catholics, orthodox and muslims areas and of Eastern and Western Europe.
After the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula in 2014 and Sicily in 2016, it was again from one end of Europe that I started. Cape Greco in Cyprus is in front of Tartous on the Syrian coast, 160 kilometers to the east. I crossed the Republic of Cyprus with about 350 kilometers to the west coast going through Mount Olympus at 1952 meters above sea level. The hike through Creta was longer with a 500 kilometers. Then, from the south of Peloponnese, I started the long through hike of Balkans. Three hundred kilometers further, after a short crossing of the Corinthian Gulf, at Delphi, I continued to the north of Greece for more than 500 kilometers. This part is quite isolated. The mountains of the central part of the country often exceed 2,000 meters altitude and are still wild. But whatever the area, I found in all Greece kindness and hospitality of the population.
What to say about Albania? Meeting Albanians is a great moment of this part. The country has long remained closed to tourism. In the central regions that I crossed, it is little developed. Relationships are still authentic. Great Albania with also beautiful mountain and countryside scenery.
After 600 kilometers, entry into Montenegro marked the return to the western world. A path, over 1000 kilometers, the Via Dinarica, exists. He brought me to Slovenia via Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.
To finish this through-hike, 300 kilometers on the Via Alpina, along the border between Italy and Austria until the Dolomites.
To see detailed information for each country or area I passed through, go the each specific pages :
With my experience on the Appalachian Trail and especially the management of several days of autonomy, I took the same equipment as in 2017 with a single modification.
On the Appalachian Trail, I did not need to frequently check my phone for my position or to view maps. In the Balkans, the phone with its maps and its GPS will be a vital tool. So I opted for a phone with a good battery life (battery 4000mAh) + a headlamp with 18650 battery (and that allows to recharge the battery) + a small ultralight charger that with the battery of my headlamp allows to recharge 60% of my phone + an additional 18650 battery. So, I should have about a week of phone battery autonomy.
I’m still with less than 8.5kg (without water, food and worned clothes). It is therefore very reasonable to be autonomous and to be comfortable with slightly negative temperatures.
In each of the parts, I put comments on the “consumable”: gas canisters to screw with threaded valve (type MSR, Primus, Coleman …), food …