Bogë – Collo di Biga – Pascoli di Boga – Collo Dobraçe – Nikç
Bogë – Collo di Biga – Pascoli di Boga – Collo Dobraçe – Nikç
Distance: 18.7 Km
Relief: min: 658m / max: 2222m
Duration: 9 Hours
Difficulty: Medium +
Boga is distant 47 km from Shkoder, 36 km from Koplik and 18 km from Dedaj (center of the municipality of Shkrel). To enter the glacial valley of Boga, we must first cross the valleys in the Gorge of Lugje, which is located 950 m above sea level. The Boga valley is surrounded by peaks more than 2000 m high: Çardak (2250 m) and Rraba (2223 m) to the south; Path (2109 m), Vukli (2231 m), Omek (2103 m), Irgu (2182 m) and Bridashe (2129 m) to the east. Further, there is the beautiful area of Bjeshkët and Namuna – “The Cursed Mountains“, the summit of Livadh – “Pasture” (2493 m), the Dry peak (2543 m) and the peak of Radohima (2570 m).
Trails through these mountains connect Boga to the other villages of Razma, Fushëzeza, and Pit of Vrin. It is also possible to reach the Administrative Unit of Kelmend, specifically the vallages of Nikç, Broje and Kozhnje, or the area of Theth, Kaprre, Plan, Xhani, Pog.
In Boga, due to the karst formation, there are many caves, such as: The Great Boga Cave, Gjek Marku Cave (234 m) located in the Megzeza pit, Sylikoka Cave (505 m) located on Biga’s neck in Bridashe. The cave of Puci (370 m deep and 5 km long) is the second longest in Albania, located near the summit of Çardak and the Cave of Wet People (520 m) is the second deepest, yet most explored, in Albania located on Mount Bridashe, at a depth of 610 m. Other caves are the Cave of Pastures of Boga, the Cave of Hus etc.
This path thus includes Boga (950 m), the Neck of Biga (1867 m) and the Red Neck (2222 m), the pastures of Boga (1756 m), the Neck of Dobraca (1681 m) and Nikç (658 m).
From Boga to the Neck of Biga the distance is 3.2 km; from Neck of Biga to Red Neck is 4.5 km; from the Red Neck to the Pastures of Boga 2 km, from Pastures of Boga to Nikç 9 km. In total, the route is 18.6 km long.
During winter, until the second half of May, the path is covered by snow. The path connects two administrative units, Shkrel and Kelmend, and is long and challenging, crossing the most beautiful area, that of the Cursed Mountains.
The Cursed Mountains constitute the most surprising and magnificent mountain massif, with rocky and undressed soils, hills and mountain peaks of over 2000 m, alpine pastures and wildlife. Even from the karst formation along the path and in its vicinity, there are the deepest caves discovered so far. The caves were first explored by a Bulgarian-Albanian expedition between 1991 and 2003. In the Neck of Biga, near Bridashe, there is the cave of Sylikoka, 505 m deep. In Bridashe there is the BB-30 cave (610 m) which takes its name from the same expedition. It is also the deepest cave in Albania explored till now. In Bridashe there is also the cave BB-33)205 m). It should be noted that water resources are very scarce along the way and a good part of the path is cleared by trees. Therefore, it is important to get water supply and sunscreen before leaving.
The route starts in the center of Boga, on the road (WP – 1), and heads north on the path that leads to the Neck of Boga. On the same path, there is the Great Cave of Boga. The path has stone walls and wooden crosses on both sides that will accompany you to the entrance of the cave (WP – 2). The large cave of Boga is tall and wide and has the shape of a refuge. We must be careful while staying in the cave, as erosion has shattered it and the stones from the top of the cave may occasionally detach and fall.
After we leave the cave, we head towards the path that leads to the neck. We follow the bare path and enter in the shade of the hornbeam trees. At the crossroad (WP – 3), we head north-east towards the path that leads to the neck. Approaching the stream of water, we can rest while admiring the valley of Boga and south the summit of Çardak. Closer to the neck, the path becomes steeper and the climb continues between the rocks and the rare pine trees. We are near the neck and to the left, down of the cliff, is the Sylikoka Cave (505 m) (WP – 4). The Sylikoka cave is the third deepest cave, and it is the deepest cave that has been discovered so fare (610 m). Here is also the neck of Biga (1867 m) (WP – 5) down of the peak of Bridashe.
Also, some widely used medicinal herbs, such as sanza or the “heart herb” as locals call it, can be found here. This plant was firstly used by the Illyrian king Gent and in his honor received the scientific name in Latin Gentiana lutea.
We cross the narrow and rocky corridor of the neck and enter the area of the Cursed Mountains. While walking through the ditches, we can spot patches of snow that have not yet melted; when it is hot, these constitute sources of water by creating small streams from where we can get water. Only in late July and August the snow melts completely and remains what is found in the caves.
We arrive at the cave of Noli (WP – 6), with a narrow entrance and a small surface. We continue in this karst terrain between gorges and rocks, wells, çetine (black pine) and somune (juniper). These elements confer to the area a certain roughness, the unique beauty and magic of this place. We head up and climb the highest neck of the path.
At the Red Neck (2222 m) (WP – 7), which is also the highest point of the route, we have a fairly broad view of the surrounding summits, with the highest peaks of the Radohima block (2570 m) to the east. To the north-east we see the peak of Rrushkull (2496 m); to the southeast, the Dry Peak (2543 m); to the south, the Peak of Pasture (2493 m); and to the north, the Red Peak (2434 m), which is located near the Neck.
We go down from the Red Neck and see the pastures of Boga. Note the contrast created by the flat and green pasture with the high gray peaks that surround it. This pasture is a value added to the infinite beauties of this area. A little further down the path that leads to the Boga meadow, we encounter a water source (WP – 8) that flows along the Red neck. The water is likely to flow during July-August. iIn the Boga meadow (1756 m) (WP – 9), we can camp or climb the summits around.
After resting for a few moments on the lawn, we continue the journey: there are still 9 km to reach Nikç. On the way to Lake of Boga, we come across a cattle pen (WP – 10), used almost exclusively during the summer.
The lake of Boga (WP – 11) is located near the Peak of the Kelmend’s Force among the pine trees. Its perimeter is about 250 m and depth about 1 m. We leave the lake and head for the Neck of Dobraca, on the path that crosses the shadow of the pine trees. After walking for about 2 km we reach the Neck of Dobraçes (1681 m) (WP – 12). We head west and gradually descend towards the marked path that leads to Nikç. Below the path is the water source (WP – 13). We walk 4 km on the path that winds through the dense beech forest and finally arrive in Nikc.
Latitude and longitude WayPoints
1* WP 1 N42° 23′ 58.4″ E19° 38′ 53.7″ 950 m Boga Center
2* WP 2 N42° 24′ 09.0″ E19° 38′ 55.7″ 1010 m Great Cave of Boga
3* WP 3 N42° 24′ 21.0″ E19° 39′ 08.6″ 1162 m North-east path to Nikç
4* WP 4 N42° 24′ 59.4″ E19° 39′ 25.8″ 1858 m Cave of “Sylikoka” -505 m
5* WP 5 N42° 24′ 59.4″ E19° 39′ 28.7″ 1867 m Neck of Biga
6* WP 6 N42° 25′ 12.7″ E19° 40′ 02.3″ 1919 m Nol’s cave
7* WP 7 N42° 25′ 46.4″ E19° 41′ 31.2″ 2222 m Red Neck
8* WP 8 N42° 25′ 57.1″ E19° 41′ 46.1″ 2059 m Water source, in august it’s dry
9* WP 9 N42° 26′ 11.9″ E19° 42′ 23.7″ 1756 m Boga’s meadow
10* WP 10 N42° 26′ 39.3″ E19° 42′ 47.9″ 1822 m Fence, mountain pasture
11* WP 11 N42° 27′ 05.0″ E19° 42′ 44.5″ 1795 m Lake of Boga
12* WP 12 N42° 27′ 43.8″ E19° 43′ 10.2″ 1681 m Neck of Dobraçe
13* WP 13 N42° 27′ 40.6″ E19° 42′ 57.5″ 1651 m Water source