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vicino a Çerem, Kukës (Albania)
Three main peaks form the wide summit on which one can easily spend an hour leisurely walking around gazing at the surrounding summits. Zla Kolata (Kolata e Keqe) is located on the border with Montenegro and with 2.534m it's the country’s highest peak (while only number 16 in Albania), nearby stands slightly lower Dobra Kolata (Kolata e Mirë) at 2.528m. The highest peak at 2.552m is located completely on Albanian soil, called Rodi e Kolates (Maja e Koljats) and despite the dramatic views into Valbona Valley not visited as often. It's missing in several Wikipedia articles, on SummitPost and plenty more websites - it's the Albanian Alps missing peak!
The mountain can be approached from Cerem and the center of Valbona (from Albania) or Vusanje/Vuthaj (located in Montenegro). This route starts from Cerem, visits Kolata and finishes in Valbona.
For the route from Montenegro see a separate track (Vusanje - Kolata).
starting point / distance / initial height / walking time to the base of Kolata:
Cerem 8.8km / 1.190m / 4:15h
Vusanje 7.8km / 1.030m / 4:30h
Valbona 6.2km / 955m / 4:30h
The return walking time from the base to the two peaks is around 3:30h but can greatly shortened by visiting only Zla Kolata, which is what most hikers do - not knowing what they're missing out on :)
The traverse pictured here takes an average walker 10:45h by calculation.
You can organize a lift from your guesthouse in Valbona towards Cerem, the drive takes 45min up to 1h (Drive Valbona - Cerem). People will also welcome you in their homes in Cerem.
The initial stretch over pastures and into the forest is difficult to follow as there are many small sheep trails but it turns shortly afterwards into a clearly visible path used by the inhabitants of the stan (summer pasture) further up.
Not long after crossing the border with Montenegro you will meet the marked trail from Vusanje that leads up to Double Pass (Dvojni Prevoj) at the foot of Zla and Dobra Kolata from where you can see three summits.
On your way you pass Shpella Lieers where you can cool down on a hot day, usually snow piles up near its entrance.
Camping is possible at the stans along the way, where you can find fresh water springs, and might get invited for a coffee, raki and fresh cheese or yoghurt drink by the shepherds.
Please note that this hike crosses through Montenegrin territory. While you might imagine that there are not many policemen around in the mountains enforcing this, and we don't know of any case where hikers got in trouble for trespassing, it's technically illegal to cross the border without obtaining a permit from the authorities prior to your hike, and we don't recommend it.
8th highest mountain of the Albanian Alps, also known as, Accursed Mountain, Prokletije or Bjeshket e Namuna.
ZalaZ offers guided and self guided walks to single summits, tailor-made walking holidays and multi day trekking tours in Montenegro, Albania and parts of Kosovo. Visit our website for more information and get in touch if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org