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The roof over the entire Ionian Riviera, dividing the sea from the valleys of the country’s southern highlands, Mount Çika rises over 2045 meters above sea level and is one of the highest peaks in Albania.
Mount Çika is the peak of the Ceraunian (or Acroceraunian) Range. Famously included in Lord Byron’s epic poem “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage”, this mountain range stretches along almost the entire length of the Ionian coast until the southernmost city of Saranda. Its grandeur continues to intrigue to this day, remaining one of the most challenging and in-demand areas among avid climbers, explorers, skiers, and mountaineers. Included in many of the touristic itineraries of this region, Çika is ideal for hiking and advancing climbing as well as enjoying being surrounded by wonderful climate and a spectacular landscape.
The western slope of Mount Çika is the result of rock separations caused by historic tectonic movements. Amazingly, the gigantic rock formations seem to have fallen on top of one another. Seen from above, it looks as though the mountain forms a staircase leading all the way down to the shores of the Ionian Sea. The part that cannot be seen from the sea is steep, descends over the valleys of the Shushica highlands and is known for its deep and steep chasms.
The images that you witness when climbing Mount Çika are utterly incredible and truly unforgettable. The panorama reveals a vast expanse that includes three other remote sites: the Karaburun Peninsula, Sazan Island and the Greek island of Corfu. The climbing may very well tire you but the panoramas you experience at the peak will make you forget your exertion and value nature’s endless gifts. At once, you will feast your eyes upon the gorgeous beaches of Himara, Palasa, Dhërmi and Jali sitting side by side below.
Mount Çika is the spot where professional mountaineers from all over Europe meet. These rugged slopes, however, are first and foremost the refuge of local shepherds. According to them, the wild vegetation of the southern ridge is the most suitable sustenance for cattle. Once you see them, you can just imagine the dairy produced from such pure, untouched pastures!