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The Mountain with Holes is not so far from Tirana, this natural and rather unique destination offers memorable panoramic views and a hiking experience to please any budding rambler.
If you have previously read up about Albania’s natural monuments, then it’s no secret that most will leave you speechless from the sheer variety and creativity that Mother Nature has bestowed upon the country. One location that fits this bill is that of the karstic Mountain of Holes (Karsti i Malit me Gropa). A two hour-drive away from Tirana, this mountain is the rarest of karst phenomena in Albania and The Mountain with Holes exists as one of the largest in Europe.
This natural wonder cannot be accused of bearing a misleading name, its unconventional appearance features funnel-shaped holes scattered throughout its surface (hence, The Mountain with Holes). Since the Ice Age, water has carved said holes into the limestone cliff landscape. The holes vary in size and diameter, some reaching up to tens of metres, and create a magnificent and truly rare spectacle. At times, the mountain truly resembles a sea, where instead of the waves, there are rocks and, instead of shades of blue, rich hues of golden and forest greens prevail. To some, the landscape looks a tad like honeycomb, a metaphor spawned from some hungry hikers no doubt!
The predominantly funnel-shaped holes and karstic springs endow the landscape with a variety of colours throughout the year. The beech forests and green meadows of the warm seasons give way to the snow-covered landscape during the winter. Hiking and climbing are more popular in the milder seasons. However, many people choose to hike here all year-round. Check out some awe-inspiring videos from hiking aficionados here. For similar hiking destinations around Albania, click here.
Mceku Peak is the highest point of the mountainous vicinity, it reaches 1847.3 metres above sea level. Several metres of snow descend upon the mountain every winter, making it a suitable skiing region, in addition to the summer months for hiking and climbing. There are not so many signs along the mountain, but there is a handy trail that leads up to its peak.
The mountain’s ecosystem is something to marvel and experience, if given the chance. The fauna displays a variety of plants and animals: wolves, rabbits, foxes and a variety of birds and reptiles can be found here. Keep your eyes peeled for the small lakes and wonderful little ponds that decorate the landscape.
Tour: For directions and a hiking tour of the Mountain with Holes, click here.