About the Region
- Accursed Cultour
The tourism industry in this region is based almost exclusively on nature enthusiasts and mountain climbing, while the region itself is distinguished also for great values of culture, tangible and intangible heritage and history of the community living there. This will be the first cultural tour linking the monuments of culture and history. By this action, nature tourists will not only make mountain climbing in search of spectacular landscapes, but will spend more time in the region in order to experience what local traditions have to offer.
A single itinerary has been identified under the brand of "Accursed Cultour". The itinerary covers the entire region, has a total length of 280km, consists of 18 main segments and unfolds the 18 most important touristic localities of this region.
Introduction to the Region
The Accursed Mountains range is a majestic mountain massif made up of more than forty intertwining mountain ranges divided by steep valleys, gorges and canyons. It is considered “the most giant mountain group on the Balkan Peninsula”. The Accursed Mountains is a crossborder region shared between Albania, Kosovo* and Montenegro and is geographically positioned in the Dinaric mountain range of the Western Balkans. In Montenegrin/Serbian/Bosnian languages, the range is called Prokletije, while in Albanian it is called Bjeshkët e Nemuna. Both names mean “the cursed or damned mountains”, referring to the ruggedness of these high and inaccessible mountains and to the hardship experienced by the people inhabiting their surroundings. There are also several legends through which local residents have attempted to explain the origin of this name.
History of the Region
The region was unknown in Europe, and it was not until the 19th century that it started to feature on maps of the Balkan Peninsula. The first European researcher to visit the area was the Austrian geologist Ami Boué, who described the range as ‘the Alps in the south of Europe’. For the first time he clearly identified The Accursed Mountains as the easternmost and highest part of the Dinarides. Since the beginning of the 20th century, this area attracted tourists from all over the world with its breathtaking sceneries, pristine nature, cultural and historical heritage and unique local traditions. Edith Durham was a British traveler who started travelling from Trieste to Kotor and then overland to Cetinje, the capital of Montenegro. It gave her a taste for southern Balkan life that she was to retain for the rest of her life. Durham travelled extensively in the Balkans over the next twenty years, focusing particularly on Albania, which then was one of the most isolated and undeveloped areas of Europe. She wrote seven books on Balkan affairs, of which “High Albania” (1909) is her most well-known.
The Accursed Mountains has been inhabited since ancient time, and has a rich cultural and historical past. In this region many civilizations and cultures have left traces, leaving behind diverse layers of cultural heritage. The remains of settlements date from the Paleolithic, Copper and Bronze ages, from the time of the Illyrians and the Roman Empire. This and a multicultural region with population of different ethnic and religious background. The area is characterized by an extremely valuable ethnographic wealth, which is reflected in the variety of folk costumes, original music, folklore, customs, oral traditions and locally-made products and handicrafts.
For more detailed information read the guide book.
*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.