Kosovo: Djeravica (2656 m)

 

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The
peak of Djeravica (left of the big col in the middle).

 

 

 

 

Deravica (2656 m), also spelt Djeravica or Djerovica, or
Gjeravica in Albanian, is the highest point of Kosovo.

 

 

Deravica is also the
most prominent mountain of the eastern part of the Prokletije range, which
differs significantly from the western part, being milder, less rocky and more
meadowy. It is definitely something for those who like long hikes in remote
areas, and those adventurous enough to roam into ‘off the beaten track’
destinations like Kosovo.

 

 

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Mt Djeravica (2656
m) is an easy summit.

 

 

 

 

Deravica and the neighbouring mountains are rarely visited, not due to
technical difficulties but because of the popular opinion of Kosovo as a
violent and dangerous place. However, you’re not gonna find yourself in trouble
unless you really ask for it. Just use your common sense.
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Shkelzen (2407 m) and a glacial lake on the north of
Djeravica.

 

 


Just below Deravica, a point of interest well worth
visiting is the Serbian Orthodox monastery at Visoki De
čani
(2 km from De
čani), famous for its medieval frescos.

 

 

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Getting there

 

 

 

 

By car: if driving from Belgrade, I
recommend the road south via Čačak – Kraljevo – Novi Pazar –
Montenegrin border – Rožaje – Kosovar border – Peć – Dečani. The road
is good all the way, ca. 390 km from Belgrade.

If you approach from the west, the local road Andrijevica – Čakor –
Peć has been closed by international peace forces, you have to drive via
Berane and Rožaje. Hopefully it will be eventually reopened as it is very
scenic, although unsurfaced and perhaps a bit bumpy. I have no information if
the Čakor pass (1849 m) can be reached by car from the west – it could be
a good starting point for a hike to Bogdaš (2533 m).
Kosovo does not belong to the ‘green card’ international car insurance system
so you have to buy the Kosovar insurance policy on entry. In 2005 it cost 25
euros for 2 weeks for an ordinary car. It allows multiple entries over
this time.

 

 

 

Route:

 

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As for summer 2005, you had to
register at the UNMIK checkpoint (guarded by Italian soldiers, open only at
daytime) to get to Visoki Dečani monastery and further into the mountains.
Apparently this presented no problem for foreigners. Because of unstable
situation in Kosovo it may change, though.

 

 

 

 

Camping

 

 

There are no formal restrictions
about camping. Above the treeline there is plenty of space for putting up a
tent. We haven’t talked to shepherds in that particular area but in general
they are very friendly in Kosovo, Albania and Montenegro. Perhaps they wouldn’t
even mind visitors sleeping in their huts. As far as I know, there aren’t any
functioning official mountain huts in eastern Prokletije.

 

 

 

 

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Sunrise
in the Djeravica range, near the summit.

 

 

 

 

WARNING!

 

 

The locals warned us there may still
be landmines in the area – go at your own risk.

 

 

The landmine risk here is very real I assure you. We climbed the peak in
2005 from Junik via the Erenik river. When we got towards the upper part of the
mountain we met a large UNMIK mine clearing squad, who were clearing landmines
no less than 30 metres from our route. Hopefully the mountain will be clear by
now, but mineclearing is not an exact science and great care should be taken.

 

 

 

 

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