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Hiking trail recommended route Stage 14

High Scardus Trail Stage 14 Stanet e Hinoskes - Bitushe/Modrič

· 1 review · Hiking trail · Albania
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High Scardus Trail Organization
  • Stage 14 on the High Scardus Trail: Dream trails in the Deshat Mountains. In the background the prominent Velivar Mountain (2.373 m)
    Stage 14 on the High Scardus Trail: Dream trails in the Deshat Mountains. In the background the prominent Velivar Mountain (2.373 m)
    Photo: Trail Angels/ G.Mussnig, CC BY-ND, High Scardus Trail Organization
From bright heights into dark forests: This varied daily stage leads past the mighty peak of Velivar and then down into the mystical forests of Mavrovo National Park


>>>> ATTENTION: Detailled informations on how to plan your trip, safety instructions, regulations for border crossing etc. are provided by the official website <<<<

Distance 14.1 km
6:00 h
505 m
1,149 m
2,104 m
1,008 m
Compared to the previous day, the start of this day's stage is leisurely: 350 gentle meters of altitude have to be overcome from the alpine village of Stanet e Hinoskes up to the crest of the Deshat mountains. Once back on the main route of the High Scardus Trail, it turns out to be a hiking dream and nestles in an attractive routing on the slopes of the mighty peak of Velivar (2,373 m). Once the mountain pass east of Velivar is reached, a breathtaking view of the striking Krchin Mountain opens up to the south. This is a spectacular next destination, but now the path turns sharply to the east. Because here is still a gap in the High Scardus Trail, which should be closed in the future. Currently, the trail leads charmingly downhill over several altitude levels and dives into the mystical forests of the Mavrovo National Park. At the picturesque mountain monastery "St. Cyril & Methodius" near Bitushe is the day's destination, from where the next stage town Modrič can be reached by shuttle service.


Author’s recommendation

NOTE: A shuttle is required between the end of this stage and the start of the next stage (High Scardus Trail stage 15 Modrič - Jablanica. There is currently no accommodation in Bitushe itself.

You currently have 2 options:

  • 6 km shuttle from Bitushe to one of the two accommodations at the monastery Sveti Jovan Bigorski. The next morning another shuttle to Modrič for the start of stage 16.
  • From Bitushe, the entire shuttle to Modrič, where there is accommodation at the start of stage 16.
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High Scardus Trail 
Update: June 13, 2022
Highest point
2,104 m
Lowest point
1,008 m
Best time of year

Track types

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Safety information

Attention: The stage is currently not well marked in some places, which in combination with difficult to see sections of the trail and little detailed maps can lead to serious orientation problems in some places. Currently we strongly recommend to hike the trail only with a local guide. If you still want to hike on your own, great experience with GPS devices or the use of map apps (including the possibility of offline storage of maps; app recommended by Outdooractive) is necessary!

Attention: For crossing the Kosovar-North Macedonian border (green border) a border permit is necessary!



Stanet e Hinoskes (1,652 m)
41.646662, 20.506678
41°38'48.0"N 20°30'24.0"E
34T 458918 4610664
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Turn-by-turn directions

The stage starts in the alpine village of Stane E Hinoskes and leads over 350m in easy terrain back to the saddle (2090m) on the main ridge of the Deshat Mountains, which you crossed the day before. This saddle is reached comfortably in one hour. Afterwards you hike again on the main route of the High Scardus Trail towards the south. At first the good trail leads relatively flat in the mountain flanks on the Macedonian side of the ridge. Then, in somewhat steeper terrain, a mountain saddle is hiked, which reveals an impressive view of Mount Velivar. The path continues briefly downhill and later always crossing the flanks of Mount Velivar to a large spring. At this spring, another short ascent to a wide mountain saddle awaits, which in turn offers a magnificent view of the rocky peak of Krchin further to the south. The High Scardus Trail now continues further and further south, staying on the Macedonian side and then climbing briefly to another col (2030m), which is again on the national border between Albania and North Macedonia. Here is a very nice view of the reservoir of Debar. From the mountain saddle, you now turn west and follow the markings downhill over stepped beautiful grassy ground. The descent then leads at about 1800m above sea level to a beautifully situated twin lake, which invites you to take a rest. After the lake, the trail then becomes steeper and then dives into the dense mountain forests of the Marovo National Park. The trail continues downhill in the shade of the dense deciduous forests of the Marovo National Park and, on the shore of a beautiful marshy lake, opens up once again a magnificent view of the mountains of the Velivar massif. You continue along the clearly visible path (always in the forest) until you reach the end of an asphalt road on the bank of a large stream. Here you will find an information point of the Marovo National Park and a newly renovated Orthodox monastery with a monastery church „Skete of St. Cyril & Methodius“. If you don't want to be picked up by a shuttle service at the monastery, you can hike down the narrow asphalt road to the mountain village of Bitushe for another 30 minutes (total descent 1000 m). Bitushe is a typical North Macedonian mountain village, which is massively affected by migration.

By road

Access only possible with 4x4 off-road vehicle (better on foot from Rabdisht via stage 13 of the High Scardus Trail): From Peshkopi, take road SH6 south towards Debar. After about 6 km, a small mountain road branches off to the left (east) towards Melan and then Ilnicë. At the upper end of Ilnicë, a gravel road leads east and winds up the mountain to the alpine pasture Stanet e Hinoskes. 


At the alpine pasture


41.646662, 20.506678
41°38'48.0"N 20°30'24.0"E
34T 458918 4610664
Show on Map
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendations for this region:

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  • Backpack approx. 30-40 liters with hip belt
  • Rain cover for the backpack
  • Telescopic poles


  • Trekking shoes at least category B (preferably ankle-high for the pathless passages)
  • Flipflops or similar for the accommodations
  • 2 pairs of hiking socks
  • underwear
  • hiking pants softshell or similar (wind- and water-repellent - the High Scardus Trail runs through alpine regions)
  • Hiking pants spare (also for accommodation)
  • Shorts
  • T-shirt quick drying
  • T-shirt fast drying spare (quantity depending on the length of the tour)
  • Top long first layer (e.g. Transtex-Sleeve) + replacement
  • Top long second layer (e.g. sleeve made of fleece or merino wool) + replacement
  • Softshell jacket or similar
  • Clothing for accommodation
  • rain jacket (hardshell jacket waterproof and breathable)
  • umbrella if necessary
  • Rain pants (hardshell pants waterproof and breathable)
  • Sun protection for the head (sun hat or cap)
  • Hat (can get cold even in summer!)

Hygiene/medication/personal items

  • small travel towel
  • personal hygiene items personal medicines (important medicines in addition to personal medicines are e.g. Imodium, charcoal tablets, Bepanthen and a painkiller like Ibuprofen or Parkemed)
  • Blister plaster
  • Pocket knife, small scissors
  • Sunglasses (tight-fitting with 100% UV protection and tint category 3)
  • Sunscreen (SPF at least 30, water/sweat resistant, broad spectrum protection, not older than 1 year)
  • Lip protection (SPF at least 20)
  • Outdoor first aid kitpossibly spare glasses
  • small LED headlamp
  • bivy sack (at least a very light one)
  • Handkerchiefspassport + copycredit card/cash (at many accommodations you can only pay with cash)
  • Border Crossing Permit
  • Small dictionaries


  • Travel documents printout
  • Orientation App (e.g. Outdooractive with Pro-Account, so you can save the map sections offline)
  • if necessary additional GPS-device
  • Cell phone (smartphone for orientation app) + charger
  • Powerbank for cell phone (not all accommodations have sockets)
  • if necessary power socket adapter

Food and drinks

  • Drinking bottles (depending on temperature and personal drinking needs 1,5-3 liters; the sources are shown in the map)
  • Food for the day (the respective shopping possibilities can be seen in the map)

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Rüdiger Mertz 
August 23, 2022 · Community
Die Sache mit dem Shuttle/Transfer hat sich überraschend einfach gelöst. In Bitushe gibt es gar nichts, der Ort wirkte sehr leer, ohne Vorbestellung hat man da keine Chance. Wir sind einfach auf der Straße noch ein bisschen weitergegangen nach Rostusa, das ist der größere Ort weiter bergab (ca. 30 Minuten) Dort ist dann überraschend viel los. In der Ortsmitte gibt es mehrere Cafes, da haben wir einfach gefragt, wie wir nach Debar kommen. Der Besitzer konnte Deutsch und alle waren wieder super hilfsbereit. Und relativ bald fuhr schon ein Bus nach Debar (ca. 2 Euro/Person) - bei uns um 13 Uhr, der fährt aber häufiger am Tag. In Debar gibt es mehrere Hotels (waren aber voll), aber das riesige Resort+Spa am Anfang des Stausees hatte noch was frei. Debar ist relativ groß mit mehreren Supermärkten und eignet sich für nen Ruhetag. Die Taxifahrt von Debar nach Modric kostete dann noch mal ca. 30 Euro und dauert etwa 45 Minuten.
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14.1 km
6:00 h
505 m
1,149 m
Highest point
2,104 m
Lowest point
1,008 m
Linear route Multi-stage route Insider tip


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