Marimangat e Pejës as an association has also expanded its activity in the development of various projects that affect the sustainable development of tourism in the municipality of Peja but has also developed projects in other mountainous areas in Kosovo and the region. The projects have mainly been focused on the development of adventure tourism which results in a sustainable development of the municipality of Peja and the region.
In addition to the implementation of projects, members of the association have contributed to various activities and campaigns that have been developed in Peja in order to support sustainable development and increase awareness of residents. The campaigns were mainly focused on schools where it is aimed at raising children’s awareness of outdoor activities and their importance for health as well as environmental protection campaigns that have been directly related to cleaning and promoting a clean place.
Below you can find more detailed information on the development of projects and campaigns,
BOLTING OF CLIMBING ROUTS
The opening of climbing routs is the mission of the association “Marimangat e Pejës” and this mission will not end with generations.
The association started this mission in 2002 and this mission will not end even after many generations as the mountainous area of Rugova has a great potential for opening climbing routs (so it has many rocks where thousands of lines can be opened). So far in this area over 50 climbing routs in 9 areas have been bolted (see Climbing routs)
YEAR 2002 – The first paths have started to open from 2002 to 2004. During this time Mauro Barizone, Agim Haqku, Virtyt Morina, Haki Lekaj, Xhevdet Arifaj and Ardi Ibrahimi have worked on opening the climbing routes. This was the first phase when the members of the association also worked under the supervision of expert Mauro Barisone until they became professional.
YEAR 2010 – The continuation of the opening of the trails was followed by the project funded by the program SEENET and Trentino con il Kosovo which had to do with the development of Environmental tourism in the municipality of Peja. Virtyt Morina, Haki Leka, Nol Krasqniqi and Arijan Jusufi participated in this project in opening the rutes. The project envisages the opening of a total of 30 climbing lines in the villages of Reka Allaga and Drelaj. The purpose of opening in these villages has been to enrich the tourist offer of these villages with adventure activities. At the same time, this project “Development of Environmental Tourism in the 5 villages of Rugova” has been the spark for the development of sustainable tourism in the municipality of Peja to be followed by “Balkan Peaks” and other projects.
YEAR 2018 – The new zone with routs is opened by the project “Born Borderless” which was also developed in cooperation with “Trentino con il Kosovo” and funded by the EU. Through this project, a new climbing area has been created in the Rugova Gorge known as “VIP Balcony” and a total of 15 climbing lines have been opened in it. The routs that have been opened in this area belong to the average difficulty 5a to 6c + while their length ranges from 10 to 30m. So, there are routs in which different ages can develop the activity.
YEAR 2020 – The bolting of new 20 routs was done with the cross-border project “Accursed Mountain – Exquisite Outdoor Destination”. Even this area where these lines are opened is very attractive and is positioned in a place that requires only 5 min walk to reach while the height that manages to give a wonderful view of the Rugova Gorge. The created area is known as “Waiting for the sun” while the 18 routs located in this area have difficulties from 6a + to 7a. The length of these routs’ ranges from 10 to 35m. So, there are routs in which different ages can develop the activity.
VIA FERRATA TRAILS
PROJECT – DESTINATION VIA FERRATA
The idea started as a dream which for many people did not think it would work or did not even know what Via Ferrata is but to the members of the association “Marimangat e Pejës” this idea has always been seen as an incentive for adventure tourism Peja. It was an idea they believed in and were determined to perpetuate on the ground. This Idea came to life with the help of the organization Trentino con il Kossovo and the Alpine Club of Trento SAT who are the most specialized in the world for the construction of Via Ferrata. A study visits of the members of the association in Dolomites, Italy, a benefit of experience and a determination of the municipality for the realization of Via Ferrata in Peja results in the creation of a tourist destination of Kosovo for Via Ferrata. Now in Kosovo there are a total of 7 Via Ferrata which have been worked by members of the association marimangat e Pejes and in their work the latest standards have been used.
VIA FERRATA – ARI
It is the first via Ferrata to be built in Kosovo and the first via Ferrata in the Balkans to which the latest UIAA standards have been applied. It was developed in 2010 after an intensive training of the members of the association “Marimangat e Pejes” that realized in the Dolomites of Italy offered by the association of mountaineers of Trento “Societa Alpini Tridentini” (SAT). Via Ferrata “ARI” belongs to the vertical type ferrats and has a length of 450m while in terms of difficulty it is ranked in system 2 or B (Moderately Difficult) which is ranked by ferratas with medium difficulty and can be used by all nature lovers and ordinary tourists. Climbing this trail takes 2 to 3 hours. To achieve this, it is necessary to use adequate basic safety equipment such as helmets, harness and carbines. Via Ferrata “ARI” was developed under the supervision of an Italian expert who is also certified for safety and is now inspected annually by trained members of the association.
VIA FERRATA – MAT
It is the second Via Ferrata which was developed in 2014 in the Rugova Gorge or in the famous place “Bridge at the 3rd km”. Also like via ferrata Ari this too was built with the application of the latest standard by the UIAA. Via Ferrata “MAT” belongs to the horizontal type ferratas and has a length of 510m while in terms of difficulty it is ranked in system 2 or B (Moderately Difficult) which is ranked by ferratas with medium difficulty and can be used by all nature lovers and other visitors. To achieve this, it is necessary to use adequate basic safety equipment such as: helmets, harness and carbines. The Via Ferrata MAT was developed under the supervision of the Italian expert who is also certified for safety and is now inspected annually by trained members of the Marimangat association.
ZIP LINE MARIMANGAT
Zip Line is also an ambitious project that has been realized by Marimangat e Pejes by placing Kosovo in the Balkan countries that have a Zip Line offer. This project started to be implemented in 2017 with the initiative of the association Marimangat e Pejës, while the funding was jointly from Marimanagt, the Municipality of Peja, and the Swiss Contact organization. It is a project and a success story that has given positive results in Kosovo by creating greater recreational and tourist opportunities, creating new jobs, and promoting adventure tourism at the national level but also in the international arena.
BJESHKA E MOKNES - PERLA E PAZBULUAR NË SHTEGUN VIA DINARICA
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“REEL ROCK TOUR” ROCK CLIMBING FESTIVAL
REEL ROCK TOUR CLIMBING FESTIVAL
For three consecutive years 2014, 2015, 2016 the association Marimangat e Pejes have organized the film festival for rock climbing known as “Reel Rock Tour”. The Reel Rock Tour Festival is an organization of showing the strangest movies showing people doing wonders by breaking the barriers of nature. This festival was founded in 2006 by filmmakers Josh Lowell (Big Up Producon) and Peter Mormer (Sender Films). The Reel Rock Film Tour brings the best climbing adventure movies of the year directly to audiences around the world. This film festival is definitely an event dedicated to the climbing community, mountaineering, and environmentalists around the world. Reel Rock Tour appearances display high energy, including the world’s most eminent adhesives and filmmakers, various awards, life guides, and festive atmospheres. Movie Sender is the leading producer of climbing/mountaineering shows and outdoor adventure movies. It balances action with storytelling, humorous passion, and spectacular scenes with compelling characters to create critically acclaimed movies and TV shows. In every new film production, they aim to inspire, illuminate the activities and entertain the audience.
The aim of the project is to promote rock climbing as well as the promotion of outdoor recreational activities, raising awareness among residents and especially the youth in the inclusion of outdoor activities and socio-health benefits, environmental protection, and sustainable development of tourism.
In addition to the screening of films which was made at the Jusuf Gervalla cinema in Peja, there were also other activities which took place during these days of the festival such as Via Ferrata, Rock Climbing, Zip line hiking, etc. Also during these days are organized meetings with various experts in the field in order to create an interaction in the development of tourism in Peja.
While raising the adrenaline, every night are organized parties with the alpine community and nature lovers where they met, got acquainted, and exchanged their experiences in the field of mountain activities.
CROSS BORDER PROJECT "PEAKS OF THE BALKANS"
PEAKS OF THE BALKANS TRAIL
The project “Peaks of the Balkans” or in Albanian “Majat e Ballkanit” is the project which brought changes in the development of mountain tourism in the municipality of Peja but also in municipalities of Plav and Shkodra. At the same time, this project created a unique product by creating a tourist destination between the three countries, uniting the Accursed Mountains national park, and promoting it internationally. This project was recognized and crowned internationally for its success in 2013 as “The Future of Tourism” by the prestigious world association WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council) in the category “Stewardship Tourism Destination”. The project started with the initiative of the German organization GIZ (initiator of the project Tine Shramel who was a fan of mountains and rock climbing and at that time was working in Albania at GIZ) and cooperation between the three countries Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro or more precisely the municipality of Peja, Plava and the Region of Shkodra. Here began the first steps of the project “Peaks of the Balkans” where the Task Force was created which would deal with the management of the project. All members of the task force were willing to work and motivated having a vision that this project would bring change in the development of mountain tourism, destination development, its promotion as a unique destination, and raising and awareness of the population living in mountain villages to start their own businesses in order to generate income and self-employment. The association Marimangat e Pejes has also played an important role here, who have developed the research trail in the part of Kosovo and have contributed to the quality of expertise. Meanwhile, the association was also entrusted with the marking and signaling of the path who have done their job professionally and have received praise for their work.
Now the path “Peaks of the Balkans” has gained a world name and is sought after by many lovers of mountains and nature and also in our country has positively influenced the change of mentality of mass tourism developments and large constructions orienting tourism in the direction of adventure tourism and sustainable development.
DEVELOPMENT OF COMMON PATHS BETWEEN PEJA AND ROZHAJA
Development of common paths
The project “Development of common paths” is a project that has created a new opportunity for a cross-border connection between Kosovo and Montenegro or two neighboring municipalities (Peja and Rozaje) by connecting these two places with a hiking and mountain biking path with a length of 59 km. This was implemented in 2015 and is a project which was developed by the association Marimangat e Pejes in cooperation with the association of mountaineering and skiing “Hajla” from Rozaje and the association MESA10 from Slovakia. This project is funded by the EU program for cross-border cooperation, while the main goal has been the development of a joint cross-border tourism product between Peja and Rozaje and the promotion of this destination at the national and international level.
The project has brought together professionals and enthusiasts from Central Europe as well as from the Western Balkans who have worked to develop access to the mountains for adventure tourism while preserving its natural beauty. The project has also promoted the idea of volunteerism and cooperation between communities. The project was attended by volunteer mountaineers from countries such as Slovakia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, and Montenegro who helped to regulate the hiking and mountain biking trail, signaling and promoting opportunities in Slovakia and beyond. At the same time, this project has enabled a study visit which was realized in the Tatra Mountains where the two participants from the associations Marimangat and Hajla have experienced program development and cross-border projects for mountaineering and mountain tourism where then the experiences gained are passed on to other members. of the association.
DEVELOPMENT OF HIKING TRAIL IN RUGOVA MOUNTAINS
The project Development of Environmental Tourism in the 5 villages of Rugova is a project which has been the initiation of the development of sustainable tourism in Peja and a project which has influenced as a turn and mind of other tourism developments that have occurred in Peja and especially in the mountainous area of Rugova. The project has been an interaction of several different actors to achieve success for sustainable development. In this project, the association Marimangat e Pejes has been engaged in the quality of expertise for the development of adventure tourism and environmental tourism (development of hiking trails and rock-climbing routs) creating an interaction of these two types of tourism to achieve the development of sustainable tourism which has influenced the involvement of local residents in tourism as well as the economic, social and environmental impact on them.
In this project, the association has realized the activity for the development of mountain paths by connecting these 5 villages with hiking trails as well as the completion of these trails with necessary infrastructure for orientation of mountaineers and tourists such as maps, placement of information panels, placement of shelters etc. In this regard, it has been worked that these trails pass through the mountainous parts which are as attractive for hiking for all ages of tourists and at the same time during the walk to experience the best environmental experiences and gain educational knowledge about the place and flora and fauna.
Also, part of the activity that has been realized by the members of the association Marimangat e Pejës is the opening of 20 rock climbing routs in the village of Drelaj and Reka Allages. The routs are opened in 3 different positions creating opportunities for all visitors to spend time climbing the rocks. The open routs are designed in such a way that they can be adapted for all tourists where their difficulty ranges from 5a to 7a while the length is from 10 to 20m. The purpose of these activities has been to extend the tourist offer in Peja and create opportunities for tourists to stay as long as possible in our destination.
The project was part of the SEENET program and was developed by the Municipality of Peja – Tourism Sector in cooperation with Trentino con il Kossovo and was funded by the Government of Italy in co-financing with the Municipality of Peja.
"EXPERIENCE DUKAGJINI" REGIONAL HIKING TRAIL
EXPERIENCE PATH IN DUKAGJIN REGION
Experiences in Dukagjini is a project which extends to the Dukagjini region or to the mountainous area of the Cursed Mountains (part of Kosovo). It is a regional or cross-municipal project which has been developed between the municipalities of Peja, Deçan, and Junik.
The purpose of this project is to develop mountain tourism and expand the cross-municipal or regional tourism offer. For this in the project are developed several different activities are related to various developments that are initiating the development of sustainable tourism.
One of the foreseen activities was the development of the mountain hiking trail which connected the three municipalities creating a unique joint offer and a greater opportunity for nature lovers to spend longer time in the mountain tourist area of Accursed Mountains. In this activity, the association Spiders of Peja have been contracted as an expert for the development of this path, marking and placement of signaling along the path.
This trail which passes along the attractive beauties of the mountains of Peja, Deçan, and Junik has a length of 69.7km and is planned to be realized in a duration of 6 days or 6 daily stages (weekly offer). The change in altitude starts from 900m and reaches the highest point of Kosovo at 2656m (which is the highest peak in Kosovo Gjeravica). The trail has a medium difficulty so it is suitable for almost all ages while the average length of daily walk is 5 to 6 hours.
It is a very attractive trail and offers opportunities for pleasure and relaxation for all lovers of mountaineering, mountaineering, tourists, and nature enthusiasts who want to spend a few days in the beauty of nature. This trail is designed in such a way that it offers the possibility of realizing only a few parts (not in general).
TRAINING OF VIA FERRATA GUIDES
PROJECT – TRAINING GUIDES FOR VIA FERRATA
About 2 weeks of activity to gain professional experience and to be provided with the certification for Via Ferrata Guide. So now 15 young people with professional experience have joined the guides for Via Ferrata. This was an initiative of the association Marimangat e Pejes which with financial support from Tentino con il Kossovo has developed training for guides of Via Ferrata in Peja.
The project aimed the raising the professional profile of young people from Peja and the region and creating new capacities for practicing the profession of guide in Via Ferrata, the opportunity for self-employment, and building human capacity in the development of adventure tourism.
This project came as a result of market demand for more guides for via Ferrata so the initiative for this training was taken by Nol Krasiqi who designed the progress of the project and in collaboration with Trentino con il Kossovo who funded the opportunity to train 15 new guides ready to lead tourist groups.
The preparation of the training lasted two weeks where 3 experienced persons were engaged for the development of this training who cover the 3 foreseen modules.
Regarding the first module engaged was Nol Krasniqi as an expert for the development of Via Ferrata who is also professionally trained by SAT (Societa Alpini Tridentini) and Mentor Vokshi who is a professional guide who offers leadership experiences for tourist groups on Via Ferrata.
The second module was based on first aid experiences (quickly). A very important module for the experiences of guides on Via Ferrata. The professional paramedic Bajram Berisha from Prizren was engaged in this module, who also serves in the Kosovo Armed Forces as a first aid expert. During this module are given experiences for the first interventions in emergency cases, professional communication with medical experts, as well as diseases that can cause problems in special cases. In this part, 20 first aid bags have been purchased, which contain various elements for the first needs of interventions. At the same time, this training module has been followed by the old guides and at the same time, in agreement, they have decided to repeat this module every year.
While the third module was focused on the field or climbing of all Via Ferrata in Peja. This part has included the passage of 4 via Ferrata as experiences where all the time they have been under the supervision of Mentor Vokshi who at the same time has shared his experiences together with the group of young people.
CLEANING CAMPAIGNS (ENVIRONMENT)
Environmental protection is a very important issue for the mountaineering association Marimangat e Pejes. Without a clean environment, there will be no sustainable development of tourism so the association is determined to support development projects to always work in environmental protection by conducting various awareness campaigns and also cleaning campaigns where together with other organizations and with the inhabitants of Peja, nature lovers, have cleaned various parts of the Rugova mountains, especially the Rugova Gorge.
Therefore, this association is very active in this regard. The association has participated in various awareness activities as well as those cleaning campaigns that are organized by the community of mountaineers and also by the initiatives of nature lovers. The association has also been the organizer of campaigns on a voluntary basis where it has managed to gather nature activists and mountaineering enthusiasts in order to protect nature and promote a clean environment.