Tijd  5 uren 31 minuten

Coördinaten 488

Geüpload 18 september 2013

Uitgevoerd september 2013

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2.026 m
1.006 m
6,82 km

10053 maal bekeken, 315 maal gedownload

in de buurt Palasë, Vlorë (Albania)

An ultra-prominent peak, or Ultra in short, is a mountain with a topographic prominence of 1,500 meters or more. In order to climb a higher peak, you first have to descend at least 1500 meter. Prominence – at least for the mountaineer - is a measurement for the subjective significance of a summit regardless of its actual height.

There are 119 Ultras in Europe. If you think of Switzerland as the motherland of European mountains, think again. Switzerland has only eight Ultras. Many of the highest peaks of the European Alps are connected by high passes, and they do not “stand out” as an Ultra would do.

Albania has six Ultras and Mali i Çikës is one of them. It has an official height of 2044 Meter, and a prominence 1563 Meter. But this aside, when you stand on its top, you have an unobstructed view 2044 Meter right down to the sparkling blue Ionian Sea.

Mali i Çikës is an ultra-desirable mountain for many reasons. It has a very alpine feel to it, with sheer drops, cliffs, distant views and a 3.5 kilometer long exhilarating summit ridge. There is no shortcut. And unless you decide to transverse Mali i Çikës (which would be at least two day hike without any water source along the way – see Endrit’s trail on wikiloc #3308119), you have to go back the way you came. This makes for 14.5 kilometers out and back, a cumulative climb of more than 1400 Meter, and a very long day.

Being out on a limb on the long summit ridge, with few opportunities for a retreat means that you don’t want to be caught by thunder and lightning. Unfortunately, at the edge of the Mediterranean, weather conditions around the mountain can change rapidly, and one is advised to clear the summit by noon time. It took us 5.5 hours to reach the summit, and we were glad to have started from the Llogara pass at 7 am. In summer, you may consider starting even earlier.

The route itself is not difficult to follow, and there is a faint mule-trail to and across the summit of Cika. Still, there is an advantage in carrying a GPS to see where you veer off the trail and to not waste too much time looking for the right way. The trail leads sometimes to the east and sometimes to the west of the actual ridge, avoiding some of the higher bumps along the way.

By the time you reach waypoint 5, you can relax – that is until you glimpse the narrow ridge that separates the false summit from the real one by 50 Meters or so.

For those not sure whether you want to make it across the long summit ridge and back, you may climb Qorres (Wikiloc #2635588) instead, and still have a fantastic outing.

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15-SEP-13 18:27:34


15-SEP-13 16:45:57


15-SEP-13 9:55:24


15-SEP-13 15:29:43

05-lowpoint on ridge

15-SEP-13 13:49:24


15-SEP-13 11:50:56

07-switch east

15-SEP-13 12:01:28

08-False Summit

1990 m


15-SEP-13 12:33:26

19 opmerkingen

  • Foto van Gams

    Gams 14-okt-2013

    Ik heb deze route gevolgd  Bekijk in detail

    This trail conveys a sense of more achievement than many, even higher targets. The Qorres ascent seems easy, to find the turnoff to the right along the exposed faint path would be a guess without the GPS co-ordinates.
    Reaching the first ridge plateau with its watering holes feels like a world apart. To imagine that this is hardly half the way asks for determination in particular, if the ridge line is shrouded in clouds...

  • Foto van Tini Hart

    Tini Hart 1-nov-2013

    Wow! So much snow... seems so unexpected! https://www.wikiloc.com/outdoor-trails/an-albanian-ultra-mali-i-cikes-5274716#wp-5274717/photo-2744489

  • Foto van Tini Hart

    Tini Hart 1-nov-2013

    Spectacular.. https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/an-albanian-ultra-mali-i-cikes-5274716/photo-2744422

  • Foto van Tini Hart

    Tini Hart 1-nov-2013

    This is definitely on my to-do list now because of the prominence, sea views and alpine feel - you've completely sold me!

  • Foto van Tini Hart

    Tini Hart 1-nov-2013

    Have also definitely learnt something new regarding prominence - and Albania as a true hiking destination!

  • Foto van Genc Bregu

    Genc Bregu 4-nov-2013


    Thanks for this trail. Me and my friends did it and it was very accurate.

  • Foto van Genc Bregu

    Genc Bregu 4-nov-2013

    Ik heb deze route gevolgd  Bekijk in detail

    A very accurate trail.

  • Foto van Palmtreeproduction

    Palmtreeproduction 5-nov-2013

    Glad you liked it!

  • Teo78 22-aug-2015

    Hi there, thanks so much for all this useful info. We're planning on hiking this route in early September in a group of five. We're looking to take off from Llogara pass around 6:30am. just wondering how much water you brought with you during this hike considering that there are no water sources once you leave Llogara Pass.

  • Foto van Palmtreeproduction

    Palmtreeproduction 23-aug-2015

    We carried 2 litres per person and used it all. Enjoy Cikes!

  • Teo78 23-aug-2015

    That's what we were planning to bring along as well.
    Thank you

  • Foto van xploit15

    xploit15 23-jun-2019

    This looks like an excellent hike and I would love to do it. I'm not in Albania yet. Do you know if it's possible to get to the pass without a car?

  • Foto van Palmtreeproduction

    Palmtreeproduction 23-jun-2019

    There are busses connecting Vlore with Dhermi or Himare, and you could check whether they can drop you off at the Llogara pass. Or try hitchhiking.

    Its a great hike.

    Good luck

  • Foto van xploit15

    xploit15 23-jun-2019

    Sounds pretty easy. Look forward to summiting this beast!

  • miki.rune 8-jul-2019

    Ik heb deze route gevolgd  geverifieerd  Bekijk in detail

    Nice expirance.

  • Alexski 14-jul-2019

    Ik heb deze route gevolgd  Bekijk in detail

    Nous n'avons que la première partie de la randonnée, vers le premier sommet.
    Déjà difficile.
    Mais le panorama est exceptionnel ! Très belle randonnée !

  • Foto van Te Ke 11

    Te Ke 11 9-okt-2020

    Do u think its safe to hike it alone ?

  • Foto van Palmtreeproduction

    Palmtreeproduction 9-okt-2020

    This depends on your experience. If you have done hikes of similar altitude and length, it should be fine. There are no real difficulties - accordind to intl hiking grading i would rate it T3. I understand that the trail is now marked, but in any case the risk of losing orientation is low. Biggest risk is the weather - you must definitely avoid being caught by thunderstorm! When there are sheep on the mountain, dogs could be problem. People are friendly.

  • Foto van Te Ke 11

    Te Ke 11 15-okt-2020

    I guess my main problem will be dogs if they are still there 😅 Thanks for the advices