Peaks of the Balkans / Via Dinarica – Border Crossing Permits

We’re happy to see your interest in the Peaks of the Balkans Trail! Applying for and receiving the necessary permits remains a big hurdle for individual walkers and we hope we can assist with that.

Please note that permits are applied in self-service only, please read the FAQ first before sending any questions, they may not be answered due to time reasons otherwise.

  1. Fill in the form below to submit your data
  2. Details are checked and once approved instructions send to upload your passport scans and pay via PayPal (funded by credit card or bank account)
  3. An application for each border crossing is submitted to the respective police unit for review and approval – this usually takes 1-2 weeks.
  4. You receive a confirmation letter and your application forms by email as PDF, to be printed or carried on a device with you during the trek.
  5. The Montenegrin police asks you to pick up a finalized paper permit at the border police station of Plav.

Please apply at least 14 days before your crossing, ideally a month in advance! If fewer days remaining we will try the best we can but cannot guarantee that you will receive all approvals in time for your departure – still the police will at least be aware of your crossings.

We believe that 5 eur per person and permit is a fair amount in return for our effort.
Our fee is capped at 50 eur no matter number of persons for regular permits.
In return we sort out the red tape that guarantees you a hassle free vacation time.
An additional 10 eur fee is charged by the Montenegrin police (for each crossing out of Montenegro).

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2 persons will require 3 permits each traveling the complete Peaks of the Balkans:

2 persons x 3 permits x 5 eur + 10 eur police fee = 40 eur.

(Payment is possible via PayPal and credit card.)

Why do I need the permits?
Crossing outside of a regular checkpoint nobody will check and register your ID/passport and the digital entree corresponding to your arrival/departure is missing in the system. Your exit/entree should be recorded as otherwise problems can arise trying to leave the country without having a record entering it: Imagine the policemen at airport wondering how you managed to slip past the border control into the country.

 

How many permits do I need?
To complete a circular tour of all three countries only three permits are required. If you only stride the border without actually crossing it for good (extended stay or overnight in the other country) you won’t need separate permits. For example, the hike from Valbona via the Persllopit and Bor Pass to Cerem.

 

Are the dates flexible?
The police require a fixed date – no exceptions. Please plan ahead and try to stick to the plan. When walkers were delayed by one or two days due to a valid excuse like bad weather conditions, losing the trail and similar events, it has never been a problem and the police showed understanding.
Please note: This is not a legal council, if you have further questions please contact the police directly – neither Zbulo nor any of its associates can’t be held responsible for any negative results or legal charges that might occur. 

 

Why does the Montenegrin police charge a fee?
In a mutual agreement, the police units of all three countries signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to process this application and for free. Montenegro seems to have changed its mind and now requires a fee of 10 EUR. If this sounds outrageous to you why not let the Montenegrin Tourism Organisation know about it: info@montenegro.travel

 

Does police really check the permits?
While Albanian police happily welcome visitors, their neighbors in Kosovo are already less open-minded to the idea of a border-less Europe and the Montenegrin border guards are more serious with frequent patrol, especially in the area around Vusanje and Babino Polje (driving around in a Land Rover Defender). There is also a rather large police station in Plav, keep in mind that fully equipped hikers aren’t the lowest profile persons in the streets of this small town. Rumors have it that a small group of British walkers spends last year a night in jail in addition to hefty fine – the reason we highly recommend obtaining all permits for a worry-free walking holiday.

 

Is it possible to just get them on the go / on short notice?
No, unfortunately this isn’t possible.

 

What if I really need them on short notice? (this is an emergency!)
Apply first, then give us a quick call to see if we can help. Generally, it’s better to have applied and set out without permits that will eventually enter the border police system.

The form is designed for 8 persons, with more participants in the group please send an email detailing which crossings you plan to complete (date and location) to welcome@zbulo.org you will receive interactive PDFs forms that you can fill yourself with a PDF reader software digitally. During the summer we may be too busy and you will have to fill the form twice. 

Required for each participant are:

  • first and last name
  • nationality
  • birth date and location
  • address
  • passport / ID number (we recommend passports)
  • date and location the document was issued as well as expiry date (be aware that it should be valid for another six months)

Application for border-crossing permit

Click to open in new window for better overview or fill below, please read first and fill the form carefully, your application can’t be changed afterward and will be rejected otherwise!