Marie and Nil are two lovers of adventure. From February 2018, they are crossing the south of Europe on foot! From Portugal to Turkey, a route of more than 10,000 km, through 17 countries, in 4 seasons and for more than 500 days. REAL products are powering them during their adventure.
Before reaching Albania, we heard absolutely everything about this country, the best and the worst. Now, after having hiked 600 kilometers there from North to South, we are happy to share with you our experience of Spring 2019.
In May 2019, we hiked across this little unknown country in the heart of the Balkans. With no access to the sea, there's no mass tourism in North Macedonia. We crossed the country walking from the border with Kosovo, near Skopje to the gorgeous lake Ohrid before reaching Albania.
We did most of our itinerary in North Macedonia with Jesse, he joined us for the second time from the Netherlands!
Our hiking route led us through the amazing Matka Canyon and the nice Mavrovo National Park but also through a massive garbage dump and some beautiful but dying villages...
Even though our crossing of Kosovo was shorter than expected, we enjoyed a lot visiting this unknown and underrated country! Far from the images of NATO's tanks and peacekeepers troops, Kosovo has lot to offer.
People are warm and generous and there's a real potential for hiking. We hiked from Gjakovë to Prizren and then headed to the Sharr mountains before reaching Macedonia.
Hiking, mountaineering, skying, enjoying the coast... We all know someone who had a good reason to go to Montenegro. Now that we've hiked more than 350 kilometers there, we can tell you more about this beautiful little country.
We crossed 3 of its 6 national parks: Durmitor of course, probably the most famous, Biogradska Gora, the smallest one and Prokletije, the most recent on the edge of the Albanian border.
Arriving in Montenegro, we discovered how high this country is with all those plateaux and mountains.
But for us, Montenegro will definitely be the country of canyons! From Tara canyon to Mrtvica, going through Susica and Nevidio. There were all different and sumptuous.
From our memories and the media, we mostly think of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a country at war, of Sarajevo as a city under siege... Believe us today this country has multiple facets to show and a lot to offer.
We discovered warm and generous people everywhere we've been, gorgeous and mighty mountains from Blidinje to Bjelašnica, without forgetting Prenj, "the Bosnian Himalayas"... Lukomir, the highest village of the country was a fantastic experience. Hiking this part of the Via Dinarica in winter wasn't easy, it was a real challenge but we made it!
Sarajevo is a fascinating city where so many cultures and influences meet. It is the evidence of the country and region complicated History.
In some way, we fell in love with Bosnia and Herzegovina!
Already 7 countries and almost 6,000 km for our thru-hike across Europe! Entering Croatia, we discovered the Dinaric Alps that we will follow for a while in the Balkans, we had the great chance to cross 3 out of the 8 national parks of the country: Risnjak, Velebit and Paklenica. We will have to come back for the 5 others :D
We followed part of the trails of the Via Dinarica and the Via Adriatica that led us to discover amazing places like Bijele and Samarska Stijene, the Premužić Trail, the canyon Mala Paklenica and, to finish on a high note, we climbed the highest peak of Croatia, the Sinjal.
When we say that we hiked about 1,200 km from West to East in Italy, people immediately think of gondolas, leaning towers and other historical monuments, pizzas, pasta and clothes drying at the windows. Ok we ate pizzas and pasta :) But do you believe us if we tell you that it did not happen like this at all?
We arrived in Switzerland with some images, clichés... Were we right or wrong? Did we got some suprises anyway? Was the Swiss welcome as warm as in the previous countries? Was it that expensive? Did we eat well? Most answers are in the video! For the rest, feel free to ask us!
Get ready to discover France in a totally different way! We thought we knew our country but discovering it thru-hiking is something unique. From the Pyrenees to the Alps, we found wild and desert places, strong terroirs, proud and generous people.
During two months, we thru-hiked across 8 communities of Spain. We went through the longest and most rigorous Spain has known for years! We hiked with a lot of snow, we crossed the biggest desert of Europe, we walked across flooded rivers...
On February 5th, we've started our extraordinary adventure in Portugal. We hiked 750km across 3 regions and 7 natural parks. We discovered a warm culture and people, we got invited in many houses as family, we met passionate and committed people.