Kosovo’s New Via Ferrata Berim Is Among Europe’s Most Death-Defying Climbs

Thanks to a well-publicized civil conflict in the 90s, Kosovo has long suffered an image problem among foreign travelers. It’s still the sort of quasi-country whose borders are marked with fluid dotted lines, but it also boasts some of the most stunning natural scenery in Europe. The official opening of Via Ferrata Berim is designed to showcase it all to visitors in a very death-defying way.

via ferrata berim kosovo outdoor in
Outdoor In/Facebook

Built in the authentic French style of via ferrata, Via Ferrata Berim is a climbing route that winds through the top of the Balkan Mountains. From its starting point on Mokra Gora, the purpose-built path of stairs and steel ropes climbs 520 meters (1,700 feet) to its peak at Berim at 1,731 meters (5,680 feet). Along the way, climbers pass four towering vertical sections including two hanging bridges (one is more like a tightrope) and a cave built into the cliffs. Depending on weather conditions and individual climber fitness, the three-kilometer route can be completed in about six hours. A handful of bailout points along the way provide outs for climbers who realize they’ve bitten off more than they can chew.

While most of Via Ferrata Berim has existed since 2015, this announcement marks the route’s official completion. It’s now the highest and longest via ferrata route in the Balkans, and Kosovo is hoping it will bolster tourism to the region. Indeed, it’s fast becoming a bucket list item for European adrenalin junkies and anyone who loves unnecessarily dangerous hiking.

It joins many other outdoor adventure opportunities in North Kosovo, one of the most remote and rugged regions of the country. In addition to the multiple technical climbing routes that wind around Mokra Gora mountain, the area is also home to more than 60 miles of marked hiking trails, 80 miles of mountain biking trails, and paragliding and kayaking launch points at Gazivoda Lake (Kosovo’s largest).

It’s technically possible to trek Via Ferrata Berim on your own. For safety and logistical reasons, however, it’s wise to book the trip through a legit, local tour company. Outdoor In provides an all-inclusive Via Ferrata Berim package with transportation, professional trekking guides, and lunch for just 20€.

Travel

The 5 Most Scenic Amtrak Train Routes for Unparalleled Views of the United States

One of the great advantages of American rail travel — what makes the length and expense worth it — is the opportunity to see the breathtaking beauty of the land as you pass through it.
Culture

15 Brands that Give Back: Do Good With Your Holiday Gifting

"'Tis better to give, than to receive."
Travel

8 Cozy Cabin Rentals You Wish You Could Escape to This Winter

Snow outside, a roaring fire inside. These are our eight favorite cabins for a quiet winter weekend retreat.
Travel

A Comprehensive Guide to Amtrak’s Northeast Regional Train Stops

By far the busiest — and the most profitable — of Amtrak’s national trains, the stations along Northeast Regional offer more than just a break from your commute.
Outdoors

How to Fell a Tree With an Axe

Whether you need to gather firewood, get rid of problem trees, or become a better outdoorsman, you best learn how.
Outdoors

Going off the Grid? You’ll Need These Essentials

Whether you're saying goodbye to society for a month-long campout or an indefinite plunge into the wild, going off the grid requires careful planning and preparation.
Fashion & Style

Giveaway: Columbia’s Limited-Edition Stars Wars Parka Worn by the Crew of ‘Empire Strikes Back’

Warm enough for Hoth, cool enough for the whole galaxy, these parkas are no Jedi mind trick.
Outdoors

Skiing vs Snowboarding: A Brief Breakdown for Beginners

Which is better for beginners: skiing or snowboarding? Can there truly be a winner between the two, or is it entirely personal preference?
Travel

The Best Travel and Adventure Documentaries on Netflix Right Now

If you're reading this, you're staring at a screen. Wouldn't you rather be exploring a different part of the world than the Internet? So get inspired.
Outdoors

Winter Camping Tips: What to Know Before You Go

In the stark beauty of the colder months, winter camping is a recipe for perfection: less crowds, snow-covered scenery, and quiet.
Outdoors

How to Split Wood Like a Lumberjack (With or Without an Axe)

Learning how to split wood — with or without an axe — will help you build roaring fires for years to come.
Outdoors

New to Nature? Start Backpacking and Camping with Rental Gear from CampCrate

Founders Chad Lawver and Mason Gravley want to make it as easy as possible for beginners to go backpacking.
Culture

Running in Cold Weather: How to Exercise When It’s Frigid As Hell Outside

It may be freezing outside, but that shouldn't interfere with your fitness routine.
Living

How to Build a Fire Pit with Your Own Two Hands

It's time to rekindle that fire — the drive to take an idea, make a plan, and build something. Here's how to build a fire pit.