The Cave of Pellumbas

In June of 2009, we successfully finished our work on the ‘Cave of Pellumbas’ project!

grotThe Cave of Pëllumbas, also known as The Black Cave, is considered by specialists to be one of the most precious archaeological sites of Albania. In this cave were found the skeletons of cave bears (Ursus Speleaus), that lived from 10,000 to 400,000 years ago. Different from similar European caves, the Cave of Pëllumbas also has remnants of ancient human culture, which, according to Tirana Archaeological Institute, belong to the Paleolithic Period. The cave is about 360 m long, 10 – 15 m wide and 15 – 45 m high, filled with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites.

From Pëllumbas village, you can visit the cave in about an hour’s hike. Before Outdoor Albania became involved, the path was quite dangerous at several points.  The narrow path hugged the precipitous hillside, and was often slippery.

Now, the hike is a pleasant walk over a beautiful, improved path with trail markers and steps at necessary point. We widened the path at several points, secured the sides with guard rails, and added informational plaques above the cave and at other noteworthy locations. Inside the cave, we added steps at several dangerous points and provided the local guide with 20 helmets and headlamps for tourists wishing to explore the cave.  We also helped promote the cave by building a website, creating flyers, and constructing road signs. A significant portion of this work was done with help from the students of Worcester Polytechnical Institute.

Further funds are necessary, as we continue our involvement in the Pëllumbas village and ravine. Erosion and human traffic causes wear on the trails, which need to be consistently maintained, and we would like to create more educational materials throughout the trail for hikers to learn about the environment they’re exploring. Additionally, we hope to develop small tourist businesses with some of the village families. Hikers would have the opportunity to share a meal or drinks with a local family, getting to know Albanian people and culture while providing locals with some extra income.

For more information about Pëllumbas, visit the Shpella e Pëllumbasit website. To book a guided hike with us, send us a message!