Yesterday, Igor (founder of HIGHLANDER),Jurica (HIGHLANDER CEO) and Erwin(HIGHLANDER COO) officially announced the HIGHLANDER program for 2021 at one of the most impressive locations in the world – in front of the Great Pyramids in Giza. Just as pyramids represent one of the 7 wonders of the world, so this presentation for HIGHLANDER 2021 in Egypt is a kind of wonder itself – we announced that in 2021 there will be fifteen HIGHLANDER events in total.
The reason for choosing Egypt as the location for presenting the 2021 program lies in the fact that Bedouins, the original nomads, can be regarded as the world's first hikers. It was befitting to take advantage of that symbolism and announce to all of you that HIGHLANDER Adventure of a Lifetime became the biggest long-distance hiking series in the world.
From the Alps to dunes, here is the overview of what awaits you in 2021:
AUSTRIA - June
HIGHLANDER Murau, Austria takes you on an adventure through the Alpine region Murau. You will cross green forests, walk through idyllic alpine pastures, and enjoy unforgettable views from the most beautiful mountain peaks in Styria. One of the highlights of HIGHLANDER Murau will be Steinschloss – a medieval castle built in the 12th century. Pristine nature, medieval castles, famous hiking region… more than enough for the adventure of a lifetime.
SERBIA - June
HIGHLANDER Stara Planina, Serbia takes you on advanture through Stara Planina Nature Park. You'll get to know the wild, still unexplored mountain and reveal your inner HIGHLANDER on the tracks lived and walked by the people from Stara Planina. Stara Planina (Old Mountain), the longest mountain range in Serbia, is located in the south-east of the country and is actually the western branch of the great mountain Balkan, after which the entire Balkan peninsula is named. With its wild nature, inaccessible terrains, an abundance of water and pastures, it is the birthplace of HIGHLANDERS that lead their lives in harmony with the mountain. Remote stone villages, clean and clear rivers and streams, endless pastures, diversity of flora and fauna and hardworking mountain people. The mountain tracks you will walk along pass through the very heart of the mountain, through far-away mountain tops, valleys hiding fossils from the age of dinosaurs, but also through villages where the last mountain keepers live.
MONTENEGRO - June
HIGHLANDER Durmitor, Montenegro takes you on an adventure through UNESCO's World Heritage Durmitor massif. On the trail, you'll cross seven peaks over 2000 m, six glacier lakes, two canyons, over ten natural springs, and an iceberg. From Bobotov Kuk peak (2523 m) also known as „Rooftop of Montenegro, “ you'll make your way down to the deepest canyon in Europe – Tara river canyon. With more than 8,000 m of cumulative ascent, HIGHLANDER Durmitor represents, arguably, the most challenging HIGHLANDER trail, but the scenery on, and around the trail is more than worth the effort.
SLOVENIA - July
HIGHLANDER Julian Alps, Slovenia takes you on an adventure through Triglav National Park. After starting at mysterious Bohinj lake you will hike on the southern banks of Triglav National park and admire Slovenia's highest mountains including Triglav. From starting in an alpine climate, you will slowly enter the sub-mediterranean climate and you will notice the difference. Towards the end of the hike, you will pass the lively town of Tolmin, Tolmin gorges, cool your feet in ice-cold light blue the Nadiža river, and pass the Napoleon bridge to finish in Kobarid. After you cross the finish line, there is another adventure waiting for you, you just have to refresh yourself in the light blue Soča river. Soča is a wild pearl of Julian Alps, with crystal clear water (you can even drink), which only has 12 degrees during summer. But the adventure still doesn’t stop there; you can return to Bohinj with a train through a railway tunnel, which is just under the mountains, you climbed a couple of days earlier.
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA - July
HIGHLANDER Blidinje, Bosnia & Herzegovina takes you on an adventure through Nature Park Blidinje. 1500 plant species, of which more than 200 are endemic, Blidinje lake and Masna Luka. Masna Luka, mountain pearl at the foot of mount Čvrsnica, is famous for being the largest habitat of endemic Bosnian pine called „munika“. On the trail, you'll reach the most prominent symbol of Blidinje National Park - Hajdučka Vrata or „Rebel's Door“. This geomorphological monument of nature is one of the most beautiful lookouts on the local mountains, and a place of lore, where legends of the past times were born.
RUSSIA - August
HIGHLANDER Elbrus, Russia takes you on an adventure across dormant volcano Elbrus. It is the highest mountain in Europe with the highest peak at 5,642 m above sea level. The volcano stands in Southern Russia, at the Western Caucasus. It was formed more than 2.5 million years ago and is currently considered dormant, as the last eruption took place almost 2,000 years ago. Route for the HIGHLANDER Elbrus will be circular, so you will have a perpetual and alluring view of the highest European peak.
PORTUGAL - August
HIGHLANDER Melgaço, Portugal takes you on an adventure through Melgaço's mountains and the Peneda-Gerês National Park. HIGHLANDER Melgaço is a unique occasion to discover one of the most amazing regions in Europe: from the banks of the Minho River, in Portugal’s Northern edge, defined by the incredible vineyards where the internationally acclaimed Alvarinho Wine is born, to the heart of the mountains, through the highlands of Castro Laboreiro and its megalithic necropolis, you will discover the infinite layers of interaction between nature and civilization throughout millennia of local history, with ruins that go back beyond the Roman occupation of the Peninsula, in close contact with the wild local Flora and Fauna, but also a remote and unscathed landscape that will literally take your breath away.
NORTH MACEDONIA - September
HIGHLANDER Macedonia offers you a unique adventure visiting the mountain of Jablanica, where the subtropic and Mediterranean climate meet, and is felt everywhere in the untouched nature. The mountain, which is a natural protected region, offers its visitors a peaceful and pleasant hike. The clean drinking water and a variety of forest fruit make this mountain a perfect destination. The wild tracks which are not yet completely explored, and the view of the oldest lake in Europe – the Ohrid Lake is what makes this place magnificent. The marked routes end on the lakeshore which is the perfect place to summarize the experience you gained while exploring this marvelous part of our country. This cannot be easily described and must be personally experienced to be remembered as a lifetime adventure.
MOROCCO - September
HIGHLANDER Toubkal, Morocco takes you on an adventure through Toubkal National park. Imlil… This is off the beaten track, but well known in the trekking world as the start of the trail to Jebel Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa. Imlil sits in the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains, at the end of the Mizine Valley at an altitude of 1800 metres. The village has a population of 5,000 during the summer hiking months, but over the harsh winter months many move away. The mountains around Imlil are dotted with Berber villages, small buildings clustered around a central mosque. You will be challenging yourself to reach the summit of Jebel Toubkal. The peak of this mountain is at 4,167 meters, and can have snow on the summit as late as June. It is not an easy trip with altitude being uncomfortable for some hikers but not for the HIGHLANDERS.
CROATIA - September
HIGHLANDER Velebit, Croatia takes you on an adventure through two National Parks – Northern Velebit and Paklenica. It's the place where it all started, the original HIGHLANDER Adventure of a Lifetime. The trail is so diverse, that once you've reached the finish you will feel like it led you through 10 different countries. Only it didn't. You'll start in the mountains, finish at the sea. For 55 km you will hike on the Premužić trail, entirely made by man, but in a such way that it blends into the natural environment seamlessly – a true architectural marvel. From Velebit mountain tops to the shores of the Adriatic sea, you will be exposed to a life-changing experience, you will have the adventure of a lifetime.
GREECE - October
HIGHLANDER Mt. Olympus, Greece is a 102 km long hiking experience that leads you through the breathtaking trails of Mount Olympus, the mountain of Gods, the world’s most famous mythical place. Historical Mount Olympus, home of the 12 Greek Gods of mythology, offers a magical, diverse terrain, ideal for a hiking adventure. It measures 500 square kilometers, in a circular area with a circumference of 80 km, with 52 peaks and several deep gorges, it contains 32 species of mammals, 108 species of birds, many species of reptiles, amphibians, and insects. With more than 6,300 m of cumulative ascent, HIGHLANDER Mt.Olympus trail will require not only that you conquer the mountain, but yourself as well, in an adventure of a lifetime.
SPAIN - October
HIGHLANDER Duero-Douro, Spain takes you on an adventure through the Nature Park Arribes del Duero. A privileged natural area with amazing landscapes, waterfalls, a scenic railway line and a rich and varied fauna and flora. The trail follows the west part of the river Duero, where it forms the border between Spain and Northern Portugal. A 5 days long hiking trail that will lead you to the greatest adventure of a lifetime in a privilege natural area, pure nature!
EGYPT - October
1st adventure of the 2021 calendar will be in February, HIGHLANDER Qusoor AlArab, Egypt. This adventure will take you through the Qusoor AlArab desert where you'll maybe channel your inner Lawrence of Arabia, and like him, fall in love. You'll start at Medawara Mountain in Fayoun, and among other mesmerizing natural beauties, the trail will lead you through the open-air museum and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Wadi Al-Hitan or „Valley of whales“ – an over 40 million years old petrified ocean. Sand dunes of HIGHLANDER Qusoor AlArab are ready to be hiked upon and explored in a true HIGHLANDER way.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - November
HIGHLANDER UAE takes you on an adventure through the majestic Hajar mountains. Home to some of UAE’s highest peak, this rocky mountain range was formed over 70 million years ago in the Northern part of the United Arab Emirates. Our adventure through these rocky mountain offers us stunning views of artistic rock formation as we navigate across wadis, boulders, and old settlements of the local mountain tribes that used to inhabit these lands and survive through tough conditions.
KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA - December
HIGHLANDER Kingdom of Saudi Arabia takes you an a unique adventure, where you will experience wonders of Arabian Peninsula. It will be the last adventure in 2021 calendar, a grand finale. The route is planned to go through one of the most astonishing locations in this land, so stay tuned to find out more about it . The Kingdom is known as a historical spot that showcases a huge depth of cultures, history, traditions as well as a remarkable terrain diversity. People of Saudi Arabia are one of the best hosts around the world; friendly, curious, and willing to help.
And that's it. We know that you are excited about 2021 as much as we are. Together, we will continue to build the HIGHLANDER community, and connect hikers and nature lovers from all over the world, as, without you, all of this would not be possible. Take care, stay safe, and be ready…. The adventure of a lifetime is ahead of us…