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8-day Walking Tour Western Macedonia Level 4
Macedonia remains one of Europe’s last undiscovered areas. Being centrally located in the Balkans, this country is a crossroad between the East and West, Christianity and Islam, melting pot of civilizations, which reflects in its culture and overall way of life even today. During this adventurous journey you will experience firsthand Macedonia’s beautiful nature with walks in the areas of Skopje and the national parks of Mavrovo and Galicica. The tour also includes a day of exploration in the area of Ohrid - Macedonian UNESCO world cultural and natural heritage site. During the journey you will taste local cuisine typical for each area visited prepared by friendly locals, and combine the delicacies with premium Macedonian wines and spirits.
Minimum 4 people (ask us for price for 2 or 3 people)
Departure dates on request - minimum 4 people
Slow Tours offers a number of other Walking Tours in Europe
Arrival / Sightseeing of Skopje
Arrival and welcome in the Skopje airport, followed by group transfer to Skopje. Your trip leader will meet you outside the customs and immigration area at the airport. He will brief you on the immediate arrangements and escort you to the hotel. After a short break, you will be given a short walking tour of Skopje’s most famous amenities (the Stone Bridge, Mother Teresa memorial house, the Old Bazaar and the Skopje Fortress). In the evening guests will be taken for a welcome dinner to a restaurant with traditional setting, where they will try dishes typical for Skopje. Meals: D (local restaurant)
Walking in the Skopje area (Mt. Vodno - Nerezi) / Matka canyon
Checkout after breakfast. The guests will walk on the ridge of Mt. Vodno, Skopje's most popular recreational area. We get transferred to the bottom of the Vodno mountain, where we will start our walk. From the peak of Vodno there is beautiful panorama over Skopje, and from there we begin our walk to the village of Nerezi (Monastery of St. Pantelejmon is located in this village, it’s one of the most remarkable amenities in the region because of it’s Byzantine style fresco decoration originating from the middle ages).
From the village of Nerezi we are transferred to the Matka canyon (cca 11km trail, 3.5-4 hours). Once we reach the canyon, we will do short sightseeing (Monastery of St. Andreja, 14th cent.). Optional lunch can be arranged at a family home in the village of Dolna Matka, or in a village restaurant in Shishevo. After lunch, we continue to the second stop of our journey – the Mavrovo national park. Enroute stop will be made in the city of Tetovo, where we will visit the unique Painted Mosque (XV cent.), famous for it’s facade ornaments. Arrival at the village of Leunovo (studios/apartments with ensuite facilities). Dinner is cooked by our host family. Overnight in Mavrovo. Start - middle station of Vodno - 557m, hike to Vodno peak - 1066m and decent to Nerezi 771m. 10km, 4-6 hours. Meals: B (hotel), L (local restaurant), D (villa)
Walking in Mavrovo national park - Mt.Sandaktash (Leunovo - Sandaktash - Nikiforovo)
After breakfast, we will start our walk from the village of Leunovo. The trail begins from the centre of the village of Leunovo and heads to Mt.Sandaktash (1981 m asl). The first part of the trail is in the forest, and the second part, from the spring to Sandaktash passes through pastures and meadows, from where guests enjoy great panoramas over the Mavrovo lake and other peaks of the national park. The trail finishes at the village of Nikiforovo, from where the van picks us up and returns us to Leunovo. Dinner is served at the villa. Overnight. Starting point: Leunovo. Finishing point: Nikiforovo. 720m uphill climbing / distance: 16km / duration: 6-7 hours. Meals: B (hotel), L (local restaurant), D (villa)
Walking in Mavrovo national park - Mt. Medenica (2166 m asl) - Galicnik
For today's hike we will first have to do 45 min transfer to the area of Galicnik (with short photo stop at the viewpoint of Carevec, overlooking the Mavrovo lake). Day spent hiking in Mavrovo offers a firsthand experience of the riches of the Mavrovo national park. We take the hiking trail from here, and it includes 3-3:30 hours of ascent, and 2:30 hours of descent, total duration: 4-6 hours (with breaks included). Lunch of typical dishes of Mavrovo (kachamak, white sheep cheese, bakrdan) is arranged in a small family restaurant in Galicnik.
From Galicnik we get transferred to Ohrid via Debar. We will make short en-route stop at the monastery of St. John the Baptist Bigorski, one of most famous monasteries in the region, famous for it’s unique masterpiece - the wooden carved iconostasis created by the local woodcarvers in the 19th century - a must-see for every visitor of Macedonia. Arrival in Ohrid in the evening hours. Dinner is served at hotel. Overnight. Start - Galicnik road - 1379 m, hike to Medenica - 2166, 12km,. 3.5-4 hrs Meals: B (hotel), L (local restaurant), D (local restaurant).
Exploring Ohrid - leisure day
A well-earned rest and sightseeing day in the fairy tale town of Ohrid. We have a walking guided tour of the UNESCO Heritage listed city of many medieval churches and numerous amenities from the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine ages. Sites included are the Amphitheater, the Church of St. Sofia, Tsar Samuel's Fortress and the Church of St. Jovan Kaneo. We have an afternoon at leisure before meeting in the evening for dinner. Dinner is arranged at a family home in a village in the area of Debarca. Meals: B (hotel), L (local restaurant), D (family home).
Walking in the Galicica national park - Velestovo - Konjsko - Eleshec (Mt.Elen Vrv 1221m asl)
Checkout after breakfast and departure to the Galicica national park. Easy hike through the beautiful nature of the park. The walk starts from the village of Velestovo (6km away from the center of Ohrid), passes through the picturesque village of Konjsko, and finishes in Eleshec. The walk passes through spots with unique biodiversity, rich history, as well as great views over the Ohrid lake. From Eleshec guests are transferred to the beautiful village of Trpejca for optional lunch / coffee break, before we head to the Pelister national park.
In the afternoon we transfer to the Pelister national park via the mountain road in Galicica, our last area to explore during this journey. Accommodation is at a small mountain hotel. Dinner is arranged in the nearby village of Dihovo. Starting point: Velestovo (920m asl). Finishing point: Eleshec. 300m uphill climbing / distance: 12 km / duration: 4-5 hours. Meals: B (hotel), L (local restaurant), D (family home in Dihovo)
Walking in the Pelister national park (Dihovo)
Breakfast and checkout. Walking in the Pelister national park, in the vicinity of the village of Dihovo. After the walk in Dihovo, we get transferred to the the Pelister national park info center, where we walk along an interesting trail which follows the former frontlines of the Macedonian front during the 1st World War, the most famous battleground where heavy fighting took place between the Allied and Axis powers. We will come across authentic object which are remnants from the war times, while enjoying the tranquil beauty of the Pelister national park. If time allows, on the way to Skopje we can pay a visit to the archaeological site of Stobi (well preserved remains of the Roman city Stobensium, important trade and cultural center of the Roman province Macedonia Secunda). Arrival in Skopje in the evening hours. Farewell dinner is served at a restaurant near the hotel. Overnight. Dihovo / walking in the surrounding area / duration: 2 hours. Pelister national park info point (920m asl). Finishing point: Bolnici. uphill climbing: 300m / distance: 6 km / duration: 2-3 hours. Meals: B (family home), L (local restaurant), D (local restaurant)
Checkout from hotel and departure to airport. End of program.
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