Canyon Matka - Macedonia
If you want a day outside of the hustle and bustle of buzzing Skopje then head out for a one day picnic at Matka Canyon. Even if you don't feel like climbing you can always enjoy the beautiful idyllic sights any time of the year.
Canyon Matka is Best For
Directions to Canyon Matka
Canyon Matka is conveniently located a 30-45 min drive from Skopje city centre and has always been a popular picnic, hike and a one day nature destination.
Canyon Matka has been formed throughout millions of years by the river Treska as it carved it's way through the mountains. This mountainous river is also home to the best wild waters kayaking stage in the country that is used for many competitions. Canyon Matka is also home to two holiday settlements, Gorna and Dolna Matka used as week-end getaways.
The Monastery of the Holy Mother of God is a must see destination at Matka. It was built in the 14th century and features great traditional monastery architecture a beautiful church and even a small souvenir shop where you can buy a memorabilia of your trip.
As you continue your exploration of Canyon Matka you will notice the massive St. Andrea dam which is in fact the first ever dam of its kind built in Macedonia in 1938. Behind it stretches the artificial Matka Lake that perfectly blends with the surroundings with the sheer cliffs.
From the dam onwards you can only continue by foot through a path carved into the cliffs that offers great sights of the lake and the mountains above you. The local paths ends at Matka Hotel and Restaurant where you can enjoy a cup of coffee, tea or stay longer for a delicious meal just next to the lake. Right next to the restaurant is the small and charming church of St. Andrea that was built 1389. You can literally feel its history as you step through the small entrance.
From the restaurant onwards there are several trails that are great for hiking and even climbing, but make sure you always adhere to the rules and safety tips. One of the hiking roads leads to the Monastery of St. Nikola that has breath-taking views of the canyon.
Canyon Matka is also the home of Vrelo Cave which can be only accessed with a boat ride across the lake and was listed as one of the 77 natural sites of the New Seven Wonders of Nature project.