A Macedonian Adventure
Endemic flora and fauna offers great possibilities for active outdoor tours
Macedonia is a country with exceptional diversity of resources for alternative tourism. Its relatively small territory combines uniquely preserved nature with remarkable cultural and historical heritage, legends and stories from thousands of years ago, beautiful landscapes and hospitable people tolerant to differences and respecting traditions. This paradise of mountains, lakes and rivers, natural wonders, endemic flora and fauna offers great possibilities for active outdoor tours as hiking, mount and cross country biking, alpinism, rock climbing, cave exploring, speleological adventures, ski-climbing, cannoning, paragliding, scuba and discovery diving, kayaking, hunting, fishing …
In today’s world of high technology and fast paced lifestyle, we all need “to recharge our batteries”, and what better way to do that than exploring the “Land of nature” – Macedonia.
Hike in Berovo
Berovo is surely one of the most beautiful mountainous towns in Macedonia. Small, but charming and historically rich town located in the very eastern part of Macedonia, in the central settlement of the Males area, around 180 km away from the capital Skopje. Lying on both banks of the River Bregalnica with an absolute altitude between 830-900m and favorable climate, Berovo is a town with the highest oxygen concentration at the Balkans. The average annual temperature is 11.1 °C, while the temperature in summer is around 19°C.
Berovo has an ample offer of various tourist attractions, with nature being predominant. The Mountains of Maleševo with the pine forests are even compared to the mountainous areas of Switzerland. Through five marked hiking trails (some of them suitable for mountain biking) you can reach several tourist villages, the stunning mountain scenery and lake Berovsko. If you prefer exploring the Berovo area “on wheels” you have the opportunity to ride part of the “Iron Curtain Trail”, a cycling route that passes through twenty European countries linking memorials, museums, and facilities commemorating Europe’s divided history and united future. Berovo provides an unforgettable stay with possibilities for sport and recreation, here you can have picnic with your friends, or you can see and pick medical herbs, tea plants and forest fruits. You can visit some traditional mountains ranches, seeing the traditional way of sheep herding and the making of the famous Maleševia white cheese. In one of the environmentally cleanest places in Macedonia don’t miss the chance to taste the organic, gourmet food prepared in old well-rounded recipes.
If you like to spend few days in the countryside, to forget about the city noise, sky-high bills, taxes, to feel the communities’ daily life as it used to be in the past: calm, simple and tranquil, Brjacino is the perfect place for you. In the past few years Brjacino is becoming the “Mecca” for foreigners, and a pioneer of the village tourism in Macedonia. This fairytale village is situated on the east side of Prespa Lake, in one of the deeper western bosom of Baba Mountain and in the middle of the picturesque valley of Brajcinska River amphitheater. With an altitude of about 1000 m this village represents a real air spa, and a challenge for fans of mountaineering especially during the spring and summer when the days are long and sunny, and the nights crisp.
The surroundings of this centuries old village is full of lush vegetation and diverse forest that is suitable for long walks on the marked hiking trails. Unique of these regions are the screeds made by nature from broken stone blocks that look like river from stones. When you are here, you can enjoy walking or cycling, hiking up to the Grand Lake Pelister, or simply, take advantage of the clean fresh air and divine nature. Through dense beech forest along the river Brajcinska extends 6 km long walking and bicycle path that with the noise of the water and the shadows of the beech is ideal for both rest and recreation.
For cultural experience we advise you to take a walk on the marked circle path around the village leading to the monastery St. Petka and other five churches. As the sun sets down enjoy in the tasty organic village food accompanied with the sound of traditional Macedonian music. Have in mind that everything around you is natural. The traditional dishes that host families offer their guests are prepared from homemade eco products. People here produce everything on their own – beans, onions, papers, tomatoes… Every family has one cow and they can always serve their guests fresh warn milk.
In the western part of our country, on only one hour driving from the capital city Skopje is the National Park Mavrovo with surface area of 72,204.1 ha and which is the home of the highest mountain peaks and the largest artificial lake in Macedonia. Mysterious and romantic, sheltered by the high hills of mountain Korab (2,764 meters or 9,069 feet high), Mavrovo region has been famous for centuries by the hospitality of its well-known inns in the past, magnificent visual landscapes and it also proves to be one of the best value for money skiing terrain on the Balkans.
The impressive forests of Mavrovo contain more than 100 rare types of trees, and the hilltops are rich in wild herbs and teas that can be easily collected by hand. This is an interesting holiday destination throughout the whole year. In summer with the clean air and water, mountain sun, grazing fields, trees, colorful mountain flowers and forest fruit, Mavrovo attracts many fans of hiking and mountain walks. For the admirers of mountain biking there are marked and traced mountain bike tracks and their full length is 30 km.
Bistra Mountain and Mavrovo represent true heaven for skiing fans offering eleven ski lifts and three chair lifts with total length of 5,700 meters, and capacity of 11,100 skiers per hour. There are tracks for beginners, advanced and top competitors in the alpine and Nordic categories. Here the conditions are ideal for snowboard, pushed and free-ride skiing. You can even do a night skiing from 7pm until midnight because the tracks are illuminated and wired. The average snow cover is 70 cm which makes skiing and other snow games possible from November until April. If this destination gets under your skin and you just can’t wait one year for the next skiing season, you can come back in summer and get to know the mountain better with a horseback riding tour to Galicnik the “Macedonian relic”, place famous for authentic architecture, rich cultural heritage, and the traditional once a year event “Galicnik wedding”.