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Trekking West and Central Macedonia

Day 1: SKOPJE

Arrival at Skopje airport. Upon meeting transfer to Skopje. Accommodation in hotel and discussion with the local guides about the tour. Departure from your hotel for sightseeing tour around the Macedonian capital – Skopje. Visiting the Old railway station (today the City museum), the monument and memorial house of Mother Teresa, the Macedonia Square and the Stone Bridge – a monumental building over the Vardar River from the 6th century connecting the new Skopje with the Old Town of Skopje, Daut Pasha baths, Church of St Spas, Skopje Fortress - Kale. Back in the hotel for dinner and overnight. 


Day 2: SKOPJE - MAVROVO

Breakfast. Transfer to Mt Vodno. Start hiking at 527m. To the top of Vodno and the Millenium Cross (1.066m). Short break for refreshments, and continue with trekking from the top of Vodno to Matka Valley (2h), a unique gorge with breathtaking natural beauties (560m). Lunch (Macedonian traditional cuisine) in a restaurant located in the rocks on the shore of Lake Matka. After lunch boat ride to one of the magnificent caves of Matka, and then short picturesque walk back on a path curved in the gorge cliff to the monastery of St Andrew. Drive to Mavrovo. Dinner and stay in a hotel.

Difficulty of the tour:  **
Time: 4 hours effective walking
Best period: March - October
Equipment: Standard mountaineering equipment.


Day 3: MAVROVO

After breakfast, transfer from the hotel to start point, from where the hiking tour to Medenica (2163 m) will start. From there downhill to village off Galicnik, picnic brake, continue down to village Jance – old village, with very well preserved typical houses  made from, as their restaurators say, from stone, mud, water and a little secret…. From there transfer to to the monastery of St. Jovan Bigorski, famous for one of the world’s most impressive carved wooden iconostasis done by the Miyak’s masters. Dinner and overnight stay in the old (recently restavrated) mansions of the monastery.

Difficulty of the tour:  **
Time: 6  hours effective walking
Best period: May - October
Equipment: Standard mountaineering equipment.


Day 4: MAVROVO- STRUGA

Breakfast. Departure at 09:00 from the monastery. Drive to village of Rostushe (30min.) and from the village we’ll take a short 30min walk to the magnificent Duf waterfall. Path takes you through beautiful forest scenery… Next – we drive to the village of Vevcani, we take a short picturesque walk to the Vevcani springs. The main spring is situated into the hole of a cave.  At about  ten meters lower, there are several permanent springs connected  underground to the main spring.  Lunch in a traditional restaurant in Vevcani and trip continues to Struga. On the way to Struga we stop in the village of Kalishta and visit to the cave church and nearby remains of the old roman road “Via Egnatia”. Free evening time for scroll and shopping through the old cobblestone streets along the flow of River Drim out of Ohrid Lake. Dinner and overnight stay in a hotel in Struga.


Day 5: STRUGA-OHRID

Breakfast. At 9:00h departure to Ohrid and upon arrival we take the”Old city” walking tour which starts with visit of the Church of Mother of God - Peribleptos and the Icon gallery with 30 icons estimated as masterworks created in a period from 11th to 19th century.The tour continues to the Tzar Samuil fortress, located the top of the hill, with a spectacular view over the lake and the old city. Nearby, on Plaosnik locality, is the foundation of the Early Christian basilica and the recently rebuilt Church of St.Klement -the city patron.

Bellow this, in the locality called Kaneo, purched a top a rock rising from the lake is the Church of St.John of Devine. - a small church with three sided apse and octagonal dome, a typical piece of traditional architecture. After the visit of the cathedral church of St.Sofia and lunch break the tour continues with a drive along the lake coast, to the Bay od Bones, and proceeds to the south part of the lake, where the Monastery complex of St.Naum is founded. Visit of the Monastery of Sv.Naum and the nearby chapel of Sv.Petka. As a final surprise in this tour -a spectacular boat cruise above the springs of river Crn Drim.  Late afternoon drive back to the hotel with optional dinner in traditional restorant with local music.


Day 6: OHRID- BRAJCINO VILLAGE

Breakfast. Drive along Ohrid Lake to the starting point – village Pestani (695m). Hike  to the peak Bugarska Cuka (1.801m), one of the Mount Galicica peaks – it gives magnificent view of both Ohrid and Prespa Lakes. Lunch break at point Dva bunara. 
After lunch hike down to the road to Prespa and we drive to ethno - village of Brajcino. Dinner and overnight in Brajcino. 

Difficulty of the tour:  **
Time: 6  hours effective walking
Best period: May - October
Equipment: Standard mountaineering equipment.


Day 7: BRAJCINO- PELISTER

After breakfast, departure from Brajcino to the archaeological site Heraclea Lyncestis with the most significant mosaics from the antic period in Europe. Than, sightseeing of Bitola – the city of consuls and we’ll take a sightseeing tour around the old town of Bitola with beautiful buildings in old traditional architecture, newly restavrated. After a sightseeing tour we will have a lunch in the old town of Bitola, on Shirok sokak in the Old town. Free time for walk and shopping in Bitola. Departure to Prilep. Accomodation and dinner in hotel in Prilep.


Day 8: PRILEP- STOBI- SKOPJE

Breakfast. Departure for King Marko’s Towers in the morning. Easy walking to the top of the Towers. After that departure to the ancient town of Stobi. Stobi is located on the intake of the River Crna and Vardar and it is one of the most famous archaeological sites in Macedonia. Foremost, it was the biggest Roman town in Ancient Macedonia and during the Roman period.The names of the two ancient Macedonian kings of Philip II and Philip V are connected with this town. We continue to the wine cellars of king Alexander for wine tasting and lunch.

Departure for Skopje. Accommodation in hotel, dinner, or, optional, for the more fit  guests night hike to the Millenium Cross peak on mount Vodno and light dinner on the top. Overnight in Skopje.


Day 9: SKOPJE

Breakfast. Departure.


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