4 days in Macedonia out of Skopje--Hiking & other suggestions?
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Oct 27, 2012 12:29 AM Last Post By: Pijlmans
Oct 16, 2012 11:04 AM
My husband and I will be in Macedonia for a long weekend, just 4 days, in and out of Skopje in late October. We are looking for any and all recommendations on how to get out of the city and soak up the prettier parts of Macedonia! We are hoping for...
-Natural areas we can get to by rented car--with hiking possibilities
-Any favorite/unique/memorable places to stay, eat, or drink that we can get to by car from in Skopje. We like hiking up to huts and restaurants and that type of adventure-based travel experience.
-Would you spend a night in Skopje with just 4 days in the country?
If you have any suggestions for us, we'd sure appreciate them!
Thanks so much!
Oct 16, 2012 9:53 PM
I have done quite some day-hikes in Macedonia, all the information about those hikes you can find here: http://members.virtualtourist.com/pijlmans (click "hiking in Macedonia" link).
All those hikes were in the summer and the winters can get cold in Macedonia, I don't know what it will be like late October.
Lake Matka near Skopje is beautiful and offers hiking opportunities. So yes, a stay in Skopje may be worth it, especially because the old part of Skopje should not be missed. Even better: you can hike from the Millenium cross on top of Mount Vodno above Skopje to Lake Matka. There are cable cars to take you to the Millenium Cross.
If you decide to go to Ohrid, I did a very nice 20 km roundtrip near Vevcani this summer, via Gorna Belica and Lake Lokva. It is marked (and GPS files available as well).
A famous hike is from the Kopanki mountain hut near Bitola to Pelister Peak in Pelister National Park, and to the two glacial lakes in Pelister NP. At the big lake there's a mountain hut as well. For both huts: call in advance, see http://www.mkdmount.org/indexen.html for contact info.
Memorable places to stay would be one of the many monasteries of Macedonia, e.g. Treskavec near Prilep. The only way to get there is by hiking or 4x4...Monasteries are often very cheap or even free to stay. Let me know your final itinerary and I'll see if I know one where you plan to go...
Another place I liked for dinner in Skopje is Pivnica An in the Kapan Ann, because of the great setting in this old Ottoman inn (http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/p/m/1c83b7/).
Oct 20, 2012 7:02 AM
Thanks so much for the information. Your website with all the information about hiking is so great and detailed. We are very excited!
We have decided to spend our 1st of 4 nights at the "mountain house robinson sunset" near ohrid, and night 4/4 somewhere in / near Skopje (with hopefully a dinner in Kapan An). Nights 2 & 3 we will play by ear and perhaps ask around about hiking up to a monastery. We are also wondering if we should try to squeeze in a visit to Mavrovo? That might be too ambitious but the mountain views look stunning.
Thanks again for your advice!
Oct 20, 2012 8:22 AM
3In Mavrovo National Park you have the famous Bigorski Monastery.
I heard that you can stay there as well, but I am not 100% sure what the conditions are. I think man and women are separated. When my girlfriend called there last year, she was told that it is expected that you join the early service (at 05.00...). I am not sure how strict these rules are and I also think that restoration of the inns was ongoing this summer, so inform yourself well if you plan to try to stay there...
We did a pretty demanding (steep) hike near the Monastery of St Johan Bigorski, actually we could see the monastery in the distance at a certain moment. See http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/p/m/224d22/ for more info...
Near Ohrid you could stay in the St Petka Monastery in Velgosti: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/6117e/6e4af/. This hiking trail takes you there from Ohrid along some other churches: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/p/m/1d4d6d/
Two other hikes near Ohrid that I can recommend: To peak Magaro, starts at the Livada Pass, the road though Galicica NP from Ohrid Lake to Prespa Lake takes you there. At some points you can see both lakes at the same time (see http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/tt/b4c7b/#TL or for a similar hike http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/p/m/1d44c4/)
This summer we did a great hike from Vevcani via Gorna Belica to Lake Lokva, one of the best we did until now in Macedonia. Vevcani itself is also very nice, you could for instance stay in Pupin's house (http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/p/m/204165/). See here for that hike: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/p/m/226938/. I think there's also a good hotel/restaurant with traditional food (Domakjinska Kukja) but I've not been there myself.
Oct 21, 2012 12:22 AM
Oct 25, 2012 9:53 PM
5I was in Macedonia a month ago..a friend of mine gave me this book "Skopje in Style" that has all the information about the hot spots, like restaurants, night clubs, spa centers, fitness centers...and also features some information about the monuments and the history of the city. I think whoever comes to Macedonia should definitely visit Skopje, Bitola and Ohrid. My favourite cities are Skopje and Ohrid, you don't have to rent a car, you can take the bus, its less than 10 USD.
Oct 26, 2012 11:32 AM
I see you have lot's of suggestions to go around Macedonia, but almost nothing for your last night in Skopje.
When I was there stayed in a hostel situated in the restoran area of the town. Kapan an is located in the old part of the town and it's the touristic place to visit and eat, which means quality so-so and prices are as high as they can go. I was there for few days and had great food thank to the guys from Urban hostel. As I read you want to hike around...the girl from the reception desk will give you the appropriate sugestions where to go and what to do, and show you her ways of traveling around which was fun. Good luck.
Oct 27, 2012 12:29 AM
7As for the Pivnica An I previously mentioned (a restaurant in the Kapan An mentioned by #6): I had a big b-day dinner here some years ago with 11 people, this cost about 20 euro per person including quite some drinks :-) This indeed is pricy for Macedonian standards but the quality of the food was really good, one of the best restaurants I have visited in Macedonia.
(5 star Hotel)
From US$181.94 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$9.54 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$16.36 per night