CROSSCOUNTRY CYCLING - CENTRAL MACEDONIA

Maininfo_Crosscountry

Category: Mountain bike tour, nature, rural 

Area: Central Macedonia

Tour duration: 6 days (5 nights)

Evaluation of the Trek:

Difficult - Extreme

Best period: May - October


crosscountry/day_1_ _skopje

Welcome to Skopje! A city that has been scourged and flattened by invaders over the centuries, burned to ground and built up, and finally suffered a terrible earthquake on the 60’s. Today it is the capital of Macedonia, a bubbling modern city, with rich layers of history to offer, with grand monuments and museums, medieval walls and roman ruins, Ottoman mosques and baths turned into art galleries... Take a walking tour of the capital, and experience the sounds and aromas of the little cobblestoned streets of the Old Bazaar. Dine in a small traditional restaurant with your guide who will explain you everything you need to know about Macedonia and the forthcoming tour. Overnight in Skopje. (D)

* For those with an early arrival, a bicycle excursion around Skopje can be arranged.

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Today’s ride starts from the streets of Skopje, and into the mountains southeast of the capital. You will pass by Orthodox and Muslim villages, some of them with only 1-2 inhabitants, with old stone houses, and a goat or two in the yard; you will meet the curious smiling faces of the locals and taste some of their original acacia honey on the way. After the ride through the forests of Kitka, we’ll stop at the mountain hut with the best view of the surrounding mountains of Jakupica range. For lunch, for rest or a short walk to the small river nearby, and for BBQ under the stars. Overnight in mountain hut.  (B, Lunchpack, D)

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Early wake up and ride to the sheepfolds on 2.100m. Placed under the peak Solunska Glava, this meadows are famous for the endemic squirrels “Spermophilus” coming out from the earth with their little heads. And also for the excellent sheep cheese! On the way down don’t miss a shot of original Turkish tea in the villages! And, if you have had enough of it, make sure you leave the spoon on the glass to show it – otherwise they will pour more and more of this extra-strong tea. Dinner and overnight in the fishpond hotel at the foothills of Jakupica. (B, Lunchpack, D)

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Take the mountain road through the dense forests on the southern slopes of Jakupica, and by the crystal clear rivers coming from the rocks under Solunska Glava. Taste some of the best traditional Macedonian dishes made by our lovely hosts in a village by river Babuna. Take a swim in the river which was declared the second clearest river in ex-Yugoslavia. Enjoy a quiet evening and overnight in a hotel by Lake Mladost. (B,L,D)

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Quick morning dip in the lake, and we ride back to Skopje on a  network of small roads going over the hills by river Vadar, up to Crn Vrv peak, and down to Katlanovo spa center for a break. Today we pass ancient Paeonian places, and a small but very important local church of St Jovan which is believed to have healing waters coming out from one of its three sources. Grand farewell dinner in a club-restaurant in the Old Bazaar of Skopje. Overnight in hotel in Skopje. (B,Lunchpack, D)

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If your flight is later in the day, we can still go for a bike tour through the less known streets of Old Skopje, the bohemian part of the city, the city park, and for a drink with our Skopje biker friends. Transfer to airport for your flight back home. (B)

Day 1 & 5

The hotel in Skopje is located in a quiet residential area, just 2,5km from Skopje downtown. Opened in 2013, it offers spacey rooms with comfortable beds, seating area and fully equipped bathroom. Every room is airconditioned, with LCD TV, Cable TV, free Wi Fi, and minibar.

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Day 2
The mountain hut on the Northern slopes of Jakupica Mountain is one of the huts with best view in Macedonia. It has spacious living room, fully equipped kitchen, 14 rooms with 2 (6), 5 (7) and 15 (1) beds, shared facilities (2 bathrooms and 2 showers) and a big balcony. Since 2013 there is also a hanging terrace over the slopes with breathtaking view of the surrounding valleys and river Eljagica.

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Day 3
The hotel in Nezilovo is located where the asphalt road ends, and dense oak woods start. There are only few houses around, and a big fishpond next to it. It’s a 2* hotel, rooms are simple but clean, with private bathrooms. The restaurant outside is connected with a nice outdoor pool.

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Day 4
The hotel on Lake Mladost is a 4 * hotel, located by lake Mladost, 9km far from Veles downtown. All rooms are air-conditioned, with private bathroom, cable TV, free WiFi and minibar. There is an outdoor pool by the lake, a pool bar, pizza bar and a bar with fireplace inside.

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DAY 1

Transfer: Airport “Alexander the Great” - Skopje

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DAY 2

Start: 237 m / 777 ft

Highest point: 1467 m / 4814 ft

Finish: 1.430 m / 4721ft

Distance: 50 km / 31 mi

Estimated riding time: 4-5 h

Ascent: 1790 m / 5872 ft

Descent: 574 m / 1882 ft

Total offroad: 17 km/ 10 mi

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DAY 3

Start: 1.430 m / 4721 ft

Highest point: 2103 m / 6899 ft

Finish: 687 m / 2253 ft

Distance: 47 km / 29 mi

Estimated riding time: 5-6 h

Ascent: 1.357 m / 4.452 ft

Descent: 2.134 m / 7.003 ft

Total offroad : 46 km / 28 mi

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DAY 4

Start: 687 m / 2253 ft

Highest point: 1426 m / 4678 ft

Finish: 249 m / 816 ft

Distance: 80 km / 50 mi

Estimated riding time: 4-5 h

Ascent: 1.261 m / 4.136 ft

Descent: 1.699 m / 5.575 ft

Total offroad : 19 km / 12 mi

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DAY 5

Start: 249 m / 816 ft

Highest point: 768 m / 2.520 ft

Finish: 237 m / 777 ft

Distance: 56 km / 35 mi

Estimated riding time: 5-6 h

Ascent: 889 m / 2.918ft

Descent: 892 m / 2.928 ft

Total offroad: 9k m / 6 mi

 

DAY 6

Transfer: Skopje – Airport “Alexander the Great”

Departures: On request
Price per person: Please request pricing as it depends on number of participants

Price includes:
Transfers : Skopje airport – hotel in Skopje – Skopje Airport
All meals on FB (full board) basis ( 5 x breakfast,3 x lunchpack, 1 x lunch in traditional household, 5 x dinner)
Accommodation as per program ( 2 x hotel 3*, 1 x mountain hut, 1 x hotel 2*, 1 x hotel 4*)
Experienced bicycle guide throughout the tour
Honey tasting
Cheese & rakiya tasting
Support vehicle for baggage transfer
Reforestation certificate for one tree planted in your name in Macedonia
Organization and logistic by Macedonia Travel

Price doesn’t include:
Drinks during the meals
Rent of bicycle (60 euro for the 6 days tour)
Travel insurance (obligatory)


What to pack

 

Small backpack for daily use (your baggage will be sometimes transferred from point to point)
Waterbottle
Footwear: comfortable sport shoes
Casual shorts/cycling bibs
Shirts/jersey
Jacket: 1 rain-proof jacket
Sweater: a thick one
Socks
Underwear
Swimming suit
Toiletries
Sunglasses
Camera
Passport
Trip voucher
Money:  cash; you can also use your credit card (Master , Visa) in Skopje and Veles. Feel free to ask your guide for help
Travel insurance
Personal medications
Protection: Helmet (please contact us if you need to rent a helmet in Macedonia), gloves
Additional: Tools, spare tire, patches and kits

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