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Activity: HIKE
Difficulty: Moderate/Challenging
Duration:
13 Day
Accommodation:
13 nights in family-run and boutique hotels.
3* or 4* hotels in the bigger cities.
One overnight in mountain hut. "
Meals:
All meals included
Price:

Available on request

Start planning your trip
  • 12 Nights
  • Max 20km hiking per day
  • Moderate
  • 9 days hiking
  • June to October

Overview

This tour is a perfect combination of moderate and challenging hikes. The walk will take in some of the best of the mountain scenery in the Sharr and Pelister ranges and end with a hike on the Mountain of Gods – Mt Olympus in Greece. These ranges are magical landscapes of snow-capped peaks, alpine meadows, glacial lakes, medieval villages and mature forests. The wildlife is rare with wolves, bears, boar, chamoix, golden eagles and lynx all still resident in the mountains. 

You will be in the hands of competent guide, walking for between 5 hours and 8 hours daily. You won’t walk the entire range, but we have selected the best chunks and included monasteries, mountain villages and historic towns. You will stay in a combination guest-houses, hotels and one basic mountain hut. The food will be authentically Macedonian, and is EXCELLENT.

Highlights

Start in Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia and end in Thessaloniki, the capital of Greek Macedonia.

Explore the alpine ranges of Sharr Mountains – part of the international Via-Dinarica route.

Hike and kayak in Canyon Matka, the nature reserve where some 20% of the plant life is endemic. It is home to over 130 species of butterflies.

Hike in 4 national parks: Mavrovo, Galicica, Pelister and Olympus.

Ohrid and Ohrid lake – both on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Climb Mt Olympus – the mountain of Gods

Difficulty Grading

MODERATEup to 23km / 14mi
4-7 hours
Longer, but still manageable hikes with more elevation change.For hikers with good level of fitness (regular exercise) who don’t mind the challenge

Note: Although all hikes are up to max 20km, some of them can be challenging and can last up to 8-9 hours.

Map

tours/MAPA HIKING MK OLYMPUS

ITINERARY

DAY 1: WELLCOME TO NORTH MACEDONIA

Meet Macedonia Travel guide at the airport, transfer to the hotel in Skopje to check in. We will take a walking tour of the capital: see the memorial house of Mother Teresa (Skopje was her birthplace) and the grand fountain of Alexander the Great on the main square; explore the old town – the biggest Ottoman time bazaar where mosques and Orthodox churches stand together along with Turkish baths – today turned into art galleries, and antique and jeweler shops. Dinner will be at Pero's tavern in the bohemian part of Skopje. Here we'll discuss logistics and local customs while sampling Macedonian grilled cheese, peppers, and courgettes. Overnight in hotel in Skopje. 

Hike: no hikes
Total drive: 30km  / 45min

DAY 2: HIKE TO MILLENNIUM CROSS & CANYON MATKA

Mt Vodno rises from the central part of Skopje, and it is 1.060m high. Start hiking from the foothills of Vodno and make a brief stop for a cup of mountain tea at the Millennium Cross at the top; continue hiking along the ridge. After ca 6h hike in total you should arrive at monastery St Nicola Shishevski, placed in the rocks above Canyon Matka. It is the best spot for photos of the canyon. The trail down to the lake can be steep (25min) or moderate (some 40min) descend. In the afternoon we recommend kayaking along the river to one of the deepest caves in the world – Vrelo Cave, but you can also take a boat to the cave. Late afternoon drive to Sharr Mountains, to Popova Shapka ski resort for dinner and overnight in a mountain hut (private rooms)  

Hike: 15,2 km,  325m –1060m – 340m (cca 6 hours) Difficulty: Moderate
Total drive: 63km  / 1h 20min

DAY 3: TITOV VRV

The hike to Titov vrv  - named after Marshall Tito, is an all-day tour full of great panoramic views of Shar planina and Jakupica range, Pelister, Korab, and even Rila mountains in Bulgaria. Below the peak is probably the most beautiful area in Macedonia – the alpine style Leshnica area with pine trees, deep river valleys, and impressive overhanging rock faces. We will hike over several other peaks to Titov Vrv and return on the easier - Vakaf trail along alpine meadows, creeks and sheepfolds. Overnight in the same mountain hut.
  
Hike: 20,6 km,  1.730m –2.746m – 1.730m (8-9h) Difficulty: Challenging
Total drive: 0km

DAY 4: NATIONAL PARK MAVROVO

After breakfast, a 2 hour scenic drive in the mountains and along the river Radika canyon takes you in the national park Mavrovo. Your hike today will start from Bitushe village to one of the peaks of the mountains bordering with Albania: Krchin Peak. It is a moderate to challenging 6 - 7 hours hike to the Krchin Peak with fantastic views over Macedonian and Albanian mountain peaks. Tonight we stay in a village at the foothills of Jablanica mountain by Ohrid Lake – the perfect place to taste local organic homemade food and wines. Overnight in local guesthouse (private rooms) 

Hike: 13,5km / 1.115m – 2.400m – 1.115m (6 – 7h) Difficulty: Moderate 
Total drive: 162 km / 3h 10min 

DAY 5: MOUNT JABLANICA

After the hearty village breakfast we start hiking from the village to the peak of Mount Jablanica. A beautiful scenic hike that treats you with spectacular views of Ohrid Lake and the mountains that surround its clear deep blue water. We will make our stop by a small glacial lake just bellow the peak. Optional: extend the hike for 4,5km more to the big glacial lake Podgorichko. Descend to the villages on the other side of the mountain to continuje to Ohrid. Overnighth in Ohrid. 

Hike: 12,7 km / 1.115m – 2.257m – 1.439m (6 – 7h) Difficulty: Moderate / Challenging
Total drive: 34 km / 55min

DAY 6: OHRID & OHRID LAKE

Ohrid and Ohrid Lake are UNESCO world heritage sites: Ohrid for its great cultural and historical importance and heritage, and Ohrid Lake for being the oldest lake in Europe with many endemic species, spunges and algae. There are 365 orthodox churches in Ohrid, an ancient theatre and a galerry of icons with priceless collection. It is also the birthplace of the Cyrilic script. Take a walk in the old town of Ohrid and visit the most famous historical sites, as well as the workshop for handmade paper, or the manufacturers of the famous Ohrid pearls. In the afternoon we drive along the lake coast to visit St Naum monastery and the archeological site on water, the Bay of Bones. Overnight in Ohrid. 

Hike: no hikes 
Total drive: 61km (1h 40min) 

DAY 7: NATIONAL PARK GALICHICA

Our morning transfer brings us to the pass of Galichica mountain, rising like a huge whale between Ohrid and Prespa Lakes. From here we start a 4-5hours hike to the peak Magaro, located in the highly protected zone of Galichica national park. This trail gives some of the best views over both Ohrid and Prespa lakes and the fishing villages by the shore. Descend back to the mountain pass and continue to Prespa Lake on the other side of the mountain, and to Bitola, the former city of consulates and embassies, today still one of the most beautiful cities in Macedonia.  Join the evening promenade on the main cobblestoned street of Bitola lined with cafes and lively restaurants. Overnight in Bitola.

Hike: 8,2 km / 1.583m – 2255m – 1.583m (4-5h) Difficulty: Moderate  
Total drive: 93 km (2h 30min) 

DAY 8: NATIONAL PARK PELISTER – OVERNIGHT BY A GLACIAL LAKE

We start early to hike to top of Mount Pelister, the highest point on Baba mountain range. This is the oldest national park in Macedonia, famous for its ancient pine, lynx, and bearded eagle. Once we reach the summit we continue walking along the ridge – we will pass by the small glacial lake and end the hike at the mountain hut next to the big glacial lake on 2.271m height. These two glacial lakes seen from above look like two deep blue eyes on the mountain, hence their nickname “the eyes of Pelister”. Stay overnight in the mountain hut by the big lake. (basic – dorm style accommodation).  

Hike: 15,6km / 1.420m – 2.606m – 2.271m (7-8h) Difficulty: challenging 
Total drive: 15 km (30min) 

DAY 9:  AEGEAN COAST

From the Big Lake we descend down on a shorter route, to a village on 1.000m a.s.l. It is only 25km away from the border with Greece. We cross the border and drive to the coast of Aegean Sea where we’ll spend the afternoon on the beach of a small fishing town and taste some local seafood. Overnight in Litochoro village at the foothills of Mount Olympus.

Hike: 6,3 km / 2.271m – 1.040m (2,5h) Difficulty: Easy – Moderate    
Total drive: 260 km (3h)

DAY 10: MOUNT OLYMPUS

The first part of the route to Mt Olympus  starts at the entrance of Mt Olympus national park (some 20km drive from Litochoro). It takes around 3,5 hours to get to the mountain hut “Refugee A” which will be your first stop on the way to the peak Mytikas, the highest peak on the Mountain of Gods. The trail is moderate, passing by the sources of Enipea River, and through pine and beech forest up to 1800m where it opens the views over the Aegean Sea. We will stay here tonight and get ready for the big hike tomorrow. Note that refugee A offers uqiqte basic accommodation with shared facilities.

Hike: 6,5km one way/ 1.100m – 2.100m (3,5h) Difficulty: Moderate 
Total drive: 20 km (40min)

DAY 11: THE PEAK OF THE GODS

Start hiking to Mytikas summit early in the morning. This trail is more demanding as the forest is gone and it goes through open rocky area with no shadow and no water. After 2,5 hours you will reach Skala – one of the four peaks on Mount Olympus at 2.866m. North of Skala continues the trail (cca 1 hour) to Mytikas (2.918m) – the highest peak on Mt Olympus, and also the most difficult to reach. Note: Rock scrambling included! Your guide is responsible to decide upon your experience and fitness if you can continue to Mytikas. The descend from Mt Mitikas is on the same trail – you will pass by refugee A and walk all the way down to 1.100m. Drive back to Litochoro to spend the night there. 

Hike: 12,5km / 2.100m – 2.918m – 1.100m (8-9h) Difficulty: Challenging + rock scrambling 
Total drive: 25 km (40min)

DAY 12: THESSALONIKI

We spend the morning on the beach before we head to Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece. This urban center of Central Macedonia region in Greece has a modern downtown with 20th century buildings and lovely squares - due to the big fire in 1917 when two thirds of the city were burned down and rebuilt. But between these modern blocks you will find some very impressive remains from Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman times. Overnight in Thessaloniki. 

Hike: no hikes
Total drive: 92km / 1h 10min

DAY 13: LAST DAY

Transfer to Thessaloniki airport for your flight home. (B)
Hike: 0


Total drive: 18km / 30min 

When To Go

Possible01 June – 14 June I 01 Oktomvri do 15 Oktomvrii
Recommended15 Juni – 01 Oktomvri
Not availableAll other dates

Price

Available on request

INCLUDED IN PRICE:

  • Accommodation based on 2 participants sharing double room
  • Meal plan: all meals included (vegetarian, vegan and special requests available)
  • All transports by A/C van / minibus (one group transfer is included from Skopje airport to Skopje and from Thessaloniki to Thessaloniki Airport 
  • Full escort by professional hiking guide
  • Kayaking in Canyon Matka
  • Guided tour of Skopje, Ohrid and Thessaloniki 
  • Entrance fees for national parks and monuments included in the program
  • Organization and full logistics by Macedonia Travel 

    NOT INCLUDED IN PRICE
  • Airplane tickets to/from Skopje / Sofia
  • Personal medical and travel insurance (mandatory) – da se linkuva so ponudata za osiguruvanje
  • Any extra expenses not mentioned under „included in price“

    OPTIONS & SUPPLEMENTS:
  • Supplement for single room accommodation 
  • Private transfers from Skopje Airport to Skopje and from Thessaloniki to Thessaloniki Airport 
  • Extra night in Skopje
    3* hotel: from 26 € / per person sharing double room; Single supplement from 15 €
    4* hotel: from 40 € / per person sharing double room; Single supplement from 20 €
    5* hotel: from 60 € / per person sharing double room; Single supplement from 50 € 
  • Extra night in Thessaloniki  
    3* hotel: from 38 € / per person sharing double room; Single supplement from 20 €
    4* hotel: from 49 € / per person sharing double room; Single supplement from 25 €
    5* hotel: from 65 € / per person sharing double room; Single supplement from 54 €

Accommodation

From 3*, 4* and 5* hotels in the big cities, to small family run hotels and boutique hotels where available according to your request. One night in basic mountain hut by the glacial lake at 2.200m asl. 

Arrival & Departure

This tour starts from Skopje (North Macedonia) and ends in Thessaloniki (Greece). Please arrange your flights accordingly, or contact our air-ticketing department to arrange them for you. 

One group transfer from Skopje airport to your hotel in Skopje and from Thessaloniki to Thessaloniki airport is included. Private transfers are available on request.

Why Travel With Us?

LOCAL EXPERTS

Since 2004 we create authentic, high quality tours in the Balkans. North Macedonia is our homeland, we have walked and biked every corner of the country and we make sure that the balance between the activities, the "must see" attractions and the "off-the-beaten-track" experiences gives you the true Balkan - intense, hearth warming and often life changing experience.

SAFETY

* Strict company risk management on each tour that we operate available
* 24/7 for anything from enquiries to emergencies
* Macedonia Travel has liability insurance by Winner - Vienna Group
* "A" licensed by the Ministery of Economy of North Macedonia UP 113-101
* IATA license No. 76-3 2058

FLEXIBLE BOOKINGS

 * Change your travel plans up to 30 days before departure, with no fees.
 *After you pay the deposit, the rest of the amount can be paid any time until 30 days before departure

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