Hiking, nature and discovery in North Macedonia
from 660 € / p. from 2 to 20 personsInfos & Booking
Located between the West and the East, very close to the Mediterranean Sea, on the vestiges of the first Christian kingdoms of Antiquity and the great Ottoman period, Macedonia is a country where the cultural heritage is incredibly dense and complex. You will discover its ancient history through its well-preserved archaeological sites and its incredibly beautiful religious monuments. Added to this, the incredible hospitality of its inhabitants and its traditions kept intact, you will discover a way of life that has become rare in Europe, through an exotic journey.
Depending on availability, the guide can also be a French-speaking Macedonian guide who was the second woman from the Balkans to climb the 7 highest peaks in the world.
Day 1. Paris, France - Skopje, North Macedonia
Arriving at Skopje Airport, meet your English-speaking guide and then head to the capital of North Macedonia.
City destroyed by an earthquake in 1963 which was able to completely rebuild and offer a unique experience. You will appreciate a city separated between two cultures and two different lifestyles between the Albanians of Macedonia with its old Ottoman bazaar "Čaršija" and the Macedonians with the "new city".
Dinner and overnight in Skopje.
Day 2. Skopje - Matka Canyon - Janche, North Macedonia
After breakfast, join the Matka Canyon, a must in North Macedonia.
Embark on a boat through the canyon to explore the Vrelo Caves, which are considered among the deepest underwater caves in the world.
Then go to Mavrovo National Park. On the road you will make a stop in Tetovo to discover its painted Mosque of Sarena Dzamija dating from the 15th century. Painted inside and out, it represents one of the most beautiful mosques in Macedonia.
Arrival in Mavrovo National Park and enjoy magnificent landscapes with Lake Mavroro and Radika Canyon. You will stop at the Monastery of Saint Jovan Bigorski, located on the heights of the canyon, which is one of the most beautiful monasteries in Macedonia.
Then continue to the small village of Janche, in which a local resident invested in building houses using materials from the time.
Traditional dinner to discover Macedonian gastronomy. Overnight in a charming traditional hotel in Janche.
Day 3. Janche - Ohrid, North Macedonia
After breakfast, start a hike through sumptuous mountain landscapes. Walk along a path of historic importance connecting the village of Janche and the old trade route of the Radika river to one of the most famous villages in Macedonia, the village of Galichnik (approximately 500 meters of cumulative elevation gain).
With its traditional and well-preserved architecture, the village of Galichnik is renowned for its local cheeses, Kashkaval and belo sirenje.
Return to Janche in the afternoon and transfer to Ohrid.
City listed as World Heritage by UNESCO and sublime city by the lake, Ohrid represents for many, the culmination of the Macedonian experience, a Kingdom of light and water and a reference to the ancient ruins of the traditional kingdom of Macedonia. Discover its historic heritage, well preserved like the Church of St Jovan or the ancient theater of the Roman Empire.
Join your charming bed and breakfast located on the east shore of Lake Ohrid where you will enjoy a natural and soothing environment. Dinner and overnight in Ohrid.
Day 4. Ohrid - Kayak Day, North Macedonia
After breakfast, start a day of kayaking to explore the unique natural spaces of Lake Ohrid.
Join the small village of Trpejca for lunch and taste the carp from the lake.
Return to Ohrid in the afternoon.
Dinner and overnight in Ohrid.
Day 5. Ohrid - Hiking in Galitchitsa National Park, North Macedonia
After breakfast, set off for a day of hiking in the splendid Galitchitsa National Park.
Reach the starting point of the hike and start an ascent to the Magaro peak, the highest point of Galitchitsa, which rises to 2,255 meters above sea level.
From an altitude of 2,000 meters you can enjoy a beautiful view of the two lakes in the south of North Macedonia, Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa, also called the "eyes of Galitchitsa".
After climbing the summit of Galitchitsa, start a descent to the sources of the Black Drim river and its crystal clear water.
You will then reach the Saint Naum Monastery. Surrounded by lush greenery and built in the 10th century, the monastery is a refuge of tranquility on the border between Albania and Macedonia.
Return to Ohrid in the afternoon and free time. Dinner and overnight in Ohrid.
Day 6. Ohrid - Stenje - Bitola, North Macedonia
After breakfast, head towards Stenje and embark on a boat on Lake Prespa, the second lake in the south of Macedonia, which shares the borders between Macedonia, Albania and Greece.
You will discover Golem Grad, "the island of the Pelicans" which has a large wildlife of turtles, great cormorants, snakes and pelicans. The ruins, the birds and the beauty of another world make it an essential place to explore.
You will return to Stenje after the excursion and you will have lunch with local people to enjoy a traditional Macedonian meal with carp from Lake Prespa in particular.
After lunch, leave for Bitola, the second largest city in northern Macedonia. Guided tour of the city of consuls. You will discover a Mediterranean-style city with its churches, mosques, old Ottoman bazaar and beautiful neoclassical houses.
Wander the streets of the old town of Bitola in the evening. Dinner and overnight in Bitola.
Day 7. Bitola - Popova Kula - Skopje, North Macedonia
After breakfast, continue your drive to reach the Popova Kula vineyard. You will discover the wine culture of a small Macedonian vineyard located on the heights of a hill and offering a magnificent panoramic view of the region.
Enjoy a lunch in the vineyard accompanied by several local wines.
Return to Skopje in the afternoon and drop off your luggage at your hotel.
Free afternoon in Skopje to buy souvenirs in the old city bazaar and enjoy your last day in North Macedonia.
Possibility of joining the fortress "Tvrdina Kale" offering a nice view on the Capital of North Macedonia.
Dinner and overnight in Skopje.
Day 8. Skopje, North Macedonia - France
After breakfast, free time until your transfer to Skopje airport for your return flight.
The price includes
- Airport - city return transfers
- Transport by minibus
- Supervision by the French speaking guide
- Overnight stays in 3 and 4* hotels and guesthouses (local standards subject to availability)
- Half board (breakfasts from day 2 to day 8)
- Entrances to monuments and activities mentioned in the program
- Boat trip in Matka Canyon
- Day 3 hike from Janche to Galichnik
- Day 4 hike to Pic de Magaro
- Kayak day on Lake Ohrid with lunch
- Boat trip on Lake Prespa to discover Golem Grad and lunch with a local resident
- Wine tasting at the Popova Kula vineyard
The price does not include
- All additional expenses not mentioned in the program
- Optional activities
- Round trip flight
- Single room: extra 120€ per person
- 3* and 4* hotels and guesthouses
- To be confirmed