10 REASONS TO MAKE MACEDONIA YOUR NEXT CLIMBING DESTINATION
Let’s go climb a mountain in Macedonia! Yes! Let`s do that! It`ll be great! But, umm…where is Macedonia? That`s the main question everyone asks when encountering the name of The Republic of Macedonia.
Macedonia is a small country located in the center of the Balkan Peninsula. It`s neighboring countries are Bulgaria to the East, Serbia to the North, Albania in the West and Greece to the South. The states capital is Skopje.
Anyway let`s ditch this and talk about its Earthly and Heavenly beauties.
Macedonia is mainly considered a mountainous region, filled with beautiful hiking, trekking and mountaineering paths and trails. We have a lot of rivers and streams, so crossing a river or a stream while hiking is not excluded. But no worries, no one gets hurt. Standing on top of one of these mountains will give you a breathtaking view. So, let's get started shall we?
1. NUMBER OF MOUNTAINS
With only 25,713 square km, this rather small country has over 50 mountains. That`s right folks, over 50, and the highest one called Korab, or Great Korab with a height of 2753m. So diversity is something you can choose from. You will not get bored easily.
2. CHOOSING A PEAK
Let`s be honest, mountains in Macedonia aren`t the height of Kilimanjaro or Elbrus or K2, but we have 13 mountains that are higher than 2000m, with over 250 summits, and 45 peaks are over 2500m. And it would take a lot of time and effort to conquer all of them to be honest. Trust me, I have tried.
3. STARTING SMALL
Huh, a mountain 2500 meters above sea level in Macedonia? I would conquer its summit in an hour…or would I? To be honest, height with mileage don`t go together. To reach certain summits you would need a whole day or two. One of my favorite is Orle (the small Eagle), or as tourist call it The Matterhorn of the Tikves wine region. Yep, with only 1514 meters above sea level, this mountain offers 28km of hiking, trekking and mountaineering, starting off at 270m above sea level, near the Tikves Lake. So, small doesn`t always mean easy to conquer.
Who doesn`t love forests? Let`s be honest, a break in the shades of a great pine or oak tree will refill your batteries faster than baking in the sun on a rock. Macedonia has some unique flora and fauna. From the Pelister National Park`s unique Molika or Pine Tree (Pinus Peuce) to the Arbutus Andrachne or commonly known between the people of Macedonia as the Naked Human.
Don`t you just love crowds? And people? You don`t huh!? Then there are places you can easily escape and become one with nature. Distanced well from civilization, our mountains offer something no city can offer, peace and tranquility. Because Macedonia is a small country with an even smaller population, its mountains are untouched by the human hand. Get a tent, place it somewhere out there and enjoy the stars with a cup of tea in your hand.
6. WELL MARKED TRAILS
We have a lot of mountaineering clubs, and when I say a lot I mean it. My town is only 13,000 inhabitants and it has 6 mountaineering clubs. If you are scared to go out on your own then don`t worry, hiking, climbing and alpinism tours are organized every weekend. But even if you decide to take a weekend trip on your own, don`t worry, our trails are well marked. It won`t be easy for you to get lost.
You`ve been hiking for the past four hours. The Sun is high in the sky. The temperature is well above 30 degrees Celsius. And you are low on water. Well, good for you Macedonia has 53 rivers and numerous streams. For example, Baba Mountain (Grandmother Mountain) has over 23 streams from which you drink water or simply chill your body from. Don`t worry, they are clean as a tear. I know because I have drunk water from them. Oh, and I forgot, glacier lakes? Filled with one of a kind in the world species? Yes! A trout called Salmo Pelagonicus.
No one likes going on a hike with a “rusty nail” as a companion. You`ll be surprised by the character of the Macedonians and how they treat people from other parts of the world. We are some of the most respectful people towards diversity in the world. You will be surprised how worm hearted we are.
9. FOOD AND DRINKS
Let`s be honest. Everyone after taking a long trip needs to fill its belly. Food is the essence of fuel towards the human body. If visiting you must try some local cuisine and drinks. Everyone will offer you the local spirit called Rakia. Made from grapes, and served with a Sopska salad made from white cheese, cucumber and tomato. It is considered rude if you refuse a sip of Rakia when someone is offering you. And as for cuisine, every restaurant serves Macedonian and European food, so you got that covered with no worries.
I will write this part with only pictures. Thus enjoy this gallery.
Dear friends, I hope you enjoyed reading through this article, and also enjoyed the rather small gallery. Don`t get discouraged by this rather small article, Macedonia has much more to offer.