The young republic of Macedonia offers spectacular views, a friendly population and the tasteful Balkan cuisine
Departures: May: 5, 12, 19, 26 – June: 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 – July: 7, 14, 21, 28 – August: 4, 11, 18, 25 – September: 1, 8, 15, 22
The young republic of Macedonia is a land of forests, lakes and mountains. With a pleasant climate, friendly people and a surprisingly tasty cuisine the country offers the ideal destination for a wonderful 8-day Cycling & Hotel Holiday.
This tour starts in the capital of Skopje or in the city of Ohrid; cycling on a mountainbike you find your way with map, route description or GPS.
Places of interest along the way include the Monastery of Jovan Bigorski, the waterfalls at Rostusha and the unique village of Vevchani. The old fortress town of Ohrid, a.k.a. Jerusalem of the Balkans, houses 365 churches, one for each day of the year! Here you also can take a look at the colorful bazaar or take a boat trip on the crystal clear lake.
Daily distances vary between 30-60 kilometers, the itinerary mostly follows paved country roads, occasionally there’s a small climb.
You will stay in small *** – bed & breakfast accommodations.
Day 1. Arrival at airport Ohrid/Skopje
A short transfer (30 min.) from airport Skopje will bring you to your hotel in the center of town. Skopje is the capital of Macedonia, the city was completely rebuilt after the devastating earthquake of 1963. In town you will find many museums, like the Mother Teresa Museum, and one of the biggest bazaars in the Balkans.
In case you arrive at the airport of Ohrid a short transfer (15 min.) will bring you to your hotel at Lake Ohrid.
You will receive your rental bike the next day.
Overnight in Skopje and Ohrid.
Day 2. Roundtrip Lake Mavrovo (32 km, 250 am)
After breakfast transfer to Lake Mavrovo (both from Skopje and Ohrid appr. 1.5 hrs drive)
On the program is a bike ride around Lake Mavrovo, an easy ride on good running asphalt across a beautiful scenery. The lake is part of the National Park Mavrovo, an area with impressive mountain ranges. Along the way you will see the ‘drowned’ St Nicolas church (built in 1850) staking out of the water of the lake.
Overnight in Mavrovo in a hotel on the lake with swimming pool, sauna and jacuzzi.
Day 3. Mavrovo-Debar (53 km, level)
Today it’s time for one of the longest stages, a beautiful ride through the Mavrovo National Park, the largest national park in Macedonia. The route leads only along paved roads and follows the course of the river Radika. From an altitude of 1300 meters you descent to 800 meters, ending your day in the town of Debar, located on a lake.
On the way you may visit one of the most beautiful monestaries of the Balkan, Jovan Bigorski, a place where 20 monks live and work. A short walk brings you to the waterfall of Rostusha. In the past Debar was famous for it’s guild of woodcutters, you can see some examples in Jovan Bogorski.
In the small restaurantsalong the lake in Debar you can try the local Skropska salat or a Balkan meat specialty.
Overnight in Debar.
Day 4. Debar-Vechani (48 km, 450 am or 55 km, 700 am)
You pass several lakes and the river Drim. The short route just follows well paved roads. The heavier variant makes a loop over dirt roads through mountainous terrain. Vevchani is a kind of city-state with its own currency and passport. The town is known for its beautiful sources and the exuberant celebration of carnival in Venetian style in January. The village and it’s cheerful inhabitants have an Italian appearance. A great place to visit one of the terraces at night. At the sources you find a restaurant where you can fill up your water glass at the well.
Overnight in Vevchani.
Day 5. Round trip Vevchani (35 km or 55 km, level)
Today you can choose between two routes through the valley. You cycle along asphalted country lanes from village to village. Both routes are almost level, the only climb you will encounter is to your hotel! AS a reward you may take a cool drink on the terrace!
Day 6. Vevchani-Ohrid (36 km or 55 km, 150 hm)
Easy descending ride along good running asphalt. Through small villages and farmland to the town of Struga, located directly on Lake Ohrid. Moreover, the river Black Drim runs through town and on either side of the river you will find many sidewalk cafés. After Struga you can opt for a loop through the orchards or simply follow the shore of Lake Ohrid. Many buildings in Ohrid are built in a Byzantine style. The city houses many churches and is even known as the Jerusalem of the Balkans.
Ohrid is a cultural and spiritual center with many monuments and churches with beautiful frescoes. Lake Ohrid is since 1980 under the protection of UNESCO and is partly located in Albania. This unique lake lies at an altitude of approximately 800 meters, squeezed between the mountain massifs of Petrino and Galicica.
Overnight in Ohrid in a hotel on the lake with a sandy private beach.
Day 7. Day off. Round trip Ohrid (40 km, level)
Today the final cycle tour is on the program! You will cross hinterland of Ohrid, a mostly agricultural area with fruit trees and small scale wine yards. In the afternoon a boat trip on the “oldest lake of the world” belongs to the possibilities. During the trip you can visit the monestary of St Naum or the “Bay of Bones”.
Overnight in Ohrid.
Day 8. Departure to Ohrid Airport or Skopje Airport
• Stay in hotel in double room incl. breakfast
• Bicycle 24 gears
• maps or GPS tracks (no rent of GPS equipment)
• Transfer Skopje/Ohrid – Mavrovo
• Transfer zum Flughafen Skopje/Ohrid
• Luggage transport
• Local agent (English) in Skopje and Ohrid
• travel to Skopje or Ohrid
• transfer from airport to your first hotel in Skopje or Ohrid
• Transfer back to Skopje or Ohrid at the end of your holiday
• all other things not mentioned at included