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Activity: HIKE
Difficulty: Moderate
Duration:
1 Day
Accommodation:
Available on request"
Meals:
Available on request
Price:

Available on request

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Overview

Full day hike starting from Skopje to the Millenium Cross on the peak of Mt Vodno (600+ D) and over the ridge of the mountain with 360° panorama of the city and the mountain chains of Nort, Central, West and East Macedonia to Canyon Matka, with descend of another 600m. We recommend to start early today if you wish to leave some time to explore the canyon – home to bald eagles, endemic plant-life and over 130 different types of butterfly, as well as few 13th century monasteries hidden in the rocks of this amazing landscape.

Highlights

Mount Vodno is Skopje’s favorite recreational park-forest. This hike will start on well-established trails through oak and pine forests offering shadows all the way to the top. Bird songs and twitters replace city noise that hums in the distant background. Having reached the Millennium Cross (there is a 66 meters high steel cross at the mountain top) in 1,5-2 hours, you will have the city right below, hence the old from the new in terms of urbanization is easily recognizable.

As you reach the top, stop to enjoy an unforgettable 360 degree panorama of Skopje and Skopje Valley - it is surrounded by several mountain chains: to the North is Mount Skopska Crna Gora hiding Kosovo plains in behind. East opens a view over hills to Osogovo Mountains bordering Bulgaria. South is the location of the Macedonian Massif central – Jakupica Mountain with Solunska Glava pick (2525m) looming above all, and finally to the west is the magnificent ridge-line of Shar Mountain – beginning with pyramidal pick Ljuboten and continuing south for 80 km. In the far horizon, among many picks of 2300+ meters height you will notice Titov Vrv (2474m) the highest pick of Shar Mountain.

From the Millennium Cross following the ridgeline to the West will take you to Canyon Matka in 3-4 hours’ time (11km). If you want to explore the mountains in North Macedonia, this tour is the perfect way to get to know them – see them by far, experience the geology and feel the climate, breathe the aroma from the endemic mountain flowers and plants.

Matka is a significant landmark with several medieval byzantine monasteries and natural rarities – a compulsory visit when you are in Skopje. Each photograph of Matka Canyon represents a story by itself – a historical monument, a wildlife splendor, a place for spiritual awakening, a getaway destination from the noisy and chaotic streets of Skopje, a place for adventure!

Once you hike down to the canyon the first significant place is St.Nikola Shishevski monastery from XIV century. It is built on a small plateau next to a rock face and it offers a unique view high above the canyon - Matka Lake and the other monasteries and churches: St.Nedela, St.Andrew, Monastery Holy Mother of God (all dated XIII-XIV century). In medieval times this was an important spiritual place evenly compared to Mount Athos peninsula in the Aegean Sea.

As you reach the lake shore, take a boat or kayak tour to visit Vrelo Cave. Located on the right bank of Treska River, Vrelo Cave is considered a natural wonder with its many stalactites and cave interior. There are also two lakes at the end of the cave, with one larger than the other. Though the exact depth of the cave is unknown, some speculate that it could be the deepest underwater cave in the world.

When your day ends and the sunshine is replaced by the dark shadows of the extruding rock faces, an inner peace overflows your mind, and only then it becomes clear why Matka Canyon carries such a name*.

*the word Matka in English is translated as Womb.

Difficulty Grading

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

Map

tours/map skopje millennium cross canyon matka

When To Go

Possible01 January – 14 April and 16 November to 31 December
Recommended15 April – 15 November
Not availableAll other dates

Price

INCLUDED IN PRICE:

  • Mobile app with maps and route descriptions
  • Detailed hiking route descriptions and maps
  • Local safety information and contacts
  • Stand by support
  • Organization and logistic by Macedonia Travel 

NOT INCLUDED IN PRICE:

OPTIONS & SUPPLEMENTS:

  • Private arrival / departure transfers available upon request
  • Extra night in Skopje before or after the tour
    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 €
  • Extra night in Canyon Matka after the tour:
    3* hotel: from 32 € / per person sharing double room; Single supplement from 25 €
  • Rent of Global Positioning System (GPS) console: 45 €

Arrival & Departure

By bus to Vodno:

Buses start from Skopje Central Bus Station to Vodno foothill and back

By bus from Canyon Matka to Skopje

Buses to Skopje Central Bus Station depart from the bus stop on 15 min walk from Canyon Matka hotel & restaurant

By Taxi / private transfer:

Available on request

Why Travel With Us?

ADVENTURES FOR EVERYONE

You only pay for what you want. We offer different levels of accomodation and comfort for every budget and travel style. Please read carefully the includes and excludes items and create the trip that is most convenient for you.

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 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
- smartphone navigation app in addition to the printed detailed route information and maps
- we give you a wireless modem on the trip so you can be easily located at any time in case of emergency

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