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

Available on request

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Overview

Canyon Matka is a significant landmark with several medieval byzantine monasteries and natural rarities – a compulsory visit when you are in Skopje. We invite you to explore the richness of this natural treasure – you can do it all here: hiking, kayaking, swimming, cave exploring, rock climbing, fine dining.

An easy to moderate all-day hiking excursion from the Millennium Cross (1060 m.asl.) and following the ridgeline to the West will take you to Canyon Matka in 3-4 hours’ time (11km). You can use the cable car to get to the Millenium cross and start your hike from there experiencing unforgettable 360 degree panorama overlooking Skopje and the surrounding mountain ranges. Or, see our Skopje –Millennium Cross route if you prefer to extend it to a full day hike.

 If you want to explore the mountains in North Macedonia, Millennium Cross – Canyon Matka hiking tour is the perfect place 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.

Highlights

Canyon Matka is a significant landmark with several medieval byzantine monasteries and natural rarities – a compulsory visit when you are in Skopje. Each photograph of Canyon Matka 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. And each photo calls you out to explore the richness of this natural treasure – you can do it all here: hiking, kayaking, swimming, cave exploring, rock climbing, fine dining.

The view: During your hike an unforgettable 360 degree panorama overlooking Skopje opens up and then some more - Mount Skopska Crna Gora, Jakupica Mountain and the magnificent ridge-line of Sharr Mountain – with many peaks of 2500+ meters.

Biodiversity
: The canyon thrives with natural richness. Matka is home to a wide variety of plants and animals - some 20% of the plant life there is endemic and only found here. The canyon is also home to 77 indigenous species of butterflies and the caves are full with large populations of bats.

The caves of Canyon Matka: Due to the limestone geology of the area, there are several caves and pits at Matka Canyon, with the lengths ranging from 20 metres (65.6 feet) to 176 metres (577.4 feet). Matka is also home to the oldest artificial lake in the North Macedonia.

Once your 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 Canyon Matka carries such a name*.

*the word Matka in English is translated as Womb.

Difficulty Grading

EASY/MODERATEup to 18km / 11miTerrain may be rugged, with some hills, but not too strenuous.Suitable for fit and active people, with some hiking experience

Map

map millennium cross matka

When To Go

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

Price

Available on request 

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 € 
  • Rent of Global Positioning System (GPS) console: 45 €

Arrival & Departure

By bus & cable car to Vodno Peak:

Buses start from Skopje Central Bus Station to Sredno Vodno bus stop

4 min walk
from Sredno Vodno bus station is the Cable Car stop for the Millennium Cross line.


By bus from Matka to Skopje

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

Taxi / private transfer:

 Available on request


 Please contact the agency for current bus / cable car departure times

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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