North Macedonia walking holiday, small group
Description of North Macedonia walking holiday, small group
This nine day Northern Macedonia walking holiday, small group, follows a circular route around the country, exploring on foot its wild landscapes, lakeside villages, vineyards, monasteries and ancient sites.
A tiny Balkan nation, Northern Macedonia boasts a complex cultural pedigree, with Greeks, Romans and Ottomans all leaving their mark. Landlocked and bordered by muscular mountain ranges, its diverse landscapes, flora and fauna make it a wonderful destination for a walking holiday. In amongst the hikes, there is plenty of time to stroll the quiet towns, swim in pristine lakes and enjoy some village hospitality, too.
This small group holiday begins in Skopje, Macedonia’s capital. Explore its key landmarks and the Ottoman heart of the city, before moving on to the Matka Canyon and the Mavrovo National Park to enjoy some hiking through these spectacular landscapes. You’ll find some of the country’s loftiest peaks here, as well as Orthodox monasteries and lots of warm Macedonian hospitality. Next, cool off by the lake in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Ohrid, hike in the Galicica National Park and climb to the remote Treskavec Monastery with its huge views over the Pelagonia Fields. We’ll sip some vintage wine at the Popoya Kula Winery, visit the medieval town of Kratovo and the ancient Greek city of Heraclea Lyncestis, before tucking into a final dinner in Skopje at the end of this nine day adventure.
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PlanetIn conjunction with our local partners in Republic of North Macedonia, we have helped sponsor reforestation tree-planting projects in the wine region of the country. We also will stay at a winery hotel on Day 7 of the tour, supporting sustainable wine growing further through tourism.
By keeping the group size to a maximum of 12, we can also minimise the human impact on the fragile sites and ecosystems we visit.
We attempt to reduce plastic bottle use wherever possible by promoting use of reusable and filtered water bottles. Our partnership with Water-To-Go provides a discount on filtered water bottles to our clients. We do not provide water from plastic bottles to our clients in country but always ensure there is regular access to drinking water on our tours.
We are promoting the natural beauty and ancient heritage of Republic of North Macedonia through visiting not only the Orthodox monasteries and Natural Parks of Republic of North Macedonia, but also the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lake Ohrid. UNESCO Sites are chosen by the UNESCO committee and must "bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to civilisation", "an important interchange of human values" or be outstanding examples of major stages of Earth's history or ecological and biological processes in evolution. Visiting such sites helps sustain the traditions and natural ecosystems of Republic of North Macedonia.
PeopleIn conjunction with our local partners in Republic of North Macedonia, we have been supporting local families in the winery region by arranging for them to supply our groups with picnic lunches or more substantial meals in their gardens.
The best way to share stories and meet new people is over a plate of great food and a glass of wine in hand. On Day 3 in Mavrovo National Park, we will be meeting with shepherds to hear their stories and share Balkan sheep cheese and local rakiya brandy. On Day 4 of the tour we will be hear the story of the Vevchani Republic while enjoying an authentic village feast of homemade wines paired with home-smoked prosciutto and cheese. Supporting the local food industry in Republic of North Macedonia not only maintains the cultural identity of Republic of North Macedonia but connects cultures through the most ancient of pastimes, eating!
On each Group tour we use local ground handlers. This means that all operational costs go directly into the local economy and help improve employment opportunities in remote regions. Such support can also be seen in our incorporation of homestays, locally owned hotels, family run restaurants and the services of local guides and drivers into our itineraries, which ensures that the money you spend with us goes directly into the local economy and local community.