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Activity: MTB
Difficulty: Moderate
Duration:
10 Day
Accommodation:
9 nights in family-run and boutique hotels.
3* or 4* hotels in the bigger cities "
Meals:
All meals included
Price:

Available on request

Start planning your trip
  • 9 nights
  • Max 53km per day mountain biking
  • 7 days mountain biking
  • Average 73% off orad 
  • June to October

Overview

North Macedonia is heaven for mountain bikers: a country with over 70% mountains and lakes, with never ending trails and barely-traveled roads set in breathtaking nature. In this 10 days tour you will be biking on trails from 30km to 50 km long, with ascends of 550m to 1.200m per day. You will see ancient Macedonian and Roman sites along the way, and ride on parts of the Via Egnatia Roman road, you will experience the true culture and charm of the country while biking off the bitten tourist track and meeting locals where things haven’t changed much in the last century.

Highlights

Start in Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia

Get to the Millennium Cross by cable car and ride downhill to Canyon Matka for a refreshing boating to the caves (optional kayaks)

Explore the pastures and mountain villages of national park Mavrovo

Visit Ohrid and Ohrid lake – both on the UNESCO World Heritage list

Ride by the trenches from WW1 in national park Pelister

Ride in the mountains around Krushevo – the highest town in the Balkans (famous for their excellent sausage, melted cheese and lokum)

Taste premium wines of Stobi winery

Difficulty Grading

MODERATEup to 50km / 30mihilly terrain with moderate uphillsMountain bikers comfortable riding most types of terrain in different conditions: singletrack, double track, muddy, dry, loose, bedrock…

Map

tours/map mountain biking adventure

ITINERARY

DAY 1: MILLENNIUM CROSS & CANYON MATKA

Meet Macedonia Travel guide at Skopje airport, shuttle to Mount Vodno. From here we take the cable car to the Millennium Cross (a 66m high steel cross at the mountain top). The top of Mount Vodno offers an unforgettable 360 degree panorama of Skopje Valley and the mountain chains that surround it - to the East, West and Central Macedonia. From here we ride downhill following singletracks, and along the foothill of Mt Vodno to Canyon Matka, the nature reserve famous for its butterflies, 13th century Orthodox monasteries and for Cave Vrelo – the deepest underwater cave in Europe. End the day in Skopje with dinner in the old town. Overnight in Skopje.

Ride: 29km / 550m D+ / 50 % off-road

Total drive: 35 km / 30 min

DAY 2: SINGLETRAILS IN NATIONAL PARK MAVROVO

After 1,5 hour transfer from Skopje we arrive to our lodge in national park Mavrovo, the largest national park in North Macedonia. It is home to the rarest animals in the country: lynx, bear, eagle suras, chamois… Wild horses run down vast green hills, which gives this place idyllic, almost mythic views. Today we make a loop in Mount Bistra, passing by sheep farms and large folds of sheep in the pastures up to 1.700m asl. We will ride up on jeep trails and descend on singletrack down to our hotel lodge. Overnight in Mavrovo national park.

Ride: 35km / 800m D+ / 70% off-road

Total drive: 98km / 1h 35min

DAY 3: MOUNTAIN VILLAGE EXPERIENCE

A short transfer brings us to the saddle of Mount Bistra, where we get on the bikes and continue across the waste Mavrovo plateau to village Galichnik on 1.500m height – it is inhabited only in summer when the snow melts. Galichnik is famous for its old stone houses, rich traditions, and the best sheep cheese in the country. From here we ride down in the forest, and up again on a rocky trail to village Lazaropole, on 1.350m height. The last ride today will be to the old bridge “Elen Skok” (Deer jump) from where we continue by bus to Vevchani, a small picturesque village at the foothill of Jablanica mountain. Finnish the day with a homemade village dinner in one of the guesthouses of Vevchani. Overnight in Vevchani.

Ride: 53 km / 950m D+ / 70% off-road

Total drive: 66km / 1h 20min

DAY 4: JABLANICA MASSIF TO OHRID

Today we ride on a steep side road from Vevchani up in the mountain range of Jablanica, on the border with Albania. Soon we will have an open view of Ohrid Lake, and the mountains surrounding its clear deep blue water. Our ride will take us past cave churches built by monks centuries ago in the rock wall overlooking the lake. In the afternoon we cycle along the lake on a bicycle path to the town of Ohrid.

Ohrid and Lake Ohrid are both declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Ohrid for its great history heritage, and the lake being the oldest and deepest lake in Europe with great biodiversity. Next three nights we will stay in Ohrid.

Ride: 47 km / 1.140m D+ / 70% off-road

Total drive: 0km

DAY 5: OHRID

Our layover day in Ohrid will start with a guided tour of the old town: you will see the most photographed church in the Balkans, walk on the Tsar Samoil city walls and see the ancient theatre built over 2.200 years ago - today it is still used for outside performances. The afternoon is yours to explore the hidden alleys of the old town, and the cozy restaurants and sunset bars by the lake. Overnight in Ohrid.

Ride: 0km

Total drive: 0km

DAY 6: GALICICA NATIONAL PARK

Today we ride on Galicica - the mountain rising like a huge whale between the two most beautiful lakes in North Macedonia, offering memorable views of both of them. It is part of national park Galicica – a unique environment with more than 800 species of plants, of which 11 are local endemic forms. Our ride will take on mountain trails and singletracks, and over the wide plateau below the ridge. We descend down to Ohrid Lake on a long off-road trail passing through small villages and orchards, and then we join the main road along the lake shore all the way to Ohrid. Overnight in Ohrid.

Ride: 50 km / 580m D+ / 80% off-road

Total drive: 5 km / 10min

DAY 7: PELISTER NATIONAL PARK

Our morning shuttle from Ohrid brings us to Pelister national park, the oldest national park in North Macedonia, since 1948. A true beauty of nature where peaks rising to 2.600m are separated by deep valleys, and springs, streams and rivers. Two glacial lakes known as “the Eyes of Pelister” lace this well-watered landscape. This mountain has also historical importance as a silent witness of the WW1 frontlines – on our ride we will see the remains of the trenches from this period. Descend down by the villages to the foothills, and cycle on a local road to Bitola, the second largest city in North Macedonia. A city with romantic, neo-classical buildings in the old town, that tell of the former glory of the town, when every major European country had a consulate here due to the great amount of trading and commerce. Overnight in Bitola.

Ride: 37 km / 650m D+ / 80% off-road

Total drive: 67 km / 1h 25min

DAY 8: KRUSHEVO, THE BIRTHPLACE OF NORTH MACEDONIA

Today we ride from the highest town in the Balkans, Krushevo - idyllically nestled between the green hills and the woods of Mount Bushava. It is famous as the site of the great 1903 uprising against the Ottoman domination, when the first free republic was formed here. While it lasted only 10 days, today it is still cherished as a symbol of the national struggle for freedom and democracy. However, Krushevo also managed to maintain its traditional colorful architecture which gives a particular charm to this small town. After the circle ride in the hills and by the historical places around Krushevo we enjoy a picnic lunch in nature and descend down to town. Overnight in Krushevo.

Ride: 27km / 590m D+ / 90% off-road

Total drive: 55km / 1 hour

DAY 9: ANCIENT CITY OF STOBI & STOBI WINERY

Take a morning stroll along the colorful streets of this living museum town, visit the old barrel-maker, and the house of the most famous Macedonian painter, Nikola Martinovski, with an impressive collection of his paintings and old interior details. From Krushevo we drive down into the wine region of Macedonia. Along the way we visit Stobi, the city founded in 3rd century BC, on the sunset of the ancient Macedonian kingdom. It was than the place where the traders through ancient roman road Via Egnatia were supplied with gold, white and pink marble, iron, and wine... Here, in the Stobi winery we will taste some premium Macedonian wines with the lunch before we head back to Skopje. Overnight in Skopje.

Ride: 0km

Total drive: 165 km / 2h 30min

DAY 10: LAST DAY

Morning shuttle to Skopje Airport for your flight home.

When To Go

Possible10 May – 31 May and 15 October to 01 November
Recommended01 June– 15 October
Not availableAll other dates

Price

Available on request.

INCLUDED IN PRICE:

• Accommodation based on 2 participants sharing double room
• Meal plan: all meals included (vegetarian, vegan and special requests available)
• Support vehicle and all transfers during the trip
• Full escort by professional mountain biking guide
• Cable car on Mount Vodno
• Kayaking / boating in Canyon Matka
• Cheese tasting in Galichnik
• Winetasting in Stobi winery
• Entrance fees for national parks and monuments included in the program
• Organization and full logistics by Macedonia Travel

NOT INCLUDED IN PRICE

• Airplane tickets to/from Skopje / Sofia
Personal medical and travel insurance (mandatory)
• Any extra expenses not mentioned under „included in price“

OPTIONS & SUPPLEMENTS:

• Supplement for single room accommodation
• Private transfers from Skopje airport to Skopje and from Skopje to Skopje airport
• Extra night in Skopje

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 €
5* hotel: from 60 € / per person sharing double room; Single supplement from 50 €

• Rent of bike: from 21 € /per day

Arrival & Departure

This tour starts and ends in Skopje (North Macedonia). Please arrange your flights accordingly, or contact our air-ticketing department to arrange them for you.

One group transfer from / to Skopje airport is included in price. Private transfers are available on request.

Accommodation

From 3*, 4* or 5* hotels in the big cities, to small family run hotels and boutique hotels where available according to your request.

Bike Information

If you prefer to bring your own bike, we will be happy to take care of your bike box while you enjoy your holiday.

If it is easier for you to rent it, we can offer Hardtail mountain bicycles or e-bikes. Each bike comes with a helmet, lights, locks and a spare tube, and each group gets: a pump, tire levers, patches and a multi-tool.

We can also install luggage rack to the bicycle, and provide you with bike bags at an extra cost (2 € / per day)
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