Sharr Mountain massif is is one of the largest mountain massifs in the Balkans, taking an area of 840 km2, where 20% of the peaks and ridges are above 2000m asl. According to its geography, it is divided into three segments: Northeastern part (most notable peaks: Ljuboten 2499m, Piribeg 2524m, Ezerski Peak 2586), Central part (peaks: Titov Vrv 2748m, Bakardan 2700m, Plat, Kobilica 2528m) and Southern part (Vraca 2582m, Rudoka 2658m). This weekend hike will take in the Central part: the first day you will conquier Titov Vrv Peak (named after Marshall Tito) on a challenging trail 21km long over few other peaks: Sin Vrv, Karabunar and Bakardan peaks. The next two days are moderate hikes over peak Plat to the scenic valley of Leshnica, and from Leshnica valley, passing by the glacial lake Karanikolichko to a small mountain village where time seems to have stopped centuries ago.
This weekend tour is combination of challenging and moderate hikes
|MODERATE||up to 23km / 14mi|
|Longer, but still manageable hikes with more elevation change. ||For hikers with good level of fitness (regular exercise) who don’t mind the challenge|
|CHALLENGING||up to 30km / 19mi|
|Long hikes with possible long and steep ascents and descents. Trails may be rough and rugged. ||Long hikes with possible long and steep ascents and descents. Trails may be rough and rugged. |
DAY 1: ARRIVE IN POPOVA SHAPKA SKI CENTER
As your first hike on this tour starts early in the morning, you will need to arrive in Sharr Mountains one day earlier. From Skopje, or any other city in North Macedonia you can use public transport (bus) to get to Tetovo. (see: Arrival & Departure section below). At the bus station in Tetovo you will meet your driver who will take you to the mountain lodge in Popova Shapka ski center. Popova Shapka is the base for many hiking routes in Sharr Mountains. It is located at 1.700m asl, looming above the city of Tetovo and Polog valley. Overnight in Popova Shapka.
DAY 2: TITIV VRV (2.747m)
One of the most challenging, and probably the most beautiful route in Sharr Mountains is from Ski Center Popova Shapka to Titov Vrv via the ridgeline route. It is a very demanding but very rewarding hike of 21km with 1.800 D+ that usually takes around 8 hours. Nonetheless, all the way to Titov Vrv the ridgeline route offers 360 degree panorama of all Shar Planina Mountian massif. Walking to the second highest peak in North Macedonia with 2.747m height – you will climb over “smaller” summits Sin Vrv (2550 m), Karabunar (2600 m) and Bakardan peak (2702 m). On its very top there stands a 3-storie brick tower serving as a metaphorical lighthouse for the exhausted but thriller mountain devotees. The return to Popova Shapka is on the easier, ‘Vakaf’ trail - as you traverse Bakardan peak at its base around 2200 meters - the pure alpine and unspoiled wilderness of Upper Leshnica region opens up down in a network of glacial valleys. The first half of the return trail travels across waste pastures and alpine meadows, and the second one along the ski pists and a jeep road. Overnight in the same mountain lodge in Popova Shapka.
Hike: 21km / 1.800m D+, 1.264m D-
DAY 3: PEAK PLAT & LESHNICA WATERFALL
Leave Popova Shapka ski center in the morning and head to the most beautiful part of Sharr Mountains – Leshnica Valley. In the beginning, the trail climbs gradually to circumnavigate Ceripashina mountain where the single-track turns into a jeep road until the first sheepfold, where we join the hiking path again, to a high plateau on 2.050m. The last 350 vertical meters to reach Plat are worth the effort – it opens an awestruck view of the glacial valleys of Leshnica creek and Pena river, and on their opposite side the vertical couloirs of Sreden Kamen (2.465 m). From here we descend to Upper Leshnica area at 1700m asl - the last ice age has left miraculous scars in this terrain and as soon as you get to the upper base of the valley, a waterfall can be heard in the near distance – Leshnicki waterfall. Further down, the narrow valley broadens as Plat and Sreden Kamen eastern sides open up to a larger and flatter valley of river Pena – this area is known as Dolna (Lower) Lehsnica. It’s at altitude of 1.450 meters. Next two nights we will stay in tents in this beautiful valley.
Hike: 13,4km / 858m D+, 752m D-
DAY 4: KARANIKOLICHKI PEAK AND GLACIAL LAKE
We suggest this unique hiking experience of 12km and 950 meters of positive gain where you will be an awestruck witness from near and far of the extraordinary glacial forces that had carved the “three rocks of Leshnica” – Plat, Sreden Kamen and Kriva Shija. These mountains (av. height of 2.450 m) are knife-cut and separated by deep narrow glacial valleys through which creeks flow feeding river Pena. Even though exploring each valley can be a hike by its own, we suggest going the opposite direction (north-western) towards Karanikolicki peak (2.423 m asl) and its two glacial lakes. As soon as you get on the ridgeline and reach Karanikolichki peak – a phenomenal panorama of the Dinaric mountain range opens up – looking at far north Prokletije in Montenegro/Albania, the great Kosovo plains, Shar Planina peaks and Mount Korab to the south. As an icing on the cake are the Karanikolichki lakes – nested in glacial cirques below the summit at altitudes of cca. 2.200 and 2.300 meters, respectfully. Walking down to Veshala village is a true pleasure having in the palm of your hand the magnificent Leshnica valley below you, while the roar of river Pena is getting louder and louder.
Hike: 12,2 km / 949m D+, 1.173m D-
250 € + 60 € local supplement / per person
Price is valid for min 2 participants sharing double room / tent for 2
INCLUDED IN PRICE:
- Accommodation in mountain lodge (private rooms) 2 nights and camp in wilderness 1 night
- Meals: 3 x breakfast
- Transfers: Tetovo to Popova Shapka ski center and village Veshala to Tetovo
- Baggage transfers
- Detailed hiking visual route descriptions and maps
- Mobile app with uploaded tracks with visual descriptions and locator
- Local safety information and contacts
- Stand-by support (cell phone and contact person)
- Organization and logistic by Macedonia Travel
NOT INCLUDED IN PRICE:
OPTIONS & SUPPLEMENTS:
- Supplement for single room accommodation: 43 €
- Supplement for full board (3 x lunchbox, 3 x dinner): 87 € / per person / drinks excluded. Vegetarian and vegan meals available on request
- Private arrival / departure transfers available on request
- Extra night before or after the tour
-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 €
-In mountain lodge in Popova Shapka (private rooms): from 15 €/ per person sharing double room. Single supplement: from 10 €.
-In camp in Leshnica valley (tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, headlamp, 2 pot set and backpacking stove provided and delivered to the valley): from 50 € for the first night, and 25 € for each additional night)
- Rent of Global Positioning System (GPS) console: 45 €
By bus and car transfer from Skopje:
This tour starts in Popova Shapka ski center. Intercity busses operate from Skopje Central Bus Station.
to Tetovo Bus Station
. There is no public transport from Tetovo to Popova Shapka ski center - car transfer from Tetovo to Popova Shapka will be arranged by Macedonia Travel and it is included in the price.
The tour ends in village Veshala in Sharr Mountains. Transfer from Veshala to the bus station in Tetovo is included in price. Buses start from Tetovo Bus Station
to Skopje Central Bus Station.Taxi / private transfers from Veshala to Skopje:
Available on requestPlease contact the agency for current bus / train schedules