Mountain Skopska Crna Gora and its villages are a truly hidden germ of the Byzantine heritage of this region. In the past centuries there have been many monks and nuns that lived among its lush forests and safekeeping God’s wisdom. Hence, all over the mountain there are remnants of medieval fortresses, walls, towers, graveyards, sacred places that are witnesses of the spiritual energy that glimmers in this part of North Macedonia. We suggest the following “spiritual” hiking tour where you can visit in a day the most significant landmarks placed among timeworn village architecture while enjoying the tranquility of beech-wood and oak forests of the Macedonian Sveta Gora as it was called in the past times.
Throughout the history, the city of Skopje has always been a melting pot of different ethnicities, religions and cultures. Most prominent landmarks are the Byzantine (Orthodox) churches and monasteries spread all over the region. Since the Ottoman empire had set its foot in this area (y.1392) most of the Christian sacred objects in the city were turned into mosques.
However, the mountain Skopska Crna Gora (north of Skopje valley) has remained almost intact and more than 50 medieval monasteries, churches and holy places have been preserved until today. Therefore, we suggest the following “spiritual” hiking tour where you can visit in a day the most significant landmarks placed among timeworn village architecture while enjoying the tranquility of beech-wood and oak forests of the Macedonian Sveta Gora as it was called in the past times.
This easy to moderate hike of 16km length will take you through several villages and monasteries known for their healing powers: we begin our hike at village Banjani and pass by the local church St.Gjorgji
, and the first stop after 800 meters is Monastery St.Nikita
(church remnants from XI c., monastery from XIV c.) situated at 565 m.asl between the villages Gornjane, Banjani and Cucer. It is famous for its healing powers because in the wall of the church there have been placed the holy bones of Nikita the Saint. Locals believe that if your step on the stone in front of the church altar and say your prayers, life troubles, problems or wishes – they all will be solved in the near future.
The next sightseeing stops are few churches dating from XIII – XIV century but reconstructed in the XIX century - St.Bogorodica
(above village Gornjane), St.Blagoveshtenie, St.Spas and St.Jovan.
Deep into the forest above village Banjani is located our final stop the Monastery of St.Ilija.
The small church within the monastery is built in the XIV century and the monastery was considered in Byzantine times as a regional central meeting point of church officials and local religious celebrations making it rich with history and materials that tell the story of life in the past.
|EASY/MODERATE||up to 18km / 11mi||Terrain may be rugged, with some hills, but not too strenuous.||Suitable for fit and active people, with some hiking experience|
When To Go
|Possible||01 January – 14 April and 16 November to 31 December|
|Recommended||15 April – 15 November|
|Not available||All other dates|
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
Buses start from Skopje Central Bus Station
to village Banjani
By Taxi / private transfer:
Available on request
Please contact the agency for current bus 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.
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.
- 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