On a bike among the lakes of Macedonia

Departure Date: 23-09-2017 Status: Guaranteed departure Price: 590 Duration: 8 days
Departure Date: 29-09-2018 Status: Open for booking Price: 590 Duration: 8 days
Departure Date: 19-05-2018 Status: Open for booking Price: 590 Duration: 8 days
Departure Date: 30-06-2018 Status: Open for booking Price: 590 Duration: 8 days
Get Offer or Book Now

Europe is much more varied and interesting than you think. Somewhere among the mountains of the Balkan Peninsula, a small country is cuddled whose natural beauties and long history deserve much more attention. In Macedonia live goes with an already forgotten, but so pleasant rhythm. The streets of its small towns are framed by old-fashioned shops and cozy cafes and its residents still stop on the way to talk, without rushing, to every neighbour they meet.

The tour offers not only viewing this interesting country- but doing it in a way that suits it- not hastily but on a bike, slowly enjoying its picaresque villages and beautiful nature which is exceptionally generous here – high snowy mountains surround lakes with incredibly pure and transparent water. And the food …… well, it is impossible to describe it- you must try it!

Tour highlights:
♦ Krushevo  -  the highest town on the Balkan Peninsula situated at an altitude of 1500 m.a.s.l. It has preserved the traditional local atmosphere and many old houses with interesting architecture.
Bitola - a "consular city." The consulates of the Western countries were there at the time when the city was within the Ottoman Empire. Its central pedestrian street combines the European appearance of its buildings with the cozy cafes and restaurants of the Balkans.
♦ Lyuboyno - a typical mountain Balkan village - stone houses in whose hidden backyards the traditional local strong drink –rakya- is drunk in the evening.
♦ National Park "Pelister" is the oldest national park in Macedonia. The highest peak of the mountain is 2601 m.
♦ Prespa lake , Monastery “St. Naum”, Ohrid lake and the town of Ohrid are under the auspices of UNESCO. The lake - because of its purity and unique fauna and the town - because of its valuable archaeological and historical merits.
 

Itinerary:

Day 1. Arrival to Skopje. If the flight is an early one there is an opportunity for a trip to Matka canyon. If notthe excursion can be made on the day of departure. Transfer to Krushevo. Overnight.

Day 2. KrushevoBitola. The first cycling day begins with a long descend. After it the road to Bitola is level, as in the middle we will deviate to Slepche village and the monastery “St. Jovan the Baptist”, to which we will have to make a short but steep climb. We will have lunch at the restaurant below the monastery. After arriving in Bitola we can make a short walk to the nearby ancient town of Heraculaneum.
Distance: 65 km, uphill/downhill: 560m/ 1130m

Day 3. Bitola - Lyuboyno. On this day we will head off to Prespa Lake. By idle road we will bypass Pelister Mountain and when we climb the highest point of the transition for the day, we will stop for lunch. Then, we will descend to the lake. We will cycle on coastal roads, and then going slightly uphill we will reach Lyuboyno village where we will stay for the night.
Distance: 68km, uphill/downhill: 1000m/ 750m

Day 4. Lyuboyno. The stone village and its surroundings are very beautiful, and therefore we will stay there this day. Lovers of more active recreation can walk up the paths of the national Park “Pelister” while those who want to indulge in idleness for a while can spend the day on the shore of the beautiful Prespa lake.

Day 5. LyuboynoSt. Naum Monastery- Ohrid. Not an easy but extremely beautiful transition is ahead.  We will move from Prespa lake to Ohrid lake through Galichitsa mountain. The first part of the route follows the curves of Prespa Lake. Then a long climb to the ridge of Galichitsa follows from where spectacular views of both lakes are displayed. We will then descend to Ohrid Lake by a steep road with many turns. The end point of the cycling transition is St. Naum Monastery. From there short transfer to Ohrid or optional short trip by boat in the waters of the lake to Ohrid. Overnight. (On this day, as in other days, it is possible to cut the cycling if you wish and use the accompanying minibus on the difficult sections).

Distance: 74km, uphill/downhill: 700m/ 700m

Day 6. Ohrid. Ohrid is not a big town but it has a glorious past and great location. We will devote the day to it. We will walk along its narrow streets, tour the fortress and the numerous churches, and we will admire for a while the view to the lake. Those who prefer to ride bikes will have the opportunity to visit the rock churches near the village of Kalishta. Of course, one does not exclude the other - in one day you can view Ohrid and visit the rock churches.
Distance: 36km, uphill/downhill: 100m/ 100m

Day 7. OhridDebarSkopje. In the last cycling day we will head off to Debar. The road follows the river curves all the way to Debar lake. From the town of Debar a transfer by minibus to Skopje follows as en route we will look at St Jovan Bigorski Monastery. Overnight in Skopje.

Distance: 66km, uphill/downhill: 380m/ 340m

Day 8. Departure. 
Departure to the airport on your own. 

Included in the price:  ►accomodation in hotels on bed and breakfast basis and lunchpacks ►English-speaking guide/driver with a supporting vehicle ►map ► all ground transportation (including airport transfer on arrival day) ►technical support of the bikes

Not included: ►transfer to the airport on the day of departure is not included ►Bike rental ►Rent of pannier bags ►flights ►travel insurance ►dinners ►entrance fees ►tips ►alcohol drinks and other personal expenses ►helmet: 5 EUR (week) ►boat trip (~5-10EUR)

Other expenses: single room supplement: 110 euro;

Good to know:
♦ Bikes:
hardtail mountain bike or hybrid bike
♦ Roads: we use mainly village asphalt roads with little traffic, road conditions are relatively good with some exceptions (bumpy sections, potholes, rough asphalt). Short off road sections can be added.
♦ Guide/driver: The guide with the supporting vehicle and the luggage inside checks several times a day if everything is OK with the group, waiting by crossroads, accompanying them for breakfast, lunch and dinner and giving them talks by the most interesting sites en-route

We recommend trip in the period: May - November

Necessary equipment: All riders must wear a helmet at all times riding. We encourage riders to bring their own helmets or rent one of ours. Cycling gloves, breathable clothes, waterproof gear, cycling shoes/trainers, swimming suit sunscreen lotion; sunglasses with UV protection, (For the full list with recommended items see “General” in the trip dossier).

Walking Holidays in Bulgaria, Horseriding Vacations in Bulgaria, Selfguided Holidays Worldwide
ATTA Member