|Departure Date: from 01-04-2019 to 31-10-2019||Status: Open for booking||Price: 590 €||Duration: 8 days|
Nested at the heart of the Balkan Peninsula the land of Macedonia has always been at the crossroad of local cultures, national movements and great power politics making it one of the most attractive destinations for exploration in the region nowadays. Besides the rich historical and cultural background Macedonia is also renowned for its breathtaking mountain sceneries and pristine lakes which is why we are happy to invite you on a tour that is going to let you experience the country in the most exciting ways – on a bike!
Our itinerary is designed to reveal you Macedonia in the most comprehensive way, taking you through scenic mountain roads, old towns and ancient ruins preserving all the numerous layers of history that had shaped the complex cultural background of the Balkans – an unforgettable adventure spiced with a delicious local cuisine!
♦ 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.
♦ Ancient Town "Heraclea Lyncestis" - Famous for its dazzling mosaics, ancient theater and Roman baths, "Heraclea" is the most vividly presented city from the surviving Ancient Macedonian Empire in the country.
♦ Island "Golem Grad" - is home of several ancient ruins and churches. It is also home to several different communities of animals, especially snakes.
♦ Ohrid lake and the town of Ohrid - both listed as UNESCO sites because of their natural and historical significance.
Day 1. Arrival to Skopje and transfer to Krushevo
Depending on the timing of your flight there is an opportunity for a trip to Matka canyon. If not – the excursion can be made on the day of departure. Transfer to Krushevo for Overnight.
Day 2. Krushevo – Bitola
The first cycling day begins with a long descend after which we continue on a flat section where we can detour to Slepche village and the monastery "St. Jovan the Baptist" for lunch and sightseeing break. We continue to Bitola where we can cycle a bit more to the nearby ancient town of Heraculaneum.
Distance: 65 km, uphill/downhill: 560m/ 1130m
Day 3. Bitola - Oteshevo
On this day we will head off to Prespa Lake passing through Pelister Mountain. As we reach the highest point for the day we can stop for lunch and than descent to the lake. Cycling on the coastal roads we go slightly upwards reaching the Oteshevo village where we stay for overnight.
Distance: 64km, uphill/downhill: 1000m/ 750m
Day 4. Oteshevo
Free day for exploring the region. Options include hiking in the national Park "Pelister", resting on the shores of the lake, cycling to the Greek border or a boat trip to the island "Golem Grad" in the center of Prespa lake, home to various enfemic species. Ovenight at Oteshevo.
Day 5. Oteshevo – St. Naum Monastery- Ohrid
A long climb takes us through the Galichitsa national park situated between Prespa and Ohrid lakes, revealing some of the best views to both of them. As we reach the highest point we descent to the St. Naum Monastery for a sightseeng and lunch break. From there we can take a boat ride or cycle for another 30km to the town of Ohrid located at the oposite side of the lake.
Distance: 67km, uphill/downhill: 1752m/1915m
Day 6. Ohrid
Today we explore the numerous cultural sites of the town of Ohrid. 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 visitthe rock churches.
Distance: 36km, uphill/downhill: 100m/ 100m
Day 7. Ohrid – Debar – Skopje
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 can stop at St Jovan Bigorski Monastery. Overnight in Skopje.
Distance: 66km, uphill/downhill: 380m/ 340m
Day 8. Departure
Departure to the airport on your own.
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).