We’ve all done it. Sitting there late into the night looking for the next place to explore, we want something different and new. Something with a little bit of everything. Something to satisfy our inner Sir Edmund Hillary. We find historical monuments, but no adrenal dripping trails. Or, we find a country’s high peak to add to our bag list, but no place to enjoy a cup of coffee by a quiet lake. That’s why we were glad to find the Macedonian Mavrovo National Park. It has some of the best hiking in Macedonia.
On a recent road trip, we decided to meander through Mavrovo for a night of wild camping and hiking the next day. We quickly realized one night and a few hours the next day would not be near enough time to find everything in this expansive park. You will need several nights across multiple seasons to fully experience everything this place has to offer.
Mavrovo National Park, one of three national parks in Macedonia, was originally established in 1949 and has since become the largest national park in all of Macedonia. Once a person enters the park, the opportunities for relaxation or recreation are endless. The park has the largest artificial lake in Macedonia lending to swimming, boating, or relaxing next to the water. If you are more of an adventurer, there are several glacial lakes tucked into the mountains and a multitude of mountain bike and hiking trails across all terrain types. Huge peaks overlook the park on all sides offering mountaineering possibilities. All of Mavrovo’s peaks are of note, but Golem Korab stands as the tallest mountain in Macedonia at a height of 2764m. One of the largest draws to Mavrovo National Park is the ski center Zare Lazarevski. A variety of different skiing and snowboarding opportunities are offered at the center.
If you are just looking for a short, but great hike be sure to stop by Mavrovo Falls. We were happy we took the time to see this gem.
Lastly, as with most places in the Balkan Region, history and culture are ready to be discovered at every bend of the road. From small, classic villages to ancient churches, the history buffs will have opportunities to write in their own book of knowledge.
It can be hard to decide which activities to participate in, so I encourage you to stop by and inquire at the Visitor Center. The park rangers are more than helpful and can point you in the right direction. Various accommodations are offered along the lake and in villages depending on your preference and budget. Enjoy your visit.