Hiking in Macedonia and Albania

Byzantine Treasures and the Land of the Eagles

Hiking in Macedonia and Albania route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $4195  
Length: 13 days
Arrive: Skopje, Macedonia
Depart: Skopje, Macedonia
Lodging: 12 nights hotels
Meals: All meals included except 1 dinner
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: A mix of moderate walks and hikes, some steep trails and rugged terrain, 2-6 hours a day, van support (for luggage or tired feet)
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Highlights

  • Hike the exquisite—and untrammeled—mountain trails of Macedonia and Albania
  • Discover a rich collection of Greek and Roman ruins, Byzantine churches and monasteries, and old Ottoman towns
  • Stunning Lakes Ohrid and Prespa
  • Experience local cuisine like Selsko meso, a classic Macedonian dish of roast beef, pork, and lamb with mushrooms, white wine, and cheese


The hikes were challenging and varied with the rewards of lovely scenery and quaint villages along the way. Great food and wines everywhere we stayed were an added delight at the end of a perfect day!Lili H.—Taos, NM

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Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

Offering incredible opportunities for hiking, Macedonia and Albania are intriguing ancient lands that few have visited. We’ve crafted a journey that weaves together visits to compelling cultural sites like the Bronze Age observatory of Kokino and remote 13th century Treskavac Monastery, and hikes through pine forests and stream-laced valleys of rugged national parks. Crossing into once-forbidden Albania, our trails lead you through timeless villages and to the peak of Maja e Poshe Tepes. Along the way we sample savory regional cuisine, with its Mediterranean, Balkan, and Turkish influences, taste hearty, full-bodied local wines, and enjoy wonderful cultural encounters.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-2
Skopje, Macedonia / Demir Kapija

Our explorations in Skopje include Byzantine, Ottoman, and Roman archaeological treasures, followed by a chance to sample local wines in Demir Kapija.

Days 3-5
Treskavac Monastery / Heraclea / Pelister National Park

Hike to Treskavac, a monastery with Byzantine frescoes, then explore Heraclea, renowned for its basilica’s mosaics. In rugged Pelister National Park, our trails lead to two glacial lakes known as the “Mountain’s Eyes.”

Days 6-7
Voskopoja, Albania / Maja e Poshe Tepes

Heading across the border to ruggedly beautiful Albania, explore Voskopoja, a peaceful village of farmhouses, and hike through pine forests to the summit of Maja e Poshe Tepes, with sweeping views.

Days 8-9
Korça / Galicica National Park

Korça’s bustling bazaar takes you into the heart of this cultural crossroads. Back in Macedonia, our hike in Galicica National Park offers you panoramas of Lakes Ohrid and Prespa right at your feet.

Days 10-11
Ohrid / Mavrovo National Park

After exploring the Neolithic, Bronze Age, and Hellenistic archaeological sites of lakeside Ohrid, hike to the tumbling waterfalls of Mavrovo National Park.

Days 12-13
Matka / Skopje

Our exploration of Matka Lake includes a visit to medieval Monastery St. Nicolas Shishovski, set atop a cliff with spectacular views. Depart from Skopje on Day 13.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

What the Trip is Like

This trip is Level 3+, Moderate. On most days, we hike anywhere from two to six hours over moderate to steep mountain terrain. You will carry just a daypack on the hikes, but the trails can be rugged and narrow. The hiking itinerary is planned as we have described it in the preceding pages. However, as in any mountain trip, we will remain flexible with regard to weather and other local conditions in choosing our routes. Tourism infrastructure in Macedonia and Albania is still in development and the services, facilities, and quality of hiking trails can be basic.

Please note that in Europe, the dinner hour is considerably later than what it is in the US. We do our best to secure early reservations for our groups, but most often the evening meal will be at 7:30 p.m. Rooms in the hotels and inns we stay in are not always of uniform or international size. However, our leaders try their best to assign rooms in a fair way so that all participants experience an equal advantage throughout the trip as a whole. Single Rooms: Please note that single rooms in European hotels tend to be small by US standards.

Explanation of Trip Levels

 

Departures & Leaders

2014
Aug 24-Sep 5, 2014

2015
Jun 13-25, 2015  Ingrid Cercek
Aug 23-Sep 4, 2015  Ingrid Cercek

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2015
$4195 (13-15 members)
$4395 (10-12 members)
$4695 (6-9 members)
Single supplement: $720
Forced single supplement: $520
more on pricing

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations in hotels and comfortable inns
  • All meals included except 1 dinner
  • Ground transportation throughout the trip
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees on group tours

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, airport/hotel transfers, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors; pre-trip expense of medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance or passports; and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, hotel telephone calls, etc.).

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20%
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

More than 90 days prior to departure: No charge!
46-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

The Stone Bridge Hotel

The Stone Bridge Hotel

Day 1 (1 night),
Day 12 (1 night), Skopje, Macedonia

The modern Stone Bridge Hotel is located in the center of Skopje between the Old Town and the newer part of Skopje. Rooms are clean and comfortable ...
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Hotel Popova Kula

Hotel Popova Kula

Day 2 (1 night), Demir Kapija, Macedonia

This small wine country hotel, set atop a small hill with spectacular views of the surrounding vineyards, is a tranquil oasis just a short walk from ...
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Hotel Epinal - Bitola

Hotel Epinal - Bitola

Day 3 (1 night), Bitola, Macedonia

Set on the main street of town surrounded by lively bars and cafes, the Hotel Epinal offers quiet guest rooms decorated in modern furnishings and an ...
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Hotel Molika

Hotel Molika

Days 4 to 5 (2 nights), Pelister, Bitola, Macedonia

This chalet-style hotel, built for skiers and nestled within Pelister National Park, gives us access to the park’s hiking trails.
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Royal Hotel

Royal Hotel

Days 6 to 7 (2 nights), Voskopoje, Albania

The 18-room Royal Hotel is set on a hill overlooking the village of Voskopoje. It offers simple but and comfortable rooms and a terrace bar and ...
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Hotel St Naum

Hotel St Naum

Day 8 (1 night), St Naum-Ohrid, Macedonia

Set on the shores of Lake Ohrid, the Hotel St. Naum complex encircles the ancient Chapel of St. Naum, which sits in the middle of the hotel’s ...
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Ohrid Hotels

Days 9 to 10 (2 nights), Ohrid, Macedonia

In Ohrid, we stay at one of the following properties:

Hotel Bistra

Hotel Bistra

Day 11 (1 night), Mavrovo, Macedonia

The Hotel Bistra, a lodge in Mavrovo National Park, gives us great access to the park’s hiking trails. It features an indoor swimming pool, a ...
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Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Ingrid Cercek

Departure Dates: August 24-September 5, 2014, June 13-25, 2015, August 23-September 4, 2015

Ingrid Cercek was born and raised in Slovenia. After 28 years living in the lovely capital, Ljubljana, she moved with her husband to a small wooden chalet to the countryside. Since her childhood, Ingrid has been exploring the mountains and villages of Slovenia as well as Croatia, Bosnia, ...
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Simon Simonovski

Departure Dates: August 24-September 5, 2014

Simon Simonovski, a native of Bitola, Macedonia, has a university degree in the history of art and archaeology and has a dual career as a graphic designer and mountain guide. Most of his leisure time is spent in the mountains of Macedonia and its neighboring countries, and lately, he has become a ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Client Comments

The hikes were challenging and varied with the rewards of lovely scenery and quaint villages along the way. Great food and wines everywhere we stayed were an added delight at the end of a perfect day! Lili H., Taos, NM
I thought this trip really highlighted the best of Macedonia and Albania. The sights, sounds, and culture were brought to life for me and I found the experience rewarding. Natalie S., Howard, PA