Byzantine Treasures and the Land of the Eagles

Repertory Trip: Next Offered August 28-September 9, 2017


Steeped in history and culture and hidden from the rest of Europe for decades, the ancient lands of Macedonia and Albania are intriguing enclaves that few have visited, yet they offer incredible hiking territory along with a cultural legacy that echoes the intricate tapestry of the storied past. We’ve crafted a hiker’s journey that brings us to compelling sites like the Bronze Age observatory of Kokino and remote Treskavac Monastery, and through pine-clad forests and stream-laced valleys of rugged national parks. Along the way we sample the savory regional cuisine, with its Mediterranean, Balkan, and Turkish influences, taste hearty, full-bodied local wines, and experience wonderful cultural encounters in timeless villages and monasteries throughout these age-old lands.

Itinerary at a Glance

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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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


Length: 13 days
Cost From: $3795  
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 if you wish to skip a day's hike)

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