8 day MTB-trip Macedonia, self guided with gps or group tour

8-Day mountain bike trip in Southwest Macedonia

Macedonia, for many people, is still an unknown cycling destination. It was formerly part of the Yugoslavia but since 1991 has been independent. The Republic of Macedonia has approximately 2 million inhabitants, most of which reside in the capital Skopje. The population is mostly ethnic Macedonians (65%), ethnic Albanians (25%) and approximately 4% of Turkish origin..mtb1

Why biking in Macedonia?

During this tour you’ll get to know this beautiful country which consists of approximately 65% mountains and mountainous terrain. In the southwest of the country there are several national parks with flora, fauna, culture and history. It’s a fantastic country to explore, you can almost cycle from one national park to another! During this challenging journey the route takes you through the national parks Mavrovo and Galicica.

Macedonia’s rich history and culture can be seen everywhere, especially the Turkish influence as a result of centuries of domination by the Ottoman Empire. Ohrid, located on Lake Ohrid is also called the city of 365 monasteries, one for each day of the year. During this holiday there is plenty of time to visit a few of these.

You’ll cycle through the varied landscapes of rivers, lakes, forest trails, mountain roads, valleys, mountain meadows and not to mention the historic Via Ignatia. The routes are never highly technical so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the stunning scenery. And meet the friendly people and be surprised by the typical Balkan cuisine.

Nature of the routes

Most routes are unpaved pathsmtb2 with the ground being quite diverse. The average daily distance is approximately 50-60 km with the transition stage on day 4 to Vevchani being 85km. This is mostly on paved roads through mountain villages with Turkish influences. You will climb between 800 and 1200 meters each day

Group tour of self guided?

This cycling holiday can be booked for 2 persons (self guided). All routes are followed using a GPS navigation device. During this trip, all luggage transfers and accommodation will be arranged.

You can also book this holiday as a guided group tour, including lunches, coffee breaks, refreshments and support vehicle and a cycling guide.

Do you want this tour with your own group of friends? We can arrange a tailor made tour for you (minimum of 4 participants).

The journey in a nutshell

After arrival at Ohrid Airport, you will be transferred to the first hotel of your holiday in the national park of Mavrovo, at an altitude of 1300 meters. In the winter this is a popular skiing area but in summer it’s a perfect place for cycling, with its deep valleys interspersed by mountain meadows, meandering rivers and endless forests.

On the third day you will cycle from Lake Mavrovo, in a southerly direction over vast meadows to the village of Lazaropole, an ancient village hidden deep in the mountains.

The journey continues through the mountain massif of Jablanica, towards the valley of the Radika river. Overnight location is Vevchani, an Italian-looking village with its fine houses and old churches. The village, situated at an altitude of approximately 800 meters, offers a beautiful view over the valley, the Ohrid lake and the mountain massif of Galicica National Park.

After driving through the underlying valley of Ohrid and an overnight stay in this beautiful city, it's time for 2 rides through the Galicica National park. This park is wedged between Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa and these are amongst the cleanest lakes in the world. Prespa lake is widely known for its many species of birds, including pelicans which can be spotted here.

After a night in Otesevo is the last ride of the tour. During this ride, the eastern side of Mount Galicica will be climbed before you descend to your final hotel in Ohrid.

Price self guided tour: from € 599,- p.p.

( minimum 2 persons and price per person based on 2 persons per room)

For departure dates: see ‘Travel dates & costs'

Included

  • 7 Hotel nights with breakfast in a double room
  • Dinner on day 6
  • 6 Challenging rides, GPS tracks
  • Luggage transport
  • English speaking contact person in Ohrid
  • Map of the area

Excluded

  • Flight tickets
  • Airport Transfers
  • Single supplement
  • Lunches, dinners (excluding day 6), drinks and other personal expenses
  • Rental bike: MTB 26 inch or 29 inch
  • Rental helmet
  • Rental GPS device
  • Personal insurances (travel)
  • Customers contribution guarantee GGTO

Price group: from € 649,- p.p.

(price per person based on 2 persons per room; guaranteed departure by a minimum of 4 participants)

For departure dates: see ‘Travel dates & costs'

Included

  • 7 Nights hotel with breakfast based on a double room
  • Lunches on day 2-7
  • Dinner on day 6
  • Coffee/tea, fruit and snacks on the way
  • 6 Challenging rides
  • Support vehicle
  • Luggage transport
  • Multi lingual cycling guide
  • Map of the area

Excluded

  • Flight tickets
  • Airport transfers
  • Single supplement
  • Dinners (excluding day 6), drinks and other refreshments
  • Rental bike: MTB 26 inch or 29 inch
  • Rental helmet
  • Rental GPS device
  • Personal insurances (travel)
  • Customers contribution guarantee GGTO

Daily program

Day 1. Arrival
Day 2. Mavrovo-Vrben-Mavrovo (ride 1: 65 km/ascending 900 mtr.)
Day 3. Mavrovo-Lazaropole (ride 2: 55 km/ascending 1,200 mtr.)
Day 4. Lazaropole-Vevchani (ride 3: 85 km/ascending 800 mtr.)
Day 5. Vevchani-Ohrid (ride 4: 63 km/ascending 1,200 mtr.)
Day 6. Ohrid-Otesevo (ride 5: 42 km/ascending 750 mtr.)
Day 7. Otesevo-Ohrid (ride 6: 55 km/ascending 1,100 mtr.)
Day 8. Departure to Ohrid Airport

This post is also available in: Dutch

2 Responses

  1. een prachtige rit met veel uitdagingen en goed eten met prettige accomodaties
  2. Macedonië 2-9 september 2016 Door de enthousiaste verhalen van mij vriend Michiel over eerdere mountainbike vakanties o.l.v. Raymond Bouwer naar o.a. Turkije, had ik mij dit jaar aangemeld voor de mountainbike –tour door Macedonië. Na een vlotte vlucht werden wij met 2 busjes opgehaald van het vliegveld van Ohrid, een voor ons en een voor de bagage waaronder een aantal fietsen in grote koffers. Zelf had ik via Raymond een prima huurfiets voor deze week . De eerste paar dagen verbleven wij in het Mavrovo National Park. Erg mooie natuur en prachtige vergezichten. Daarna hadden wij een vrij lange en zware etappe van Lazaropole naar Vevchani. , ruim 90 km en 2100 hoogtemeters. Bovendien was het die dag vrij warm. De dagen daarna lag Macedonië gehuld onder een dik wolken dek en regende het veel. Om die reden was de etappe naar Ohrid iets ingekort, dat gaf ons de gelegenheid de citadel van Ohrid te bewonderen en de oude kapel met fresco’s daar vlak naast. Wij verbleven in een aangenaam hotel aan het meer en we hadden die dag tijd om rustig door Ohrid te flaneren.. Op woensdag ochtend regende het nog hard, maar rond 11 uur trok het iets open en begonnen wij aan een 2 uur durende klim naar het Galicia National Park. De hoogvlakte daarboven vormde een hoogtepunt in de week. Te meer daar bijna alle fietsen langzaam vastliepen in de fijn rode modder die bleef plakken aan wielen , remmen, ketting en derailleur. Zoals elke dag stonden Raymond en Peter net op het goede moment klaar met drank en versnaperingen. Mijn fits was echter vastgelopen en de derailleur had het begeven. Ik heb mijn ketting met tiirips vastgezet, heb nog een half uur gewandeld en ben toen 18 km afgedaald naar het Prespa meer. Prachtig uitzicht. De laatste fietsdag ging over de oude (kasseien) weg naar Bitola en vandaar steil omhoog naar Molika in het Pelister National Park. Deze dag zat ik op een iets te kleine huurfiets, maar desondanks ben ik boven gekomen. Mijn algemene indruk van Macedonië: prachtige natuur, maar zodra je in de bewoonde wereld komt is het armoe troef, veel afval langs de weg en in de beken, autorakken en ingezakte huizen, , niet afgebouwde huizen en slechte wegen. Het gezelschap was zeer plezierig wat veel goed maakte. De reisleiding was attent en goed geluimd. Hans Borren

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