National Parks

Macedonia is proud of the many protected natural areas that are found within its borders, and justifiably so. The country has three national parks, each of which that offer many similar activities and scenery, but each that is unique in its own right. All not only feature stunning mountains, thick forests, and beautiful lakes, but also small villages and historical sites. The three parks are Galicica National Park, Mavrovo National Park, and Pelister National Park.

Visiting The National Parks Of Macedonia

When attempting to find a vacation destination that offers experiences, sights, and sounds that are completely unique, the potential vacationer should really take a look at the Republic of Macedonia. Macedonia is a landlocked country that sits on the Balkan peninsula in the southeast region of Europe. Five nations border Macedonia including Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Kosovo, and Serbia. Visiting Macedonia by itself or as a tour of this region of Europe can be rewarding in many ways.

The Republic of Macedonia declared its independence in 1991 after it had formerly been a part of the nation of Yugoslavia. Today, the country remains proud of its many important historical sites and attractions, while at the same time working to become more modern too. With its gorgeous scenery, thanks to the many impressive and imposing high mountain peaks and beautiful tranquil lakes found there, it has in recent years become more and more popular with tourists both from other areas of Europe as well as from around the world. Macedonia is very protective of its scenic assets and has set them aside and protected them for the benefit of both its citizens and for the benefit of its growing tourism industry. Visiting the national parks of Macedonia is a very good way to have a great vacation in this interesting and unique part of the world.

Galicica National Park

Galicica National Park is located between Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa. It is situated in the southwestern corner of the Republic of Macedonia and is a very popular destination for both locals and those from outside the area. The community of Elsani is a small but picturesque village on the shores of Lake Ohrid that is located inside the boundaries of Galicica National Park. Elsani offers a great look at life in a small Macedonian village. The community is popular with those looking for the opportunity to participate in a number of activities including walking, hiking, bicycling, jogging, fishing, swimming, and a whole host of beach activities. There are numerous hiking trails that criss cross all over Galicica National Park and they offer a great opportunity to see the nature and wildlife that can be found there. Sv. Bogorodica Zahumska is a popular destination in the park. This small church is only accessible by boat and has some amazing architecture. It notably contains a must see fresco depicting St. Anna breastfeeding the Virgin Mary. Another religious site worth visiting in the park is the small monastery named Sv. Naum which sits on the Macedonia-Albania border and is home to a number of interesting features. Galicica National Park is definitely worth a stop for anyone visiting the Republic of Macedonia.

Mavrovo National Park

Sitting in Western Macedonia, and by far the largest national park in the entire country, is Mavrovo National Park. This beautiful national park contains some of the best and most beautiful scenery in the entire region. There are a number of featured destinations in the park, many of them popular with both travelers from outside the country as well as locals who may even live right within the parks boundaries. Sv. Jovan Bigorski is an 18th century monastery located in the small community of Rostuse. It is filled with beautiful icons and interesting frescos that many people say are some of the best things they saw in the area during their visit there. Golem Korab is the largest mountain in the Republic of Macedonia and is also located inside Mavrovo National Park and right on the border with Albania. This mountain is extremely popular with seasoned backpackers and mountain climbers. The Zare Lazareski Ski Center, a modern skiing facility in a region that lacks just such a thing, is also located within the park and provides a great time to those that visit there. One of the most unusual things to see within the park is a half submerged church located in Mavrovo Lake. The lake is also popular with those wishing to do some boating, fishing, swimming, and kayaking. Like the other national parks in the country, hiking is available throughout the area and very popular with locals and travelers alike.

Pelister National Park

Located very near the city of Bitola in Western Macedonia is Pelister National Park. Mount Pelister towers over much of the local scenery and is popular with the more adventurous traveler coming to the area. There are a number of things to do when visiting the city of Bitola and a trip to Pelister National Park is often seen as a great way to escape the crowded urban life that is found there. There are several species of wildlife available to see in the park including eagles, jackdaws, rabbits, wild boars, partridges, wolves, bears, deer, and more. There are a number of hotels in the vicinity of the park and they act as a great headquarters for those wanting to explore everything that is there. It is also possible to spend the night in the park itself with a number of camping locations. Two high mountain lakes, known as Pelisters Eyes, are popular destinations within the park and can be reached easily, including by hiking trail. Skiing is available in a few different locations within the park and has gained a reputation over the years with mountain sports enthusiasts as a place that must be experienced at least once. The Pelagonia Valley is absolutely gorgeous and one of the highlights of the park. Pelister National Park is definitely a worthwhile stop for those vacationing in the Republic of Macedonia.

Whether a vacationer comes to Macedonia as part of a European tour or is focusing on this country as their prime destination, they are sure to be impressed and satisfied with time spent in the national parks of the country. There are other great things to see in Macedonia, other than the parks, including active cities, museums, resorts, and small communities, but the countrys national parks are true national treasures and are very worthy of a visit. Macedonia is a beautiful location for anyone wanting to vacation in a unique and remote area and the national parks of the country only add to the positive experience that can be had there.