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Via Dinarica in North Macedonia

Via Dinarica in North Macedonia

Tour details

Rating
Average rating:   0,  0 reviews
Country
North Macedonia
Activity type
Self Guided Walking
Duration
6 days & 5 nights
Difficulty
Moderate to Strenuous
Accomodation
Various
Availability
May - October

Itinerary

Day 1: Popova Shapka 
Day 2: Popova Shapka
Day 3: Ljuboten
Day 4: Šar Mountains/Skopje
Day 5: Matka Canyon/Skopje
Day 6: Departure 

Overview for Via Dinarica in North Macedonia

The Via Dinarica is a mega trail that extends from Albania to Slovenia and traverses the largest karst field on Earth. One of the most challenging but also most rewarding stretches of the Via Dinarica follows the Šar mountain range in North Macedonia. Located just two hours drive from the capital Skopje, this itinerary will reveal you one of the best mountain sceneries of the region and let you enjoy the local hospitality and authentic cuisine. This programme is suitable for avid and experienced walkers who want to enjoy the best hiking North Macedonia has to offer.

Highlights

  • Šar mountain range
  • Titov Vruh (2747 m)
  • Mount Ljuboten
  • Matka Canyon

Itinerary for Via Dinarica in North Macedonia

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Day 1: Arrival Skopje /  Popova Sapka

Arrival and meeting our representative at Skopje International Airport. Complimentary transfer to the Popova Shapka mountain resort (1800m) where you will stay for the overnight.

Accommodation: Konak Mountain Hut, private en-suite rooms
Included meals for the day: Dinner

Day 2: Hike to Titov Vruh

Today you will explore the central and most spectacular part of the Šar mountain range and hike to its highest peak Titov Vruh. If you are in good physical condition we recommend you to take the ridgeline route, it is a demanding but also very rewarding hike which will take you through few “smaller” summits: Sin Vrv (2550 m), Karabunar (2600 m) and Bakardan peak (2702 m). An easier option is also possible.

  • Accommodation: Konak Mountain Hut, private en-suite rooms
  • Included meals for the day: breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner
  • Walking for the day: 21 km, ↑1811m ↓1811m, 8h 

Day 3: Ljuboten Peak

A transfer takes you to the starting point of today’s hike. Mount Ljuboten (2498m) is an impressive summit with a pyramidal shape dominating the far background when seen from Skopje Valley. The sights during the hike are amazing, to the east you can see mount Skopska Crna Gora and Vodno, the southern views open the whole Šar ridgeline with dozen of peaks towering above 2500m, to the west are the Kosovo and Albanian mountains and to the north the plains of Kosovo.

  • Accommodation: Vila Ljuboten, private rooms, shared facilities
  • Included meals for the day: breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner
  • Walking for the day: 14 km, ↑1870m ↓888m, 7h 

Day 4: Šar Mountains Ridge

Today you will explore an amazing ridgeline. Taking you southwards, the route traverses the eastern side of Ljuboten peak passing by Kozja Stena (goat’s wall), a notable rocky landmark amidst the steep slope seen even from Skopje. You will pass through a rocky section with small boulders, where you will have to watch your feet and try to not get distracted by the surrounding views. After passing the Shija saddle you will see Livadicko Lake, just 200 vertical meters below, situated in a rocky cirque at 2137 meters, its waves have carved an overhanging rock over its western shore – a rare natural phenomenon.  As you get closer to Belovishte village you will hear the roaring sound of several creeks and rivers. At the local restaurant, you can award yourself with a trout for lunch and well-deserved swim at the swimming pool in the shadows of chestnut trees. A transfer will take you to Skopje for overnight.

  • Accommodation: Hotel City 5, private en-suite rooms
  • Included meals for the day: breakfast, picnic lunch
  • Walking for the day: 16 km, ↑945m ↓1708m, 6h 

Day 5: The Millennium Cross & Canyon Matka

Full-day hike starting from Skopje to the Millenium Cross on the peak of Mt Vodno, revealing a 360° panorama of the city and the mountain chains of North, Central, West and East Macedonia. Afterwards, you will descend to Canyon Matka. We recommend you to start early today if you wish to have enough time to explore the canyon, home to bald eagles, endemic plant-life and over 130 different types of butterflies, as well as few 13th-century monasteries hidden in the rocks. A transfer will take you back to Skopje.

  • Accommodation: Hotel City 5, private en-suite rooms
  • Included meals for the day: breakfast
  • Walking for the day: 15 km, ↑977m ↓994m, 6-7h 

Day 6: Departure

Complimentary transfer to Skopje airport after breakfast or extension upon request.

Hotels for Via Dinarica in North Macedonia

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Accommodation is in mountain huts, family-run guesthouse and a welcoming 3-star hotel. All places have private rooms; you will have en-suite facilities on 4 nights and shared facilities on one night. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Sample accommodation*: Hotel City 5, Konak Mountain Hut, Vila Ljuboten

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included on all days, lunch boxes are provided on days 2, 3 and 4, and dinner is included on days 1, 2 and 3. On the remaining days, it will be possible to get food from the local restaurants or grocery shops.

Travel for Via Dinarica in North Macedonia

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Our recommended arrival airport for this holiday is Skopje.

Please note that flight information can change rapidly, and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner before finalising any booking with us. Please do not book your flights before we have confirmed your booking.

Transfers from/to Airports

Complimentary irport transfers are included if you arrive/depart from Skopje airport.

Baggage Transfers

Baggage transfers are included on all walking days.

Travel Insurance

A comprehensive and reputable travel insurance policy is essential to your enjoyment and peace of mind while on an active holiday. It is highly recommended when booking with us that all group members have valid travel insurance which includes cover for all activities included in your trip. We have teamed up with World Nomads Logo to offer you adequate cover at a great value from a reputable insurer, and it takes only a few minutes to buy online.

Buy travel insurance online

Country Info

Up-to-date travel advice on North Macedonia is available here. Detailed up-to-date travel information for your tour will be provided in your holiday information pack.

Trip Info for Via Dinarica in North Macedonia

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Difficulty Grade: Moderate to Strenuous

This holiday is appropriate for experienced walkers in good physical shape. The walking is mostly on mountain paths. Daily distance varies between 15 and 20km / 6-7 hrs (read more about difficulty grades).

Route Navigation

We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to Go

This trip is available from May till the end of October. The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your holiday on any date in the season – so please indicate desired beginning date when booking.

Weather

During the active season, the weather is normally pleasant and sunny. More rain is expected at the beginning and the end of the season, and it gets warmer during July and August.

Included for Via Dinarica in North Macedonia

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  • All transfers as described in the itinerary
  • All baggage transfers as described in the itinerary
  • Accommodation in private en-suite rooms (4 nights) and private rooms with shared facilities (1 night) as described in the itinerary
  • Meals: 5 x breakfasts + 3 x picnic lunches + 3 x dinners
  • Route navigation materials: maps, route book (one set per booking) and GPS tracks
  • 24/7 support line (cell phone and local contact person)

Supplements

  •  Where solo travellers or individual members of a group require a single room, a supplement is applicable as costs are not shared

Excluded

  • Plane tickets
  • Personal expenses such as snacks, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Airport transfers if not arriving together with the main group
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme

Extensions and Optional Extras

  • Additional nights along the route

Gallery for Via Dinarica in North Macedonia

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Via Dinarica in North Macedonia
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