Polog Region – Mavrovo

Mavrovo is a region in the west of Republic of N. Macedonia that lies between the towns of Gostivar, Debar and Kichevo. On the Northern part extends along the ridge of  Shar Planina Mountain while the Southern boundary is following the course of Mala Reka. The Western boundary of the Park overlaps with the State border with Albania and the east side borders with Jasen Natural Reserve. It holds the largest of the three national parks covering an area of about 780 km2. It is divided into three zones: strict nature reserves, managed reserves, and a tourist zone. It is characterized by deep canyons, lakes and dense forests that abound with diverse wildlife of which the most interesting is the Balkan lynx, considered to be the largest cat in the Balkans.

The relief of the park contains three Alpine mountain systems: the Shar, Korab and Bistra mountains. The Shar and Korab exceed heights of 2700 m (the Korab peak, with its 2764 m, is the highest in North Macedonia). These mountains are distinguished by chains of snowy, jagged peaks and broad grassy plateaus below them. Between the three mountains extends the Radika gorge for more than 25 km. The park area contains other interesting natural phenomena:

  • “Bunec” Safari park (European Deer Reproduction Center)this center covers territory of 430ha which is surrounded with protective fence. The visitors will be able to see the European deer in it, as well as the fallow deer, and the walk around the place is quite pleasant.
  • Korab Falls – the highest waterfall in the Balkans (with a vertical fall of approximately 120 m)
  • Lokuv Glacial Lake – lowest glacial lake in N. Macedonia at 1568m on Deshat Mountain, one of the numerous glacial lakes in the region
  • The Mavrovo Lake – a genuine pearl with its surface of 13.7 km2. although it is artificial the it still captivates with its beauty. Besides fishing, the lake is used for camping, walks, etc.

Ski Mavrovo

The therein is suitable for various adventures so Mavrovo is visited thought the year. Still its full capacity is reached during the winter period. Mavrovo Ski Centre – Zare Lazareski winter sports area is situated between the elevations of 1,255 and 1,860 m. providing perfect conditions for skiing on natural and technical snow. The ski area is serviced with 3 ski chairs and 11 ski lifts that offer 25 km of perfectly maintained ski slopes that are different and ideal for recreational and professional skiers, as well as for beginners.

The most famous festival in North Macedonia is The “Galichnik Wedding”, an annual festival held in the village of Galichnik where a selected couple gets married in the traditional style. The two day event is held on St. Peter’s Day (12 July) every year and it serves as a cultural and tourist attraction. During the wedding, men dance Teshkoto, symbolizing the struggle of the Macedonian people through the centuries.

  • Lokuv Glacial Lake
  • Ski Resort Mavrovo
  • Sherpa horse riding club
  • Galichnik sheepfold and village
  • Sheepfold Trnica
  • Waterfall Duff
  • Bigorski Monastery St. John the Baptist
  • Rajchica Monastery
  • Debar Lake
  • Sharkova Dupka Cave in Mavrovo village

Galichnik village and Wedding

At 1450m altitude Galichnik is a small but beautiful vivid village in the center of the Mijak region, world famous for the Galichnik Wedding Festival on 12 July.In its existence the festival has contributed to cherishing the unique wedding customs and rituals of the population of this region, preserving the original songs, folk dances, and the far and wide known traditional costumes of Galichnik – made with filigree precision and accuracy of the tailors.

St.John the Baptist – Bigorski monastery

The church is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. According to the monastery’s 1833 chronicle, it was built in 1020 by Archbishop Jovan. In the XVI century, the Ottomans destroyed the monastery, only an old church survived and in 1743 it was restored by Ilarion the monk. The iconostasis of the monastery is considered a master piece from local wood carving masters.

Monastery of St. George the Triumphant – Rajchica

Situated on the outskirts of Debar in the village of Rajchica lies the women’s monastery St. George the Triumphant. It is believed that the monastery was built in the beginning of the 14th century and fully restored in the year 1999. Now the monastery is one of the most beautiful in the region and celebrates the name of the saint on St. Gorge’s day every year in a village celebration.

The territory of the National Park Mavrovo, has many trails that can be used for adventure sports. They have different difficulty, length and degree of usability. Just to name a few:

Hiking Trails – Strezimir to Korab

Distance: 17 km

Elevation: 1504-2764m

Difficulty: Dificult


Distance: 16 km

Elevation: 1247-1953-1230m

Difficulty: Moderate


Biking trails– Trail trough the landscapes

Distance: 45 km

Elevation: 1270-1730m

Difficulty: Difficult


Jeep off road – more than 10 different trails

Recommended trail Leunovo – Lazaropole

Distance: 40 km

Elevation: 1273-1885-1250m

Difficulty: Moderate


Horseback – Bistra Mountain – Galichnik

Distance: 40 km

Elevation: 1273-1885-1250m

Difficulty: Moderate

Bakrdan (Corn flour dish)

The tastiest poor man’s dish is cooked using only boiling water, corn flour and fat. It resembembles polenta. It is served with white cheese, yogurt or meet.

White sheep cheese

Due to the richness of the mountains, Mavrovo region is famous for its locally produced white sheep feta cheese. Itis a soft, brine-cured cheese made from sheep’s milk unpasteurized, drained into curd and aged in low temperature place until put in salty water to preserve.

Yellow sheep cheese – kashkaval

Local delicacy, the parmesan of our region. Prepared with teleme, a combination of ingredient for cheese, part white cheese part curd. It is a procedure with salting and aging the milk mixture with the melting of the salt and drying of the cheese in the natural sun.

Mavrovo trout

Fresh trout best can be cooked on the open fire or in a stove. Spiced with herbs from the mountain, some fresh lemon and garlic.

Mavorvo lamb roast

Mavrovo bred lamb spiced cooked on a spit screw twirling slowly on open fire for hours. Local herbs and oil is added as you slowly cook the lamb.

By Plane

Airport Skopje – 125 km

Airport Ohrid – >100 km


E65 highway from Skopje

Prishtina 127 km R6 and E65

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