Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Popova Šapka

Popova Sapka, Macedonia ... High above Tetovo on the Sar Mountain, there is the Popova Sapka ski resort, a major winter destination in north-western Macedonia. It belongs to the municipality of Tetovo.

Popova Sapka is part of the wider Tetovo region and minucipality.The resort Popova Sapka can be accessed by the local road from Tetovo (18 km) and on to Skopje (48 km).The ski slopes in Popova Sapka are first class & start at 1,690 meters above the sea level. They are connected by chair and drag-lifts.
Popova Sapka is home of military base of the Macedonian Army & meteorological station.
Šar Planina itself, is characterized by the numerous natural beauties, large areas covered with grass, flower meadows and 43 peaks at the height over 2,500 meters, above the sea level. The most famous is Titov Vrv - with a height of 2,747 meters, is in the vicinity of Popova Sapka. The beauty of the mountain is enhanced by the several springs and mountain lakes: Livadičko Lake, Crno Lake, Belo Lake, and others. Šar Planina is also rich with woods, that end at 1,600 meters above the sea level. In some of the higher parts of the mountain, the snow remains even during the warmest summer months. The length of this impressive mountain massif extends 80 km, and in latitude - 12 km. The snow cover is from November to April. Popova Sapka is located at the height of 1,708 meters.
Popova Sapka is connected to Tetovo, by a cable railway and a asphalt road. In the immediate vicinity of the Dervish Monastery Arabati Baba Tekje, in Tetovo, is the start of a cable car lift going up to Popova Sapka. The lift is 7 km long and it takes less than 40 minutes to reach Popova Sapka. A good asphalt road, that is passing by the mountainous villages of Gajre, Šipkovica and Lisec, leads to Popova Sapka - the complex of hotels and ski slopes, which can be used during the whole year, even in the winter months, (except in very bad snow storms), because the road is always being cleaned from the snow cover. The ski slopes in Popova Sapka are first class. They are connected by chair and drag-lifts.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Saint Demetrius church - Arbinovo, Debarca municipality

Saint Demetrius (Sveti Dimitrija, Свети Димитрија) church in Arbinovo in Debarca municipality, is an important stop on the way to Ohrid and Struga.
It's located some 30 km, before Ohrid, on the half between the mountanous road Kicevo-Ohrid.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Star & Nov Dojran - Dojran

Dojran lake - reeds and fisherman
Dojran / Dojran municipality, Macedonia. Dojran was a city located on the western shore of Dojran Lake in the south-eastern part of the Republic of Macedonia. Today, it is collective name for two villages that exist on the territory of the ruined city: Nov (New) Dojran (settled from the end of World War I to World War II) and Star (Old) Dojran, which contains both old ruins and recent construction, especially hotels, resorts and restaurants. Dojran is located 170 km from Skopje, 59 km from Strumica and some 30km from Gevgelija. The nearest airports are Thessaloniki International Airport and Skopje Airport.

Dojran has suffered an outrageous bombing during the 1st World War, being on the Macedonian Front line (1916-1918) it was almost struck down. At that time Dojran was turned into a military camp. After the war, of 18,000 inhabitants only few remained to live in Dojran.
The tourism, along with Dojran hotels and the lake brought the life back in Dojran region. After the stagnation from the end of the 20th century, when the level of Dojran lake was lowered for 10 meters, thanking to the new pipeline system, the number if tourists/visitors has raised to a normal level.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Lesnovo monastery - Probistip

Lesnovo monastery - St. Gavril Lesnovski
Milestone caves.
Lesnovo, Probistip municipality - Lesnovo village is located in the vicinity of Probistip, 900-1000 meters above sea level. The village monastery St. Gavril Lesnovski was constructed in 1347 by the ruler Oliver 1st. The monastery is known for its manuscript-writing school and the wood-carved iconostasis from 1811, a work of art performed by the Mijak craftsman. The monastery is the centre of the Christianity in this part of the country and has been visited by many during religious holiday services. The monastery is famous for housing one out of three iconostases made by the famous Macedonian woodcarvers Frckovski and the Filipovski brothers. The other two are found in the church of St Spas in Skopje and in the monastery St Jovan Bigorski in the Mavrovo National Park.

You can still see the mosaic floor of the 11th-century church on whose foundations the current church was built.
On the ceiling of the narthex you can see frescoes of the sun and the moon and 12 animals of people in the sky. Despite they clearly show the zodiac signs, the monk says that they are not designed to depict the zodiac signs.
You cannot enter the monastery if you are dressed inappropriately, but you can borrow trainers and skirts at the entrance to cover yourself.

The Church of the Holy Archangels in Lesnovo
The village Lesnovo is 17 kilometers from Probistip. An asphalted road leads to it. The village has its own authentic architecture and an enormous very old ethnological collection. The Lesnovo environment is very interesting - the landscape is predominately rocks, naturally sculptured, among which the most impressive one is the so-called "Virgin Mary with a Child".

Milestone Caves
In the hills surrounding Lesnovo you will find many man-made caves.  These caves were made by many generations of people who were cutting millstones from the rocks. You will see unfinished millstones everywhere on the walls of the caves. Trails lead from the village to the caves.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Lazaropole - Mavrovo & Rostuse

Lazaropole, Mavrovo & Rostusa municipality, Macedonia - When traveling from Skopje via Tetovo and Gostivar and continuing to Mavrovo, you are entering a picturesque canyon of the river Radika leading to Debar. Passing by the impressive monastery St. Jovan the Baptist the road reaches to the crossroad known as Boshkov Most, only several kilometers near Debar. Here turning left by well asphalt road at approximately 5 km you start mounting by winding road leading you to the heights of the mountain Bistra.
Already feeling like you have reached the skies, at a height of 1.350 meters above the sea level, a vast plateau widens in front of you, where at its rocky components, two and three floor houses appear, build of stone and reminding on middle-aged fortresses.
In the heart of such precise architectural organization welcomes you Kalin Hotel in Lazaropole.
Lazaropole (Kalin hotel on the right)
Lazaropole (Macedonian: Лазарополе) is situated on a plateau at Mount Bistra and is a mountain heaven in Macedonia. The mild mountain climate due to the thermal influences of the Mediterranean which extend along the river of Radika is a reason for Lazaropole to have over 2000 sunny hours per year. The abundant forests as a natural filter purify the air to the level of crystal clarity. As a result, Lazaropole is officially registered as a location with the freshest air on the Balkan Peninsula.
The village is named after a local medieval hero, Lazar, who according to legend was the sole survivor of a Turkish attack on his village. The rest of the townspeople were killed in a cave where they had sought refuge, while Lazar, the only survivor, crawled outside and built a new town.
There are about 400 houses in the village. The older ones reveal the traces of the Mijaci highland building style. The village was the birthplace of numerous authors, educators, carvers, teachers, fresco and icon painters, and constructors.
The village church of St. Gjorgi as unique landmark accompanies the pictorial sight of the village of Lazaropole. It is built in 1841 with colossal dimensions and surrounded by fortress walls of carved stone four meters high. The interior of the church is a masterwork of the famous local Dimitrie Perkoski (Dicho Zograf), from the mijach village Tresonche.
The traditional Macedonian folk dance Teškoto (The hard dance) is from the area of Lazaropole.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Alsar mine (Majden) - Kavadarci

Lorandite - only to be found
 in Macedonia.
Majden, Kavadarci municipality, Macedonia - The mine Alsar has been registered as a monument of nature since 2004 and is part of the Emerald network for protection of natural beauties. 
Alsar deposite is a low-temperature hydrothermal goldarsenicantimonythallium deposit in southern Macedonia. For some time, the thallium-rich part of the deposit was mined. The Crven Dol mine yielded thallium and the ore body still holds estimated amount of 500 t of thallium. The mineral lorandite from this ore deposit is being used to determine the solar neutrino flux.
This mine is the world's only site where there are deposits of talium and is a potential mine of environmentally clean energy. Tens of types of minerals have so far been registered there, seven of which can be found solely in Macedonia. Lorandit is considered the most significant among them. The value of the minerals is estimated at billion of dollars. Alsar is located at Mt Kozuf.
Crven Dol mine operated in the antimony-poor and arsenic and thallium rich layer of the orebody. The minerals making most of the orebody are realgarorpiment, As-bearing pyrite and marcasiteThe deposit was mined extensively between 1880 and 1908. Antimony, arsenic and thallium were produced during that period.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Devil's Wall / Gjavolski Zid

Devil's Wall / Gjavolski Zid.
Devil`s Wall (Macedonian: Ѓаволски Ѕид, Gjavolski Zid) is a stone formation close to the village Bogoslovec, in the vicinity of Sveti Nikole and Stip.
The stone blocks are huge and till this day, noone can tell for certain if this is artificial/manmade or nature creation.
According the legend, the Devil has made a bet with God, that for only one night, he can build a wall and turn the flow of the Bregalnica river, towards the Ovce Pole and flood it. The same night, the Devil has started building the Wall and there was no doubt that he would build it by the morning, God has marked the following day a little earlier, just as the Devil was placing the last stone.
Some people do belleive that this Wall is a remain from the period of Alexander the Great, who has here, hidden his treasure, while other claim that the water in the area has ability to heal.
Next to the wall is the mountain peak named Saint John (Sveti Jovan). Lots of illegal diggers come here and search for the lost gold.
Visiting Devil's Wall: The area is difficult to visit, unless guided. It's close to the Bregalnica river and can be accessed by foot, from the Bogoslovec village (Sveti Nikole municipality).

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ginovci park and restaurant - Kriva Palanka

Ginovci park and restaurant.
Park Ginovci is located near the international highway: Skopje – Kriva Palanka – Republic of Bulgaria in the very heart of the unreachable nature by the village of Ginovci. Within the frames of this complex, several facilities are being included such as: sporth and recreational lake, restaurant capacities, mini ZOO and well cultivated yard. The lake spreads on an area of 5.000 m² and fish fund is abundant. Walking paths, which are surrounded by exuberant vegetation, are being built around the lake.

Following modern way of living, Park Ginovci provides high quality services being an attractive destination even for the most demanding guests. It is an ideal rest and recreation place favorable for daily stay as well for organizing business meetings, excursions, family celebrations and etc. In fact, Park Ginovci is place where the peace and tranquilly enable its guests become part of nature.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Berovo and the Lake

The Berovo lake is 7 km far from Berovo, it is 1,000 m above sea level and can be reached by car using a single asphalt road. On the way to the lake you must visit the women monastery Sv. Archangel Michael.
Berovo Lake and the surrounding nature in the famous Malesevo region includes: the Berovo monastery, the excursion spot "Ablanica" and the weekend-house settlement on the banks of the Berovo Lake.

Berovo lake.
If you are looking for a place for a weekend in Macedonia where you can relax and enjoy nature in all its beauty, away from city noise and traffic jam, Berovo lake is a perfect getaway for you. This place is a synonym for peace and tranquility. It is situated in eastern Macedonia, near Bulgarian border.
Berovo can be reached from the main city of Macedonia, Skopje, through the cities Veles, Stip, Kocani, Makedonska Kamenica and Delcevo or through Vinica, after Kocani (You enter only the city of Vinica, the rest of the cities are bypassed). Berovo is 165 km far from Skopje, and 335 km far from Ohrid.

After passing the Kocani rice fields, you are welcomed with mountains, vegetation and pine forest. The region of Malesevo is also known as ‘little Switzerland’. Malesevo is full of pine and oak trees.That is why Berovo craftsmen are well known for their skill in traditional wood crafting.

Ciplakova koliba.
Berovo Lake is 7 km far from Berovo, it is 1000 m above sea level and can be reached by car using a single asphalt road. On the way to the lake you must visit the women monastery Sv. Arhangel Mihail. This region is characterized wit cool summer and cold winter. It has mainly rainy days, mostly in May, June and November. Because of its nice climate it is a great getaway in summer.

Because of its high concentration of oxygen, the visitors are coming to get energy for working days and to rehab. In Malesovo the natives prepare home made traditional medicaments for different diseases. Most famous is the pine syrup or pine honey, cure for the respiration disorders.
Due to the wide green meadows and the clear and unpolluted air, also famous for its taste is the white berovo cheese (‘berovsko sirenje’). 
Accommodation is offered in the city of Berovo, hotel Manastir (near the Monastery St.Arhangel Mihail), in the Loven dom, in the children resort with simple cabins by the lake or in private accommodation in the villas surrounding the lake.

If you are more then 3 people, good choice are the villas, because they are rented as a hole house, not by room. My recommendation is vila Lina or Ciplakova koliba.
We were staying in vila Lina. It was with a view on the lake, neat, clean, comfort, with modern interior, internal fireplace, external barbecue, beautiful yard and big terrace. This house is vertically separated with own entrances and can be used by 2 different groups of visitors. It has capacity of 17 beds. The only problem is that is by the road which is not so bad because there is almost no traffic (at least at the beginning of June when we were there).
If you are in a mood for taditional accommodation in the country, separated from everything, surrounded only by mountains and greenery, Ciplakova koliba is the ideal place for you. It doesn’t have a lake view, but it has a breathtaking view to the green mountains.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Vevcani - Struga

Vevcani / Vevcani municipality - The village of Vevčani (Macedonian: Вевчани) is found in the southwestern range at the foot of the Jablanica mountain range. It is situated from 800 – 950 metres above sea level. The village is located 14 km North-West of the town of Struga. The village is situated near the villages of OktisiVeleštaPodgorciGorna Belica with the Albanian border to the West of the village.
The word "Vevčani" is based on an Old Church Slavonic word. The word Ves (Old Church Slavonic: Вес) which meant village in Old Church Slavonic. The word Vesčani meant in Old Church Slavonic, "people of Ves" or "Vesians". This soon became the name of the settlement. By the 14th the name "Veščani" was being used. In 17th century records the village is referred to Veščano (Вешчано). By the early 20th century the village was often referred to as Vehčani (Вехчани) or Vesčani (Весчани), until the name Vevčani (Macedonian: Вевчани) was officially adopted.
Vevcani church Saint Nikola.
It is believed that the village of Vevčani was founded sometime during period from the end of the 6th century to the beginning of the 8th century. The village was founded most probably by Berziti, who had adopted Christianity. The first settlement was originally at the foot of the Jablanica mountain. It was believed to have been founded in a place known as Selište.

Vevcani Carnival
One of the most famous village festivals held in the Balkans is the Vevčani Carnival. It is believed that the custom is over 1,400 years old. It is based on old Pagan beliefs and rituals. Essentially the Carnival is the ritual of calling after Saint Basil the Great, which coincides with the Twelve Days of Orthodox Christmas and the Orthodox New Year. The festivity is held on the 13th and 14 January every year and is dedicated to Saint Basil the Great. The Carinval witnesses the passing of the old year and the coming of the new one. The participants of the Carnival are known as Vasiličari (Macedonian: Василичари). In 1993 the Carnival and the village of Vevčani officially became apart of the World Federation of Carnival Cities. In recent years a special "Carnival Passport" has been issued at the Carnival.

Petacko Vodice, Beloviste

St. John the Baptist
Petacko Vodice (Macedonian: Петачко Водиче), Beloviste / Jegunovce municipality - Beloviste village is 22km away from Tetovo and Petacko Vodice area is 1km away from Beloviste using a paved road.
This area is known for the 3 waterfals: Gorna Skala, Dolna Skala and Petacko Vodice which is the lowest and most known. This rare natural beauty can be seen on the space of two miles in total length of 150 meters. These wild areas which look to the sky ends up in the interwoven branches of huge trees, after which the two steep miles distant waterfall to overcome even with three hours of intense, jealously hid Belovishte residents, but also the neighboring Vratnica, Rogachevo, Staro Selo and Odri. Mountaineers are the first, who began to conquer the field and already marked path, setting marks Mon trees on the right side of Belovishka River, 15 years ago.
Locals say that the whole space, from the peaks of Mt is rich in wild animals - bears, foxes, wolves, chamois, deer, and a true endemic plants, the traveler finds that spring, when nature begins to rise. In all periods of the year, Belovishka Cold River is abundant with water, but at the same time and clean drinking water, although we argued that most is in a period when the melting snows of Piribeg and the environment. Then the three waterfalls, whose length has no one measure is the longest and best, and violations of water makes the actual range of colors.
The three waterfalls insiders are claimed to be second in length in the Balkans. Dolna Skala is experience with a view from afar, even hundreds of meters. Petacko Vodice is at Beloviste, only a kilometer above the village and to keep it shaped paved road. Vrazivir is not just a waterfall, where after a rocky part of the water makes a jump of about fifteen feet, but a site that looks more like a tourist locality.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pestani - Ohrid

Pestani is situated on the shore of Lake Ohrid, distanced about 10 km from Ohrid in the municipality of Ohrid.
The population of Pestani -  1,326 makes this village the largest populated area on the Galicica National Park territory. On the outskirts of Pestani there is the hotel complex of Desaret, and the auto caravan park Gradiste. Also, there some small family hotels in the village, as well as private house accommodations, and restaurants.
It can be easily said that Pestani functions as a tourist settlement over the summer period. Life and existence in this village has close ties with the lake. In the past fishing was a main occupation for the residents. There is an eight grade primary school in the village that accommodates pupils from surrounding settlements as well.