Welcome to Day #26 of 100 Days of Travel! For the next 100 days, I’m safely hiking my way across the mountain peaks of Macedonia. Today, I’m summitting Magaro Mountain (2255m) to discover panoramic views of Macedonia’s two largest lakes. 

Short History

Galicica NP, established in 1958, is Macedonia’s youngest national park. 1600 floral species can be found over the 227 square kilometers of the park, with at least 13 species endemic to the park. There is also lots of established hiking trails with varying degrees of trail markings (I’m looking at you G-1). The maps below can be found posted at the entrance to most trailheads and give some info on expected distances.

Hike Info

Difficulty: Medium-Difficult
Trail Name: G-6 (see map above)
Type of Hike: Rocky trail
Distance: 5.6 km
Time: 5 hours
Starting Point: https://goo.gl/maps/

The Trailhead

This is the easiest one yet, but you can’t get here without a car. There’s a small parking lot with a sign pointing straight up on the mountain. You are going to be heading to the top of the ridgeline on the right in the photo below.

On The Hike

Some of the info on this hike is unclear, so like other articles I’m mainly writing this for myself when I come back to hike this peak again in ten years. From the trailhead, you enter a short distance (about 20 minutes) through the forest, then a steep climb (15-25 minutes) to a high mountain bowl.

This signpost is the start of the summit loop. I would recommend taking the right side (towards the north). It’s a bit steeper than the other side so while taxing climbing this side, I believe it’s much easier than scrambling down it.

Of course, I didn’t know that at the time, so we took the other route up the other ridgeline.

Finally, the top! It is super windy up here.

At the top of the peak, you will have the sweeping views of both Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa.

Details, Details, Details

How to Get There: You need a car. I’ve tried public transportation (there’s a bus to the Albania border) and it didn’t get me close at all, although you may be able to hitch a ride up the mountain with other tourists. Other than the views, there is not much traffic along this road.

Supplies and Water: Stock up on snacks and water before you leave Ohrid. I didn’t see any springs on the hike.

Where to Stay: The city of Ohrid is the easiest place to book and find accommodations. Some alternatives would be to stay at the historical St. Naum’s Monastery or the lakeside village of X.

When to Go: We climbed in late October and that morning the higher peaks across the lake in Albania saw a dusting of snow across their tops. It was definitely chilly so I would recommend this as a real nice mid-summertime hike.

Final Notes

This is one of the classic heights of Macedonia. You get to experience the beauty of Galicica National Park, see both of the signature lakes of the region, and even get glimpses of Albania, Greece, and Pelister National Park.