Welcome to Day #17 of 100 Days of Travel. For the next 100 days, I’m exploring Albania and Macedonia as safely as possible. In today’s hike, I find myself on the rocky ridges of the “Golden Peak” in search of the Treskavac Monastery.

A Short History

Built in the 12th century, this lonely monastery on the peak of Mount Zlatovrv contains a large collection of Byzantine frescoes. Most of the monastery was destroyed by a fire early this century, although it left the church untouched. Today, only a solitary monk lives at Treskavc.

Hike Info

Difficulty: Medium
Type of Hike: Dirt road, rocky trail
Distance: 6 kilometers
Time: 5 hours
Starting Point: https://goo.gl/maps/

Finding the Trailhead

This hike shares the same starting point as Marko’s Tower and you can easily combine both hikes into the same day. Head up the road to Marko’s Tower and after 10 minutes you will see a sign and a trail to the right that leads to Treskavac Monastary.

On the Trail

The first two-thirds of the route is mostly even hiking with the beauty of the Pelagonia Plains on full display.

There is this entertaining scramble up the nearly bare face of this rock.

Keep an eye out for some of these balancing rocks.

Mount Zlatovrv and the surrounding looks wild. I kept expecting to run into Rock Biter from The Neverending Story.

The monastery was less impressive than I expected…

Ah, that’s more like it!

The church is currently undergoing a massive renovation as you can see from the photos. Since the fire destroyed most of the monastery, nearly everything being built around the church seem to be brand new. The frescoes inside the church are incredible.

The return is back along the same trail.

Details, Details, Details

Where to Stay: Prilep is small, but I’m finding it to be an ideal base for exploring the Pelegonia region of Macedonia.

Supplies: Stock up on fresh fruit and other local food at the Old Bazaar in the city center. There’s is a spring at the halfway point to the monastery.

Final Notes

A pair of Macedonian cousins that gave me a lift from Solunska Glava recommended this hike when dropping me off for my third stay in Prilep. Up until they mentioned it, this route wasn’t even on my radar so it’s great they steered me towards Treskavac. Always ask the locals for recommendations!