It’s Day #45 of 100 Days of Travel and I’m still safely traveling around Macedonia. Today, I visited the third and final national park of Macedonia so thought I would give a short recap of these outdoor wonders.  

1. Galičica National Park

Founded: 1958
Highest Peak: Magaro Peak 2,240 m
Size: 227 km2

My favorite of the national parks, Galičica NP is walking distance from the city of Ohrid which also boasts plenty of accommodation options. Stretching along the east side of Lake Ohrid, you are pretty much guaranteed postcard-perfect views of the clear blue waters. Head even further south along the main ridge and you’ll get to see Pelister National Park, Lake Prespa, and Greece.

Hike Reports From Galičica
Magaro Peak

2. Pelister National Park

Founded: 1948
Highest Peak: Baba Mountain ( 2,601 m)
Size: 171 km2

The smallest of the national parks is also the prettiest in my opinion. Just twenty minutes from Bitola, the second largest city in the country, Pelister’s signature sights are two mountain glacial lakes found deep in the hills. The park is home to all sorts of fauna and wildlife including bears, wolves, and the rare Balkan lynx.

Hike Reports From Pelister
The Eyes of Pelister

3. Mavrovo National Park

Founded: 1949
Highest Peak: Mount Korab 2,764 m
Size: 780 km2

The closest NP to Skopje, Mavrovo boasts not only the largest peak in the country but also the best ski resort in the region. With the pandemic growing in strength, I had to scrap my original plans of staying here for a few days, but went deep enough into the park to see the infamous “sunken church”. I’ll be back in the spring,  Mavrovo!

With the last national park designated over 50 years ago and current ones under a near-continuous assault by industry, the future of these wild spaces is at risk. Hopefully, Macedonia realizes sooner than later what a gift they have with these national treasures. Not only are they an important ecosystem in the Balkans, but they should also be the centerpiece for Macedonian tourism.