Cruising adventure of Macedonia on two wheels. 

 

Overview

Macedonia remains one of Europe’s last undiscovered areas. Being centrally located in the Balkans, this country is a crossroad between the East and West, christianity and islam, melting pot of civilizations, which has been reflecting in it’s culture and overall way of life even today. During this adventurous cycling exploration You will experience firsthand our beautiful nature in some of Macedonia hidden off-the-beaten track areas (Kozjak, Mariovo, Prespa, Demir Hisar and Kozuf), also pay a visit to Ohrid, UNESCO world cultural and natural heritage site. During the journey You will taste local cuisine typical for each area visited prepared by friendly locals, and combine the delicacies with premium spirits and  wines of the Kozuf side of the Tikvesh wine region.

Highlights:

- Discovering the wild side of Macedonia by riding in beautiful offbeat areas and trails not frequented by foreigner visitors (Mariovo, Prespa, Demir Hisar, Kozuf)

- Home-cooked meals from locally sourced ingredients, served at family homes or small family owned restaurant around Macedonia

- Cycling in areas where the famous Roman road of VIa Egnatia once passed (Pelagonia)

- Visiting some of the oldest and most beautiful monuments of Byzantine architecture and arts (Monasteries in Prespa and Ohrid)

- Interesting local attractions (the smallest ethno museum in the world in the village of Podmocani)

- Interaction with unique local characters along the journey

- Ohrid - Macedonia’s UNESCO world natural and historical heritage site

- Wine tasting and cycling in the remote Kozuf side of Tikvesh region

Itinerary

Tour itinerary 

Day 1 Arrival

Arrival in Skopje (airport or hotel pick up), followed by transfer to Skopje hotel (central location). If time allows, short walking sightseeing tour in the center of Skopje will be arranged (Old Bazaar, Skopje Fortress, New Center). Dinner is served in a local restaurant in the center of Skopje. Overnight in Skopje.   

Meals: D (local restaurant)

Hotel: Skopje 

Day 2 Lake of Kozjak / Prilep

Breakfast and checkout. After breakfast we get transferred with van to the village of Batinci, from where we start our ride to a viewpoint to the lake of Kozjak (largest manmade lake in Macedonia). We will finish the trip cycling back to the Monastery of King Marko (last medieval king of Macedonia), one of most famous medieval monasteries of Macedonia. Lunch is arranged at beautiful site next to the Monastery. After lunch, we get transferred with van to the city of Prilep. Dinner and overnight in Prilep.  

Route info: 69 km/1010m

Meals: B, L (outdoor/barbecue), D (hotel)

Hotel: Prilep 

Day 3 Mariovo / Prespa

Breakfast and checkout. Van transfer to the outskirts of Prilep (village of Kalen, 30mins), where Mariovo begins. Today we have the privilege to be among the handful of visitors to experience Mariovo, Macedonia's most celebrated highlands, also important economic and cultural center of Macedonia during the times of the Ottoman Empire. During the cycling we pass by archaic villages and meet friendly locals. Lunch is arranged in the village of Manastir. Late afternoon van transfer from Manastir to our next cycling area, the area of Prespa. Dinner and overnight in Brajchino.

Route info: 41km

Meals: B, L (outdoor), D (local restaurant)

Hotel: Brajchino 

Day 4 Prespa / Ohrid

Checkout after breakfast. We start riding in the beautiful and off-beat area of Prespa, from the village of Brajchino to the village of Stenje. We will do enroute visit of the villages of Ljubojno (beautiful architecture), Podmocani (coffee break during the visit of the smallest ethno-museum in the world), Slivnica (Monastery built in the 17th cent.) and Kurbinovo (12th cent., famous for the Byzantine fresco decoration). In Stenje we will enjoy lunch prepared by Andrej’s family (he’s born in Skopje, but moved to the Stenje to enjoy village life, and excelled in organic farming). Also, guests will have the opportunity to sunbathe on the beach. In the late afternoon we are transferred to Ohrid via the Galicica national park. Overnight in Ohrid.

Route info: 46km/300m

Meals: B, L (family home), D (local restaurant)

Hotel: Ohrid

Day 5 Sightseeing and rest day in Ohrid

Sightseeing tour of Ohrid after breakfast, visit of it’s most famous amenities (St. Clement’s temple complex of Plaoshnik, St. Sofia, Tsar Samuil’s Fortress, the Amphitheater). If it’s a warm day, we can bathe on the beach of Potpesh. Free afternoon.

Dinner is served in a family home at the nearby village of Kuratica (15min drive from Ohrid). Return to hotel Overnight.

Meals: B, L (local restaurant), D (family home)

Hotel: Ohrid

Day 6 Demir Hisar / Krushevo

Breakfast and checkout from hotel. Van transfer to Kichevo (1h, 62 km). From Kichevo we will start cycling in the area of Demir Hisar, enjoying beautiful untouched nature. Demir Hisar bears huge historical significance to the Macedonian revolutionary struggle against the Ottomans in the 19th and early 20th century, many famous battles took place in this area, and the during the St.Elijah's day rebellion (02.08.1903) few villages were liberated for a short period of time. Lunch is arranged at local restaurant in the village of Demir Hisar. After lunch we are transferred with the van to Krushevo, highest town in the Balkans (1350m asl). Overnight in Krushevo.  

Route info: 51km

Meals: B, L (local restaurant), D (hotel)

Hotel: Krushevo

Day 7 Pelagonia / Bitola

Breakfast and checkout. Todays ride takes us around the Pelagonia plain, largest in Macedonia. We will start cycling from our hotel in Krushevo, and finish in the city of Bitola. The riding is laid back, and we will make few stops in en-route villages. Lunch will be arranged in the city of Bitola. After lunch we will ride to Heraclea Lyncestis, ancient Macedonian town found by Phillip II of Macedon (father of Alexander) in the middle of the 4th century BC. Most of the uncovered remains that can be seen in Heraclea Lyncestis today are from the Roman and the early christian period. Dinner and overnight take place in Bitola.  
Route info: 72km

Meals: B, L (local restaurant), D (local restaurant)

Hotel: Bitola

Day 8 Tikvesh wine region (Kozuf) / Skopje

Early checkout from hotel after breakfast, followed by van transfer to the Tikvesh wine region, largest in the Balkans (transfer Bitola-Kavadarci: 1h, 95km). We will finish our cycling trip with epic ride in the wine regions of Mr.Kozuf (Kavadarci side). The beautiful views of untouched nature, endless vineyards will bring us to the village of Krnjevo, where our hosts will arrange wine tasting over lunch. Return van transfer to Skopje (2 hrs). Farewell dinner is arranged in the bohemian district of Skopje. Overnight.

Route info: 27km

Meals: B, L (local restaurant), D (local restaurant)

Hotel: Skopje

Day 9 Departure

Checkout from hotel after breakfast


What's Included

Included:

- Transportation (incl. single timed airport transfer from Skopje airport)

- Bike transport

- Guidance (for 7-12 group size, 2 guides are used)

- Vehicle support

- Accommodation at DBL/TWIN rooms at hotels as per program

- All meals (as per program) at family homes/local restaurants/hotels (beverages excl.; selection of traditional dishes typical for the area, from locally sourced ingredients)

- Wine tasting on day 8 (family owned winery in Kozuf area)

- Coffee breaks / fruits / snacks / water throughout the trip

- Entrance fees and entrance in national parks and local attractions

- 24/7 assistance from Macedonia Experience

- All taxes

Not included:

- Transfers to Macedonia

- Bike rental (140 euro per bike for the entire trip, payable on the spot to the tour leader)

- Single supplement (140 euro)

- Individual expenses

- Travel insurance

- Tips

Dates & Prices

Scheduled departures in 2017: 

> Jun 10 - Jun 18 
> Aug 30 - Sept 7 
> Daily, upon request: May 1-Jun 30, Sep 1-Oct 31, 2017 (minimum 4 participants)

Group size: 

4-12 participants

* For groups of 7-12 participants, we use 2 guides.  

Tour grade:

Easy.

Price per person: 

1400 euro (minimum 4 participants)

Additional information: 

Type of tour: Guided

Level: 2

Duration: 9 days (8 nights)

Distance: Daily average of 50 km (31 miles) 

Start/end point: Skopje

Hotels:

Skopje (IBIS http://goo.gl/da8nQV)

Prilep (Kristal Palace http://kp.mk)

Brajchino (Apartments / family homes with private and shared facilities)

Ohrid (City Palace http://www.citypalacehotel.mk)

Krushevo (Montana Palace www.montanapalace.com)

Bitola (Teatar www.hotelteatar.com)

Note: All hotels have prime location in central areas, walking distance from local attractions

Surface and terrain:

Riding takes place on asphalt surface.

Bike rentals:

Hard-tail mountain bikes / hybrids with disc or v brakes (RAM, Giant, Mongoose, Corratec, or Specialized, depending on availability); have to be booked at least 40 days before arrival date; price is 140 euro for the entire trip.

Bikes have flat pedals. If guests intend to use own pedals, they should bring their own shoes and changing equipment.

Helmets are not provided. Also, helmet rental is not available, guests should bring their own helmets.

Tour map:

mapa-cycling-tura.jpg