BLOG | Biking from Skopje to Mostar via Durmitor National Park

After almost three months in North Macedonia it was time to leave the country. Literary, because my tourist visa would expire after ninety days. I choose to head towards Kosovo, partly because I wanted to leave the option open to go for a hike in Prokletije, but mostly because I wanted to ride through Durmitor National Park. Although I was still far from light weight packed, I felt ready to give the mountains another chance while biking from Skopje to Mostar.

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BLOG | Ski Hut Gorica, looking back on three months in Mavrovo National Park

The 5th of May I arrived in Mavrovi Anovi, at Ski Hut Gorica to be precise. This mountain lodge has been my home base for May, June and July. In the first place I helped out with the usual things like cleaning and making the beds, helping guests to find their way around and providing them with information to have them explore Mavrovo National Park. But there were also quite a bunch of other jobs such as painting furniture, building lockers and gardening for example. And if a good weather window opened, I couldn’t resist running off into the mountains. So, yeah, no reason to be bored.

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Dark thoughts, Macedonian mountains

The Macedonian Traverse is a hiking trail through the mountains of Western Macedonia. It runs from mountain hut Ljuboten to Crvena Voda or Ohrid if you don’t mind a roadhike at the end. Some see it as an extension of the Via Dinarica or promote it like that, but the Macedonian Traverse has an history of its own. In 1975 a bunch of Macedonian mountaineers set the trail as the “First Macedonian Traverse” or “Prva Makedonska Transverzala”. There’s a documentary of their undertaking where they (try to) hike the traverse in summer ánd winter.

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Heaps of sheep on the Macedonian Traverse

After a fairly late start I left Popova Shapka, crossed the ski piste and walked the makadamroad to Bogovinjsko Ezero. This route goes more or less parallel of the hiking trail to Titov vrv. It’s way less demanding and much more “in the fields”. And thus there are sheep. Heaps of sheep.

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Hiking Titov Vrv

Shar mountain (Shara, Šar, Sharr, Sharri) has been on my list for years. Ever since I first read about the First Macedonian Transversal (Transferzala), a hiking trail that crosses the entire Shar mountain range, I had the wish to explore Shar mountain. I could try to describe what it looks like, but I suck at that. I don’t have the vocabulary and the words I make up probably won’t be much of a help. I’ll stick to sharing my personal experience and add a whole lot of photos to give you an impression. So here we go, here’s my “Exploring Shar Mountain Photo Story”.

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