North Macedonia is a well-kept secret among powder-hungry adventurers and this ski touring safari holiday is an experience not to be missed
North Macedonia is a well-kept secret among powder-hungry adventurers and this ski touring safari holiday is an experience not to be missed!
The big mountains and lack of infrastructure is a recipe for a great ski-touring holiday. Surrounded by sea, the mountains in the Balkan Peninsula get a large amount of snow, and you can plan an adventurous and fun ski holiday in untouched and pristine nature, where fresh lines can be served daily. The North Macedonia Ski Touring Safari includes skiing the best peaks along the western border with Kosovo, Albania & Greece & staying in some of the region’s most beautiful towns & villages along the way.
Using the small local ski centers as a base (for example like Popova Shapka & Mavrovo) one can access the backcountry to high mountains with gentle ridges for relatively easy upward access, which offer you the possibility to cover large amounts of terrain and find fresh lines with ease.
Enjoying a ski tour in total wilderness in the Korab mountain range will not only give you the chance to be on top of North Macedonia and Albania’s highest peak but will provide the opportunity to feel the total freedom of the backcountry. The wide terrain allows skiers of any level and skill to enjoy every moment of their holiday. The local, charming hotels and restaurants will add the final flavor of your amazing trip.
Ski touring in Pelister National Park will give you the chance to start from deep pine forests and exit high above the tree line—enjoying fine tree skiing on the long way down. Kozuf is a mountain set on the natural border of North Macedonia and Greece and is rewarded with fresh snow coming from the Aegean Sea. The small and charming city of Gevgelia, can be your base for a great ski touring vacation. The options are only limited by your imagination.
All guiding, accommodation, meals, ground transport & airport transfers are included in the Macedonia Ski Touring Safari, allowing the group to simply switch off & enjoy the ride through this intriguing part of the world. For many, the trip will be a unique voyage of discovery into places that most skiers & snowboarders will never have dreamed of.
A typical itinerary for a classic Macedonian Ski Touring is below. Extra ski days, longer stays at locations, cat-skiing days, travel days & sightseeing can all be added depending on the wishes of the group (plus the snow & weather conditions).
Day 1 – Arrival in North Macedonia
Fly into Skopje airport or Pristina, Sofia, Thessaloniki on your request we will organize airport transfer for you. You will be met by your driver and transferred to Popova Shapka & your accommodation in the 4**** Hotel Scardus. Get to know your hosts & guides while enjoying a meal & drink in the restaurant.
Day 2 – Tito’s Peak (2748m)
Ski touring trip to Tito’s Peak (2748m), the highest peak on Shar Mountain. Snow cat assisted ski tour. Take an early ride up with a Snow Cat to 2550m, from where we continue along the ridge toward Tito’s Peak. After the ascent of the peak, a long ski down an easterly exposed cirque valley toward the area of Gorna Leshnica at 1800m. A skin up to the ridge of peak Plat is followed by a nice ski down to the road at around 1600m altitude. From there the group can have a pickup from the Snow Cat or tour back to Popova Shapka and ski down to your hotel where a relaxing evening with a spa and traditional dinner awaits. Accommodation – Hotel Scardus.
Total ascent for the day: 1450m (includes cat trip)
Ski down: 1200m
Length: 18 km
Day 3 – Koblica Peak (2528m)
Early breakfast and checkout. Drive to Vejce village, about 1 hour. Ski touring trip to Kobilica Peak (2528m). We may carry the skies for about 100 meters vertical to get to the snow line, and from there we start touring in gentle pastures until we access to the base of Kobilica peak. Kobilica is one of the most scenic peaks on Shar Mountain, based on the border between Macedonia and Kosovo. The second part of the tour is steeper and approaches the ridge of the peak, from where a great view toward the two countries opens. Choose a line to ski down - from a massive east or south aspect face – all the way to the village. After the descent, a late lunch in the village and then transfer to Trnica in Mavrovo National park, spending the night in the Korab Trnica hotel.
Ascent/descent for the day: 1300m
Length. 14 km
Day 4 – Kepi Bard (2638m)
Ski touring to Kepi Bard. After an early breakfast, we will be picked up by 4X4 vehicles and transported to the starting point of our tour, at about 1450m altitude. Tour through a nice beech forest, then exit the forest & the see the multiple peaks and possible lines for descent. Tour up a valley, which leads to a beautiful ridge toward Kepi Bard (or the White-hat Peak). Kepi Bard is positioned right before Korab, the highest peak in both Macedonia and Albania. At the base of the peak, you will see the east and northeast exposed valley awaiting our descent. The last part of the tour up may need crampons so the group can exit from top of the peak. From there, choose the most appealing and/or safe option for descent- from long steep faces to playful gullies. Ski down, then with a small traverse in the end; you are able to reach our starting point. Load the 4x4’s and drive toward Ohrid, the UNESCO protected cultural and natural heritage site. Settle into a hotel in the city centre and dine out, enjoying the beautiful scenery and the memories of the fabulous day’s skiing. Accommodation Hotel Nova Riviera 4*.
Ascent/descent for the day: 1300m
Length: 14 km
Day 5 – Magaro Peak (2254m)
Ski touring on Magaro peak, Galichica National Park. The highest area of Galichica are positioned perfectly dividing the two biggest natural lakes in North Macedonia, Prespa and Ohrid. The mountain itself offers beautiful ski touring possibilities, where on a good day you feel like skiing from sea to summit. The highest peak in Galichica - Magaro is 2254m high, offering great terrain for skiing. The choice can be steep couloirs or wide playful meadows, all of which are spiced up with a great view toward the lakes. After the ski down, it is almost mandatory to enjoy a fine beer by the lake. Accommodation Hotel Nova Riviera 4*
> Ascent/descent for the day: 750m
Length: 14 km
Day 6 – Yablanica Mountain (2200m)
Ski touring on Yablanica Mountain. After breakfast we checkout and drive for about 45 minutes to the outskirts of the city of Struga, and the village Gorna Belica our starting point of the day. We start touring at 1450m through a beautiful beech forest and exit on a high mountain plateau. From there we can choose the ascent to Chumin Peak or Black Rock Peak, both just above 2200m. Chumin peak offers a wonderful line toward Albania, as well as several short and steep gullies. Black rock peak, which is the highest of the mountain, offers us a great bowl for skiing. Once again, a beautiful view opens toward Ohrid Lake, with the several mountain ranges in Albania also catching our eye.
Ascent/descent for the day: 750m
Length: 13 km
Day 7 – Sightseeing & Departure
Breakfast and checkout. Drive to Skopje & on the way visit some ancient monasteries if time allows.
Alternate Days (or Additional Days)
Alternate Day 5 - Sightseeing & Travel to Albania
In the morning we check out and visit St. John the Baptist monastery in Mavrovo national park. We can also have a short hike to Duf waterfalls in the vicinity and have lunch in the village of Yanche. We will arrive in Radomire village in Albania in the early afternoon, where we will be accommodated in a rustic and basic lodge at the base of Korab peak. We will have a traditional Albanian dinner and plan the next day’s tour while having a local beer. Overnight in Hadi’s home stay or hotel at Radomire.
Alternate Day 6 – Korab Peak (2764m)
Ski touring to Korab peak from Albania. After breakfast, start touring from your base in the village of Radomire. Skis may need to be carried for about 100m vertical before the snow line is reached. Pass through a short steep forest section and exit in the valley of Korab. With the peak to our east, you will see multiple steep rock face entries under the summit. The steepest section is right before we exit the ridge and start touring on the border between Macedonia and Albania. The group may need to use boot crampons. From the ridge we will see Kepi Bard, the peak skied two days before and soon after you will top the King of Kings, Mt. Korab at 2764 meters. Ski down the valley that was the upward route, with multiple choices to find the best lines possible. Descend to Radomire for some well-deserved lunch and nice cold beer. We can drive to Prizren in the afternoon/early evening to our hotel accommodation and enjoy one of the most beautiful cities in the Balkans.
Ascent/descent for the day: 1500m
Length: 18 km
NOTE: This itinerary is a guide only. The tour is dictated by the weather each day and the wishes of your group. Your host & guide will seek the best snow conditions whenever possible. That's the beauty of a guided tour!