8 days
Duration
Macedonia, Europe
Location

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. It is a melting pot of civilizations, which has been reflecting in its culture and overall everyday life. During this cycling unknown Macedonia exploration, you will experience the beautiful nature of some of Macedonia hidden off-the-beaten-track areas (Vodno, Matka, Krusevo, Demir Hisar, Prespa). You will also pay a visit to Ohrid, UNESCO world cultural and natural heritage site. During the journey, you will have a chance to taste local cuisine typical for each area visited. The food is prepared by friendly families and locals in authentic villages. We will combine the delicacies with premium spirits and wines of Ohrid wine region.

Highlights of the tour

You will be discovering the wild side of Macedonia. We will be riding in beautiful not touristic areas and trails not frequented by foreigners (Krusevo, Demir Hisar, Prespa). Meals will be home-cooked from locally sourced ingredients, served at family homes or small family owned restaurants in villages around Macedonia. We will be also visiting some of the oldest and most beautiful monuments of Byzantine architecture and arts (Monasteries in Prespa and Ohrid). Other interesting local attractions, such as the smallest ethnic museum in the world in the village of Podmocani. All along our journey, there will be interaction with unique local hosts. Moreover, we will also visit Ohrid-Macedonia UNESCO world natural and historical heritage site.

Areas visited

Skopje (Vodno-Matka), Krusevo, Pelagonia, Prespa, Ohrid

Notice: Should weather conditions worsen, we reserve the right to offer some alternative area activities.

DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION Skopje International Airport (Macedonia)
DEPARTURE TIME as per request
RETURN TIME as per request
WEAR Comfortable bike and athletic clothing, sport shoes (biking shoes), jacket and sunscreen
INCLUDED
all ground transfers, including the airport transfer
full vehicle support throughout the whole tour
English speaking local guide
accommodation in 3*/4* hotels and traditional ensuite homestays
meals as per program (8 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners; selection of traditional dishes arranged at hotels or local restaurants or family homes)
water, fruit, snacks during the tour
entrance fees at national parks and archaeological sites as per program
activities (boat trip in Matka on day 2; wine tasting in Ohrid on day 6; visit of artisans in Ohrid on day 6)
24/7 assistance from our team
NOT INCLUDED
airfare (we can help you purchase the best ticket possible)
individual transfers from the airport
single bed supplement
bike and helmet rental during the trip
travel insurance
extra personal expenses
tips are optional and not included in price

Additional information

DateDec-Apr
1

Day 1 – Arrival and transfer to Skopje

Arrival in Skopje (single timed group transfer), followed by transfer to Skopje hotel (central location). A 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.

Accommodation: in Skopje

Meals: dinner

2

Day 2 – Cycling in Skopje (Vodno-Matka canyon) / transfer to Krusevo

Breakfast and checkout. Today, we will have an early start of our first ride, we get transferred from our hotel to mid station on Mt. Vodno, from where we will continue to the Monastery of St. Pantelejmon in the village of Nerezi. This is one of most famous medieval monasteries of Macedonia. Coffee/snack stop at the Ethno complex “Macedonian VIllage” in Nerezi. From there, we will continue our cycling to the Matka canyon.

At the canyon, we will do a short boat trip along the beautiful lake to the cave Vrelo. Upon return, the boat will drop us off at the location inside the canyon, where the group will have picnic lunch.

In the afternoon hours, we will transfer from Skopje to the town of Krusevo, our destination for the night. Dinner and overnight take place in Krusevo.

Accommodation: in Krusevo

Distance: 25 miles (full vehicle support; asphalt surface. Note: We will provide support guide if there are clients who wish to do the uphill climb on Mt. Vodno)

Meals: B-hotel, L-outdoor location in Matka canyon, D-local restaurant in the center of Krusevo

Activities: Exploration and boat trip in the Matka canyon.

3

Day 3 – Cycling from Krusevo to Bitola / Heraclea Lyncestis

Breakfast and checkout, followed by biking sightseeing of the most famous amenities in the center and surroundings of the town of Krushevo. Today’s ride takes us around the Pelagonia plain, largest in Macedonia. We will start cycling from our hotel in Krusevo, via Demir Hisar, and finish in the city of Bitola. The riding takes place in the beautiful scenery and we will make few stops during our journey in different villages. Coffee stop is made in Demir Hisar. Our final destination today is Heraclea Lyncestis, ancient Macedonian town found by Philip 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.

We will pack our bikes at Heraclea and transfer with the van to the nearby village of Dihovo, a little village located in the foothills of Mt Pelister. Here, we will explore the fascinating world of the honeybee as we will join one of the local beekeepers where he will share the hidden secrets of bees, beekeeping, and honey. You will have an opportunity to view an open beehive demonstration and get hands-on while wearing the protective clothing. There will also be a chance to extract honey from the comb and also for some tasting afterward. Lunch in Dihovo is a traditional home cooked meal at the family home of our hosts Blagoj and Naco. All of the ingredients used to cook our lunch are organic and come from the family’s own private gardens.

In the afternoon, we will head to Bitola, where the afternoon will be at your leisure. The guide will be also available for a short walking tour in the historic center of Bitola, it’s main pedestrian street Shirok Sokak, as well as the old Bazaar. Free evening in Bitola (the guide will recommend a restaurant in the center).

Accommodation: in Bitola

Distance: 33,5 miles (full vehicle support; asphalt/tarmac surface; Note: Distance can be extended further by using another route.)

Meals: B-hotel, L-family home in Dihovo, D-NOT INCLUDED dinner in Bitola

Activities: Visit of Heraclea Lyncestis archaeological site; visit of Demir Hisar; beekeeping presentation in Dihovo

4

Day 4 – Cycling from Pelagonija to Prespa (Bitola to Brajcino)

Checkout and cycling from Bitola to the village of Brajcino, located near the eastern coast of the Prespa lake. The ride will start from the exit of Bitola and will continue on the old road via the villages of Kazhani, Podmocani, and Slivnica, finishing in the village of Brajcino.

A stop during our route is made in the village of Podmocani, where we will visit a unique ethnographic museum and make a coffee break, while lunch is arranged in Slivnica, by the lake. Guests will also have time to relax and swim at the beach of Slivnica. The village of Brajcino can claim to be the first ecotourism initiative in Macedonia. Brajcino is pristine and picturesque, sitting on the edge of Pelister National Park. Its idyllic location is away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, is protected by the Baba massif and has a view onto Lake Prespa. Dinner and overnight will take place in Brajcino or Bitola (depending on group size).

Accommodation: in Brajcino or Bitola

Distance: 31 miles (hotel to hotel cycling; full vehicle support; asphalt/tarmac surface; Note: Distance can be extended further by using another route.)

Meals: B-hotel, L-local restaurant in Slivnica, D-small closed type restaurant in Brajcino-Milka’s place

5

Day 5 – Cycling the roads of the apples in Prespa / transfer to Ohrid

Checkout and cycling around the Prespa lake, starting from Brajcino, and finishing in Stenje. Lunch will be at a family home in the village of Carev Dvor, in the middle of a beautiful apple orchard. Guests will also taste the famous Prespa apple (most famous product coming from Prespa region) and different dishes made with apples. Cycling will continue to the fishing village of Stenje. Once we arrive in Stenje, we will have time to relax on the local beach, swim, or just enjoy the beautiful views of the Pelister national park.

We will pack our bikes and transfer with the van from Stenje to Ohrid in the late afternoon hours. Accommodation in Ohrid takes place in the old town. After check-in, we will have some time to rest. Dinner will take place at a small family restaurant in the old town, owned and run by the Kanevche fishermen family, located by the lake shore.

Accommodation: in Ohrid

Distance: 30 miles ( full vehicle support; tarmac/asphalt surface; Note: Distance can be extended further by using another route.)

Meals: B-hotel, L-apple orchard in Prespa, D-family restaurant in Ohrid

6

Day 6 – Rest day in Ohrid (artisans / wine tasting / dinner in Kuratica)

Morning walking sightseeing tour of the UNESCO protected old part of Ohrid (amenities visited: Tsar Samuel’s Fortress, Church of St. Sofia and the ancient Theater). There’s also the possibility for an optional panoramic boat trip in the area of the town.

We will also be spending time visiting few interesting venues in the old bazaar of Ohrid, such as wood carving and filigree studios. In all of these venues, our host will present their work, and also give a hands-on preview of how they work.

Optional lunch can be arranged at the restaurant in the old town. You will have free time to explore Ohrid on your own.

In the early evening, we will visit a small boutique wine cellar in the old town, where we will taste a selection of indigenous Ohrid grape varieties, before we will head to the village of Kuratica, where we will enjoy the hospitality of local Goran and his family. They will arrange dinner for us, as well as some of their own brew of rakija which Goran infuses with special herbs growing only in this region. If we will be lucky, he may even entertain us with some music by the fireplace.

Accommodation: in Ohrid

Meals: B-hotel, D-family home in Kuratica

Not included: lunch in Ohrid & a boat trip in the old town of Ohrid

Activities: Visit of artisan workshops in the old town (filigree and woodcarver); Wine tasting in Ohrid old town; Family home dinner in Kuratica

7

Day 7 – Cycling by the Ohrid Lake / transfer to Skopje

Checkout, followed by morning cycling along the east coast of the Ohrid lake. We will make a stop during the route at the Museum in the Bay of Bones (coffee/snack break), with our final destination being the Monastery of St. Naum, located close to the border with Albania. After visiting the area of St. Naum, you will get on local boats and you will be transferred to Trpejca for lunch. Lunch will be arranged at Nikola’s restaurant by the lake shore, with a local trout on our menu. After the lunch, you will have time to relax on the beach of Trpejca, before starting the return transfer to Skopje, where we will have our farewell dinner in the bohemian district.

Accommodation: in Skopje

Distance: 18,5 miles (full vehicle support; asphalt/tarmac surface; Note: Distance around the Ohrid lake is 58 miles and we arrange a full day of cycling.)

Meals: B-hotel, L-local restaurant in Trpejca, D-local restaurant in Skopje

Activities: Visit of the Bay of Bones museum complex; Visit of St. Naum; Boat trip St.Naum-Trpejca

8

Day 8 – Departure day

Checkout and single timed airport transfer to the Skopje airport for onward flight. End of our program.

Meals: B-hotel

We are passionate adventure travelers ourselves. We have spent our lives in search for the ultimate outdoor experiences. You will gain skills in outdoor activities and meet like-minded individuals to share wonderful adventures. Passion and full dedication to details for each itinerary as well as an excellent relationship with our suppliers in Slovenia have built up the Bikehiketours brand.
Your adventure guides are local and experienced professionals who have a real passion for outdoor activities and for the culture and landscape.
Your safety is their number one priority, closely followed by your enjoyment of the tour. They will always be on-hand to answer any questions or requests you may have throughout your trip. We choose our guides for their expertise in outdoor activities. They are experts in their fields.
We only run small group adventures to ensure that everyone has the best experience possible and not get lost in the crowd. There will generally be between seven and 14 people in each group. The minimum number of people we require to run our tours is four.
Our tour caters for a wide age range, typically between 30 and 60 years old, but age is simply a state of mind, as they say, and we welcome anyone over the age of 18! 
Tours are designed at your own pace and you will enjoy no matter what your age.

Each evening your guides will chat with you about the following day’s activities and give you an idea of the sorts of trails you can look forward to. If there’s anything you feel anxious about, your guides will be happy to discuss it with you.
We recommend following a general training in the weeks leading up to your trip.
Your guide will be very happy to give you some bike skills training during your trip to help improve your confidence and your enjoyment of your bike adventure. 

As fellow sports enthusiasts, we understand the comfort you may find in riding with your own gear. Due to things can get a bit challenging when it comes to traveling please consult our booking manager prior to departure.

Q. Will I have to carry my own luggage?
You will never have to worry about your bags on tour. You only need to carry a daypack with you whilst riding. We have a support vehicle and driver who will transfer your luggage to your next accommodation each day, and have it ready and waiting for your arrival.
On your holiday you will be staying in a range of comfortable, welcoming local accommodations, including traditional guest houses, small hotels, and a boutique hotel. For details please consult with your booking manager.
Traveling light is the key. Although the daytime and nighttime temperatures can vary in the mountains, so you must make sure that you have plenty of layers of breathable clothing to ensure that you are always warm enough and can remove a layer if you get too hot. 
You should also bring cycling shorts/trousers, gloves, padded undershorts, waterproof jacket, flip-flops, specific shoes for cycling.
Where the meals are included in Bikehiketours itineraries they are in a group setting. 
Your Bikehiketours guide will also be with you during these scheduled meals. 
During the meals that are not included in the itinerary, you are free to choose where you would like to dine. Your guide will advise you the best places to dine for these meals. You can choose to join with others and decide to dine together somewhere or, if you desire some independent time, you are also always welcome to do your own thing.
Medical insurance is mandatory on all of our holidays. We also recommend trip cancellation insurance. Contact your booking manager and we will help you choose the right plan for your holiday.
Many of our travelers join as singles. We charge single supplement fee to solo travelers for single room use. But don’t worry, we can pair you with another traveler of the same gender if you like.


A single supplement is an additional charge for a private room for guests traveling alone.
The cost of our holidays does not include international airfare. However, we are happy to assist you in booking flights to join with each tour. The prices vary depending on the season and the point of departure.
We can arrange early arrivals and extended visits. We will be happy to provide suggestions and ideas.
The more in advance you book, the greater availability of dates you’ll find.

Attention to the smallest details, expertise, and great local guides are the key to a successful adventure.