Fabulous, lost in the mountains and utterly picturesque Macedonia is completely unfamiliar to our skiers. Preferring to ride in the good old Alps or on other spurs of the Balkan Mountains, tourists from Russia somehow do not even think that the Macedonian slopes can give them a completely new joy of skiing. Firstly, in a congenial Orthodox state, whose population speaks a language that is intuitively understandable to all Slavs. Secondly, prices in Macedonia are not just low, but indecently low, especially compared to some Swiss resort. And, finally, what may concern the masters of skiing, but we will please them now: the slopes of this friendly country are in no way inferior in quality, and in many ways even surpass their Balkan “brothers”.
So, Mavrovo is a famous ski resort in Macedonia, located about 70 km from the capital Skopje at the foot of Mount Bistra. This, by the way, is also one of the most beautiful places in the country, because Mavrovo is located in the national park of the same name next to the purest Lake Mavrovo.
Local trails start at an altitude of 1860 m and end at about 1255 m. The skiing season lasts from November to April. See citypopulationreview.com for weather information.
By the way, you can relax here not only in winter – in summer in Mavrovo, the doors of hotels are no less (or even more) picturesque, friendly, and trout freshly caught from the lake are waiting for their guests in restaurants.
How to get there
From Mavrovo it is easy to get to both Skopje airport (about 80 km) and Ohrid airport (about 55 km), in both cases buses run. In addition, you can also get there by train – the nearest station is Taomishte, located just 10 km from the resort.
There are 18 marked trails in Mavropo, which are processed by snowcats and snow cannons, and generally monitored for suitability and quality of skiing. There are three yellow pistes for beginners, 5 green pistes, 6 blue pistes and 4 black pistes for aces. You can get to all this beauty with the help of 3 “armchairs” and 11 rope tows. I must say, the capacity of Mavrovo is impressive – more than 11 thousand people per hour.
By the way, the slopes with chair lifts are also equipped with artificial lighting, so you can ride there even after dark, that is, from about 7 pm. All the fun ends at midnight, so that even rabid skiers can catch a little bit of the cozy and a bit rustic local après-ski.
The slopes with chair lifts in Mavrovo are equipped with artificial lighting, so you can ride there even after dark, that is, from about 7 pm.
The resort also has a ski center with equipment rental, instructors (including Russian speakers) and a full-fledged children’s school. Fans of cross-country skiing will not be bored either: they are waiting for cross-country tracks.
The cost of a ski pass in Mavrovo is very, very moderate (adult / child under 12): for 1 day 17.8 / 13 EUR; 3 days 50 / 35 EUR; 7 days – 100 / 70 EUR.
In Mavrovo, you can stay both in cozy boarding houses and apartments that are kept by smiling Macedonians, and in quality hotels, there is even a worthy “four” – Hotel Alpina. Other popular hotels are Makpetrol 3*, Bistra, Lorge or Sport Hotel. All of them are located directly on the slopes of the mountains, next to the ski lifts, so skiing in Mavrovo starts almost “on the threshold”.
As an après-ski there is a disco, a small casino, restaurants and cozy taverns, as well as evening skiing, of course.
Entertainment and attractions Mavrovo
The main attraction of Mavrovo is, of course, the mountains. But if you want to take a break from boards, skis and sticks, you should definitely visit the bright, quiet monastery of the monastery of St. Jovan Bigorsky, which rises on the slope of Bistra, 24 km from the resort. The local iconostasis, decorated with deep carvings, is a pearl of religious art.
Just 45-50 km from Mavrovo is Ohrid – “Balkan Jerusalem”. The ancient city, located on the shores of the lake of the same name, is famous for its amazing ancient temples. In particular, it is worth seeing the 11th century St. Sophia Basilica and the 13th century St. Clement Church, which preserved Byzantine frescoes of rare beauty. In one of Ohrid’s monasteries, St. Cyril and Methodius worked on the creation of our Slavic alphabet – Cyrillic.
Finally, it would be unforgivable not to mention the national park of the same name with the resort Mavrovo. This is one of the largest reserves in Macedonia, where about 600 endemic, endangered or rare plant species grow.
The fauna of the park is also diverse: 140 species of birds (including the proud peregrine falcon, the gloomy imperial eagle and the swift golden eagle), 11 species of amphibians, 12 species of reptiles and 38 species of mammals (of course, the bear, the beautiful lynx, the swift-footed chamois and the graceful forest cat). It is best to walk around the Mavrovo nature reserve in the summer and in the company of a guide, otherwise you will get lost at uneven hours – the places here are amazingly beautiful, but wild.