Berovo lake and the waterfalls of Smolare and Koleshino

We camped last night along a marked trail from Berovo city to Berovo lake. Today we continued this trail towards Berovo lake.  With a few exceptions, this trail was pretty well marked. First mainly foresty and a little uphill then downhill trough farm land and open fields.

Hike to berovo lake in Macedonia.

This nice walk almost turned out badly when three sheep dogs came straight to us. Barking loudly without any cuteness.

What to do when sheep dogs are about to attack you? I had experienced these dogs earlier in the caucasus mountains. Then a shepherd was always on time to come help me out. This time, the shepherd would not make it on time. So we slowly stepped back but we couldn’t leave their zone without running. Of course, running is the last thing you should do with these dogs! Instead, when the first dog was about 10 meter in front of us. I shouted loudly “No!” with my best authoritive voice and with one hand straight in front of me. The dog was more surprised than I was and stopped immediately.

Finally the shepherd arrived and guided us passed the dogs so we could safely continue our hike. Lada got the shepherd’s crook as a present to protect her in case we encounter more sheep dogs or other wild animals. He couldn’t understand why I didn’t think of bringing a crook myself to be able to protect my girlfriend.

Hike to berovo lake in Macedonia.

The crook became Lada’s loyal companion for the next hikes during our stay in Macedonia.

Hike to berovo lake in Macedonia.

The hike continued through the grassy fields behind a farm and towards a water well. From this water well the red and white marks became sparse and we had to find our way trough some bushes.

Hike to berovo lake in Macedonia.

Finally Lada found the track again leading uphill to the left. We walked through a small wooden gate. The gate is only meant to keep animals inside as the trail was clearly marked here. Along the path were stables for horses.

Hike to berovo lake in Macedonia.

And then, all of the sudden we arrived in the middle of a luxurious resort. A huge complex in the woods rising above Berovo lake and with a nice swimming pool. We had a little breakfast here before we descended to Berovo lake.

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Stairs in concrete and gravel have been built by the hotel owners to allow their guests to go to the lake. Once at the lake, there is a wide promenade with splendid views on Berovo lake.

Berovo lake in Macedonia
Berovo lake.

You’ll encounter many guests from the hotel on this path and also some souvenir stalls where smart locals benefit from the tourism industry. They sell local products. Although we were still saturated from our breakfast at the resort, we bought cherry lemonade and a big jar of honey.

Berovo lake in Macedonia
Once this road didn’t end in a lake but now it serves as the only beach at Berovo lake.

From this beach we followed a track up the hill and finally arrived at the road. Here we called a taxi to take us back to our car.

We drove further towards Strumica. Again along a very scenic road over a mountain pass.

Road in eastern Macedonia
View on the road driving from Berovo towards Strumica.

Just before Strumica we still visited this lovely church near the village of Hamzali.

Church in Hamzali in Macedonia.
An isolated church in Hamzali.

The view from this church gives a first impression of the main agriculture center of Macedonia. Huge white rectangles cover large areas in the valley. We had no clue what these bright white objects were untill we got closer to them.

Conservatories near Strumica in Macedonia.
Conservatories near Strumica.

They don’t look so huge anymore when standing close to the conservatories but if you would see the whole valley from the top it’s about 50% of green and 50% of white.

The region around Stumica is the main agricultural center of Macedonia.
The region around Stumica is the main agricultural center of Macedonia.

Although we were not that hungry yet, we went for lunch in Strumica. Somebody had advised restaurant Bonjorno but we couldn’t immediately find it and it was too hot to search so we quickly entered the shade of another Italian restaurant Pizza Amor.

The main square in Strumica, Macedonia.
The main square in Strumica

Now I realise I really need those fit over sunglasses. My head still hurts when I remember the bright light on this square. We decided to get back to our car and go find some shade at the nearby waterfall of Koleshino and the highest waterfall of Macedonia in Smolare.

The waterfall of Koleshino can be reached by car and is therefor also a popular place by locals for a picnic.

Koleshino waterfall in Macedonia.
The waterfalls of Koleshino.

It seems like every village in this area has a waterfall. The next village is Smolare where they have the highest waterfall of Macedonia. To visit this waterfall you can park close to a cafe/restaurant but from there it’s still almost 1km on a steep trail to the waterfall of Smolare. Very much worth it of course!

Smolare waterfall. The highest waterfall in Republic of Macedonia.
Smolare waterfall. The highest waterfall in Republic of Macedonia.

We returned the same path from the waterfall back to the restaurant where we enjoyed a local wine untill they closed. We went back to our car but only to take our camping gear as we had noticed a camping spot just a little upstream behind the restaurant.

A bit noisy so close to the water but it looked like a safe spot. It was also the first time I saw fire flies for real. Really amazing creatures!