Horse riding in Mavrovo National Park and Galičnik

We had to wake up early in the monastery. Not because the monks dragged us out our bed but because we had a reservation for horse riding in Mavrovo National Park. The monks were probably already awake and praying for several hours anyway. We went to find someone to arrange the checkout. A pity we couldn’t stay for breakfast in the monastery but we did got to enjoy one more tea.

It was an interesting stay at the monastery but still a little akward if you arrive and leave in a hurry. Next time we should plan a little more time here to fully understand how life inside the monastery works.

View on Mavrovo National Park. Down there in the valley goes the road from Mavrovo to Galicnik. Macedonia.
View on Mavrovo National Park. Down there in the valley goes the road from Mavrovo to Galicnik.

To get to the horse ranch in Mavrovo national park, we had to make a huge tour and access the park from the Mavrovo lake side.  Once over the pass, the views get very promising as you can see on the above photo.

The road continues trough this valley and the only building we see after driving for a while is our horse ranch. (website)

At the horse ranch we met a Macedonian couple from Tetovo. Together with them, and a guide, we went on a tour of about two and a half hour.

Our horses!
That’s Lada and the couple we just met earlier at the horse ranch.
Horse riding in Mavrovo national park in Macedonia.
For me, honestly, the trip was way to long with a monotone scenery. But I guess that’s what every beginner has to go through?

When we finally returned – finally because by bottom isn’t made to drive horses – we got to taste some local alcohol and cheese.

We continued further on the same road to see the village Galičnik. The village is very famous for it’s wedding festival. For which we were just a week too late.

The village Galičnik in Mavrovo National Park. Famous for the Wedding Festival
The church in Galičnik. Mavrovo national park in Macedonia.
The church in Galičnik.

From Galičnik we returned all the way back to Mavrovo lake where we found a hotel where we could have dinner.

Cow grazing in front of submerged St Nicholas church of Mavrovo Lake, Macedonia
Cow grazing in front of submerged St Nicholas church of Mavrovo Lake
The new church of Mavrovo after they flooded the old church (in the background) after constructing the Mavrovo dam.

We stayed a while at the hotel until it got a bit dark so we could pitch our tent on the shore of Mavrovo Lake. Crossing our fingers that the water wouldn’t raise too much that night!