Joakim Osogovski and crator town Kratovo

Exploring a country in a limited time is always about making decisions. Try to fit the most important highlights together with some less known sites into one intinerary. You can’t see everything. But still we try to see everything. And that’s what happened today. We tried to see everything.

Actually, it all started yesterday. When we decided to skip the famous ancient observatory of Kokino. Instead we would go visit Cocev Kamen. The forgotten megalithic observatory of Macedonia. A less known observatory in the same region as Kokino.

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Our map showed a track from the stone dolls, where we ended the day before, to Cocev Kamen. Roughly estimated 10 km. Unfortunately we found out this track was not paved but we decided to take the risk. With our Skoda Fabia we would try to make it to Cocev Kamen.

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Unfortunately, just half way, we got stuck on a steep rocky part of the road. We had no phone coverage and the nearest house was 5km back. After a few attemps the back of the car got dangerous close to the side of the road. With every attempt the front wheels only got deeper in the rocky underground.
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Eventually we managed to get the car out of this tricky situation and drove all the way back. Cocev Kamen will stay unvisted by us.

Let’s move on to Kriva Palanka. A city in the north east with the monastery of Joakim Osogovski being one of the most visited monasteries in Macedonia. The monastery is located in the hills near the city of Kriva Palanka. A nice road goes up and finally passes the gate of the monastery complex. You need to park outside the gate, and walk the last few 100m to the monastery.

Monastery "Joakim Osogovski" in Kriva Palanka, Macedonia.
Monastery “Joakim Osogovski” in Kriva Palanka, Macedonia.

Monastery "Joakim Osogovski" in Kriva Palanka, Macedonia.
Monastery “Joakim Osogovski” in Kriva Palanka, Macedonia.

At the time we were visiting, they almost finished the construction works on the buildings behind the churches. Stairs take you up to the hotels and restaurants and to a little square with benches and a water fountain where you can enjoy the best view on the Joakim Osogovski monastery. It seems we were just a little to early to see the finished site without the noise of machines around us. We had an ice coffee and some fresh water and returned to our car.

Next stop was Kratovo. A picturesque town built in a crater of a extinct volcano.

Kratovo town located in the crater of an extinct volcano in Republic of Macedonia.
Kratovo town located in the crater of an extinct volcano in Republic of Macedonia.

We made a very pleasant walk starting in the center and then all the way up and around the village.

Kratovo town located in the crater of an extinct volcano in Republic of Macedonia.
Kratovo town located in the crater of an extinct volcano in Republic of Macedonia.
Kratovo town located in the crater of an extinct volcano in Republic of Macedonia.
Kratovo town located in the crater of an extinct volcano in Republic of Macedonia.

Near the end of our walk in Kratovo we found a nice viewpoint near the local swimming pool. From here you can see almost the entire town and see the defense towers rising above the roof tops. At the bottom right is one more stone bridge acros the river.

Kratovo town located in the crater of an extinct volcano in Republic of Macedonia.
Kratovo town located in the crater of an extinct volcano in Republic of Macedonia.

We bought some fruit on the local market and continued our trip towards Probištip. And the nearby located monastery of Lesnovo.

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It’s not so easy to find Lesnovo from Probištip. We had to ask many times and still got into dead end roads a few times. Luckily we were in a nice surrounding with picturesque villages and we took it as a further exploration of the region. We finally arrived through the villages of Dobrevo and Dreveno in Lesnovo. There is a big rock on the right side of the road offering a wide panoramo view on these villages and the surrounding landscape.

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We managed to reach to monastery before it got dark.

Lesnovo Monastery - Saint Gavril Lesnovski in Republic of Macedonia.

Lesnovo Monastery - Saint Gavril Lesnovski in Republic of Macedonia.
Very nice and clean monastery buildings as usual in Macedonia.
Lesnovo Monastery - Saint Gavril Lesnovski in Republic of Macedonia.
The church inside the monastery complex.

We camped on the hills around Lesnovo.