Hello guys, today I would like to present you one of the most beautiful places around Skopje – Matka. The English translation to this name would be womb. It may sound funny, but once you get there and see the breathtaking nature around you, you will forget everything about it. :)
You can get to the canyon Matka with a car or by taking the bus that goes over there. Of course, you can also hire a van with a guide that will take you there and explain you everything about the place and organize your day as best as possible. However, Matka is around 17 kilometres away from Skopje, the capital city of Macedonia. It is situated southwest of the city.
Usually, when we say Matka, we think of the marvellous canyon of the river Treska. In the area called Matka, there is also artificial lake called Matka and which is using the water from the river Treska. There are also couple of restaurants that offer view on the wild river or the unique canyon.
In this very beautiful site there are many rare and endemic plants and animals. In the Canyon there were found 119 species of butterflies and 140 species of moths, out of which 77 are endemic Balkan butterflies. So, if you love butterflies, this is another reason to visit this peaceful heaven.
To some point there is a road open for vehicles, but after that point visitors have to walk to the canyon and the lake. From where the bus stops and till the lake and the place where the path alongside the canyon starts there is around 10-15 minute walk. You will be walking in the heart of gorgeous nature and listen the sounds of river floating that will bring peace to you minds. When you get to lake, you are immediately struck by the view in front of you. There you will find a restaurant, some benches for rest, St. Andreja monastery and the beginning of the rocky path alongside the canyon.
At this point you have several options for activities. You can choose to enjoy the nature and the peace on the benches or have a lunch in the restaurant. If you want to be active, you can explore the area and go till the end of the rocky path or rent a kayak and explore the canyon in a whole different way. I highly recommend this option, because being in the middle of those high rocks and mountains, enjoying the sun and being close to the dark green water is really something special.
Another option would be to rent a boat and go visit the deepest underwater cave on the Balkans called Vrelo. In fact, there are two caves, one cave that is above the water level and one that is under it. The depth for now is considered to be 212 metres, but it’s not explored till the end yet. The cave is something that needs to be seen and inside there are two lakes called the Small and the Big Lake.
The prices for renting a kayak or a boat are affordable, but in order to rent a boat you need to be part of a bigger group or find other interested tourist, since they won’t start the boat for only two or three persons.
For those who are religious, this is the perfect place to visit. Because of the high and hard to get areas, here you can find many churches and monasteries. The best known is the monastery Saint Andreja, which was built in the 14th century. Another ones are the monastery Saint Bogorodica, also from the 14th century and the churches Saint Spas and Saint Nikola Shishevski.
This is where my story comes to an end my dear readers. I hope that my post wasn’t too long and you enjoyed reading it. This is my view of the canyon Matka and if you want to share something, please do write a comment bellow. If you ask me, Matka is one of the must see places in my country.
Welcome to my Macedonia! :)