In Republic of Macedonia we have 3 national parks: National park Mavrovo, National park Galichica and National park Pelister.
1.National Park Mavrovo is the largest National Park in Macedonia that covers an area of 73 000 ha. It is located in the western central part of the country. Since 1952, the National Park has three zones of protected area, which are the zones of strict protection, the meliorative zone and the tourist recreational zone. The climate varies according to the relief. Along the river Radika, there is a mild climate and that is the reason why the flora and the fauna are represented with many different plants and animals.
In the parts of the park where the altitude is higher than 2000m, there is a noticeable influence of the alpine climate. Many things make this park special. The highest peak in Macedonia, Golem Korab on an altitude of 2 764m is connected to one of the best events for the lovers of beautiful nature and hiking – the traditional hiking tour organized each year on 8th of September when the country celebrates its independence. The traditional Galichink wedding held on 12th of July, includes all the traditional customs from the region which were typical in the past during the weddings. One of the most beautiful monasteries in the country dedicated to the name of St John the Baptist “St John Bigorski” and built from the stone tuff or “bigor” in Macedonian language is a part of the cultural and religious life of the National Park.
Several villages built in a traditional Macedonian way are a symbol of the park. After the day spent in hiking, mountaineering, cycling or horse riding, you can taste the incredibly delicious Macedonian food, as well as the Mavrovo sheep cheese made in the sheepfolds or the well known Mavrovo trout from the artificial Mavrovo Lake. This National Park is a home for many animal species, such as wolf, bear, wild boar, fox, deer and many others as well as the Balkan lynx. It has the best hunting ground in the country. The National Park of Mavrovo is one of the most beautiful ski centers and the ski season starts in November. There are possibilities for skiing on an altitude of 1255m to 1860m. The average snow cover is 70m and the are conditions for alpine skiing, snowboarding and international competitions. Without any doubt, it is a place that deserves a visit.
2.National Park Galichica is proclaimed to be a National Park in 1958. It covers an area of 22 750ha. Galichica Mountain is a limestone, located between the most beautiful natural lakes in the country, the Lake of Ohrid and the Lake of Prespa. The highest peak is called Magaro with an altitude of 2 254m. There are three zones of protected area, which are the zones of strict protection, the meliorative zone and the tourist recreational zones.The Park has distinctive relief characteristics: the high mountain peaks that often exceed 2000m altitude, the pastures with numerous herbs which are a special ornament of the mountain landscape and the impressive caves from the glacial epoch.The flora and fauna are interesting in its diversity, the flora covers more than 800 species and the fauna is presented with 10 amphibians, 18 reptiles, 124 birds and 18 mammals.The park is not a developed ski center but you can experience its scenic beauty during the warmer periods of the year.
Hiking, mountaineering, biking, paragliding as well as the offer from the development of the rural tourism, contribute to a better enjoyment in the extraordinary beauty. The numerous cultural monuments in the park area, with their historical and artistic value, as well as the two symbols of the park under its strict protection,the springs of the Ohrid Lake near the monastery of St Naum and the impressive small island in the Prespa Lake well familiar as the island of snakes, contribute to create a complete picture for the park. If you are willing to experience the most beautiful panorama you have ever seen, two beautiful lakes caressing the mountain massif, from one side the Lake of Ohrid and from the other side on a higher altitude the Prespa Lake, you must explore this National Park that will leave you speechless.
3.National Park Pelister is proclaimed to be a National Park in 1948. It covers an area of 17 150 ha. The park is located on the Baba Mountain massif and between the valleys of Pelagonija, the biggest granary in the country, and the Prespa region. The highest peak is named Pelister and it is on an altitude of 2 601m. The variety of extremely attractive surroundings, the good and marked paths for biking and hiking, the hospitality of the locals from the surrounding villages who will welcome you with great pleasure, are just a small part of the remarkable beauty. The symbol of this national park is the five needle molika pine – pinus peuce found in just a few mountains on the Balkan Peninsula. This beauty is complemented by the Eyes of Pelister or the two glacial mountain lakes, the Big Lake on 2 218m and the Small Lake on 2 180m altitude, both accessible for visits, especially for the lovers of hiking. The wolf, wild boar, bears, deer, rabbits, several species of eagles are just a small part of the wildlife in this national park. Pelister is also a good ski center but in this sense is mostly visited by the inhabitants of Macedonia. Enjoying in this magnificent and attractive beauty following the famous roman road Via Egnatia that passes through the park, is something you should think about while planning your next holiday.