Galičica National Park is in the Galičica mountains in the southwestern corner of North Macedonia. It occupies pretty much the entire area between Ohrid and Prespa Lakes, from Ohrid in the north to the Albanian border in the south.
A map of the park, published by Trimaks, is available in Trimaks stores in Skopje (200 denars, as of 2017) and at book vendors in Ohrid as well (often at a slightly higher price). The same map was at some point displayed at information board at some park entrances, although as of 2017, many of these may have become illegible.
The map shows the system of hiking and mountain bicycle trails existing in the park.
The following villages are inside the Galičica National Park:
- Elšani - spread across the western slopes of the park.
Flora and fauna
Galičica National Park has over 1000 species of flora and fauna, of which 40 are endemic.
Fees and permits
In principle, an entry fee exists, but in practice there seem to be no ticket booths at any of the entrances to the park.
- Sv. Bogorodica Zahumska the church can be reached only by boat from Trpejca or Ljubanishta villages ask on the beach or in one of the restaurants. It was built on a stunning location among the rocks on a small beach by the lake in 1361. The architecture is exquisite, but the main reason to come here is to see the fresco of St.Anna breastfeeding Virgin Mary.
- Sv. Naum At the other end of the lake and is accessible by bus, taxi or boat. It is on the Albanian border so make sure you don't wander off into the military zone. If you take a taxi, it may be worth asking the driver to veer off into one of the picturesque mountain villages overlooking the lake to stop for a cheap lunch of grilled meat and cheese. One of the most beautiful monasteries in North Macedonia and an important pilgrimage place. Breathtaking setting on a plateau over Ohrid Lake and Galicica mountain towering from behind. It was founded in the 910 by St. Naum, but the present-day church was built in the 16th century. Of the original church just the side chapel with the grave of St. Naum still stands. The frescoes were painted in 1806 (the side chapel frescoes depict the life and miracles of St. Naum); in the first chamber of the church look for the fresco of St. Cyril and Methody and their students including St.Klement and St. Naum. The icon screen was made in 1711 and it is the oldest completely preserved wooden high icon screen in North Macedonia. In the side chamber it is popular to get down on your knees and try to listen the heart of St. Naum. Around the church look for the peacocks including a rare albino one. Bigger part of the dormitories of the monastery are turned into a hotel now. Near the monastery there is a chapel with holy water and before are the springs of Drim river with a lovely cafe on a small island inside the springs. It is possible (and a great experience) to take a boat tour of the springs (available only in summer) 50 denars, but skip the short boat tour offered to see the monastery from the water. Next to the monastery the river enters the lake, goes through it and it comes out in Struga. Around the monastery there is a pleasant sandy beach.
- Island of Golem Grad, western side of Lake Prespa. May-Oct. Many species of birds and also unusual plants can be found on the island.
- [dead link] The Big Blue. Local club for hang-gliding and paragliding.
- Villa Germanoff, Ohrid old town, on the lake shore, near cathedral church St. Sofia and National Museum (email: email@example.com), . Exclusive private accommodation facility in Ohrid, with more than a fair price (~€15 per person). Contact: Zoran Tuntev, +389 70 261 301; +389 46 266 831
Another form of accommodation is simply staying with a family. For an average price of around €10 per night, you should be able to sleep in a bed and have access to bathing facilities. To get a host, the best solution is simply ask at the nearest Tourist Information Bureau (at the bus station, for example).
Accommodations are available at Ohrid.
- Metropol-Bellevue, ☏ . This four-star hotel is on the lake in the center.
- Gradište campsite (about 30 minutes south of Ohrid by the lake). Offers cheaper rates, but the toilet facilities are old-fashioned stand-up toilets.
Elšani -village in North Macedonia
Pogradec - city of Albania
Prespa (North Macedonia) - region in Southeastern Europe
Ohrid - city in North Macedonia
Prespa (Greece) - lake in Southeastern Europe