Pelister National Park is in Western North Macedonia near Bitola.
Park straddles North Macedonia's southern border with Greece, running along the magnificent Baba Mountain. Its highest peak - Pelister (2601 m) is the third-highest in North Macedonia after Korab and Titov Vrv. It is 15 km from North Macedonia's second city, Bitola, and makes for an invigorating natural escape from urban life.
- 1 Information center, ☏ +38947237010, email@example.com. 09:00 - 15:30. It has permanent exhibitions rooms and souvenir shop.
Pelister National Park was established in 1948 and is the first national park in the country. It is also the second largest national park in North Macedonia after Mavrovo National Park.
Pelister is rugged and mountainous.
Flora and fauna
Pelister National Park is filled with exquisite flora and fauna. Among flora elements, the presence is especially significant of the five-needle pine molica (Pinus peuce)- a unique species of tertiary age being present on only a few mountains in the Balkan Peninsula. The beauty of the landscape is enhanced by the diversified wildlife: bears, roe deer, wolves, chamois, deer, wild boars, rabbits, several species of eagles, partridges, red-billed jackdaws, and the endemic Macedonian Pelagonia trout.
The climate is diverse all over the park.
Pelister is 14 km from Bitola, 75 km from Ohrid's Airport or 170 km from Skopje's Airport.
The best way to reach Pelister would be from Bitola, across the villages of Trnovo and Magarevo. No public transport is available, so taxis and private cars are the only options to get there. A taxi from Bitola to the park's information center costs about 400 denars. Alternatively, a taxi from Bitola to the entrance of the National Park, near Magarevo, costs 200 denars if called in advance if you don't mind the extra walk.
Fees and permits
Entrance fee: 50 denars per car.
Taxis cost pretty cheap, around 100 denars for a ride, but it will require most likely ordering a taxi by phone from Bitola.
There is a road going from Dihovo to Nizepole village and further into mountains which offers quite spectacular views. Accessible either by car, bicycle or on foot. There is a few forks of it leading to Brajcino village (22 km), Little and Big Lakes.
- The views of Pelagonia valley, Lake Prespa, mountains Nidzhe, Galichica, Jakupica, and Bitola.
- The two mountain lakes called Pelister's Eyes. The Big lake is 2,218 m above the sea level while the Small lake is 2,180 m high. They are the sources of many rivers. It's possible to swim in the small one during summer time. It's about 5 hr walk from Dihovo to small lake one way.
- There is a walk to Small and Big rocks which are local landmarks.
- Churches of Sv Nedela and Sv Nicolas.
- Pelister is known for great skiing.
- 1 Ski center “Kopanki” (Planinarski Dom Kopanki), ☏ +389 47 222 384. offers 680 m ski track with lifts.
- Lots of nice hiking trails with good views, e.g. Children, Historical and Stone Trails. 2 Rocky trail. which starts at Molika hotel . Refer to online map [dead link] for all available hiking routes.
- A few mountain bike tracks.
- 1 Honey farm. Offer local honey and honey products. It's also possible to arrange a tour.
- 1 Restaurant ”Oskar”, village Nizepole, ☏ +389 47 293 517.
- 2 Restaurant Ilada, Dihovo (right next to Vila Ilinden and Vila Dihovo). Quite OK place to eat some local food and drink Skopsko beer. mains 80 - 250 denars.
- 3 Restaurant Glamour, Dihovo, ☏ +389 47 231 640. 08:00 – 12:00.
- 4 La Casa Grande Dihovo, Dihovo, ☏ +389 78 244 676. 09:00 – 13:00.
You can be sleep over in many hotels, or in 3 mountain houses.
- 1 Hotel Molika, Begova Cesma, National park Pelister (high in the mountains), ☏ +389 47 229 406, firstname.lastname@example.org. It's possible to arrange half and full board. Besides, they also have a restaurant with mediocre food which can cause stomach-ache, so it might be a good idea to eat in town before coming to national park. Also bad smell of a tap water and quite average rooms. If possible opt for hotel's front rooms which comes with balcony for the same price. However, despite all these drawbacks this hotel isn't the only one available up in the mountains (inside national park) so not much of a choice really. €10-20 per person depending on the season.
- 2 Hotel Kapri, Dovledzik b.b. Bitola (on the way from Bitola to National Park, about 1 km before Dihovo village), ☏ +389 47 256 500, email@example.com. Rooms come with TV, separate bathrooms, WiFi. single 1550 denars, double 2450 dinars.
- Villa Damaja, Nizo Pole, Strezevo, ☏ +389 70 232 939, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- VIlla Pajo, village of Nizopole, email@example.com.
- Complex Paradise Garden, village of Nizhe POle, ☏ +389 78 353 880, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 3 Villa Patele, village of Nizhepole, ☏ +389 70 895 130.
It's about 5 km away from Bitola which is 5-10 minute drive by asphalt road. Taxi fare from Bitola to Dihovo is 120-140 denars.
- 4 Villa Dihovo, relaxing village Dihovo in the foothills of Mt Pelister (in the centre of the village, just past the restaurant.), ☏ +389 47 293040, email@example.com. Guest house. Offers a variety of home-cooked Macedonian specialties. Organize hiking trips and offer ski instruction for beginners. Rooms are poorly soundproofed though. the price for accommodation is to be decided by the guests at the end of their stay.
- 5 Vila Ilinden, ☏ +389 76 697 909. Renewed in old Macedonian style from wood and stone with unique interior. There are 3 quite big rooms and one apartment. All rooms have 1 double bed and one single bed. Also there is shared fully equipped kitchen. Nice owners. Which also offer to prepare Macedonian dishes for guests. Poor soundproofing though. €15 per person including quite decent breakfast.
- Villa Patrice, s. Dihovo, ☏ +389 75 347 335, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Villa Piramida, s.Dihovo, ☏ +389 75 202 924, email@example.com.
- 6 Villa Ilinden 1903, Dihovo villlage, ☏ +389 76 697 909.
- 7 Villa Vista, village Dihovo, ☏ +389 47 220 050.
- 8 A Couples Retreat "Silver Pine", ☏ +389 77 634 979.
Near Dihovo village, about 5 km away from Bitola
- 9 Hotel Shator, s. Trnovo, ☏ +389 47 293 409, firstname.lastname@example.org. Good quality hotel. Relaxed atmosphere. US$52.
- 10 Hotel Sumski Feneri, s. Trnovo, ☏ +389 47 293 131. Upscale family run hotel with excellent reviews. Good value for the money. Spacious rooms. Although it might take a while for them to prepare food and food is not always perfect. US$51.
- Villa Serz, s.Trnovo, ☏ +389 70 207 007.
- “Kopanki” (Planinarski Dom Kopanki), ☏ +389 47 222 384.
- “Golemo I malo ezero”, ☏ +389 75 458 782.
- Brajčino — picturesque village located in the mountains of Western North Macedonia, just off the eastern shore of Lake Prespa.
- Bitola — one of the most European-flavoured cities in the country, Bitola is known for its colourful neo-classical architecture and the Ancient Macedon ruins of Heraclea Lyncestis nearby.