Galicica, an impressive National Park in North Macedonia

Galicica, an impressive National Park in North Macedonia

2 minutes to read

What is the most beautiful national park? To answer this question, you must hit the road now; here on itinari, we will share all we know. After presenting the oldest national park in Northern Macedonia, Pelister, it is time for Galicica, my personal favorite one.

A place identifying as a "national park," is a great indicator of vast nature. But is there anything more than impressive landscapes and hiking opportunities while there? When we are talking about Galicica national park, then we refer to its two most beautiful natural lakes and its astonishing mountain that can be found in between. 

The highest peak, Magaro (2,255m) makes this national park a delicate challenge for hikers. When you hike here, make sure you have enough water with you (we’re talking about 4 liters of liquid) because It will take you several hours to get to the top without any springs to refill your bottle. When you reach the highest point, you can see both Lake Prespa and Lake Ohrid (See: cover photo!). This is a view that makes you feel like the king of the world. Probably you will sing the Titanic theme while enjoying the view with open arms facing the sky. 

Oh, yes! Paragliders adore this mountain, so if you are one of them, bookmark this page.

After exploring the two marvelous lakes and the beautiful mountain, let’s go to the island in the realms of this national park. This is the biggest island in North Macedonia located in Prespa Lake. The name is Golem Grad, meaning Big Citadel, also known as Snake Island. It is over 20 hectares big. 

Photo credits ©Бојан Тренчевски/Wikimedia
Photo credits ©Бојан Тренчевски/Wikimedia

This island is special not only because of its geomorphological features but also because of its characteristic flora and fauna and historical past. From all sides, rocks surround the island from a height of 20 to 30 meters. It’s a special feeling to get there since you can only enter the island from two spots.

The whole park is a soft spot for nature lovers and explorers, but the island Golem Grad is one of the most attractive places for those with interests focused on the remains of settlements from Neolithic, Roman times (necropolis) and the Middle Ages. Except for the Roman necropolis, six churches have been discovered right here. The island was, continuously inhabited for 2000 years, and the monastic life took place from X to the XIV century.  You have the rare chance to see the early Christian basilica from the end of the 4th and the beginning of the 5th century! They discovered remains of a floor mosaic too!

Photo credits ©MartinDimitrievski/Wikimedia
Photo credits ©MartinDimitrievski/Wikimedia

This is the reason Galicica is my favourite national park in my country. You think you are going for a walk in the mountain, but end up travelling through time.

Cover photo credits © iStock/Laszlo Peto

The author

Zlata Golaboska

Zlata Golaboska

I am Zlata and I am an architect living in the Balkans. I am passionate about cities, how people influence architecture and vice versa, and how places change our lives.

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