What can I say about cycling Macedonia? Well, Macedonia is probably is my favourite country that we’ve cycled through, so far. The roads are good, the drivers are courteous, the scenery is amazing and it’s super cheap.
We arrived in Macedonia on the beautiful Lake Ohrid.
Exhausted, wet and dehydrated. It was quite late in the evening and it was still raining. So we decided to treat ourselves to a hostel, instead of camping. We stayed not too far from Ohrid Town, which is a bit of a tourist trap, but still beautiful. It is also cheap and yummy ice cream can be bought everywhere. Since starting this cycle tour my life has started to revolve even more around food, so the ice cream point is very important. As is discovering yummy cheap bureks for 50c each and the cheapest supermarket I’ve entered since Latin America. Michael is struggling to keep on weight (I’m unfortunately not having the same problem). So I’ve been trying to fatten Michael up again – on a small budget. So Macedonia is perfect!
In total we spent 4 nights on Lake Ohrid. It wasn’t quite hot enough to get in the water. We’ve been followed by shitty, wet, stormy weather since we left the Alps, and this continued into Macedonia. Fortunately, there were a couple of clear, blue-sky days, and got to witness an amazing sunset from Ohrid’s Old Town.
Michael treated me to a spa package at a hotel on the lake, for my birthday. So, after relaxing for the day/night, we woke up early, made the most of the breakfast buffet, and hit the road again.
Taking the road less traveled
Most people would try and take the most direct route to the next destination – not us. We decided, very last minute (even though it was forecasted to rain, again), to take the longer and more mountainous route, through Galichica National Park. The route included a 2000m pass from Lake Ohrid to Lake Prespa. It was going to be a tough day.
The roads were quiet and the views were amazing. For once, we were also blessed with perfect weather, and managed to make it to our “official” wild camping spot before the rain started. The detour added about 30km and 2000m onto the trip, but it was well worth. We arrived into Bitola the following day, knackered but feeling accomplished.
Onwards to Greece
Bitola was our last stop in Macedonia before crossing the border into Greece. We checked into a hostel, as it’s usually difficult to find wild camping spots in cities. Then chilled out for the rest of the day. Just as the rain caught up with us.
The following day we attempted to get an early start. We had decided to take an 300km detour to visit Meteora, because we were told by a few people that it was cool. Our early start, turned into a late start. Sometimes things just don’t go the way you plan! We did however, eventually make it out of Macedonia and into our 7th country, Greece.
A few stats from cycling Macedonia:
Accommodation: 4 nights in a hostel, 1 night in a hotel (for my birthday), 1 night wild camping in the National Park
Kilometers cycled in Macedonia: 140km
Total kilometers: 1800km
Days in Macedonia: 7 days (6 nights)
Total days cycling: 42 days
Average spendings per day: 10 Euros
Beautiful Sunsets: 3
Puncture tally: 4 (Michael) – 0 (Kelly)