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6 Days Bucephalus Trails Horse Riding Tour, Macedonia

Hotel Neda Galichnik

Mountain Trail Riding in Macedonia

Bucephalus was the name of the legendary horse of Alexander the Great. You will have the opportunity to ride the paths that Bucephalus rode with the ancient warriors. This is a rewarding soul journey with breathtaking scenery. Ride uphill along the valleys of Bistra Mountain and Mavrovo lake and enjoy the vast and never-ending open views of countless mountain peaks. On this trip, you will get closer to Sheppard’s life, visit a few sheep farms and experience the traditional way of cheese making. Join this unforgetable adventure on a horse through one of the last wild spots in Europe. Ride, breathe and reconnect with unspoiled nature!

Key Information

  • Rider Weight Limit: 221 pounds / 100 kilograms
  • Horse Height Range: 15 hands
  • Tack Type: Western tack
  • Horse Breed: Balkan mountain, halfbreed Arab, and Lepicaners

Meet the instructors

Vasko
Read more

Highlights

  • 4 days with horse riding
  • Approximate daily riding time: 5 to 9 hours
  • 4 wonderful and awesome ranch life workshops
  • Full guidance by professional horse riding English speaking guide
  • Use of tents and helmet during the ride
  • Authentic breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Complimentary drinks at the ranch
  • 5 nights' accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


4 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: Macedonian
Group size: Maximum of 10 participants
Airport transfer included: Skopje "Alexander the Great" Airport
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
16:30

The trip includes lodging in old villages, camps, enjoying the taste of fabulous domestic food, sometimes by the fire, sometimes in the restaurant or occasionally in nature, sitting on a rock in the middle of a pasture taking pleasure in the splendors of life and nature. You will be staying at varoius accomodations on your route, including:

Hotel Neda, Galichnik

Hotel Kalin, Lazaropole

Motel Topila, Gari

Base Camp 1

Hotel Solun, Skopje

Program

Day 1 Arrival

Overnight in Hotel Neda Galichnik.

Upon arrival at Skopje Airport, you will be picked and taken for a coffee break at the Old Bazaar in Skopje city (20 min drive). You will have an opportunity for a short sightseeing tour of the Old Bazaar and the city center, and a chance to taste the delightful Macedonian cuisine at the traditional restaurant DUKAT in Skopje. After lunch, you will be transferred to the Sherpa Horse Riding Ranch in the village of Galichnik, situated in the western mountain region of Macedonia (1h 45 min drive). Lodging is at Hotel Neda in the village of Galichnik, and in between, you will meet the horses and the Sherpa team at the ranch, which is 1 km from the hotel. Safety-briefing and operation procedures session will be hosted at Hotel Neda before dinner.

Schedule:

  • 16.30 - Departure to Sherpa Horse Riding Ranch and Hotel Neda in Galichnik
  • 18.15 - Arrival at the Ranch, meeting the Horses and the Sherpa team, and a warm welcome with refreshments
  • 19.00 - Safety equipment handout, safety, and procedures briefing.

(Guests arriving after 16.30 will be directly transferred to Sherpa Horse Riding Ranch with snack lunch provided in the van.)

Day 2 Galichnik - Lazaropole

(approximate ride time: 5h, forest ride of 27km)

Overnight in Hotel Kalin.

After breakfast in Hotel Neda, you will be transported to the Sherpa Horse Riding Ranch (around 5 min. drive). You will meet the horses again, and after the briefing session and choosing the right horse, you will have some fun during the exciting ranch workshops (milking goats, traditional cheese preparation) and then, get prepared for the ride. You will have an opportunity to visit most of the old Miyak villages and get closely acquainted with the culture of the Miyaks, as well as a ride through the old forest trails, which were originally used for transportation on horses. From the ranch, you will ride to the village of Glaichnik (the biggest and most popular Miyak village) and visit the museum of Gjorgjija Pulevski, a famous Miyak author and revolutionary. You will ride through the forest of Sushica (visiting Sushica the oldest Miyak village, now mostly in ruins), and ride downhill to the Miyak villages of Selce and Tresonche, with panoramic views of the north side of Stogovo Mountain. You will ride through the forest of Sushica and downhill to the villages Selce and Tresonce, with panoramic views of the north side of mountain Stogovo. On the way to the village of Lazaropole, you will have a lunch break and a fruit dessert. You will be passing through the Miyak village of Tresonche, experiencing the Miyak folklore and the old Miyak architecture. Lodging will be in Lazaropole (the second largest Miyak village) in the Hotel Kalin. Dinner will be served next to a cozy fireplace at the hotel restaurant (fresh wild meat dish from the region).

The Sherpa truck carries your luggage to the hotel.

Schedule:

  • 07.30 - Breakfast
  • 08.30 - Departure to the Sherpa Horse Riding Ranch
  • 08.35 - Arrival at the ranch, and a warm welcome with refreshment
  • 09.00 - Milking goats and traditional cheese production, preparations for the trip (safety equipment handout, Safety and Procedures briefing, choosing horses, loading luggage to the safety and camping jeeps)
  • 10.00 - Departure to the museum in the village of Galichnik
  • 10.15 - Arrival at the museum with 45 min introduction about the culture of the Miyak
  • 11.00 - Departure to the village of Lazaropole
  • 13.00 - Picnic lunch in the forest of Sushica (fresh products provided directly from the ranch) followed by cheese tasting, and delicious local vegan/vegetarian food (if specified)
  • 14.00 - Departure to the hunting village of Lazaropole on horseback (forest mountain ride)
  • 16.00 - Fruit desert break
  • 16.30 - Continuing the journey to the hunting village of Lazaropole on horseback (forest mountain ride)
  • 17.30 - Arrival in Lazaropole and lodging at Hotel “KALIN” for dinner and an overnight stay
  • 19.00 - Dinner of a traditional Miyak meal (fresh wild meat dish from the region)

Day 3 Lazaropole - Gari

(approximate ride time: 7h, ride of 37 km)

Overnight in Motel Topila.

After a lovely evening of delicious food, smooth wine, and a good night’s sleep, off you go again! Today is an adrenaline ride which will take you to the oldest forest Miyak trail of Bistra Mountain, crossing up to Stogovo Mountain from the Miyak village of Osoj, with an incredible view at the Korab Massive (2,764 meters/ 9068 ft). You will have an opportunity to go to one of the highest peaks on Stogovo - Babin Srt (2,241 meters/7352.3 ft.). Then riding down to the Miyak village of Gari for dinner and an overnight stay in the very cozy guesthouse by the main Gari creek. Fresh fish for dinner will be accompanied by a traditional Miyak music live performance. This route will get you closer to the shepherd’s life, visiting a few sheep farms and tasting traditional white cheese and yogurt.

Schedule:

  • 07.00 - Breakfast
  • 08.00 - Starting the preparations, which will include saddling and bridling the horses
  • 09.00 - Departure to the Miyak village of Gar
  • 11.00 - Fruit break (snacks and fruit)
  • 11.30 - Departure on a horseback
  • 13.30 - Arriving at the sheep farm at Stogovo Mountain for a lunch break (Shepard’s lunch including lamb and cheese, freshly from the farm, or a delicious local vegan/vegetarian meal (if requested)
  • 15.00 - Departure to the Miyak village of Gari
  • 18.00 - Arrival in the Miyak village of Gari at Motel Topila
  • 19.30 - Dinner (fresh fish from the creek) accompanied by traditional live music

Day 4 Gari – Kamp Solomunica

(approximate ride time: 9h, riding 44km)

Overnight in basecamp 1.

After a lovely dinner spiced with captivating traditional melodies, and a good night’s sleep, you are almost ready for the longest day of this journey. You will cross to the east side of Bistra Mountain, riding across a very old forest Miak trail. This ride will take you above the forest of Bistra Mountain, with an incredible view at the Korab Massive (2,764 meters/ 9068 ft.).You will visit a few sheep farms and taste traditional white cheese and yogurt. After the long breathtaking experience, you will be lodging in the base camp deep in the mighty mountains, far away from the civilized world. Setting up the sleeping tents, starting a campfire along with the dinner preparation, done in a traditional manner, you will be getting ready for a campfire party, followed by a good night’s sleep.

Schedule:

  • 06.30 - Breakfast
  • 07.30 - Starting the preparations including saddling and bridling the horses
  • 08.00 - Departure to the base camp located deep in the Bistra Mountain
  • 11.00 – Fruit dessert break (snacks and fruits)
  • 11.30 - Departure on a horseback
  • 13.30 – Arrival at the sheep farm for a cheese tasting lunch or delicious local vegan/vegetarian food (if requested)
  • 14.30 - Departure to the base camp on a horseback
  • 18.30 - Arrival in the base camp and setting up the sleeping tents, starting a campfire along with some dinner preparations
  • 19.30 - BBQ - Dinner next to the campfire (overnight stay in tents).

Day 5 Kamp Solomunica – Sherpa Ranch

(approximate ride time: 7h, ride of 35km)

Overnight Skopje Hotel Solun.

Wake up to endless views of high-level mountain peaks. Preparing breakfast in the fresh mountain air, you are slowly getting ready for the next journey. On this route, you are going to visit some more sheep farms and enjoy different mountain sceneries. The guides will take you around the highest peak Medenica and bring you back to Sherpa Horse Riding Ranch, riding across the west end of Bistra Mountain, with an incredible view at Krcin Peak. You'll be welcomed back to the ranch after 143 km over four fantastic riding days. After the final dinner with the group and the Sherpa team, you will be transferred to Skopje for an overnight stay.

Schedule:

  • 07.00 – Starting breakfast preparations
  • 08.00 - Breakfast and packing
  • 08.30 - Departure to the sheep farm on a horseback
  • 12.00 - Arrival at the sheep farm with lunch and fruit dessert break
  • 13.00 - Departure to Sherpa Horse Riding Ranch
  • 16.30 - Arrival at Sherpa Horse Riding Ranch
  • 17.00 - Final dinner at the Ranch
  • 18.30 - Transport to the city of Skopje for an overnight stay
  • 20.15 - Arrival in Skopje and lodging

Day 6 Departure

Breakfast and transfer to the airport (20-minute drive). You will be transferred from the hotel to the airport for your flight according to your flight schedule.

The Riding and Horses

Sherpa Horse Riding Bistra Galichnik offers a western style of riding. You will ride Balkan mountain horses which are hardy and surefooted in the steep terrain. Also, you will ride halfbreed Arab horses and Lepicaners. You will ride only with a light backpack or nothing on your backs because the jeep will transport your luggage to the overnight destination. Furthermore, please make sure that you are fit enough for the journey.

Safety

The Sherpa Horse Riding Bistra Galichnik's team works at a high-level worldwide safety and risks management, licensed by USAID, ATTA (Adventure Travel Trade Association), and MKAIML (Macedonian Association of International Mountain Leaders). They are using a jeep and truck support for a safety backup that is always connected to radio devices to your guides and safety equipment for mountain evacuation.

Included excursions

  • Guided city tour in Skopje (optional)
  • Visits to several sheep farms

Instructors

Vasko Velichkovski

Location

You will ride through various locations in Macedonia including the forest of Sushica, Lazaropole Village, the forest of Bistra Mountain, the highest peak of Medenica, and the village of Galičnik where Sherpa Horse Riding Ranch is located. The ranch is one kilometer away from the legendary village of Galičnik, within the National Park of Mavrovo.

Mavrovo National Park

Mavrovo National Park with its landscapes, lakes, and forests, is one of the most beautiful areas in Macedonia. Spreading over an area of about 300 square miles, Mavrovo National Park offers the visitor sublime scenery of great environmental value. Deep canyons, snowy peaks, blue lakes combined with dense forests, and vegetation overflowed with numerous rivers with wild rapids, waterfalls, and crystal clear water adding to the beauty of the mountain landscape inhabited by an abundance of diverse wildlife.

The highest mountain peaks in Macedonia are all found in the National Park of Mavrovo which is located in the western part of the country. The mountains of Shara, Deshad, and Bistra, as well as its peaks, are standing beneath the imposing Mountain Korab (2,764 meters) make this mountain range even more fascinating. Mavrovo's impressive forests and its hilltops host a rich variety of rare species of trees, mountain flowers, wild teas. and herbs that can be easily gathered by hand.

Bistra is one of the most interesting mountains in the Republic of Macedonia. The etymology of this topography comes from the Macedonian word "bistra" which means cleanliness. This referring to the transparency of its waters and pureness of nature on this mountain. Bistra has many peaks higher than 2,000 meters and the highest one is the Medenica Peak which is 2,163 meters above sea level. The summit of Medenica offers a very picturesque view of the region. On its west side, there is an excellent view of mountain Korab and on its northern side, the Mavrovo Lake and Park are revealing the vibrant countryside filled with wild horses, July snow, scattered sheep herds, wildflowers, medical herbs, and a sight worth experiencing.

Galičnik

Galičnik is a mountain village located on the slopes of the Bistra Mountain at 1,300 to 1,600 meters above the sea level, some 10 kilometers from Lake Mavrovo. Along with Lazaropole is one of the two biggest and oldest Mijak villages in the region. Galičnik has well preserved the traditional architecture including an amphitheater in the village square and is famous for its surrounding countryside and its preserved nature.

In the past, the economy of Galičnik relied on livestock especially the sheep trade: producing of cheese, meat, and wool products. People from Galičnik and northwestern Macedonia appreciate the local yellow cheese, kaškaval (kashkaval), that is produced in the region as well as the local salt brine white cheese, "belo sirenje". One should not miss local specialties like the “bakrdan”, yogurt, and lamb.

Food

Traditional Macedonian diet all about the simplicity and high-quality seasonal produce. Bread is the king, but meat is the crown of the table. Vegetarians can be catered for and are asked to specify their food preference when making a booking.

Meat comes from animals that have lived their life grazing on rich high altitude herbal pastures and roaming freely in their natural life cycle. Dairy products are produced without chemicals, taste enhancers, using only traditional natural procedures. Local white cheeses are a synonym for this region.

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 4 days riding with full guidance by a professional horse riding English speaking guide
  • 5 nights accomodation
  • 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners
  • 4 workshops (Goat milking, cheese preparation, saddling and bridling of the horses)
  • Entrance fee for Mavrovo National Park
  • Drinks at the ranch (All kinds of beverages, alcoholic and refreshments)
  • All transfers as described
  • Riding helmet and tents
  • Jeep for safety backup and transport (food, tents and all other luggage)

What's not included

  • Air transfer and insurance
  • Back protectors for horseriding
  • Drinks at the restaurants
  • All personal expenses not mentioned

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Airport: Skopje "Alexander the Great" Airport Airport transfer included: Skopje "Alexander the Great" Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

Value for money
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6 days / 5 nights
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Availability

This holiday is available from May until November, with arrival on Saturday. Please select an arrival date below.

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