Matka Travel Guide

  • Cable Car to Millenium Cross
    Cable Car to Millenium Cross
    by Pijlmans
  • Marking of the trail
    Marking of the trail
    by Pijlmans
  • Hike to Matka
    Hike to Matka
    by Pijlmans

Matka Things to Do

  • Hike from Mount Vodno (Skopje) to Lake...

    The reason that we did not do this hike before is that we were told that especially the end of the hike, when you reach Lake Matka, is badly marked. Therefore the general advice is not to try this hike without a local guide. In retrospect, I think that when you have a good look at the map, in combination with the sparse marking of the trail, it...

  • Vrelo Cave at Lake Matka

    You can visit a cave at Lake Matka. To get to the cave, you have to take a boat for about 4 km upstream from the dam. It takes 30 minutes to get to the cave by boat.You will find these boats at St Andrea, located just after the dam that is responsible for the artificial lake.The cave is very spacious, with a small lake inside. Unfortunately, there...

  • walking around

    You have got down the bus and walked up until Sv. Andrea and the cafes. Right hand the ways go straight up to Sv Nikola, Helena and Bogorodica. Think about your shoes being good enough or not to do this trails. The left way follows the Treska canyon. This is breathtaking, romantically beautyful, etc.But don't expect to see more churches or...

  • Hike along Lake Matka

    You can walk along Lake Matka. At some places, you will be walking high on the cliffs on a very small trail, so this walk is certainly not suitable for people with vertigo. See the pictures!Theoretically, it should be possible to walk all the way along the lake, but we were told that the trail is getting bad after about 6 km (when starting from St...

  • Monastery of St Nikola Shishevski at...

    The Monastery of St Nikola Shishovski (or St Nicholas Shishevski) is located high on the cliffs above Lake Matka. It is not exactly known when the church was built, likely somewhere near the 14th century when it was first mentioned. Allegedly it was abandoned in the 18th century.The high location is spectacular and gives you a wonderful view of...

  • Monument for mountaineers and hiking...

    Close to the Church of St Andrea, there is a huge carabiner hanging from the rocks to commemorate climber(s) that died in an accident.Behind the monument, a trail starts that goes along river Treska for over 9 km, all the way to where a new dam in the river is built at this moment. At least the first 6 km of this trail are good enough to hike, I...

  • Boat tour is a must

    Take a boat tour around the lake. It costs 100 MKD per person and last for about 20 minutes. The lake and the mountains around are just wonderful!

  • Dam at Lake Matka

    This dam in the Treska Valley is responsible for the artificial Lake Matka.Behind the dam there is the Church of St Andrea, a restaurant and the Matka Mountaineering club.

  • Hiking trails at Lake Matka

    At the Church of St Andrea, also the Matka Mountaineering Club can be found. You can also stay here overnight, see for more information.From this location it is possible to start several hikes, as well as to do some serious climbing.There are marked hikes. An attempt to translation from the signs at the picture:-...

  • Church of St Andrea at Lake Matka

    The Church of St Andrea (St Andrew) is located close to the dam that is responsible for the artificial lake. The church, dedicated to St Andrea, was built in the 14th century (1388/89) by Andrea, second son of King Volkashin and brother of the later King Marko.Pay some extra attention to the frescoes: The faces and postures of the depicted saints...

  • Ruins of the Church of St Nedela at Lake...

    On one of the highest cliffs above Lake Matka, are the ruins of St Nedela (St Sunday). Although the church is without roof, you can still burn candles here, and even write something in the log that is hidden in a metal case.Some of the frescoes are still (barely) visible.There are more ruins at this site, from Marko’s City, such as those of an old...

  • Markov Grad, Marko's City at Lake Matka

    Close to the Church of St Spas and the Church of St Nedela, there are the ruins of Markov Grad (Marko's City).The ruins on the pictures must have been of a fortress, judging from the thick walls,Besides these ruins of the fortress, the only other remnants we could find were those at the Church of St Nedela.See the map of Lake Matka in my general...

  • Ruins of St George next to St Spas

    Next to the Church of St Spas on the cliffs above Lake Matka, there are some ruins of what once must have been St Gorgija (St George).

  • Church of St Spas at Lake Matka

    The Church of St Spas (Holy Salvation) was built in the 14th century, and renovated in 1968, as can be seen from the inscription above the entrance. Next to the church are the ruins of St Gorgija (St George). The Church of St Troica should also be close to St Spas, however, we somehow missed it.The church is at a remote location and can only be...

  • Monastery of St Bogorodica at Lake Matka

    The Monastery of Bogorodica (Holy Mother of God) is close to Lake Matka, before the dam and above restaurant Pestera. See the map of Lake Matka in my general tips. The inns of the monastery are not open to the public.Above the entrance of the church is written: "By the will of the father, the son and the holy ghost and the divine temple of the...

  • Watching flora and fauna

    Please describe me this species which I don't know from Western Europe...On the path of Matka canyon I even saw flat growing sage which I have never seen before- and didn't take a photo from it.

  • Monastery of Sveti Nikola

    This 1 1/2 hour walk is worth the effort and a good opportunity for a one day trip to leave Skopje city behind youWhen landed in Matka (either by car, bus no. 60 or taxi - 600 MKD), cross the Treska river over the bridge at the end of the wildwater channel and follow the path heading against the flow direction of the river. Soon it will get steeper...

  • Swimming and Recreation!?

    At first Weekend of July 05, the artificial Lake was filled up with Treska waters. Its probably the most beautiful location for swimming and recreation around Skopje.An adjacent camping area is rounding up the pleasure - ground.!There is just one Problem: The lake is a cesspool. I wouldn't even put a toe into it. Or would you like to swimm between...


Matka Restaurants

  • Tourist restaurant

    This is a restaurant with a nice lake view, the only one in the area at my knowledge. Indeed, due to the average quality of service and food, it is rather to be used for drinks and refreshments before boarding a boat for a lake tour.

  • This restaurant has a view!

    The restaurant is just below the monastery at Matka Canyon -- it serves traditional Macedonian food, but to be honest, I've used it mostly for a cool drink on hot summer days:)The sign is for an ecological summer school that was being held at Matka in summer 1999.You can see the aluminum boat that is used to take tourists out on the lake.

  • Matka Hotels

    0 Hotels in Matka

Matka Transportation

  • Probably best by car

    When you leave Skopje, head for Tetovo. Before you reach the highway, turn left (unfortunately, there wasn't a road sign when I last visited, so it's perhaps best to ask the locals). When you cross the steel bridge, follow the road for another 2 km (the road is not wide and in a poor state, winding through a village). Turn left again and follow the...

  • How to find it

    The easiest way to get to the lake is to leave Skopje towards Ohrid and right after entering the highway take the first exit. Be careful, the sign "Matka Canyon" is placed after the exit (which is actually a common problem here), so don't hit the speed once on the highway. Follow the further signs and you will end up at the dam. During the weekend...

  • How to get to Matka

    Lake Matka is about 30 min by car from the center of Skopje.Bus 60 is going directly to Matka, but is rather unfrequent. Bus tickets are about 50 Denar (less than 1 euro).A more frequent option is to take bus 2 to Saraj (Capaj in Macedonian) and take a taxi from there for approximately 150 Denar (about 2.5 euro). Bus 2 stops e.g. close to the Bit...


Matka Sports & Outdoors

  • Rock climbing, hiking, kayaking

    The steep rocks are perfect for rock climbing. There are paths around the canyon for hiking/walking, both along the river and up into the hills where you can enjoy the beatiful view of the canyon. You can't fully appreciate it until you have seen it from above. The river is also suitable for kayaking, or so I've been told. If you plan to go free...

  • Kayaking at Lake Matka

    Just after the dam of Lake Matka, there is a course for kayaking. The water gets pretty wild!

  • Don't Forget Insurance

    If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.

Matka Favorites

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  • Map of Matka

    This map can be found at the church of St Andrea. The mountaineering club Matka has several marked hikes starting from here.1) Marko’s City and Church St Nedela2) Monastery St Andrea3) Monastery St Nikola4) Monastery of St Bogorodica 5) Lower Koacica Spring (dried)6) Upper Koacica Spring (dried)7) Petrov Stone, St Spas, remains of churches St...

  • Dam it!

    I like the walk in from where you've parked the car alongside the river and up to the dam. Then the lake itself. There are some very old signs warning against taking photos. I seem to escaped:) The coolness inside Sveti Andrei -- the views -- the frescoes in the church.

  • Don't miss the small things ...

    It's fun to see so many people enjoy the beauty of Matka Canyon and to share in that enjoyment. Poppies in the rocks seen on the walk in ... This picture was taken in late May 1998.


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