Velestovo Things to Do
This 16 km round trip with a height difference of 700 m starts in the village Velestovo, close to Ohrid.
To get to Velestovo, take the mountain road into Galicica National Park at the roundabout with the gas station on Bulevar Turisticka (near Biljana Springs) in Ohrid. This road also passes the Galicica National Park Office on your right.
Follow the road all the way until the small square with the spring and church in Velestovo. Note that the square is small, parking space is limited and the road is rather steep, so you may want to take a taxi instead of a car.
The first 3.5 km of the hike are rather steep, through forest-like area. After about 1.5 km there's a spring. At the highest point (after 3.5 km) there is a covered picnic place, with a superb view over the valley beneath.
From the picnic place you walk downhill towards a shepherd's farm. After 4.5 km, take a left turn. From here, the trail is flat and you'll be walking mostly on an old 4x4 / horse and carriage road towards the village Ramne. This is a very nice valley with many flowers.
We encountered several cows here...
At a T-crossing after about 9 km, turn left towards Ramne, the trail goes downhill from here. Be careful here because there have been some landslides. The trail was still quite well in 2014.
The last part of the hike is less attractive than the first part, since it mainly follows a relatively well- maintained 4x4 road instead of a small trail.
At a crossing after 10.5 km, follow the 4x4 road (and do not take the small signposted trail towards Ramne like we initially did. This point is marked in the GPS file).
The 4x4 road starts to go uphill again (about 100 m ascent). After 12 km there are some hazelnut trees.
At the highest point of the ascent, and just before a major crossing, leave the 4x4 road and take a well-marked small trail to your right. This is a very attractive trail (called Leko's trail), too bad it takes only 1 km before you're back at the very wide 4x4 service road to Velestovo.
Alternatively, you can decide not to take Leko's trail and continue walking on the service road. This will add 1-2 km to the hike.
The weather was not great when we did this hike, just after the picnic place it started to rain. Nevertheless, it was a pleasant, not too demanding hike.
The church is Velestovo is worth a visit as well, see here for more info: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/6117e/6e4b0/
You can view and download the GPS track here: http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=buridiymnuyuhldmRelated to:
- Hiking and Walking
The Church Presveta Bogorodica Precista (or St Most Holy Mother of God Most Pure) is located on the graveyard of Velestovo.
Actually, it is a church inside a church. The church on the outside was build to protect the much older church on the inside.
The old church inside contains some interesting frescoes, painted in 1444 and 1451. It has a remarkably small door. Watch your head!
You will find the church most likely locked. But a family living along the dirt road left of the central water fountain has the key. You can ask in the village for the key (key of the church = klucot od crkvata, pronounced "klutsjot od serkvata"). It is a good habit to leave some denars in the church, or buy some candles.Related to:
- Religious Travel
- Historical Travel
Velestovo is a rural village. Besides the church, there is nothing to do. But it has some nice examples of rural farm houses.
Also the view of Ohrid you have from here is pretty stunning.
See the pictures.