After our stroll in Dihovo, Lars and I faced a choice: exploring Bitola or visiting the Pelister National Park. It being a very hot day, we decided in favour of refreshing walk in nature. So, off we went!
This National Park is the oldest and the second biggest of Macedonia. 171,5 square meters of fauna and flora are located in the Baba Mountain massif. Look out for rare pine trees, bears, wolves and roe deer.
The building you see in one of the pictures is Hotel Molika. Go inside, talk to the reception and they will provide you with a plan of the park. Given the size of it, this is not a luxury!
Since the park is so big, you will not easily run into a lot of people. Unfortunately, we did not run into a lot of wildlife either.
Nevertheless, if you are a nature lover, we highly recommend this place!
In the whole of the National Park there is only one village, called Malovishta.
According to a local touristic website, this village hides an architectural gem in the shape of an orthodox cathedral. Of course, what the website does not tell you is that you have to climb a very steep, unpaved street. And in our case, this took place during a very hot afternoon.
A young man – a university student – accompanied us to the church; it was closed, but luckily for us, our new friend knew who kept the keys of the building.
From the outside the 19th century St. Petka church looks like any other building…
Once you are inside, you find the real gem: a large icon collection. It is however forbidden to photograph certain icons and holy books and we respected this rule.
Once again outside, we went back to the car, with an extra canine companion.
According to the same local website, Slivnica Monastery is another highlight in the National Park. Unfortunately for us, the gates were closed!
But the drive was not fruitless… Just look at these incredible views of Lake Prespa!
In case you asked yourself whether it is possible to swim in the lake, the answer is yes. There are beaches, such as here in the small village of Pretor.