Located just 15km west from the capital Skopje, is one of the most popular outdoor destinations in Macedonia, Canyon Matka. The Canyon is a natural paradise covering 5.000 hectares of astonishing sceneries, filled with caves and medieval monasteries which are located at the left bank of the Treska river. Even though Matka is fairly unknown to Europeans and the World due to a lack of marketing, it will most certainly take an entire day of your schedule, as there are many activities to do and places to see in this natural paradise.
How to arrive in Matka
Like previously mentioned Matka is a great escape from the concrete jungle in the center of the city, being just 15 km away. Arriving in Matka however, requires a bit of resourcefulness, as the infrastructure in Skopje isn’t quite at the European level, for tourists however this means a little bit more adventure along the way. There are several ways for visitors to reach the canyon, apart from hiking and climbing, the cheapest way to reach the Canyon is via public transport. There are several busses which will take you from the main station all the way up to the canyon for under 2 euros. If you are not a fan of the public transport you can always call a cab, the drive itself won’t take longer than 30 minutes and will cost around 15 euros.
Things to do upon arrival
If you arrived with some sort of vehicle transport, then the first thing you’ll want to do loosen up a little bit and what better way to do that than to go hiking. Canyon Matka has a hiking trail on the edge of the cliff’s that stretches for several miles ahead, the trails leads through steep cliffs, above the Treska river, through lush vegetation which will take the breath out of your lungs. The vivid scenery gives tourists the perfect background for all kinds of photo opportunities.
Kayak adventures on the river Treska
Tourists or locals visit Matka to get away from the constant stress of the urban jungle and what better way to disassociate from the world than go kayaking. Kayaking down through the shire and steep cliffs on the calm waters of the river Treska is really a once in a lifetime experience. The Kayak service offers single seated kayaks for 5 euros and double seated ones for 10 euros an hour. The Treska river is quite deep and cold, so its recommended to wear the air vest which the company provides. Don’t worry for any rapids or waves, as the crystal green water in the canyon are quite calm, suitable for the utmost pleasure as you glide down the river enjoying the magnificent landscape.
The Vrelo Cave
Matka never seizes to amaze if adventure and natural wonder are what you are looking for. To find the crown jewel of Matka, you’ll need to travel 3 kilometers up the river Canyon, where the Vrelo Cave complex is located. Discovered in 1982, the Vrelo Cave has been carved out of the rock by massive amounts of water, thus covering the cave with stalactites aplenty. The Vrelo Cave is the biggest one in Europe, maybe even the world and is listed as one of the 77 natural sites in the world. The special thing about the cave is that it has two lakes, with the larger one being 35 meters in length and 18 meters at its deepest point.