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Galičica National Park

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Galičica National Park

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Galičica National Park is in between Ohrid and Prespa Lakes in the southwest corner of Western Macedonia[1].



The protected area within the Macedonia forms part Galičican mountain range situated between the lakes of Ohrid and Prespa. The range extends south across the Albanian border. The park covers 205km2. The area to the south of the pass of Polce is called the Stara Galičica while that to the north is known as Galičica [2].

The park is recognised as an Internationally Important Plant Area [3].


The national park was founded in 1958.


A north - south, frequently karstic, limestone ridge which rises to around 2265m [4]. The park slopes steeply to the east and west with a central karstic plateau. Forest vegetation occurs to a altitude of around 1900m and is spreading due to cessation of grazing pressure associated with population decreases. [5].

The following towns are inside the Galičica National Park:

  • Elšani - spread across the western slopes of the park.

Flora and Fauna[edit]

Malus florentina

The park supports round 1600 vascular plant taxa [6] including 21 threatened species. Three species of global conservation concern: Fritillaria gussichiae, Malus florentina and Pinus heldreichii var. leucodermis. Some species are especially important for plant conservation due to their extremely small range (Crocus cvijicii, Centaurea soskae, Ajuga piskoi, Rindera graeca) or over exploitation (Nepeta ernesti-mayeri and Sideritis raeseri).15 species have their locus classicus at this site (the place where they were first collected and described). Ramonda serbica a Habitats Directive and Bern Convention species is also present [7].

Forest types in the park include

  • Beech woodlands

Are frequent at high altitudes. Semi-alpine beech (Fagus sylvatica) woodlands occur on Stara Galičica near the border with Albania. These forests are the highest in the park and supports species such as Polystichum lonchitis, Sanicula europaea and the Balkan endemic Asyneuma pichleri. Also present at high altitudes on Stara Galičica are mixed coniferous and beech forests supporting Abies × borisii-regis.

Get In[edit]


Get Around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

  • Sv. Bogorodica Zahumska-the church can be reached only by boat from Trpejca or Ljubanishta villages ask on the beach or in one of the restaurants. It was built on a stunning location among the rocks on a small beach by the lake in 1361. The architecture is exquisite, but the main reason to come here is to see the fresco of St.Anna breastfeeding Virgin Mary.
  • Sv. Naum-At the other end of the lake and is accessible by bus, taxi or boat. It is on the Albanian border so make sure you don't wander off into the military zone. If you take a taxi, it may be worth asking the driver to veer off into one of the picturesque mountain villages overlooking the lake to stop for a cheap lunch of grilled meat and cheese. One of the most beautiful monasteries in Macedonia and an important pilgrimage place. Breathtaking setting on a plateau over Ohrid Lake and Galicica mountain towering from behind. It was founded in the 910 by St.Naum, but the present-day church was built in the 16th c. Of the original church just the side chapel with the grave of St.Naum still stands. The frescoes were painted in 1806 (the side chapel frescoes depict the life and miracles of St.Naum); in the first chamber of the church look for the fresco of St.Cyril and Methody and their students including St.Klement and St.Naum. The icon screen was made in 1711 and it is the oldest completely preserved wooden high icon screen in Macedonia. In the side chamber it is popular to get down on your knees and try to listen the heart of St.Naum. Around the church look for the peacocks including a rare albino one. Bigger part of the dormitories of the monastery are turned into a hotel now. Near the monastery there is a chapel with holy water and before are the springs of Drim river with a lovely cafe on a small island inside the springs. It is possible (and a great experience) to take a boat tour of the springs (available only in summer) 50 denars, but skip the short boat tour offered to see the monastery from the water. Next to the monastery the river enters the lake, goes through it and it comes out in Struga. Around the monastery there is a pleasant sandy beach.
  • Island of Golem Grad, western side of Lake Prespa. May-Oct. Many species of birds and also unusual plants can be found on the island.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • The Big Blue, [8]. Local club for hangliding and paragliding.
  • Hiking
  • Mountbike

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Private accommodation[edit]

  • Villa Velestovo, is situated on the slopes of Galičica Mountain. Great view over lake ohrid! A place with rural and modern character that can be your home during your vacation.

The villa is just 5 minutes driving away from the center of Ohrid and offers excellent view on the Ohrid Lake and the coastline of Ohrid. The villa is in the mountain overlooking the Ohrid lake and gives Ohrid its unique freshness, clean air and unparalleled scenery. Excellent for relaxing and resting from busy . The villa is modern with all the comforts: Wi-Fi, satellite TV,a big garden with plenty of shades to sit and relax and a barbecue area for a unique dining experience and more.[9] +389 (0)77 890 292 [email protected]

  • Villa Germanoff, Ohrid old town, on the lake shore, near cathedral church St. Sofia and National Museum (email: [email protected]), [10]. Exclusive private accommodation facility in Ohrid, with more than a fair price (approx. 15 Euro per person). Contact: Zoran Tuntev, Ph.D. +389 70 261 301; +389 46 266 831

Another form of accommodation is simply staying with a family. For an average price of around 10 euros per night, you should be able to sleep in a bed and have access to bathing facilities. To get a host, the best solution is simply ask at the nearest Tourist Information Bureau (at the bus station, for example).

Accommodations are available at Ohrid.


  • Metropol-Bellevue, Tel: 389-277-660. This four star hotel is located on the lake in the center.


  • Gradište campsite (about 30 minutes south of Ohrid by the lake). Offers cheaper rates, but the toilet facilities are old-fashioned stand-up toilets.


Stay safe[edit]

Get out[edit]

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