Early in the morning (yes, somehow it’s always early in the morning!), we had breakfast, said goodbye to the local cat, and met up with Simon. We were all heading to Tirana, so he joined our little party. And it’s a good thing he did because he gave us some nice suggestions on the way! One of them was going on a Matka Canyon boat ride.
The road there wasn’t very pleasant (I was sharing the backseat with Simon and one of our backpacks) and we also got a bit lost because we took a wrong turn. However, it was worth it.
The sights were absolutely beautiful! Just look at the video I found:
Matka Canyon Boat Ride
We waited a while to get on a motor boat which took us to the wonderful Vrelo Cave in the Matka Canyon and back. On the way, one can see rustic homes, nice rocky landscapes and lots and lots of butterflies.
Treska river fun
It wasn’t a long ride, but it was really hot and we needed to rest a bit afterwards. So we looked for a spot to get our feet in the cold mountain river water. Those of us who weren’t driving also enjoyed some cold beer. (My doing, I put the cans in the thermal isolation bag with some ice.)
The locals and perhaps better-informed tourists came to the river as one would go to the swimming pool. They even had some areas which were used as water-slides. And, being so hot outside, it became quite crowded.
Leaving Matka Canyon
It was an adventure to get the car out and head for Tirana: there were cars parked randomly, cars wanting to go both ways in spaces which allowed only one car at a time, people who had just abandoned and parked their cars in the middle of the commotion… and nobody to direct traffic.
At one point an older guy got out of the car and started directing the traffic and he got helped by others, including Tim. They were all running around and hectically moving their hands while yelling haidi, haidi!
But we did it! And, sometime around lunchtime, we were at Ohrid Lake, a lovely stop on our way to Albania.
Matka Canyon Boat Ride, Canoeing or Hiking?
What would you choose and why?
Quick guide on Canyon Matka
What to see
Canyon in the western part of central Skope, which covers a surface of approximately 5.000 ha.
One of the most popular outdoor destinations in Macedonia.
Address: 1000 Village Matka, Macedonia (FYROM)
Canyon Matka Boat Ride
The ride, including the visit inside the Vrelo Cave, lasts about one hour.
The alternative is renting a canoe.
Hike to Church of Saint Nikola
Church of Saint Nikola
The hike leads to the other side of the canyon. Boats can take you on a 10-minute ride back.
Address: Canyon Matka, Dolna Matka, Macedonia (FYROM)