Camping in the F.Y.R. of MacedoniaTravel
For all the campers and mobil-home drivers,
here we go with the information about camping in the south-western regions of the country of Macedonia ( = F.Y.R. of Macedonia) in general, tips for free pitches and campsites that we used on our trip (in order of touristic regions) and our experience with them.
We stick to our own experience and observations, as you can find general information about immigration, speed limits, vignette etc. easily on the internet or in the relevant literature.
At the beginning we have to mention that we are not interested in big and fancy Camping-Complexes with pool, entertainment, restaurant etc.. We would always prefer a snug place somewhere in the wild to a mediocre campsite. Besides we are not depending on an external power connector because of a photovoltaic system and we’re okay with some days without showering! Correspondingly we’ve chosen our pitches.
For your Information, you may not mix up the country of Macedonia with the greek region called Macedonia!!! In German the country is written with a “z” (Mazedonien) and the region wit a “k” (Makedonien) ! There are some unsolved quarrels about age-old territorial claims….and for this reason the official name of the country is F.Y.R.M. = Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia…
According to the german automobile club ADAC wild camping is strictly forbidden in Macedonia!
We only stayed 10 days in the country, but even spent several nights outside of official campgrounds and didn’t have any problems. In the Mavrovo national park the tourist-information center even gave us information about an unofficial spot where you can camp. And the campsite where we stayed at Lake Ohrid told us, that normally no one cares about that in areas without official campgrounds, as long as your conduct is decent.
Road conditions in the south-west of the country are reasonable. That means main-roads can be driven with a campervan without 4WD. Nevertheless multitrack lanes are the exception and most roads are narrow. Concerning the quality of road surface good sections alternate with pothole-tracks. Thoroughfares in towns and villages are narrow most of the time, but we never had to turn back. The best thing is to talk to locals to find out beforehand which road to take, because maps and navigation-devises often do not show the „real“ situation.
1.) KALISHTA, CAMPING RINO
Kalishta near Struga, Lake Ohrid
N41° 9′ 17.496″ E20° 39′ 2.952″
Tel.: (00 389) (0) 72 743 260 or (00389) (0) 70 87
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Price 09/2016: 10€ incl. electricity
There are several campsites at Lake Ohrid. We chose Camping Rino on recommendation of a long-time traveler who knows the region well and who recommend the site strongly as being No.1 at Lake Ohrid. And we were not disappointed! The site is situated directly at the lake with direct access to the water, surface is meadow. The view is marvelous and there is a covered deck. Welcome is warm & friendly with some schnapps and coffee and you’re gonna be served free espresso every morning of your stay. The owner family is super nice and always willing to help, they speak english and german. On demand they can do your laundry. In the restaurant you will find tasty home-cooking for a reasonable price. At the moment there are only 3 toilets and 2 showers, because of the possibility that local authorities will someday close down all sites that are situated directly at the lakes edge on the basis of a vague legal situation and for that investing a lot of money for more sanitary facilities would be a risky undertaking. Free WiFi, water-supply and toilet-, grey-water disposal.
There’s a cycle path along the lake to Struga and Ohrid. A taxi to Struga will cost around 100 – 150 Dinar (1,60-2,60€). The site is ideal for day-trips along Lake Ohrid, to Lake Prespa and the Galicica national park.
We can only highly recommend this campsite!
2.) RADOZHA, HOLDING BAY/PARKING LOT AT THE LAKE
shortly before Radozha, N 41° 06’ 43“ E 20° 38’ 07“
Before heading to Albania we wanted to scout out the south-western shores of the Lake. The further south you get the calmer and even prettier it gets! We have been told that Radozha is host to 2 excellent fish-restaurants!
As we got here quite late we were happy to find this holding bay in front of a meadow, directly at the lake shores. A huge full-moon rose over the lake and everything was just idyllic!! Although you are parked directly by the street between 22 und 7 o’clock the next morning there wasn’t nearly any traffic and it was a quiet night, absolutely suitable for a stopover. No facilities.
MAVROVO NATIONAL PARK
A really beautiful part of Macedonia with superb possibilities for hiking and mountain-biking!
1.) MAVROVO, PARKING LOT AT THE SPORTS-/SKIING-CENTER
Mavrovo, N 41° 39’ 07“ E 20° 44’ 10“
Spacious, partly flat parking-lot in front of a sports-center, during winter-time it is the parking for the ski-center. Outside winter-season there’s a lot of space and peace. There are trash-cans, no other facilities. In September all restaurants, hotels and shops near-by were closed. In the village we found 2 open restaurants and a small corner shop.
2.) MAVROVO, UNOFFICIAL CAMPSITE BY THE LAKE
Mavrovo, N 41° 35’ 40“ E 20° 40’ 21“
On the shores of Mavrovo-Lake you’ll find an extensive, partly sloping and only on some spots flat meadow, which according to the tourist-information-center is used as unofficial campground. And the site seems to be frequented quite regularly regarding the amount of left back trash! Some fairly aggressiv dogs live on the leftovers of campers and picknick-folk. And yes, one misses a trash can! Besides this, it can definitely be a spot for a stay, as long as weather is dry. After several days of rain, the meadow was soaked, so that we didn’t use it.
3.) NEAR GALICHNIK, PARKING AT A SMAL SOCCER FIELD
N 41° 39’ 07“ E 20° 44’ 08“
Shortly before the village of Galichnik, in the heart of the national park, you’ll find a small sports field on the left hand side and a flat, concrete area which could be used quite well as a pitch. Although situated directly by the street there shouldn’t be a lot of noise, because even during day-time there’s nearly no traffic. No facilities, but you find a spring, trash cans and a little tavern in the village.
If you have a vehicle suitable for off-road driving you’ll definitely find many more possibilities between Mavrovo und Galichnik. There are lots of hiking- and mountain biking trails along the way.