How many times happened to you during your trip to want to be in the city but still to find a peaceful place in the middle of the nature, where you can meditate, kayaking, hiking or simply chill out?
If you travel to Skopje and you are one of those travelers, the Canyon Matka is one of the “must see” places for you. People say: If you come to Skopje and you are not visiting Matka, it is like you have never been to Skopje. Let us now introduce you to this nature paradise.
The Canyon Matka is a very unique place because it is only 17 km from the city center and you can easily reach the place. It is situated along the river Treska and it is an excellent place to get away from the noise, the chaos of the city and the high temperatures especially in summertime. There are lot of stories and legends about the canyon, but the most interesting is that the name Matka in English means uterus and the formation of the rocks looks like a pregnant woman. Here you can find lot of churches and monasteries, beautiful lake, perfect rocks for climbing, more than 100 different kind of butterflies and if still all those things are not enough, you can go and visit “Vrelo”, one of the deepest underwater caves in the world. Inside of the cave there are lot of stalactites and stalagmites formations.
If you like trekking there is panoramic pathway by the lake with lot of breathtaking views. If you like hiking you can go up to the top of the hill and visit the monastery of St. Nikola Shishevski and from there you can have an amazing view above the canyon. If you like kayaking there are also lot of possibilities to do it, very often on the river Treska there are the championships in kayaking or maybe you are one of those people who love paddle, there is also possibility to do it. In few words – here you can find everything you need, even the peace that you lost somewhere on the road 🙂 The courtyard of the Monastery Holy Mother of God is the right place for it. Inside of the monastery there are nuns who still live there so if you want to know something more about the church you can talk with them or you can just seat, listen to the sound of the river and birds singing. This place has definitely really good energy.
When you get tired from all those activities it will be time to seat in the restaurant above the lake and enjoy your coffee while listening to some relaxing music. If you travel in summertime we definitely recommend you full day on the canyon, for winter maybe half day is more than enough. Doesn’t matter which season you choose to visit Matka, you will always feel the magic and the good energy of this place. There is something unique, there is something that you cannot explain with words, the power of the giant rocks around you, the light, the water, the green summer or yellow autumn will always stay in your memory.
Written and photographed by: Elena Mitkovska