Galichnik – the cradle of the entire Macedonian beauty, natural wonders, one of a kind architecture, traditional costumes, music, customs…
The only paved road to the village of Galichnik takes you through the Mavrovo National Park, wrapped all around the Mavrovo Lake. Along the road, your eye will be caught by the monument of the fifty-two construction workers who lost their lives in the avalanche of 1956, during the construction of the Mavrovo hydropower system and the dam, and you will be amazed by the breathtaking view of the Mavrovo Lake, the Toni Voda karst field, the Medenica peak…
The village is located on a nature-made “balcony”, and the church of Ss. Peter and Paul lies in the heart of the village. The amphitheatre in front of which the famous Galichka svadba (Galchnik Wedding) takes place is located nearby. The Galichka svadba takes place every year on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul and it is one of the most important events nurturing the Macedonian identity, by presenting some of the somehow forgotten customs, the beautiful Mijak music and the inevitable zurla (zurna) and tapan (traditional drum), the best Macedonian traditional costumes and the most recognizable Macedonian oro (folk dance) called “Teshkoto” to the young generations.
Perhaps, the best place for rest and enjoyment in the vast space lying beneath Galichnik is the “Neda” Hotel, from where the Debar Lake is visible on a clear day. After the coffee break at the Neda Hotel, we descend towards the village of Janche. The trail offers easy access and amazing view to one of the best landscapes in the National Park. The symbol of the National Park is the lynx, a shy animal, which unfortunately is on the brink of extinction.
The village of Janche is around two hours of hiking away. What makes this village unique is the well-preserved traditional architecture. The village is stretched on the left bank of the Radika River, while the majority of the villages are located on the opposite riverbank.
From Janche, we will continue our tour to the most famous Christian temple, the Bigorski Monastery “St. John the Baptist”, dating back to the XI century. After the enormous tragedy in 2009, which is a painful memory to this very day, the Monastery has resurrected into a breathtaking temple. Nowadays, the Monastery has a completely new look and has been turned into one of the most beautiful Christian sanctuaries in the region. The impressive iconostasis which was built for six years, the relics of St. John the Baptist, St. Clement of Ohrid and other saints…
Just below the temple is located the “House of the Mijaks”, an ethno restaurant, vividly reflecting the spirit of the traditional Mijak culture. Here, you will have unique opportunity of tasting food unlike any other you have tasted before: manastirski leb, komitska sabja, pchenkarna maznica, galichki smok, kjain merak…you will surely have tough time picking your favourite.
Logistic information: Gostivar is the starting point of the tour. The tour includes organised ride to Galichnik and to the Bigorski Monastery “St. John the Baptist”. The trail from Galichnik to Janche descends around 700 meters in height. Therefore, we recommend this trail to those with good physical fitness. Please note that high hiking boots are recommended. As the road to Galichnik stretches 1,700 meters above sea level, it is closed during winter months.
*The photographs and the text used in this brochure were produced within the framework of the project “Capacity and Innovation of Tourism Services for Sustainable Local Economic Development” implemented by Finance Think and funded by LRCP and EU.
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