"Pelister National Park Hike Part 1 of 2" Top 5 Page for this destination FYR of Macedonia Travelogue by Pijlmans
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The Pelister National park is a very beautiful national reserve that is perfect for hiking. It is close to Bitola in the south-west of Macedonia. This hike takes you through the forest to the highest peak of the park, Mount Pelister at 2601m. Along the way you will have magnificent panoramas of the park. This hike partly overlaps with another hike in Pelister National Park in my off-the-beaten-path tips. Start early, depending on which trails you take the hike can take 6-10 hours.
The hike starts at Hotel Molika in Bitola. You will see big advertisements for the hotel when you enter Bitola, just follow them until the end of the asphalt road. From the parking in front of the hotel there is an unpaved trail. Follow the trial and after 30-45 min you will reach the Kopanki mountain hut which has about 110 beds (Picture 1). Tel 047 222 384, 5-10 euro / night. In case you want to stay here, bring your own food.
From the mountain hut, there are two trails: a difficult one that goes direct up the mountain and an easier one that leads through the forest. We took the easy one through the forest.
UPDATE 2013: IN JANUARY 2013 THE KOPANKI MOUNTAIN HUT BURNED DOWN
Follow this well marked road for 35-45 min through the forest until you reach a bigger road where you can drive a jeep. Go up this road for about 1h. After about 1h you reach the crossing in Picture 2 (Note the little pole with red paint on it). Now there are two options:
1) Follow the main road to the top of Mount Pelister. This is the longest, but shallow and easy way up.
2) Go left, uphill. You will zigzag your way up the mountain through a forest. This is a more difficult way but also more scenic.
If you have no problems climbing a bit, you can take option 2 and come back using the main road.
We took option 2 and went left.
After a while the path branches, you should keep left at a tree with two signs, see Picture 3.
About 1.5-2 hours later you reach a new plateau, with amazing view. You’ll notice that you reach the tree-line, leaving only a few brave pine trees, see Picture 4.
About 30 minutes later you will encounter a small spring (Picture 5), next to the ruins of a French hospital from the First World War (Picture 6).
It is hard to imagine that people were once fighting at this peaceful place. It is a good site to have a rest at the spring before the final climb to the top of Pelister.
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Written Aug 10, 2014
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