North Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria Hiking Tour

North Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria Hiking Tour

North Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria Hiking Tour

Prices

From $2,795USD

Difficulty

Guided

Hotels, Huts

Start Your Booking

Highlights

Spend 11 days hiking exceptional trails and learning about the Balkan's ancient history

Visit one of the deepest caves in North Macedonia that is on its way to becoming recognized as a natural world wonder.

Visit Meteora in Greece, one of the most extraordinary monastery complexes built precariously on high rock formations.

Walk in the footsteps of Zeus and other Greek gods when you hike the top of Mount Olympus.

Admire the jagged peaks, pristine lakes, and wildflowers on beautiful Seven Rila Lakes trail in Bulgaria.

This 11-day hiking tour leads you across the centre of the Balkans through North Macedonia, into northern Greece, and finishes in Bulgaria. This region has an extensive history and has been recorded in mythological and historical books alike. Walk among the gods on this adventure!

Start in North Macedonia, a young country with a rich culture blending many previous rulers from the ancient kingdom of Macedonia, to the Romans, the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Before declaring independence in 1991, it was part of the former Yugoslavia. You’ll note these historical influences in the capital, Skopje, on your first two days, and in the several small villages you visit on the itinerary. Explore from Skopje the nearby Matka Canyon, which houses a few intriguing monasteries, and the biggest underwater cave in Europe. Hike between medieval villages, engage with the locals and taste some potent rakija, a brandy distilled from fermented fruit.

You spend the middle of the tour in Greece in areas steeped in mythological significance. First, have a serene experience among Meteora's glory, a monastery complex perched high on unique rock formations. Then you hike among the home of the Greek gods on Mount Olympus, which reaches 2,918 m / 9,573 ft, the highest point in Greece. Tour the portside town of Thessaloniki as well before transferring to Bulgaria for the end of the tour.

The trails in Bulgaria might surprise you—this country has some towering peaks and routes that will get your heart pumping. Walk among snow-capped mountains to gorgeous lakes surrounded by greenery and in the right season, alpine wildflowers. Finish the tour in Sofia and make sure to check out the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

This tour screams variety—you’ll get astounding hiking trails in all three countries and experience three distinct cultures in a small geographical radius. Treat yourself to this 11-day hiking tour in the Balkans!

North Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria Hiking Tour Itinerary

Day 1 Welcome to North Macedonia

Welcome to Skopje! Once you arrive at the airport, your guide will meet you and bring you to your accommodation in central Skopje for the night. Depending on when you arrive, take some time to stroll the center.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Skopje
Distance
None
Meals
Dinner

Day 2 Climb Mount Vodno and Visit Matka Lake

Enjoy your first morning in Skopje with a hearty breakfast. Afterwards, you’ll be transferred to Mount Vodno for a quick climb to view the iconic Millennium Cross—a structure emulating the Eiffel Tower but in a familiar religious shape. From the cross, the group will start walking to Matka Lake, which sits between high, mossy rocks and gives off a beautiful dark teal hue. On the way, you’ll visit the St. Nikola Monastery built among the rocks. Then once you reach the lake, you’ll hop aboard a boat to visit the Vrelo Cave, one of the biggest caves in the Balkans. Have lunch at a local haunt and get a ride to your overnight destination near Mavrovo Lake.

Overnight Location
Guesthouse in Mavrovo
Distance
3–4 hours
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 Traverse Mount Bistra to Jance

After breakfast, you’ll start the day’s journey from Carevec. The trail will lead you over Mount Bistra, which offers phenomenal views of the surrounding terrain and Lake Mavrovo. Continuing along the path, you’ll stop at the John the Baptist Monastery for lunch before reaching Jance, a secluded mountain village. Take a breather here then receive transportation to lakeside Ohrid for a comfortable night in a hotel.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Ohrid
Distance
4–5 hours
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 Walk along Lake Ohrid + Transfer to Greece

Departing Ohrid after breakfast, the group goes to Velestovo to start the day’s jaunt. Enjoy the endless stunning views of Lake Ohrid to your right as you walk along old roads and pass by several charming villages, eventually ending in Pestani. Get your last glimpse of North Macedonia after lunch as you cross the border into Greece in your private transportation. After a few hours of watching Greek landscapes pass by from the window, you’ll be in Kalambaka for dinner and a good night’s sleep.

Overnight Location
Guesthouse in Kalambaka
Distance
2–3 hours, 12.7km
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 Marvel at Meteora

Wake up in Kalambaka and enjoy a fresh Greek breakfast. You have a full day to explore Meteora and Kalambaka, and you’ll be thankful for all this time as there is so much to see! Hike to the tops of phenomenal rock formations to visit monasteries built precariously on top. Get prehistoric, almost surreal views of this holy land and wind down over dinner before heading to bed in Kalambaka again.

Overnight Location
Guesthouse in Kalambaka
Distance
Day in Meteora
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 Sightseeing Around Thessaloniki

After breakfast, take a quick morning walk around Kalambaka before departing for Thessaloniki, a city next to the Thermaic Gulf on the Aegean Sea. The transfer includes a stop at the archeological site in Vergina, which is home to Alexander the Great’s father’s grave, Phillip II of Macedon. After a quick history lesson, you’ll continue to the coastal city to settle into your hotel. A local guide will give you a sightseeing tour of this pertinent Roman metropolis before dinner.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Thessaloniki
Distance
Flexible
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 Hike Mount Olympus

Have you ever dreamt of stepping foot on Mount Olympus? Well, today is the day! Your guide will take you to the highest peak in Greece, rising to 2,918 m / 9,573 ft, after breakfast. You’ll have the entire morning to explore the majestic Olympus National Park. After you’ve had your taste of hiking with the Gods, you’ll return to Thessaloniki for free time in the afternoon and evening.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Thessaloniki
Distance
5-7 hours, 17.8 km, 1,800 of ascent
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 Transfer to Bansko, Bulgaria

After breakfast, you may still be reeling from your hike among the mythological vibes of yesterday. You’ll leave Greece today, so hang on to those memories! Today you’ll receive transport to Bansko, Bulgaria. Settle into your hotel and then wander the area to get a feel for this resort town among the mountains. If the cable car is open, head up the hill for a jaunt around the top for some epic views. Get a good night’s sleep in your hotel tonight.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Bansko
Distance
None
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 Hike Around Bansko

Wake up, fuel up, and get ready to explore the recreation area around Bansko. Your guide will lead you through the mountains, where you’ll see gorgeous peaks, lakes, and lush greenery on the way. Pause to admire the Rila Monastery, where you’ll have lunch and get a quick cultural lesson. Take your private ride to Panichiste for a nice dinner and rest to prepare for your last full day tomorrow.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Panichiste
Distance
3–4 hours
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10 Trek Seven Rila Lakes

Your last full day has arrived. Enjoy a hearty Bulgarian breakfast and head to the nearby cable car at Pionerska Hut to reach the top of the mountain. Seven pristine alpine lakes dot the trail today, and you will get to see all of them this morning. The trail has a mystical atmosphere you’ll notice as you walk up to peaks and look out over vast, grassy rocks until the horizon. Hike back to the cable car, return to the base for lunch, and then pack up and hop in the car for Sofia. Depending on when you arrive, wander the city at your leisure. If you can only see one site here, check out the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral with its turquoise and gold domes. Have a final dinner with your hiking group and hit the hay when you’re ready.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Sofia
Distance
Flexible
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11 Farewell

Have one last Bulgarian breakfast with your crew and pack up. You’ll have a transfer ready to take you to Sofia Airport in time to check-in for your flight.

Overnight Location
None
Distance
None
Meals
Breakfast

North Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria Hiking Tour Price and Dates

This guided tour in North Macedonia, Greece, and Bulgaria is always run as a private tour for your group only and the price always depends on the number of people in your group.

Prices below are per person sharing a double or a triple room:

  • Guided Groups of 4: $2,795USD

Please note that the pricing might change depending on your group size.

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Accommodation on the North Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria Hiking Tour

The hotels on this trip are 3- and 4-star. You will spend one night in a mountain hut. Rooms are double occupancy, and single travelers will pay a supplement.

In some cases, the accommodation listed below may need to be substituted for other comparable accommodations.

Single Rooms and Solo Travelers
You can pay a supplement of $350USD to have a private room in a hotel while traveling with your group. Contact us and we can try and match single travelers up, where possible.

Victoria Hotel in Skopje

Cozy hotel within the walking distance of Skopje City center, with clean and comfortable rooms and many convenient amenities.

Carevec Mountain Hut in Mavrovo

Carevec Mountain Hut is a wonderful, authentic family-run establishment with rustic décor and friendly and knowledgeable hosts.

City Palace Hotel in Ohrid

This hotel is located at the heart of Ohrid – just steps away from the town center, facing the beautiful marina.

Theatro Hotel Odysseon in Kalambaka

This lovely hotel has stunning views of the famous Meteora and a great location, that allows you to explore Kalambaka highlights within a short distance.

Blue Bottle Boutique Hotel in Thessaloniki

This comfortable hotel has great amenities and is within a walking distance to numerous historic sites in Thessaloniki.

Night 7

Olympus Mountain Hut in Mount Olympus

Surround yourself with fellow hikers’ stories and mountain atmosphere in a cozy hut right at the footsteps of the famous Mt Olympus.

Blue Bottle Boutique Hotel in Thessaloniki

This comfortable hotel has great amenities and is within a walking distance to numerous historic sites in Thessaloniki.

Grand Hotel in Bansko

This hotel has stylish and clean rooms, great amenities and a good location to explore Bansko.

Hotel Bendida in Panichishte

Great views, tasty local food, comfortable amenities and friendly staff – this hotel has everything to make your stay in Panichishte enjoyable.

Central Hotel in Sofia

Stay in this stylish classical hotel for the best experience of Sofia – all the landmarks are within the walking distance.

Hotels on Standard Tour

What’s included in the North Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria Hiking Tour?

Meals

All 10 breakfasts, 9 lunches, and 10 dinners are included.

Accommodations

All 10 nights are included in the tour.

Transportation during the Tour

Transport for you and your luggage is included throughout the tour, including the airport transfers.

Also Included

  • English-speaking guide services
  • Local guides in Greece and Bulgaria
  • Map of North Macedonia, Ohrid, and Skopje

Not included

  • Flights
  • Insurance
  • All entrance fees at sites (average €2 per site)
  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Optional activities
  • Anything not mentioned as “Included”
  • Personal expenses

Optional Extras

  • Extra night in Skopje, North Macedonia
  • Extra night in Sofia, Bulgaria

Frequenty Asked Questions about North Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria Hiking Tour

How hard is the North Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria Hiking Tour?

We rate this tour as a 3 / 5. You should be comfortable with hiking up to 5 hours daily.

Do I need a visa to travel to North Macedonia, Greece, and Bulgaria?

Check with your local country about visa requirements. You could also try this website, though you should verify with your government.

Are meals included on the North Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria Hiking Tour?

All 10 breakfasts, 9 lunches, and 10 dinners are included.

Do I need insurance?

Yes, it is mandatory to have Health and Medical insurance to join this trip. Get your Travel Insurance.

How do I get to Skopje to start this tour?

You can reach Skopje by plane from most major cities in Europe. You will be picked up from Skopje Airport.

Is the North Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria Hiking Tour in English?

Yes, the tour guide is English-speaking.

Where does the North Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria Hiking Tour end?

The tour ends in Sofia, Bulgaria, with a drop-off at the Sofia International Airport.

Do I need special vaccines to travel to North Macedonia, Greece, and Bulgaria?

Check with your family doctor.

Are there any travel restrictions for North Macedonia, Greece, and Bulgaria?

Please check with your local government about travel restrictions before you book your tour. This map from the US Department of State provides an overview of the current status in countries around the globe. The UK‘s Foreign Office and Government of Canada also provide advice on foreign travel. Note that the travel advice may change depending on your nationality.

When is the best time to travel to Balkans for this tour?

The best time to travel to North Macedonia, Greece, and Bulgaria for hiking is from mid-April to September.

Reviews

All tours on 10Adventures are operated by highly vetted local tour operators and guides.

Having local tour operators and guides means you get a more authentic experience, and your booking creates jobs in the local communities you visit.

Details of the local tour operator will be listed on your booking invoice. If you have questions about the local operator prior to booking, please click the “Ask a Question” button below.

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Written Reviews

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37 total ratings, 0 with reviews

Prices

From $2,795USD

Difficulty

Guided

Hotels, Huts

Start Your Booking

What travellers say

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Rated 4.9 on Google Reviews

Tour Difficulty

We rate this tour as a 3 / 5. You should be comfortable with hiking up to 5 hours daily.


Read about our scale for Tour Difficulty Ratings.

Local guide

Dimitri

Ohrid, North Macedonia

Get in touch

+1 (587) 327-9828

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