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near Trpejca (Македонија)
This is a beautiful GPS hike in Galicica National Park near Ohrid, that we did in the summer of 2014. This round trip is 8.5 km in length, with a height difference of about 700 m.
This hike is relatively easy because of its short length and not too much height difference. It is a good hike to start with if you plan to do more demanding hikes later.
We previously attempted to do this round trip in 2010 (see here), but we could not complete the circle due to lack of marking. In 2014 we tried again, armed with an outdoor GPS device, a digital map from openstreetmap.org and a GPX track from MKDmount.org. In 2014, the trail was slightly better marked, with some wooden signs in addition to the usual red/white paint marking. However, without having a good look at the GPS track or the map, it still would not be very clear how to continue once you have reached the peak if you would rely only on the red/white marking.
The hike starts at a small parking near the highest point of the road between Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa through Galicica NP. There is a yellow sign of the NP at the parking. Coming from Ohrid and driving to the south along the lake, you take the left turn into the NP just after the village Trpejca.
NOTE: In an apparent effort to scare away tourists, the Macedonian government decided that you have to pay to use this road! 50 denar (almost 1 euro) per car and 30 denar (0.50 euro) per person. In addition, you need to pay 200 denar (3.25 euro) per person if you want to walk in the NP. You may be able to circumvent the extra hiking charge by saying you're just passing through to/from Lake Prespa or Resen...
After an ascent through forest, you get above the tree line, where the views of the mountains are truly magnificent. At a crossing, you follow the trail uphill towards a huge metal billboard-like sign. When you're getting close to the peak, the official trail takes a left turn. It however is recommended to continue forward towards the cliff, since you'll have some excellent views of Lake Ohrid. We were pleasantly surprised by the fields with many flowers.
Once you have reached Magaro Peak at 2255 m, you have to walk back about 100 m and continue the trail downhill to the right.
Along the trail there are several points where you can spot both Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa at the same time. The GPX track from MKDmount.org mentioned above follows a slightly different descent that may offer even more opportunities to see both lakes at the same time.