12.99 mi

Elevation gain

3,107 ft

Technical difficulty


Elevation loss

2,890 ft

Max elevation

3,457 ft


46 4.7

Min elevation

847 ft

Trail type

One Way
  • Photo of Skopje Mount Vodno to Matka
  • Photo of Skopje Mount Vodno to Matka
  • Photo of Skopje Mount Vodno to Matka
  • Photo of Skopje Mount Vodno to Matka
  • Photo of Skopje Mount Vodno to Matka
  • Photo of Skopje Mount Vodno to Matka


5 hours 9 minutes




August 16, 2014


August 2011
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3,457 ft
847 ft
12.99 mi

Viewed 9052 times, downloaded 288 times

near Водно (Македонија)

See for more info about sightseeing and hiking in Macedonia

I have been wanting to do this hike for years, because both Mount Vodno with the Millenium Cross and Lake Matka are two great places that we visited separately in the past, so why not combine them in one hike?

The reason that we did not do this hike before is that we were told that especially the end of the hike, when you reach Lake Matka, is badly marked. Therefore the general advice is not to try this hike without a local guide. In retrospect, I think that when you have a good look at the map, in combination with the sparse marking of the trail, it should be possible to do it without a guide, but you may go wrong here or there...

This year however (2011), I bought an outdoor GPS and downloaded a track describing this hike from internet. Almost foolproof and no local guide needed!

We went by car to the parking at Middle Vodno (Sredno Vodo), which is halfway the top of the mountain. Then, we took the new cable car lift to the top of Mount Vodno and the Millenium Cross.

Alternatively, you can walk all the way to the top, from the foot of the mountain or from Middle Vodno, but that adds a pretty steep ascent to this hike! Some of the last parts are rather steep downhill, so high shoes and walking sticks are recommended.

From the top of Mount Vodno the hike is only downhill, so it is not too hard on your condition. The scenery and the trail are both pretty diverse, the views of the Matka Canyon are amazing.

When you arrive at the bridge over the Treska river, you have to go left to visit the lake. There are several churches around the lake, as well as a bar/restaurant for well-deserved refreshments!

There is a mini-bus going back to Skopje, but you can also arrange for a cab of course. The buses stop near the bridge.

The hike from the Millenium Cross to the bridge at Matka is about 11-12 km long and took us 4 hours including breaks. From the bridge to Lake Matka behind the dam is an additional 1.5 km.

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  • gaston.siegelaer May 28, 2017

    I have followed this trail  View more

    Thanks to the gpx of Dennis Pijlmans we could follow the correct route!

  • Photo of Pijlmans

    Pijlmans Jun 4, 2017

    Glad you liked the trail Gaston!

  • MegaWorldAdventure Oct 3, 2018

    I have followed this trail  verified  View more

    Great trail, easy to follow and good views.

  • Photo of Wellington Trails

    Wellington Trails Nov 28, 2020

    Hi, do you think it is possible to do that trek on a mountain bike? Even if we had to push/carry the bikes for some distance? Thanks so much!

  • Photo of Pijlmans

    Pijlmans Nov 28, 2020

    Hi Wellington, I am not a mountain biker so I find it difficult to give you advise on this. It is also quite some time ago that I did this track. From Skopje up to the Millenium Cross should not be a problem. Possibly most of the trail to Matka is fine as well (downhill). I just recall that the last part was rather steep. However, there are more ways to descent to Matka. Summarized, I would not dare to say if it is possible, and suggest to do a search and filter specifically for mountain bike trails from Skopje to Matka.

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