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Hiking trail recommended route Stage 19

High Scardus Trail Stage 19 Qafa e Kryqit - Vevcani/Velestovo

· 1 review · Hiking trail · North Macedonia
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High Scardus Trail Organization
  • High above the Albanian alpine pastures on the way to the summit of Crni Kamen
    High above the Albanian alpine pastures on the way to the summit of Crni Kamen
    Photo: Matthew Nelson, CC BY-ND, High Scardus Trail Organization
Very close to life in two ways: from the loneliness and naturalness of the Albanian mountain pastures to the lively town of Vevcani, which is well worth a visit. And in between, with Crni Kamen, one of the prominent peaks of the Jablanica Mountains with a great view of Lake Ohrid.


>>>> ATTENTION: Detailled informations on how to plan your trip, safety instructions, regulations for border crossing etc. are provided by the official website <<<<

Distance 12.9 km
5:00 h
474 m
1,408 m
2,223 m
870 m
A stage that is hard to beat in terms of variety: After a night in the lonely and pristine alpine pasture Qafa e Kryqit, you start across alpine meadows and more alpine paths up to the 2,257m high peak of Crni Kamen, the highest peak of the Jablanica Mountains. From here, with good visibility, you can see the huge Lake Ohrid for the first time! Over a more alpine ridge you descend to the small mountain lake Wevtschanska Lokva and further over alpine meadows into a beautiful gnarled forest. Through this forest you will reach after a while the lively historical town of Vevcani - an excellent place to relax and what a contrast to the lonely start of this day!


Author’s recommendation

NOTE: Between the end of this stage and the start of the next stage (High Scardus Trail Stage 21 Velestovo - Mountain Hut Magaro) a shuttle is required (see transfer stage 20).

You have 3 options:

  1. You stay overnight in Vevcani and bridge the distance to the starting point of the next stage in Velestovo with a shuttle the next morning. The small town of Vevcani is worth seeing!
  2. You take a shuttle from Vevcani to Ohrid, spend the night there and bridge the second part of the shuttle route to Velestovo the next morning. The city of Ohrid (between Vevcani and the next stage start Velestovo), whose old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Lake Ohrid itself is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site), is a "must see" in North Macedonia.
  3. You can get a shuttle to Velestovo and start the next morning relaxed for the next stage.

Recommendation: Since Vevcani and Ohrid are very worth seeing, we recommend to take a rest day to have enough time.

Attention: Currently there is no official shuttle service in Vevcani.

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High Scardus Trail 
Update: June 13, 2022
Highest point
2,223 m
Lowest point
870 m
Best time of year

Track types

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Safety information

Attention: The stage is currently not well marked in some places, which in combination with difficult to see sections of the trail and little detailed maps can lead to serious orientation problems in some places. Currently we strongly recommend to hike the trail only with a local guide. If you still want to hike on your own, great experience with GPS devices or the use of map apps (including the possibility of offline storage of maps; Outdooractive app recommended) is necessary!

Attention: For crossing the Kosovar-North Macedonian border (green border) a border permit is necessary!


Note: There are two possibilities to shorten the stage:

  1. In the ascent you reach a small saddle a few minutes below the summit Crni Kamen. Here you can descend to the north along an unmarked small trail directly to the lake Vevchanska Lokva, avoiding the summit. At the lake you will meet the marked path again.
  2. On the way down you will cross a forest road in the forest. If you take the forest road to the right, you will reach the small settlement of Gorna Belica in about 15 minutes. From here you will need a shuttle down to Vevcani.


Qafa e Kryqit (1,801 m)
41.230339, 20.505784
41°13'49.2"N 20°30'20.8"E
34T 458580 4564445
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Vevcani main square

Turn-by-turn directions

From the alp Qafa e Kryqit you hike at first flat to the north, until a small valley on the right goes up quite steeply. Across this valley you reach flatter terrain and a wide saddle. Here you do not go down to the other side, but northwards across meadows slightly uphill until you reach a marked path at another saddle. Follow this to the southeast uphill to a saddle (here you can take a shortcut to the north directly down to the mountain lake) and continue over steeper grassy slopes to the summit of the 2,257m high Crni Kamen - this trail leads through steeper grassy slopes, but is fairly flat.

At the summit, you pass between the boundary stone and the pole and descend the steep eastern slope via traces. After a flatter spot, continue along the short, somewhat rocky but easily passable ridge into a small saddle. Here, descend to the right, becoming flatter and flatter over heath landscape down to the mountain lake Wevtschanska Lokva. Along the left shore to the other side of the lake and from there along the marked path down the alpine meadows to the forest.

A wider path leads first even once briefly uphill and then you hike a very beautiful trail through gnarled forest downhill to a forest road (at one point you must not miss the bend to the right - traces also lead straight ahead at this point). You could follow the forest road to the right and reach the settlement of Gorna Belica in about 15 minutes (shuttle from there to Vevcani necessary) - but instead you cross the forest road.

From here on, the path is much less frequented, but it is very beautiful and pristine: you continue down the path through the forest, reach a stream and follow the path down through the beautiful forest always to the left of the stream. After a while you reach an asphalt road, which you follow slightly downhill to the left. After about 100 m, however, you turn right again into a path, cross the stream and now hike down the wide hiking trail very nicely on the right side of the stream. Shortly after a via ferrata on the right side of the path you must not miss the turnoff to the right and soon reach a larger forest road. Take this to the right and the next fork to the left - this way you will shortly reach the upper end of Vevcani once again uphill. Now you hike down the road to the right and turn left into the road at a sign "Restaurant Kutmichevica". Pass the restaurant on the right and go down the stairs to a street, which you follow to the right to the main square of Vevcani, your stage destination.

By road

Die Qafa e Kryqit ist nur zu Fuß über die High Scardus Trail Etappe 17 Stebleve - Qafa e Kryqit erreichbar.


41.230339, 20.505784
41°13'49.2"N 20°30'20.8"E
34T 458580 4564445
Show on Map
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

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  • Backpack approx. 30-40 liters with hip belt
  • Rain cover for the backpack
  • Telescopic poles


  • Trekking shoes at least category B (preferably ankle-high for the pathless passages)
  • Flipflops or similar for the accommodations
  • 2 pairs of hiking socks
  • underwear
  • hiking pants softshell or similar (wind- and water-repellent - the High Scardus Trail runs through alpine regions)
  • Hiking pants spare (also for accommodation)
  • Shorts
  • T-shirt quick drying
  • T-shirt fast drying spare (quantity depending on the length of the tour)
  • Top long first layer (e.g. Transtex-Sleeve) + replacement
  • Top long second layer (e.g. sleeve made of fleece or merino wool) + replacement
  • Softshell jacket or similar
  • Clothing for accommodation
  • rain jacket (hardshell jacket waterproof and breathable)
  • umbrella if necessary
  • Rain pants (hardshell pants waterproof and breathable)
  • Sun protection for the head (sun hat or cap)
  • Hat (can get cold even in summer!)

Hygiene/medication/personal items

  • small travel towel
  • personal hygiene items personal medicines (important medicines in addition to personal medicines are e.g. Imodium, charcoal tablets, Bepanthen and a painkiller like Ibuprofen or Parkemed)
  • Blister plaster
  • Pocket knife, small scissors
  • Sunglasses (tight-fitting with 100% UV protection and tint category 3)
  • Sunscreen (SPF at least 30, water/sweat resistant, broad spectrum protection, not older than 1 year)
  • Lip protection (SPF at least 20)
  • Outdoor first aid kitpossibly spare glasses
  • small LED headlamp
  • bivy sack (at least a very light one)
  • Handkerchiefspassport + copycredit card/cash (at many accommodations you can only pay with cash)
  • Border Crossing Permit
  • Small dictionaries


  • Travel documents printout
  • Orientation App (e.g. Outdooractive with Pro-Account, so you can save the map sections offline)
  • if necessary additional GPS-device
  • Cell phone (smartphone for orientation app) + charger
  • Powerbank for cell phone (not all accommodations have sockets)
  • if necessary power socket adapter

Food and drinks

  • Drinking bottles (depending on temperature and personal drinking needs 1,5-3 liters; the sources are shown in the map)
  • Food for the day (the respective shopping possibilities can be seen in the map)

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Provider:  High Scardus Trail Organization | Source:  High Scardus Trail Organization

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Rüdiger Mertz 
August 23, 2022 · Community
Der Aufstieg bietet ein seltenes Feature auf dem Trail: weite, gut ausgebaute Serpentinen! Man kommt super easy hoch und kann die wunderbaren Ausblicke genießen. Auch der Abstieg ist vergleichsweise einfach, anfangs steil, aber auf gutem Weg und ohne Sucherei. Auch hier gab es ne schnelle Lösung für Shuttle/Transfer. Vevcani ist relativ groß und belebt, man muss eben bisschen rumfragen, spätestens der/die Fünfte kann einem helfen. Es gibt eine relativ häufige Busverbindung nach Struga, dort kann man dann in einen weiteren Bus nach Ohrid umsteigen. Der Transfer hat mit Umsteige-Wartezeit vielleicht 90 Minuten gedauert und pro Person vier Euro gekostet. Ist immer bisschen Abenteuer, aber die Leute sind hilfsbereit und freundlich. Irgendjemand kann schon englisch oder deutsch und hilft Dir! Wenn irgendwas nicht klappt, geht immer auch was per Taxi.
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12.9 km
5:00 h
474 m
1,408 m
Highest point
2,223 m
Lowest point
870 m
Linear route Multi-stage route Summit route


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