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Hiking trail recommended route Stage 21

High Scardus Trail Stage 21 Velestovo - Mountain Hut Magaro

· 2 reviews · Hiking trail · Ohrid
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High Scardus Trail Organization
  • Widescreen cinema: The magic of the Galichica Mountains! On both sides of the summit ridge spread the natural wonders of Lake Ohrid (right) and Lake Prespa (left)
    Widescreen cinema: The magic of the Galichica Mountains! On both sides of the summit ridge spread the natural wonders of Lake Ohrid (right) and Lake Prespa (left)
    Photo: Trail Angels/ G.Mussnig, CC BY-ND, High Scardus Trail Organization
On the last two stages, the High Scardus Trail unfolds its full splendor once again! The dream hike on the Galichica summit ridge high above Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa.


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

Distance 18.2 km
7:00 h
1,001 m
484 m
1,973 m
1,059 m
What a furious finale! On the last two stages of the day, the High Scardus Trail once again enchants hikers: starting from the small mountain village of Velestovo, the trail climbs, partly on the millennia-old traces of the Roman Via Ignazia, the giant ridge of the Galichica mountain ridge in the national park of the same name, which towers so dominantly from Ohrid. Once on the wide rocky ridge, a breathtaking view opens up that is unparalleled in Europe: while Lake Ohrid, one of the oldest lakes in the world, spreads out in the west, the view in the east sweeps over the bird paradise of Lake Prespa, whose shores are shared not only by northern Macedonia and Albania, but also by Greece. You can never get enough of the further path over several ridge peaks, before it finally goes down to a mountain pass, where the idyllic day's destination awaits you at the edge of the forest with the Magaro hut.


Author’s recommendation

Between the end of the last stage (High Scardus Trail stage 19 Qafa e Kryqit - Vevcani) and the start of this stage in Velestovo there is a gap. This must be overcome by a shuttle (about an hour's ride).
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High Scardus Trail 
Update: July 25, 2022
Highest point
1,973 m
Lowest point
1,059 m
Best time of year

Track types

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Rest stops

Naum Dzajkoski's Mountain Dairy & Cheese Tastings

Safety information

Note: There is one very good exit along this stage: Just before you reach the mountain ridge, at an altitude of approximately 1,700m, there is a trail descending to the village of Elshani. This provides a very good escape route in case of bad weather, before entering the exposed mountain ridge area.


Velestovo (1,072 m)
41.083554, 20.828070
41°05'00.8"N 20°49'41.1"E
34T 485558 4548046
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Mountain Hut Magaro

Turn-by-turn directions

The start of this stage is on the beautifully situated hillside settlement of Velestovo, which opens a dreamlike view over Lake Ohrid. There are several accommodations here. If you start from the villa Velestovo, the High Scardus Trail leads directly uphill. At first, the easily visible trail leads through the scattered village of Velestovo and later into a very beautiful Mediterranean mixed deciduous forest. At the beginning of this stage, there are always wonderful views of Lake Ohrid as well as the old town of Ohrid. Later on, you will be completely immersed in the shady mixed deciduous forest, whereby the High Scardus Trail always leads in a southerly direction. In general, the trails here - you are in the Galichica National Park - are very well signposted and marked. Soon you reach a particularly impressive section of this stage, because archaeologists have excavated parts of the Roman Via Egnetia here and also restored so that you walk on a more than 2000 year old Roman path. You will reach a very nice resting place, which is also a prominent crossing point of various trails in the Galichica National Park. Shortly after, you leave the beautiful beech forests and cross a large polje. This is a wide karst area, which has been used as a meadow for a long time. After crossing the polje, you will soon enter the shady mixed deciduous forests again. Now the path leads more steeply uphill and you finally climb the ridge of the Galichica Mountains. On a prominent terrain step you have again a magnificent view of Lake Ohrid. Here a path branches off that leads downhill. You should choose this one if the weather has worsened, because it leads to a nearby mountain village. However, the High Scardus Trail now goes steeply uphill once again and then reaches a ridge top marked with a surveyor's pole at 1800m above sea level. The view from this summit is breathtaking, as it offers not only a panoramic view of Lake Ohrid to the west, but also of the beautiful Prespa Lake to the east. The rest of the route is like a dream hike, because you follow the clearly visible path on the distinctive ridge line, which has no alpine difficulties. Several ridge tops are climbed, always accompanied by a breathtaking view of the two natural wonders Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa and the surrounding mountains. The last peak of today is located at exactly 2000m above sea level (Lako Signoj) and is unfortunately disfigured with some ruins of the Macedonian army. Nevertheless, the view from this peak is impressive. Now the path leads relatively steeply downhill, soon the view opens to the asphalted mountain road between Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa. At the top of the pass “Lipova Livada”, the Margaro hut is already clearly visible. From the info point at the top of the pass, follow the hiking trail uphill again and after about 100 meters you will soon reach the idyllic Margaro Hut, located at the edge of the forest.

On the plateau, a side path branches off clearly visible, which you now follow in a northerly direction. This path leads to a prominent edge of the terrain, from which the alpine huts of Grama and today's stage destination are already clearly visible. The rest of the way is very steep, but on a passable path down to the stream and in a few meters on the opposite bank of the stream to the huts of Grama in the middle of a large sheep pasture. You have reached the stage destination.

By road

Via transfer stage 20 Vevcani - Velestovo


Parking in a suitable place in the village.


41.083554, 20.828070
41°05'00.8"N 20°49'41.1"E
34T 485558 4548046
Show on Map
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Recommended maps for this region:

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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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Sophie Grandclaude
September 14, 2022 · Community
Journée où nous n'avons pas trouvé d'eau! Remplissez bien vos gourdes au démarrage du trek avec la fontaine! Beau parcours qui grimpe petit à petit sur les sommets pour admirer les 2 lacs! Arrivés à la MOuntain Hut Magaro... il n'y avait pas d'eau accessible, la hut était fermée.. Heureusement qu'un travailleur sur la route en contrebas surveillait son matériel la nuit et a pu nous dépanner au niveau eau! Il y a de la place pour camper!
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When did you do this route? September 01, 2022
Rüdiger Mertz 
August 23, 2022 · Community
Eine anstrengende, aber traumhaft schöne Etappe. ACHTUNG: was in der Beschreibung fehlt: ES GIBT IM SOMMER ÜBERHAUPT KEIN WASSER!!!! Zumindest war das im Sommer 22 so. Alle Seen sind ausgetrocknet, ebenso ein Brunnen auf dem Kamm. Die Mountain Hut hat nicht nur innen kein fließendes Wasser, sie hat schlicht überhaupt kein Wasser!!! Damit hatten wir nicht gerechnet! Vielleicht haben wir auch was unterwegs übersehen oder nicht gefunden, da wir ja mit Wasser zumindest bei der Hütte rechneten... Womöglich muss man für Wasser am Ende vom Pass bis nach Leskoec absteigen (ne weitere Stunde). Wir haben am Pass bei einem supernetten französischen Paar mit Wohnmobil einfach 6 Liter Wasser erbettelt, was uns über die Nacht und den nächsten Tag brachte. Aber darauf kann man sich nicht verlassen. Die Etappe an sich ist unfassbar schön. Die Blicke sind sensationell. Die Kammwanderung ist bisschen anstrengend (man hat ja auch schon Durst), wir sind dann auch im Abstieg zum Pass nicht dem gpx-File gefolgt, sondern der alten Militärstraße rechts davon. Die ist einfach angenehmer, wenngleich etwas weiter. Sensationell schön, aber die WASSERFRAGE muss geklärt werden und es wäre gut, wenn diejenigen, die sich vor Ort besser auskennen, hier nen Vorschlag posten, wie man denn vorgehen könnte!
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18.2 km
7:00 h
1,001 m
484 m
Highest point
1,973 m
Lowest point
1,059 m
Linear route Multi-stage route Scenic Summit route


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