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High Scardus Trail Overview

· 2 reviews · Long distance hiking trail
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High Scardus Trail Organization
  • Photo: Matthew Nelson, CC BY-ND, High Scardus Trail Organization
m 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 km

The great High Scardus Trail in the western Balkan Mountains

difficult
Distance 362 km
132:55 h
22,490 m
22,671 m
2,723 m
689 m

The High Scardus Trail in it's whole beauty crosses the countries North Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania. The start point is in Staro Selo in North Macedonia and the End point is in Sveti Naum at Ohrid Lake also in North Macedonia. When hiking the High Scardus Trail you cross the mountain ranges of Sharr, Korab, Deshat, Jablanica and Galichica - one more beautiful than the other. The best time to hike the Trail is from mid of June to Mid of October. The sea level stretches from 700m to 2.764m - so a certain basic physical condition is needed - especially when hiking the longest stage with 8 hours and a length of 26km (stage 8 "Brod - Radika"). The longest stage by altitude meters is stage 10 ("Strezimir - Radomire") with 300m up and 1.600m down. 

Go through the single stages to find out more and get inspired by the great impressions and pictures you find at each stage!

Profile picture of Lara Misera
Author
Lara Misera 
Update: August 11, 2022
Difficulty
difficult
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
2,723 m
Lowest point
689 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Track types

Show elevation profile

Tips and hints

Find out more about the High Scardus Trail on www.high-scardus-trail.com

Start

Staro Selo (888 m)
Coordinates:
DD
42.153196, 21.135031
DMS
42°09'11.5"N 21°08'06.1"E
UTM
34T 511156 4666794
w3w 
///wallet.needing.facilitated
Show on Map

Destination

Sveti Naum (Ohrid Lake)

Turn-by-turn directions

Click through the individual stages to find detailed turn-by-turn directions.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Coordinates

DD
42.153196, 21.135031
DMS
42°09'11.5"N 21°08'06.1"E
UTM
34T 511156 4666794
w3w 
///wallet.needing.facilitated
Show on Map
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

General

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

Clothing

  • 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

Orientation

  • 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)

Related Offers

from €1,578.00

11 Days
Available until June 25, 2023

Šar Planina, the Korab Mountains with the 2,745-meter Korab as the highest peak in Albania and northern Macedonia, and the Galičica Mountains are all ...

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

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Rating

5.0
(2)
Sophie Grandclaude
September 11, 2022 · Community
Bonjour!!! Quel trek magnifique dans les Balkans! Nous avons randonné 20 jours pour parcourir l'intégralité du tracé! Nous avons réalisé le 1er transfert en faisant du stop et le second transfert en prenant 2 bus pour rejoindre Ohrid puis taxi pour atteindre Velestovo. Les traces GPS sont super utiles car certaines portions ne sont pas très empruntées, voire totalement en hors piste :) ...Il est préférable de prendre sa tente et son équipement de camping car les hébergements indiqués ne sont pas tous ouverts le long du parcours (la chambre d'hôte Sabriu est un passage obligé, un accueil au TOP!)! Nous avons fait de très belles rencontres le long du chemin (cueilleurs de myrtilles, bergers, habitants des villages) et très peu de randonneurs (uniquement pour grimper au Korab)... Attention toutefois aux chiens de bergers, nous avons eu quelques mauvaises expériences et avons été escortés par le berger. Et autre précision, il n'y a pas d'eau pour les 2 dernières étapes... Heureusement qu'un travailleur qui refaisait la route nous a dépanné! Longue vie au High Scardus trail!!!!!;-)
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When did you do this route? August 14, 2022
Rüdiger Mertz 
August 22, 2022 · Community
Eine der besten Fernwanderungen, die man in Europa machen kann. Es ist abgelegen, aber nicht riskant, in den Bergen trifft man kaum einen Menschen und hat die wunderbare Natur für sich. Es ist unglaublich still! Wir (Ehepaar, beide Ende 50, viel Erfahrung mit solchen Touren) haben das im Sommer 2022 auf eigene Faust mit Zelt und ohne Verbuchungen gemacht, das hat prima geklappt. Es ist aber nichts für totale Einsteiger. Ein paar grundsätzliche Bemerkungen: - Gaskartuschen: die klassischen Stechkartuschen nach dem Camping-Gaz-Prinzip sind auch in den kleinen Dörfern in vielen Läden erhältlich. Auf der ganzen Tour hätten wir sicher an zehn Stellen nachkaufen können. - Markierung: kommt und geht. Die GPX-Files sind aber sehr zuverlässig. - Es gibt auch Karten zum High-Scardus-Trail, die aber mit den GPX-Files hier nichts zu tun haben. Das ist etwas verwirrend, und es wäre gut, die Verantwortlichen würden sich mal auf EINE Wegführung einigen. Wir haben uns komplett an den GPX-Files auf outdoor-active orientiert. Damit sind wir prima zurecht gekommen, - die weglosen Passagen sind anstrengend, insbesondere, wenn es über Blockfelder geht. Mit Zelt, Kocher, Schlafsack/Quilt und Essen für mehrere Tage einfach härter als mit "Hüttengepäck". Nach den Tagen 3 und 4 wird es aber besser. Tag 3 ist ein bisschen am Limit dessen, wo es noch Spaß macht. - Hirtenhunde: anfangs sehr furchteinflössend. Bis zu 6 riesige Hunde umkreisen einen und machen Höllen-Lärm. Man muss stehen bleiben, demütig zu Boden schauen und warten. Sie greifen aber nicht an. Du wirst "gestellt und festgehalten". Wir haben dann immer laut gerufen und nach maximal zehn Minuten war ein Schäfer da und dann gaben die Hunde uns wieder frei. Hat man erst mal das Prinzip kapiert, ist es auch nicht mehr so furchteinflössend. Meist ist der Schäfer direkt bei der Herde und hat die Hunde ohnehin im Griff. - bei vielen der angegebenen Übernachtungsmöglichkeiten ist nicht immer jemand da. Ohne Vorbuchung sollte man sich auf nichts verlassen. Man findet aber immer einen Platz zum Zelten und Wasser ... - Border Permits sind eine bürokratische Posse. Das ist aus Deutschland auf eigene Faust nicht zu organisieren. Die GiZ empfiehlt, auf jeden Fall einen Guide zu engagieren, was auch ein Witz ist, weil niemand für ne dreiwöchige Trekkingtour nen Guide engagiert, den er nicht kennt. Wir sind dann ohne Permit losgezogen und haben nie einen Polizisten oder Grenzbeamten gesehen und es hat nie jemand nach dem Permit gefragt - auch nicht in den Hotels/Herbergen. - auch mit Selbstversorgergepäck sind die Touren in der angegebenen Zeit zu schaffen. - Wege: sind jetzt nicht wie in den Alpen oder den USA. Es ist oft mehr "Ahnung" als klar erkennbarer Weg, man gewöhnt sich aber dran. Serpentinen sind jetzt auch eher selten, oft geht es in der Falllinie rauf und runter. Bleibt aber machbar. - im kleinsten Ort sind die Leute sehr hilfsbereit. Immer findest du jemand, der Deutsch oder Englisch spricht. Im Sommer auch viele in Deutschland lebende Menschen auf Heimaturlaub. Die Freundlichkeit der Leute ist ohnehin sensationell.... - Achtung: auf den letzten Tagen (Ohrid bis zum Kloster) gibt es unterwegs kein Wasser! s. Anmerkung zu den einzelnen Tagen.
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Reviews
Difficulty
difficult
Distance
362 km
Duration
132:55 h
Ascent
22,490 m
Descent
22,671 m
Highest point
2,723 m
Lowest point
689 m
Linear route Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest Insider tip Summit route

Statistics

  • Content
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Features
2D 3D
Maps and trails
  • 22 Stages
recommended route Difficulty easy Stage 1
Distance 6.4 km
Duration 2:45 h
Ascent 732 m
Descent 0 m

A quiet start to a long trail: the hut approach to the magnificently situated Mountain Hut Ljuboten as a short starting stage.   >>>> ATTENTION: ...

2
from High Scardus Trail,   High Scardus Trail Organization
recommended route Difficulty moderate Stage 2
Distance 12.1 km
Duration 6:00 h
Ascent 823 m
Descent 721 m

Border walk: along the Kosovar/North Macedonian border over the ridge of the Sharr Mountains to the ski resort of Brezovica, an interesting witness ...

2
from High Scardus Trail,   High Scardus Trail Organization
recommended route Difficulty difficult Stage 3
Distance 14.3 km
Duration 7:00 h
Ascent 840 m
Descent 1,050 m

Wild Western Balkans: on small trails and also pathless through the moors and mats along the northern flanks of the Sharr Mountains.

4
from High Scardus Trail,   High Scardus Trail Organization
recommended route Difficulty moderate Stage 4
Distance 14.4 km
Duration 5:30 h
Ascent 644 m
Descent 1,080 m

The mild side of the wild side: Enjoyable hiking on the more gentle counterpart to the previous stage 03 along the northern flanks of the somewhat ...

2
from High Scardus Trail,   High Scardus Trail Organization
recommended route Difficulty moderate Stage 5
Distance 11.8 km
Duration 5:00 h
Ascent 1,128 m
Descent 564 m

Welcome to the other side: From the Kosovar mountain village Gornje Ljubinje in a beautiful heath landscape over the Sharr Mountains to the Vejce Hut.

3
from High Scardus Trail,   High Scardus Trail Organization
recommended route Difficulty difficult Stage 6
Distance 19.2 km
Duration 7:00 h
Ascent 702 m
Descent 1,117 m

High above the North Macedonian mountain villages of Vejce, Veshala and Bozovce through the Sharr Mountains - a wonderfully scenic stage!

3
from High Scardus Trail,   High Scardus Trail Organization
recommended route Difficulty difficult Stage 7 Open
Distance 21 km
Duration 7:30 h
Ascent 1,174 m
Descent 1,010 m

Through the famous Leshnica valley with its rugged rock towers back across the North Macedonian-Kosovar border to the mountain village of Brod.

3
from High Scardus Trail,   High Scardus Trail Organization
Hiking trail · North Macedonia
High Scardus Trail Stage 08 Brod - Radika
recommended route Difficulty difficult Stage 8
Distance 23.6 km
Duration 8:00 h
Ascent 1,193 m
Descent 930 m

The path to nowhere: very long but scenically one of the most magnificent stages on the High Scardus Trail through the Mongolian-like highlands of ...

3
from High Scardus Trail,   High Scardus Trail Organization
recommended route Difficulty easy Stage 9
Distance 11.8 km
Duration 3:45 h
Ascent 345 m
Descent 543 m

A short regeneration stage "in the middle nowhere" between the Sharr Mountains in the northeast and the Korab Mountains in the southwest - just ...

2
from High Scardus Trail,   High Scardus Trail Organization
recommended route Difficulty difficult Stage 10 Open
Distance 16.4 km
Duration 7:00 h
Ascent 1,320 m
Descent 1,505 m

To the king of the Western Balkans: the crossing of Mount Korab, with 2,764 m above sea level the highest peak of the Western Balkans, as a ...

2
from High Scardus Trail,   High Scardus Trail Organization
recommended route Difficulty moderate Stage 11
Distance 11.3 km
Duration 5:00 h
Ascent 851 m
Descent 447 m

Tibet Feeling at the High Scardus Trail: From Radomire at the foot of the Korab massif over a magnificent mountain pass (2.090m) to the wide high ...

2
from High Scardus Trail,   High Scardus Trail Organization
recommended route Difficulty difficult Stage 12
Distance 17 km
Duration 7:00 h
Ascent 813 m
Descent 1,451 m

One of the "king's stages" on the High Scardus Trail: a nimble routing guides you amidst breathtaking mountain scenery to the stone mountain ...

2
from High Scardus Trail,   High Scardus Trail Organization
recommended route Difficulty moderate Stage 13
Distance 10.8 km
Duration 5:00 h
Ascent 959 m
Descent 355 m

A scenic border hike between Albania and North Macedonia: once the gentle crests of the Deshat Mountains are climbed again, a boundless panorama ...

1
from High Scardus Trail,   High Scardus Trail Organization
recommended route Difficulty moderate Stage 14
Distance 14.1 km
Duration 6:00 h
Ascent 505 m
Descent 1,149 m

From bright heights into dark forests: This varied daily stage leads past the mighty peak of Velivar and then down into the mystical forests of ...

1
from High Scardus Trail,   High Scardus Trail Organization
Map / High Scardus Trail Stage 15 TRANSFER Bitushe - Modrič
Difficulty Stage 15
Distance 31.7 km
Duration 1:05 h
Ascent 0 m
Descent 0 m

Transfer by shuttle from the end of stage 14 in Bitushe to the start of stage 15 in Modrič.

from High Scardus Trail,   High Scardus Trail Organization
recommended route Difficulty moderate Stage 16
Distance 11.1 km
Duration 5:30 h
Ascent 952 m
Descent 766 m

Stage 16 on the High Scardus Trail marks the entrance to the mystical Jablanica Mountains: on an ancient pilgrimage trail across the scenic ...

1
from High Scardus Trail,   High Scardus Trail Organization
recommended route Difficulty moderate Stage 17
Distance 12.3 km
Duration 5:00 h
Ascent 446 m
Descent 396 m

A truly green stage: through the mystical forests of the Jablanica Mountains over the "Green Pass" from North Macedonia to Albania, to the mountain ...

2
from High Scardus Trail,   High Scardus Trail Organization
Difficulty Stage 18
Distance 17.3 km
Duration 6:00 h
Ascent 1,141 m
Descent 506 m

This stage is currently not passable due to snow conditions!

2
from High Scardus Trail,   High Scardus Trail Organization
recommended route Difficulty moderate Stage 19
Distance 12.9 km
Duration 5:00 h
Ascent 474 m
Descent 1,408 m

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 ...

1
from High Scardus Trail,   High Scardus Trail Organization
Map / High Scardus Trail Stage 20 TRANSFER Vevcani - Velestovo
Difficulty Stage 20
Distance 29.5 km
Duration 0:45 h
Ascent 0 m
Descent 0 m

Transfer with shuttle from the end of stage 19 in Vevcani to the start of stage 21 in Velestovo

1
from High Scardus Trail,   High Scardus Trail Organization
recommended route Difficulty difficult Stage 21
Distance 18.2 km
Duration 7:00 h
Ascent 1,001 m
Descent 484 m

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 ...

2
from High Scardus Trail,   High Scardus Trail Organization
recommended route Difficulty difficult Stage 22
Distance 19.5 km
Duration 7:00 h
Ascent 721 m
Descent 1,627 m

The crowning finale: first steeply uphill to the mighty Magaro peak and then steeply downhill to the Orthodox place of pilgrimage Sveti Naum on the ...

2
from High Scardus Trail,   High Scardus Trail Organization
Distance  km
Duration : h
Ascent  m
Descent  m
Highest point  m
Lowest point  m
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