Overview

The Miyaks (Macedonian: Мијаци/Mijaci) are an ethnographic group of Macedonians who live in the Lower Reka (Dolna Reka) region which is also known as Miyachia, along the Radika river, in western Macedonia, numbering 30,000-60,000 people. The Miyaks practice predominantly animal husbandry, and are known for their ecclesiastical architecture, woodworking, icon painting, and other rich traditions, as well as their characteristic Galichnik dialect of the Macedonian language.

Horse Riding
From the ancient myths and legends that have survived in oral tradition, to the distinctive Miyak melodies and customs, preserved in the famous Galichnik Wedding – an annual festival in which a selected couple gets married in the traditional “Galichnik” style wedding, where horsemen play a stunning ritualistic role – Galichnik’s love affair with horse riding has deep roots in the region’s history, culture and popular folklore.

Dramatic Scenery for Epic Horse Riding Adventures 
From snow-capped mountains, belted by pine forests, to rolling green hills or fields littered with wildflower blooms, Galichnik has a wealth of backdrops and a range of experienced operators to make your riding excursion an exhilarating one. Experience native wildlife, natural history, and folklore from the saddle.

About the riding expedition

A riding expedition is a journey on horseback, which may entail a few hardships, but you are gaining an unforgettable experience and scenery which otherwise you may not have the opportunity to see.

This holiday is for those who enjoy the mountain’s treasures. Riding uphill along the valleys of Bistra Mountain and Mavrovo lake, you will enjoy never-ending open views of countless mountain peaks. On this trip, you will get closer to Shepherd’s life, visit a few sheep farms, experience the traditional way of cheese making and just enjoy nature. It also includes lodging in old villages, camps, enjoying the taste of fresh domestic food, sometimes by the fire, sometimes in the restaurant or nature, sitting on a rock in the middle of a pasture taking pleasure in the splendors of life and nature.
A rewarding soul journey with breathtaking scenery.

The Tour

Day 1 Overnight Hotel Neda Galichnik

Upon arrival at the Skopje Airport, transportation is provided by our operator who will pick you up and take you to a coffee break at the Old Bazaar in Skopje city (20 min drive). You will have an opportunity for I short sightseeing tour at the Old Bazaar and the city center, and a chance to taste the delightful Macedonian cuisine at the traditional restaurant DUKAT in Skopje.

After the lunch, you will be transferred to the SHERPA HORSE RIDING RANCH in the village of Galichnik, situated in the western mountain region of Macedonia (1h 45 min drive). Lodging is at Hotel Neda  in the village of Galichnik, and in between, you will meet the horses and the Sherpa team at the ranch, which is 1 km from the hotel. Safety-briefing and operation procedures session will be hosted at Hotel Neda before the dinner. Overnight stay is at Hotel NEDA – Galichnik.      

Itinerary

Arrival at Skopje airport, transport to the city of Skopje, coffee break, short sightseeing tour, lunch in the traditional restaurant DUKAT.

  • 16.30 – Departure to SHERPA HORSE RIDING RANCH and Hotel NEDA – Galichnik
  • 18.15 – Arrival at the Ranch, meeting the Horses and the Sherpa team, and a warm welcome with refreshments
  • 19.00 – Safety equipment handout, safety, and procedures briefing.

Dinner and overnight stay at Hotel Neda – Galichnik.

* Vegetarians are required to specify their food preference in the Request for an Offer.

* Guests arriving after 16.30 will be directly transferred to SHERPA HORSE RIDING RANCH with snack lunch provided in the van.

* For the guests who cannot attend the Safety and Procedure briefing session at 19.00, the briefing will be provided at the time of their arrival in Galicnik.     

Day 2 Overnight Hotel Kalin Lazaropole

(approximately 5h forest ride, 27km) Galichnik – Lazaropole (view link map for the day)

After breakfast in 
Hotel Neda, our operator will transport you to the “SHERPA HORSE RIDING RANCH” (around 5 min. drive). Our team will greet you with some welcoming drinks. You will meet the horses again, and after the briefing session and choosing the right horse, you will have some fun during our exciting ranch workshops (milking goats, traditional cheese preparation) and then, get prepared for the ride.

Our SHERPA TRUCK carries your luggage to our lodging destination.

This day, you will have an opportunity to visit most of the old Miyak villages and get closely acquainted with the culture of the Miyaks, as well as a ride through the old forest trails, which were originally used by them for transportation on horses. From the ranch, you will ride to the village of Glaichnik ( the biggest and most popular Miyak village), and visit the museum of Gjorgjija Pulevski(a famous Miyak author and revolutionary). On this track, you will ride through the forest of Sushica (visiting Sushica the oldest Miyak village, now mostly in ruins), and ride downhill to the Miyak villages of Selce and Tresonche, with panoramic views of the north side of Stogovo Mountain.

On the way to the village of Lazaropole, you will have a lunch break and a fruit dessert. You will be passing through the Miyak village of Tresonche, and experience the Miyak folklore and the old Miyak architecture. We will be lodging in Lazaropole (the second largest Miyak village) in the Hotel “KALIN” (a cozy mountain hotel with a traditional design).

Dinner will be served next to a cozy fireplace at the hotel restaurant (fresh wild meat dish from the region).

Itinerary

  • 07.30 – Breakfast
  • 08.30 – Departure to the SHERPA HORSE RIDING RANCH
  • 08.35 – Arrival at the ranch, and a warm welcome with refreshments
  • 09.00 – Milking goats and traditional cheese production, preparations for the trip (safety equipment handout, Safety, and Procedures briefing, choosing horses, loading luggage to the safety and camping jeeps)
  • 10.00 – Departure to the museum in the village of Galichnik (15 min ride)
  • 10.15 – Arrival at the museum with 45 min presentation about the culture of the Miyaks
  • 11.00 – Departure to the village of Lazaropole    
  • 13.00 – Picnic lunch in the forest of Sushica (fresh products provided directly from the ranch) followed by cheese tasting, and delicious local vegan/vegetarian food (if specified)
  • 14.00 – Departure to the hunting village of Lazaropole on horseback (forest mountain ride)
  • 16.00 – Fruit desert break 
  • 16.30 – Continuing the journey to the hunting village of Lazaropole on horseback (forest mountain ride)
  • 17.30 – Arrival in Lazaropole and lodging at Hotel “KALIN” for dinner and an overnight stay
  • 19.00 – Dinner – traditional Miyak meal (fresh wild meat dish from the region)

* Vegetarians are required to specify their food preference in the Request for an Offer.

Day 3 Overnight at Motel TOPILA 

(approximately 7h ride; 37 km) Lazaropole – Gari (view link map for the day)

After the lovely evening, delicious food, smooth wine, and a good night’s sleep, off we go again. Breakfast, saddling and bridling – getting ready for the road.

An ADRENALINE ride which will take you to the oldest forest Miyak trail of Bistra Mountain, crossing up to Stogovo Mountain from the Miyak village of Osoj, with an incredible view at the Korab Massive (2,764 meters/ 9068 ft.). On this day, you will have an opportunity to go to one of the highest peaks on Stogovo massive – Babin Srt (2,241 meters/7352.3 ft.). Then riding down to the Miyak village of Gari for dinner and an overnight stay in the very cozy guesthouse by the main Gari creek. Fresh fish for dinner will be accompanied by a traditional Miyak music live performance. Moreover, this route will get you closer to the shepherd’s life, visiting a few sheep farms and tasting traditional white cheese and yogurt.

Itinerary

  • 07.00 – Breakfast
  • 08.00 – Starting the preparations, which will include saddling and bridling the horses
  • 09.00 – Departure to the Miyak village of Gari
  • 11.00 – Fruit break (snacks and fruit)
  • 11.30 – Departure on a horseback
  • 13.30 – Arriving at the sheep farm at Stogovo Mountain for a lunch break (Shepard’s lunch including lamb and cheese, freshly from the farm, or a delicious local vegan/vegetarian meal (if requested)

At the sheep farm, you will get acquainted with the shepherd’s life, far away from the civilized world, and you will be shown the old traditional farming techniques as well. You will have an opportunity to taste all of the milk products directly fresh from the farm.

  • 15.00  – Departure to the Miyak village of Gari
  • 18.00 – Arrival in the Miyak village of Gari at Motel “TOPILA”
  • 19.30 – Dinner (fresh fish from the creek) accompanied by traditional live music.

* Vegetarians are required to specify their food preference in the Request for an Offer.

Day 4 Overnight base camp 2

(approximately 9h ride; 44km) Gari – Kamp Solomunica (view link map for the day)

After a lovely dinner spiced with captivating traditional melodies, and a good night’s sleep, we are almost ready for the longest day of this journey. Getting ready for an amazing 44 km ahead of you.
On this day, we are going to cross to the east side of Bistra Mountain, riding across a very old forest Miak trail. This ride will take you above the forest of Bistra Mountain, with an incredible view at the Korab Massive (2,764 meters/ 9068 ft.). This route will get you closer to the shepherd’s life, visiting a few sheep farms and tasting traditional white cheese and yogurt.

After the long breathtaking experience, we will be lodging in our base camp deep in the mighty mountains far away from the civilized world. Setting up the sleeping tents, starting a campfire along with the dinner preparation, done in a traditional manner, we will be getting ready for a campfire party, followed by some good night’s sleep.

Itinerary

  • 06.30 – Breakfast
  • 07.30 – Starting the preparations, which will include saddling and bridling the horses
  • 08.00 – Departure to the base camp located deep in the Bistra Mountain on a horseback
  • 11.00 – Fruit dessert break (snacks and fruits)
  • 11.30 – Departure on a horseback
  • 13.30 – Arrival at the sheep farm (cheese tasting lunch) or delicious local vegan/vegetarian food (if requested)

At the sheep farm, you will get acquainted with the shepherd’s life far away from the civilized world, and you be shown the old traditional farming techniques as well. You will have an opportunity to taste all of the milk products, directly fresh from the farm.

  • 14.30 – Departure to the base camp on a horseback
  • 18.30 – Arrival in the base camp 2 

Group activities are included, such as:

Setting up the sleeping tents, starting a campfire along with some dinner preparations

* Vegetarians are required to specify their food preference in the Request for an Offer.

  • 19.30 – BBQ – Dinner next to the campfire (overnight stay in tents).

THE PACKAGE INCLUDES

  • Full guidance by professional horse riding English speaking guide, Vasko from Horse-riding club Bistra Galicnik;

Vasko’s been promoting horse-back riding tourism for ten years now. Life enduring passion for the horse-riding sport and the aversion towards the cities and their noisy environment makes Vasko spend most of his free time in the mountains of the Mavrovo National Park, namely the village of Galichnik, place of his family’s origin. Besides managing his own company, he works as horse riding guide for six months in the summer, and free-ride ski guide is his passion in the winter months.

  • Entrance fee for NP Mavrovo;
  • Helmet for horse-riding
  • Tents 
  • Jeep for safety backup and transport (food, tents and all other luggage
  • Drinks at the camp (All kinds of beverages, alcoholic and refreshments)

THE PACKAGE DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • Air transfer and insurance
  • Back protectors for horse-riding
  • All personal expenses not mentioned under “Included in price.”

Notes

On these rides, you need to take a little more care to PACK THE APPROPRIATE CLOTHING, as well sun & wind protective gear.

You will ride only with the light backpack or nothing on your backs because our jeep will transport your luggage to the overnight destination.

We can accommodate these itinerary according to your flight.

Please NOTE that Our Base Camp is 1km away from Galichnik village within the National Park Mavrovo. It’s uninhabited area, and there is no regular transportation to the spot.

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