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Must experience: Macedonia’s magnificent Korab waterfall trek

A hidden destinations that only a select few adventurers and mountaineers in Macedonia know about is the majestic Korab waterfall in Shar Planina (Shar Mountains), near the border with Albania.

The magical waterfall is created by the snow melting on the peak Mal (Small) Korab during spring. The 138-meter precipice has been created by water gushing down the face of the rock for thousands of years.

The sight is stunning, but isn’t permanent. The elusive Korab waterfall is a temporary phenomenon which makes it even more alluring. It occurs only when the day becomes long enough to allow the sun to melt the accumulated snow on top of the Mal Korab table. The waterfall season varies but is usually between the start of May to early July.

The strength of the Korab waterfall depends on the amount of snowfall. The length of the waterfall also depends on where the snow percolates, as the melting streams can take their course over hundreds of channels that become merged into one.

Sometimes, the Korab waterfall pores down from an elevation of 138 meters. Sometimes the drop is lower, but it rarely falls below 70 meters.

The hike to the waterfall takes an adventurer along a scenic road passing through the mountain Bistra, along the course of the wild river Radika and in the vicinity of small and pristine villages – some of which are all but abandoned.

Reaching the wondrous location is part of the experience. Traversing the slopes of the Korab mountain is neither easy nor hard, but it is definitely worth the effort. To reach the base of the Mal Korab peak one needs to ascend an elevation of 2050 meters above sea level.

Korab Waterfall hike group tour
View along the hike – image copyright Macedonia Tours

The few adventurers that are in the know, from Macedonia and around the world actively enjoy the sights offered by the narrow trails lined with wild flowers and saturated in the scent of wilderness. Even in the summer, the shade that is provided by the oak forest and the breeze of cool air doesn’t make the beating sun difficult to take.

Because of the impermanent nature of the Korab waterfall, organized tours are made only during spring or early summer. Come the hot summertime, the waterfall dries along with the patches of snow that quickly evaporate into the air. Each year, those in the know ascend the trek to reach one of the most stunning destinations in Macedonia.

Professional tour guides from Macedonia Tours spoke with excitement about the wildlife they’ve encountered on their trips to the Mal Korab peak.

The Korab range is home to the mysterious and incredibly hard-to-spot Balkan lynx, whose survival and eventual recovery in numbers is part of a grand initiative by Macedonian nature conservationists.

Korab waterfall hike relax
relaxing in the cool forest on the hike back | photo copyright Macedonia Tours

Macedonia Tours guides haven’t spotted a lynx but they have seen a bear cub along the hike to the waterfall.

Another animal species that can be heard – but rarely seen – is the wolf. Korab is home to wolves, owing to the flocks of sheep that are herded near villages and remote sheep corrals on both sides of the border. Tour guides have heard wolves howling during the nights camped under the waterfall which adds to the excitement and mystic of the tour.

Macedonia Tours organizes dedicated Korab waterfall tours to those that seek a two day hiking and camping adventure deep in the remote Macedonian mountain wilderness.

Martin Anastasovski
Martin Anastasovski
Martin Anastasovski is a writer, researcher and publicist. He writes articles for Macedonia Times in the fields of Macedonian news and politics, history, culture and travel. His opinion pieces have been published on Macedonian news portals. He has a university degree in political science.
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