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Destination 5

Tourist destination 5: Maleshevo and surroundings

Most Important Attractions in the Destination

  • Lake Berovo
  • Fresh mountain air
  • Cool summers
  • Monastery of the Holy Archangel Michael
  • Local fresh organic food
  • Sheep farm Klepalo
  • Pehcevo waterfalls

Destination 5: Malesevo & surroundings

Municipalities: Berovo, Vinica, Delcevo, Pehcevo.

Municipality of Berovo

Berovo is a small town near the Maleshevo Mountains, 161 km (100 mi) from Skopje, 47 km (29 mi) from Strumica and 52 km (32 mi) from Kocani, in the Republic of North Macedonia. It is the seat of Berovo Municipality. Sustained by the Bregalnica River, Berovo stands at 830–900 m (2,723–2,953 ft) above sea level and can be reached by car using a single asphalt road leading to the city. Berovo Lake and the forest of Maleshevo Mountains are two popular sites for tourists and Berovo craftsmen are well known for their skill in traditional wood crafting. Berovo cheese is also a well-known product. The climate is mild continental, in certain places modified into mountain-continental characterized by cold winters and cool summers. Berovo is the town with highest concentration of oxygen on the Balkan Peninsula. The average annual temperature is 11.1˚C.  Berovo is the town with most sunny days during the year in the whole country, with an average of 6.4 sunny hours per day.

Marked archeological sites: Breza, a late ancient time settlement; Vrcvite, necropolis – Iron Age tombs; Gradiste, settlement and necropolis from late ancient time; Dolno Gradiste - Ablanica, Roman time settlement; Kelaklevec, late ancient time settlement; Kukjata, Roman time settlement;

Shirok Dol, tombs from late ancient time; Kovacilnica, an established settlement from Iron Age and Late Ancient and Medieval; Linako, Late ancient time settlement; Pashajlov Preslap, Late ancient time settlement; Popov rid, Gradishte from Late ancient time; Monastery of the Holy Archangel Michael; Selca, Roman time settlement; Shabansko Gradishte, from late ancient time.

Additional info:

Tourism has become the Municipalities’ strategic priority because of its potential for sustainable development of the community. Municipality has been working hard on projects important both for citizens and for visitors.

Berovo is one of the first towns to categorize its tourist capacities. This helps promote the town, ensure visitor satisfaction, and standardize tourist options. Also it is important the fact that they keep track of the number of overnight stays and follow strict accommodation standards. And they regularly collect tourist tax, as well.

Cultural events:

  • The Ratevski bamburci carnival has grown from a local tradition older than 2000 years into a regional carnival and a tourist attraction.
  • The local custom of selecting the hardest egg, the “kachor”, has become an organized competition during the Easter holidays when most natives are back in town and many tourists come to Berovo to enjoy their spring vacations or long weekends.
  • During the summer, there are several major events as part of the Berovo Summer Culture Tour program, such as the Vladimirski ilindenski sredbi (“Vladimirovo village Ilinden meetings”), the Maleshevsko dzvonche (“Malesh bell”) children’s music festival, the Etno Ploshtad (“Ethno Square”) festival that takes place in August and brings many concert performances to Berovo, as well as the Maleshevijata na dlanka (“Malesh at your fingertips”) fair of homemade food and crafts.

Potential types of tourism: Mountain-picnics-lake, Festivals, historical and cultural sights, Monastery-church visits, air-spa, eco-tourism, biodiversity, traditional cuisine, adventure, mountaineering, mountain biking, lake tourism, hunting and fishing, calm watering and many more.

Municipality of Vinica

The municipality of Vinica is located in the eastern part of North Macedonia and with an area of 334 km2 is one of the smaller municipalities. It occupies the southeastern part of the Vinica-Kochani valley. It is bounded on the south by the northern slopes of Mountain Plachkovica and on the east by the slopes of Golak Mountain. It belongs to the East Planning Region. The municipal center extends between Vinica and Gradecka River, but extends in all directions. Beside the town of Vinica in the Municipality there are 16 more settlements. The location of the Municipality enables good connection with the neighboring municipalities in the region.

The location of the Municipality, clearly defines mountainous, hilly and valley relief structures. The relief characteristics also define the development of the municipality, so that in the lowland areas farming dominates, while the higher areas are dominated by forests and meadows which are the basis for the timber industry and livestock as well as for tourism.

The population of Vinica municipality is mainly engaged in agriculture, while the city is dominated by several industrial buildings of different sectors and service activities. The main industrial facilities in Vinica are: Tondah - Construction Materials Factory, Textile Factories “Triko”, “Vinka” and “Vinichanka”, Wood-Furniture factories “Mebel-Vi and “Mebel Trade”, Food Industry “Vincinni” and others smaller capacities.

The development of the city of Vinica is based on the renewing and rebuilding of the existing industry and greater representation of service activities. It is planned to build new economic capacities of small and medium-sized enterprises, creating conditions for constant and sustainable economic development.

In the municipality of Vinica, the most famous archaeological site is the Vinica Kale where authentic terracotta icons from the early Christian period have been found, which are stunning in their originality. For the preservation of the cultural heritage for the needs of the city's GUP, an Elaborate was prepared by the National Conservation Center - Skopje, Protective Conservation Basis of Real Cultural Heritage. The municipality of Vinica is one of the least polluted areas in regard of the environment, due to the small number of inhabitants, the lack of heavy industry, climate factors and of course because of the high environmental care.

The church of St. Arhangel Mihail (1858) (the church of the city of Vinica) is the temple originally built in this place was built in 1858. In 1970 the church was destroyed and in 1973 a new church with three ships was built. The new church is very beautiful and rises extraordinarily in the surroundings. In recent years it has been restructured both on the outside and inside.

Church of St. Joakim Osogovski (2002) is in the village Jakimovo, near Vinica, and is one of most beautiful ecclesiastical architectural constructions in the region of Kochani and Vinica. It is dedicated to the hermit Joakim Osogovski. The foundations of the church were built on 1 August 1993 and consecrated on 6 May 2002. The patron saint of the church is celebrated every year on 29 August. 

Vinicko Kale is a settlement from the late ancient period. It is located south-western of the town, on the left of the Grdečka River, on a hill, and 420 meters above the sea level. All sides are surrounded by high walls except the south-eastern side. It has dimensions 250x150 meters and lies on a 2,5 hectares land. The defensive wall was built of broken stone with cement and is 3 meters fat. The famous terra-cotta icons from the 5th and 6th century, were discovered on these defensive walls. They are unique and are listed in the series of especially valuable world collections of archaeological findings that open spaces to new and creative scientific theories and researches. From here there is an excellent view of the town Vinica and the river Bregalnica.

Read more at:





Potential types of tourism: Historical and cultural sights, Museums, Traditional cuisine.

Municipality of Delcevo

The town has borne its present name Delčevo since 1950, in honour of the celebrated revolutionary and ideologist Gotse Delchev who had often visited the place while he was teaching in the village of Novo Selo, near Štip.

Golak's Tourist Center is located 10 km (6 mi) south of Delcevo at 1,300 m (4,270 ft) height above sea level, under the Chavka peak (1358 m) of the mountain Golak. The distinctive Recreation Center was built in 1981 and had 5 apartments, 8 hotel rooms and a restaurant with 170 seats as its own terens for small football, basketball and volleyball. The Recreation Center is ruined now. At this moment there are only private houses, camps and villas. Many vacation places are built there and weekend houses of Delcevo companies. The Recreation center is among a 100-year-old pine and beech trees.

Far from town noise, wonderful vegetation, clean fresh air and cold clear mountain water are just what the visitors’ souls’ need. In winter, under thick snow cover, Mount Golak offers unforgettable and unique sights.

Natural rarities and attractions:

  • “Ilin” stone near the village Zvegor
  • Holy water near the village of Zvegor
  • Lake and Sandanski Nature Reserve
  • A place called Gjurgj oak near the village of Virche
  • Holy waters near the village of Trabotivishte
  • Holy water at the site Kula near the village Chiflik
  • Location Kukulje village New Istevnik
  • Location Kukulje village Trabotivishte

Archaeological sites - https://www.delcevo.gov.mk/delcevo-vodic/2010-05-01-08-07-40.html

Culture - https://www.delcevo.gov.mk/delcevo-vodic/kultura.html

Some numbers and facts for Developing Tourism in Delcevo - http://www.crpm.org.mk/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Delcevo_Eng.pdf



Potential types of tourism: Mountain-picnics, air-spa, eco-tourism, biodiversity, adventure, mountaineering, mountain biking, hiking, mountain tourism, traditional cuisine.

Municipality of Pehcevo

The first written statements about the middle-central settlement in the Maleshevo area were left by the Arab traveler Idrissi in the 11th century and referring to the so-called city of Maleshevo. According to this geographer, the town was built on a plateau and is about a day and a half walk from Morozdvisd (today's Kocani village of Morodvis). The city was surrounded by villages and yards, gardens and cereal fields, by pastures and forests. In Malesevo, agriculture, livestock and forestry were developed. Since Maleshevo had a great impression on Idrissi with all its beauties, he put it on his map, along with other Macedonian cities.

There are many legends tied to the name of this, today the smallest city agglomeration in the Republic of Macedonia. According to one, on the site of the present location of the settlement there was an animal barn that the local population called "Pejcina hut" because of the sheepfold of the схееп breeder Pejcin (Pejco). Accordingly and by analogy, the local residents called the place Pehchovo or Pehchevo. With these toponym the town is mentioned at the end of the XIX century. Another legend says that at the foot of Bukovik Mountain in Roman times iron ore was exploited. The dishes used to wash the ore were called "peshti" (peshci). Also, it is thought that the toponym Pehchevo refers to the mining stoves (peshci) where the ore was smelted.

The Municipality is located in the far eastern part of the state, just across the border from Bulgaria. In fact, the easternmost point of the municipality is at the top of Cengino Kale (1745 m) is also the easternmost point of the Republic of Macedonia. The municipality of Pehchevo is situated on the slope between Berovo and Delchevo Valleys, at an altitude of about 700 to 1932 meters. To the west it is enclosed by the low mountain Bejaz Tepe (1348 m), and to the east by Vlaina (Kadiica, 1932 m) which is the second tallest mountain in the eastern part of Macedonia (immediately behind the Osogovski Mountains, 2252 m). To the southeast it is enclosed by the highest part of the Maleshevo Mountains (Dzami Tepe, 1803 m).

The municipality is well connected by regional roads to Delcevo, Berovo and Vinica (Kocani), and the distance from Skopje is 170 km or 2.5 hours. There are also asphalt roads to every village in the municipality, then to the tourist site of Ravna Reka and other localities.

Pehchevo is known as a winter tourist centre, but the extraordinary beauty of the Pehchevo area is attractive at any time of the year. Winters are cold with heavy snowfall, summers are cool with many sunny days. Here you can find rescue, to refresh and truly to relax in the hot summers.

In Pehchevo town and Pehchevo area the first moments of arrival your chest starts to fill with oxygen, the air is quite clean, fresh, and in the forest areas there is a high concentration of oxygen, which acts as a therapeutic "air bath".

Reliefingly, the municipality is open wide to the north (Delcevski) and south (Berovo), with high mountains to the east and west, m) to the west. The mountains have rounded peaks and have been, but quite steep sides.

Beside the potential mountains’ tourism on Vlaina (1932 m), Maleshevo Mountains (1803 m) and the small mountain Bejaz Tepe (1348), this area is characterized by the valley of the river Bregalnica which is deeply cut between Vlaina and Maleshevo Mountains. As a result of Bregatnica's strong incision in the shale, numerous rapids, small streams and waterfalls up to 10m high were created along the riverbed. The waterfalls are small but attractive and attract more and more tourists, especially after being arranged with signposts, benches and access paths. Attractive relief forms in the Municipality of Pehchevo are built with excessive erosion and sediment accumulation. Due to the strong erosive processes in the catchment of Zhelevica, Pehchevska River and others, interesting and unique forms have been created in the form of valleys, “melovi” (bad-lands), earth pyramids etc. Of particular interest are the bedlends in the Crnichka River valley up to 300 m wide and up to 80 m deep. On their sides are smaller earth pyramids that are attractive for photography and observation.

At 7 km east of Pehchevo, in the area of Bukovik and the peak of Orlovec (1723 m asl), there is a rock formation, known to people as the “Vrtena Skala” (Turning Ladder). There is a belief among the population that the rock has some power, and according to traditions, going through the rock opening has long been believed to help mothers who do not have children to give birth or to help young children suffering from bad dreams and insomnia. In fact, it is a natural rock formed over a long period of time by the influence of water, wind, sun and ice.

In Pehchevo area one can find many endemic plants such as the rare "Venus flytrap" (Drosera Rotundifolia) that "grabs" insects that will stand on its flower.

In this area there are many medicinal plants and mushrooms used by locals. The wildlife is quite diverse, especially in dense forest areas, where large wild animals, small mammals, various birds and others occur.

Pehcevo Мunicipality is attractive by its archaic village settlements, customs and way of life, as well as numerous events. In honor of the Pavlovden (Pavlov day) holiday, the town of Pehchevo has traditionally organized a Festival of Wind Orchestras that aims to promote traditional music and to give the Wind Orchestras a greater affirmation. This event is slowly but surely becoming one of the largest of its kind in Macedonia.

Pehchevo has an ideal climate for preparation of sports teams. The city has a modern sports complex, football field, as well as a sports hall and tennis playground, equipped in accordance to the latest standards.

The development of tourism and hospitality lately has been the main place in the development of Pehcevo Municipality. "Ravna Reka" stands out as a tourist settlement in which vicinity are the "Pehchevo Falls", "Chabukovski Falls", "Debel Rid" (Thick Hill) and "Crn Dol" (Black Ravine). Nearby is the Skokoto Forest Park with the waterfall of the same name. There are two motels built here: Zagorka and Idila, with their own fish ponds that grow California trout. The site also has private accommodation villas, a football and basketball court, a pool within the Idila motel, a picnic area, bike paths and hiking trails. There are five hiking trails marked on the territory of Maleshevo. Some of the hiking trails can also be used for mountain biking. If you do not have your own bicycle, you can rent it in the tourist center of Pehchevo. Perhaps the most interesting trail is the one that connects the southernmost and northernmost part of Maleshevo with a total length of 45 kilometres, 730 meters of inclination and a 12-hour walk time. Due to the length and transversal nature of the trail, it is advisable to use local guides. The trail of Petko and the forest inhabitants – Pehchevo Adventure is actually an educational project for students and tourists in terms of the protection of the biodiversity, through education and implementation of practices from the non-formal education.

4 kilometres from Pehchevo, in the yard of the archaeological site Manastir and its foundations, in 2001 a new monastery has been constructed, with the name St. Petka. The walls of the old Christian church testify about the life of the nuns that were staying here. The local citizens worship the deeds of St. Petka, for whom they say that she gave up her beauty and she gave her fortune to the poor people. There is a legend that the ringing of the bells could be heard up to Berovo town and Carevo Village.

If one wish to get away from the everyday routines and the city fuss, one of the ideal places in Macedonia is the Berovo Lake. Only 6 kilometres away from Berovo, with an area of 0,57 square kilometres is situated this natural masterpiece. The dam which created the lake was constructed in 1970 and is 60m high, which makes it one of the biggest river dams in Macedonia.

Due to the relatively high altitude of 1000 metres, the area has very pleasant climate, making this spot an excellent getaway during the summer. The lake shores are rich with pine forest, as well as deciduous forest, while fields of colourful flowers, forest fruits and various herbs are stretched throughout the valley.

15 kilometres away from Berovo, on an altitude of 1350 metres, is situated the most famous sheep farm in the Balkans, Klepalo. As far as the eyes reach in this area, only dense forest areas and broad meadows can be seen, enriched by a lot of field flowers. On the sheepfold, the hosts have furnished a large room with several tables and 50 seats, all made of woods, covered with handmade tablecloths. On Klepalo’s menu the most famous specialties are the spinach pie baked in traditional furnace, which is served in large plates, enough to feed 11 guests, the buttermilk, the cottage cheese, other cheese types, the juices from blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, black currant and many other forest fruits, mountain potato from Maleshevo mountain, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, cucumbers. On the customers’ demand, many types of meat specialties can be roasted as well.

All this indicates that on such a small area that the Municipality of Pehcevo has, there is a real wealth of attractive natural and cultural historical sites. Lately these beauties have become available to tourists through better landscaping, building accommodation (however lacking beds), greater promotion and all the efforts made by municipal structures in general.

Potential types of tourism: Mountain-picnics, air-spa, eco-tourism, biodiversity, endemic plants, adventure, mountaineering, mountain biking, hiking, general mountain tourism, educational visits traditional cuisine and much more.

Contact ALKA

Center for Sustainable Development ALKA
Bul. Partizanski Odredi No. 62 1/16,
1000 Skopje, North Macedonia
Email: alka@alka.org.mk
Phone: +389 (0)2 3214 505
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