An entirely shrouded lake, set in the middle of a dense pine forest, 900 meters above sea level, this place is a bird of another feather. Berovo, offering cold summers and relaxing mountainous scenery will charge your batteries and allow you to explore Macedonian tradition and cuisine in a more steady rhythm. Sunbathing, kayaking, and exploring the forest on either food or bike, this is a heaven for outdoor aficionados.
Located in the eastern part of Macedonia, Berovo is a small town near the Maleshevo Mountains on elevation of roughly 900 metres above sea level. Allowing you to arrive only via asphalt road, this town greats you with the feeling that you are entering an elite natural resort which, if nothing else, is hidden far from the dynamic and stressful modern world.
The road itself is quite scenic, for much of the time it is following the Canyon of Bregalnica River. As you sense the gradual drop in temperature along with continual elevation, your mindset shifts irresistibly away from noise and distraction. Excellent for cycling, this road takes you through rich flora, and is worth visiting by itself.
Having the highest concentration of oxygen in the Balkans though, the area around Berovo is considered to be an air spa. And this, decorated still further by a gorgeous mountain lake surrounded by pine forest, may have to do with Macedonians calling Berovo “little Switzerland”.
Cold temperatures, clean air, the smell of the water mixed with a smell only a pine forest can give in summer, Berovo stands out and begs to be visited in summer as much as you would’ve guessed it is popular in the winter season.
Places to visit
The first thing people will show you if they’ve visited Berovo, is the lake coast. In quite many respects, it is the one mental postcard you want to take away with you as you visit. Featuring many trails for walking and hiking, challenging and less so biking tracks, as well as small and remote picnic areas, it buys you a lot of room for leisure and relaxation.
Sunbathing is also possible in the summer, and having rented some of the very affordable villas, you can stay for a decently prolonged holiday. Elevation, along with surrounding pine and oak forest, gives the lake area a slightly shrouded appearance and hence isolation very suitable for people searching for peace, tranquility, and a quiet gateway in summer.
Giving your stay in Berovo a slightly cultural twist, you can visit the monastery of Saint Archangel Michael. Located on the road to the Berovo lake, it speaks volumes about tradition, religion, and makes for a perfect place to visit. Luxurious hotel resorts on the other hand, can accommodate even the most sophisticated of taste, and make for a very luxurious holiday.
Things to do
Aside from the natural beauties Berovo has to offer, it can equally satisfy your gastronomic curiosity. Some of the best honey that you will ever taste, cheese prepared in so many ways, and all the specialties the Maleshevo region has to offer.
The bet is that no one can escape a fine nap after a full course meal in summer. Oxygen rich air, along with food that will tickle your senses, and you will see the true definition of being relaxed. The rule is though, to never hold back during a meal and enjoy to your hearts content.
Honey though, is gathered from the beehives filling the forest which follows the road to Berovo. It is sold almost everywhere, and for decent, dare I say cheap price as well.
Another peculiar detail you will notice while in Berovo, is the art invested into the centuries old tradition of wood-crafting. For it is precisely through marvelous works of wood-crafting, that Berovo is known throughout Macedonia. A small item of your choosing, if you can afford the transport, is indeed a rare souvenir to take away with you.
The town itself is excellent for morning and evening walks. If you’ve decided to spend some time at the lake, it will give a perfect contrast while continuing the same spirit of tranquility. Late evenings come though, and the place comes up alive with parties and music. If you are lucky to catch live brass music, you will see what is like to enjoy some Macedonian food and alcohol, while at the same time having a lot of fun.
Berovo, though not really famous for specific activities, is still a tap on the shoulder for people who seek outdoors fun. Sunbathing, hiking, fishing, hunting, mountain biking, kayaking and swimming, along with off road rally and even paragliding for miles around the town area.
The road from Vinica to Berovo is one of the most scenic trails for cycling, following the Bregalnica river, and decorated with dense forest, beehives along the road, as well as passing through some of the most rustic villages in The Balkans such as Budinarci, a real jewel if you are into rustic villages from the 18th century.
Berovo has indeed a lot to offer. From scenic sights, clean air and cold temperature, to delicious cuisine and much room to explore your passion for outdoor activities. “Little Switzerland” awaits you, and once you visit it becomes exceedingly difficult to leave.