Sunday, June 22, 2014

Pelister National Park & Dihovo, FYROM

Visitors to the Republic of Macedonia (or Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia FYROM) would be well familiar with Lake Orhid, their number one tourist attraction. However, just about 2 hours away is another attraction well worth a visit, especially for outdoor enthusiasts - Pelister National Park.

One of the best places to stay when visiting Pelister, would be in the village of Dihovo, just at the edge of the national park. Various family guesthouses and homestays are available in Dihovo, but I stumbled onto Villa Dihovo, which happened to be what the Lonely Planet guide declared as one of the best stays in FYROM.

Villa Dihovo
 The villa is a restored traditional stone-and-wood Macedonian house. Beautifully decorated, with a wonderful lawn and outdoors area, the place will immediately make you feel cosy. But it is the hospitality of its owners that will completely make you feel at home. The highlight, undoubtedly, would be the homemade food that Petar ply you with, with most of its ingredients homegrown in the garden. The homemade goodness include the beer and wine!! To top it off, the price of the stay is "to be decided by the guests at the end of their stay"! (excluding the alcoholic drinks of course).

Garden salad, homemade sausages, dolma etc.. fantastic homecooked food

Pelister National Park is FYROM's oldest national park, and contains a diverse variety of flora and fauna. It also contains plenty of hiking and trekking trails, perfect for those on outdoor pursuits. There are trails that start from Dihovo and into the mountains in the national park. However, there is also one hotel within the park itself that you may consider staying in, especially if you want convenient access to the more popular trails. Hotel Molika may be a little aged, but the rooms are clean and facilities pretty good, and during non-peak seasons, the deals are pretty good too!

Hiking through forests

Beautiful views of the park

Beautiful nature's light

Morning mists as viewed from Hotel Molika

Getting to Dihovo or Pelister National Park by public transport is possible only until the city of Bitola. Unless you have your own vehicle, from Bitola, the easiest way to get there is by taxi. Luckily it's not too expensive - from Bitola to Dihovo is about 2.5 euros while to Pelister National Park entrance/Hotel Molika is about 5 euros.

Enjoy Pelister!

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