Matka Canyon lies less than 20 kilometers south west of Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. In the valley of Treska River, there is a hidden secret world with high cliffs, marvelous caves, various endemic species of day and night butterflies, medicinal plants and waters. It is a beautiful piece of untouched nature. Not only rich with oak and beech forests, beautiful endemic flowers, white headed eagles and rare animal species, Matka canyon abounds with numerous cultural and historical monuments, mainly monasteries. Sometimes it is also called Mount Athos in miniature . The canyon with its beauty attracted people from ancient times until today. The Rocks in Canyon and its surroundings have been inhabited continuously since prehistoric times, through the Roman and Byzantine periods until today.
Treska lake is the oldest man made lake in Macedonia, and was built in 1938. Water from the lake is used for electricity, irrigation and as watter supply for the villages in the surrounding area.
An interesting experience is the amazing boat trip in the narrow canyon that you can take on some of our Skopje and Macedonia tours. On both sides you will see will see beautiful scenery with steep elevated rocks that mother nature has made million years ago.
Matka Canyon has a dozen caves of different sizes and age, from 20 to 176 meters in length and two pits with a depth up to 35 meters. Basically, the caves are divided into old, mature and young. The young caves are those that are still active creating cave decorations. About 500 meters upstream from the dam there are caves that are in the stage of maturity, dry, but you still can see the decorations. About 1 kilometer further up from them there are the old caves that are in the process of decay, dating back 3 billion years ago, when this area was a lake. With the withdrawal of the lake cracks were created and thousands of years have formed caves.
To reach these caves you take one of the boats stationed in front of the restaurant Matka Canyon.
The natural beauty and the diversity of the canyon is appealing to everyone, but is particularly attractive for mountaineers and climbers, because of the unlimited possibilities offered by nature. Matka Canyon is the heart of climbing in Macedonia. Favorite gathering place for picnickers and visitors is the monastery St. Andrew, where the mountain home and restaurant Speleological Society “Peoni” are. Climbers climb mainly 5 sites: Switchboard Otmarova Cap Rock at home, Matkino Enclosure and needles Canyon. Among other content offered here is a Kayak Center, where it was held the first World Championships in kayak on wild water in 1975 and the European Championship in 2004.
From the earliest period, due to the difficult access to the canyon and offering greater security, many churches and monasteries were built in this area . Today there are many churches and most of them are fully preserved from the medieval period. From some of them only ruins are left. On the banks of the lake, the church St. Andrew and monastery of the Holy Mother of God, then St. Nicholas Monastery and church St Savior. There are remains of early Christian churches of the Holy Trinity and St. George. Apart from religious facilities, high in the canyon stands the wall of the former medieval fortress Markov City, which was built as a shelter for the population at the time of arrival of Ottomans. So its rich history, lush nature and endemic flora and fauna, makes Matka Canyon a great place for a picnic, fishing in the lake, kayak ride on the Treska River, hiking or just having a lunch in one of the restaurants that offer delicious traditional food. If you just want to relax and enjoy the view to the colorful nature, you can just sit on the benches on the bank and watch the river flow.
See the Matka Canyon gallery