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Prespa e Madhe to Prespa e Vogel Trail

This is a long trail for biking from Prespa e Madhe to Prespa e Vogël (Gorna Gorica and Dolna Gorica) and to the archeological cave of Tren. The trail has stunning views towards the lakes and mountains of three countries. Since most of the trail travels on broad dirt roads, it is best to be traveled by mountain bike. One can also hike along the dirt road from Zaroshkë to Rakickë, after that transport to Prespa e Vogël has to be arranged. From Zaroshkë to Rakickë you can see almost no cars along the road. The drive can be difficult during the winter due to mud.

The trail starts at the entrance of Zaroshkë (Zornosko) village where few restaurants and hotels can be found (WP 1). Take the main road of the village which is separated from the lake by the agriculture fields. The asphalt ends as soon as we pass the last house of the village. Initially it travels along the shore where villagers working on their fields can be seen..

After a while the trail leaves the lake shore ascending on the hill and takes right at the fork (WP 2).  It keeps ascending and takes left at the next fork and travels on a gentle ascend with stunning views towards the lake and Mali i Thate (WP 3). At the next crossing near the radio tower you can take either left or right road because both roads meet each other after approx. 100 meters, the left one is recommended during the wet season (WP 4).

After a while the trail starts descending towards the village of Cerje. At the next fork on the descent one can either take left or right (WP 5). The left trail travels along the border and border pyramids can be seen (signs of border, WP 6) and the trail takes off right at the next fork where the left trail leads to Greece (WP 7). Approx. 600 meters further on, at the next border pyramid, take right on a trail traveling on meadows to the village of Cerje that can be seen from here when looking towards south direction (WP 8). This path is exclusively for hikers since it is dirty and muddy during the wet season. Even biker might have some problems in the rainy season.

At the entrance of the village is a little church and nice cobbled road (WP 9). Follow the only one road of the village that passes anlong the houses and after a while the road leaves the houses and travels again in meadows with good views of Ivan Mountain in front of us. At this meadow, known as Bogo Radika from locals, pilgrims of Cerje and surrounding villages get together every 30th of August to celebrate San Maria.

At the next fork we take a left turn (WP 10) following a trail that gently ascends on a moderate off-road track until we reach the next fork (WP 11) where our trail follows right onto the meadows and the left turn to Rakickë village is recommended if you hike during the winter time. After a while (approx. 2.5 km) both trails lead to the village where the asphalt road starts (WP 12).

From Rakickë take the main asphalted road towards south that leads to Prespa e Vogël Lake. The road has almost no traffic at all and offers stunning views on the descent to Prespa e Vogël. When you arrive at the lake don’t miss the observation point located next to the road. This trail finishes at the archeological site of Shpella e Trenit (Treni Cave, WP 14) in the western point of the lake (WP 13). After the cave you can either exit the National Park or you can still pay visits to Zagradec and the visitor center there. You only have to ask some people from the viallge to open the center during the week days.

 

UTM Waypoints

  1. 34 T 492214 4512658, Zaroshkë, 854 m
  2. 34 T 493224 4511829, take right, 904 m
  3. 34 T 493152 4511231, take left, 964 m
  4. 34 T 494494 4511574, take left, 1081 m
  5. 34 T 495350 4511205, take left, 1107 m
  6. 34 T 497704 4512357, border sign, 1142 m
  7. 34 T 497942 4512319, take right, 1132 m
  8. 34 T 498511 4512180, take right, 1130 m
  9. 34 T 497688 4511169, Cerje, 1096 m
  10. 34 T 496915 4510606, take left, 1082 m
  11. 34 T 497186 4508869, take right, 1114 m
  12. 34 T 498312 4507023, Rakickë, 1114 m
  13. 34 T 498951 4502366, Shpella e Trenit, 870 m
  14. 34 Zagradec and the visitor center of the Womens association of Zagradec