Galičica National Park

Galičica National Park


Location: Map

Map: 227 km² (88 mi²)


Galičica National Park is a nature reserve situated in the South Western Republic of Macedonia between lake Ohrid to the North- West and Lake Prespa in the South- East. This park was established in 1958 and covers an area of 227 km² (88 mi²). Several hundreds species of plants and animals that live here are endemic and found no where else in the World.


The natural values ​​of the National Park Galicica
Geomorphological values
From this mountain area stretch very beautiful views of Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa. It is especially attractive the possibility for the visitors to observe the two beautiful lakes at the same time. Landscape attractive, aesthetic and curious values ​​refer to the mountainous sides, which Galicica possesses.

From the high viewpoints on the mountain Galicica stretches an extraordinary view, which reaches the mountain Jablanica and the Albanian mountains on one side and Pelister on the other. Although it is a high horst with dominance in this area and extremely steep sides, the connection is very good. A road passes through this mountain that connects the Ohrid with the Prespa Valley.

Limestone predominates in the geological composition of the Galicica mountain. Based on this mountain composition, the appearance of numerous surface and underground karst relief forms is based. From the surface karst forms, there are valleys, spinners and karst fields, and from the underground, numerous postmen are interesting. The largest and most important are: Crna Peshtera, Meckina Dupka, Samoska Dupka and others. These caves are not yet tourist valorized.

Among the more significant values ​​of the national park "Galichica" should be noted the shoreline of the aquarium on Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa. The west shore of Lake Ohrid is mostly straight, with a visible peninsula. In contrast, the east coast, most of which belongs to this national park, is characterized by curvature. Total 63km. from the shore of Lake Ohrid belongs to the line with a steep shore, with smaller and larger peninsulas, capes and bays. As a special value are imposed the caves that are located on the stretch south of the peninsula Gradiste, around the village Trpejca and near the monastery of St. Naum. The shoreline of Lake Prespa has four larger and three smaller peninsulas and two islands.

Climate values
Climatic values ​​in the national park "Galichica" are different. They differ in the valley in relation to the mountainous part. But basically the factors that determine the climate are almost the same. It should be noted that the clutter in terms of climate is present in this area. Thus, the average annual temperature of 1,500 meters above sea level is about 7 ° C. The average annual temperature in July and August was around 21 ° C, and in January and February 0.8 ° C. This means that these are very favorable temperature characteristics, both in summer and in the winter part of the year. It provides hiking and mountaineering activities, as well as skiing activities in the winter part of the year. Which of the following characteristics are added to the other climatic elements, such as the height of precipitation of 1,100 mm, the pronounced insolation, which moves over 2,000 hours of sunshine during the year and the like. The amount of snowfall is relatively poor, which is characteristic in the months of December, January and February, and in November and March there is only a small amount of snow. This shortens the winter ski season in this area.

Hydrographic values
The hydrographic values ​​of the national park "Galichica" are quite emphasized, although the mountain belongs to the group of the driest spatial units in the Republic of Macedonia. This feature of Galicica arises primarily from the geological composition of this mountain. It belongs to the group of the most limestone mountains in the Republic of Macedonia, which means that it is a distinct water permeable terrain, which conditions the occurrence of a small number of expired watercourses. Nevertheless, there are permanent springs and watercourses in the wider area of ​​the national park. They have significant value. The following should be noted: the springs at the monastery of St. Nahum, the springs of the locality Letnica above the village Ramne, and the river Cherava (its sources are in Albania). Of all these hydrographic phenomena, the springs of the monastery of St. Naum are of the greatest importance.


Biogeographical values
The interesting hydrographic form and the lush surrounding vegetation, the wildlife of the surrounding area, as well as the rich living world in the water, is so harmonized that makes this spring one of the most attractive places in the Republic of Macedonia. This is due to the beautiful beaches that are located nearby, as well as the remarkable monastery complex of St. Naum. The flora and fauna are important values ​​of the national park "Galichica". Although it is a mountain with hard-to-reach slopes and rocky outcrops, as well as altitudes of over 1,500 meters, there are still some interesting flora and fauna, which constitute the primordial values, which gives the national park a special dimension. Representatives of various floristic types exist in this area. They are located on steep and vertical rocks, on rocks and boulders, or on shallow or deeper soil. This diversity of relief and pedological substrate, as well as other environmental factors, have led to the emergence of various floral forms that are very rare or are unique to this area.

The plant world is represented by over 600 floristic species, of which over 170 are of woody vegetation. Such diversity can not be observed on other mountains in the Republic of Macedonia. It does not refer only to the Republic of Macedonia, but also to significantly wider areas. In the area of ​​the national park "Galichica" the diversity of plant species and ecological conditions have created a large number of floristic communities. Galicica is represented by communities that are characteristic of the regions under the influence of the sub-Mediterranean climate, ie by heat-loving and dry-tropical communities, as well as communities that are cold-resistant and that are characteristic of the alpine region. On the mountain Galicica there are plant species that existed in other conditions, ie they exist as relict species, as well as species that have endemic significance. In terms of tourism, they possess the most curious feature, and are often used for educational purposes.

From the plants that represent a special value in the national park "Galichica", the plants from the woody vegetation and the relict and endemic forms should be emphasized.

Of the woody plants, the following deserve special attention: the wild and the subterranean faya, the pine molika and the munika, the large-flowered halo, the shishmir, the horse chestnut and others.

Among the relict plants should be noted: Morina percica, Stipa payeri, Phelipaea boiseieri, Ranonda nathaliae, Berberis croatica.

Endemic plants include: wild foyer (Juniperus exelsa), tame foyer (Juniperus foethoisima), moth (Pinus peuce), munica Pinus heldreichii, omelica (Genista rediata), Lilium Heldreichii, Lilium candidum, Nepeta ernesti - mayeri.

The national park "Galichica" is characterized by interesting and diverse wildlife. Research on large fauna indicates the existence of about 170 species of animals, of which 10 species are amphibians, 18 species of reptiles, 124 species of birds and 18 species of mammals. There are thousands of other animals, most of which have been studied in Lake Ohrid. The richest wildlife is possessed by the spaces in the national park in which the presence of man is reduced. Such is the case with the island of Golem Grad, where a large number of diverse funistic specimens live on it and in the waters around it. The reverse is the case in the areas of the park where man entered by settling and building traffic and other facilities.

Anthropogenic values ​​of the National Park Galicica
Cultural-historical values
The National Park "Galichica", in addition to natural values, has significant cultural and historical monuments. These are the following: St. George, the church of St. Bogorodica Peshtanska Zahumska, the cave churches of St. Stephen and St. Bogorodica Pestanska, the monastery of St. Nahum and the church of St. Peter on the island of Golem Grad in Lake Prespa.


Recreational activities
Based on this emphasized wealth, the Galicica National Park can be used for walks and running on recreational trails. Locating lookouts in convenient places, such as Baba ridge (1,631 meters), Lako Signoj peak (1,953 meters), Gola Buka peak (1,897 meters) and Elenov Vrv (1,221 meters), above the village of Velestovo, as well as in other places, should discover the possibilities of beautiful views that two valleys and mountainous areas. The high sections are excellent terrain for mountaineering. Thus, the section below the Magaro peak (2,255 m) is 760 meters high and is much larger for alpine conquest, while the sections below the Golem Vrv and Tuglash peaks, which are 180 meters high, are suitable for beginner climbers. The caves in this national park are used only by speleologists, although there are conditions for speleological tourism activities. Winter-sports skiing activities take place in the Suvo Pole complex, below the Tomoros peak (1,675 meters), ie in the Oteshevo complex, but there are conditions for fitting in other areas in this type of tourist offer. The mentioned opportunities for tourist activities complement the swimming and sunbathing activities, as a dominant tourist offer in this area.

There are certain protection zones in the national park. These are the following zones:
Strictly protected area which includes landscapes and biotopes, mosaically arranged in the category of the most important natural resources. Such are the coastal rocks and caves, the areas of Magaro, the island of Golem Grad, the springs at Sv. Nahum and the high mountain puddles.
Tourist-recreational zone has two. These are the areas from Pestani to the border with Albania on Lake Ohrid and the areas from Stenje to the border with Albania on Lake Prespa.
Reclamation zone, which covers the areas of natural values ​​of the second and third category, which are located throughout the national park.

In the strictly protected zones, only supervisions can be performed for scientific purposes, and as an exception, organized visits for educational and cultural needs, with the prior approval of the national park management.
Tourist-recreational zones are divided into zones with regular regime (closed for a certain period) and zones for free visit. In the zones with regular mode, only pedestrian visits are allowed on the clearly marked paths. The free visit zone is used for rest and recreation and for the construction of infrastructural and superstructural tourist facilities.
The winter sports area can be used to build ski slopes.
In the land reclamation zone, the use of pastures, forests and land is controlled and by applying breeding and other measures provided by the forest use program.

The National Park "Galichica" has an administration that takes measures to organize the technical and guard service and control of activities on the territory of the park. However, endangering the national park is a very big problem, despite the actions taken. Tourism should be in the function of preserving these values, so that it can use them as such. Such is the case with the complex around the springs of the Black Drim, which are located in a zone with a strict protection regime, and traditionally in that part tourist-recreational activities take place. Similar problems exist in other parts of the coast, such as north and south of Trpejca, especially around the church of St. Mother of God Zahumska.