A stunning hidden jewel of Macedonia, Lake Matka is at the bottom of a steep-sided canyon. Full of twists and turns, dense forest and hidden caves, the naturally captivating atmosphere of this ravine is amplified by glimpses of medieval monasteries and churches, along with the ruins of an ancient fortress lying beside the water.
Getting to Matka
Many visitors get to the general vicinity of the lake by bus. There are a few bus lines that will get you close so that you can then hike or take a short taxi ride to the lake. The preferred way is getting to Lake Matka by car, which takes about 30 minutes from the center of Skopje. However, road signs are very infrequent so you will have to pay close attention to find the right exit off the highway, though locals are very friendly and willing to help you if you get lost.
Don’t always trust the road signs, because you might see a sign after you have already passed the exit (a fairly common issue in Macedonia), so it might be helpful to take someone with you who has been there. Once there, you can park on the side of the road just before the dam and walk alongside the Treska River to the dam and then up to the lake itself. You can of course choose to hire a taxi from Skopje also, and it will drop you off right there, but that will cost you a decent amount.
The path up to the lake follows along the Treska River. You can walk beside the water in some places, but it is also common to take a kayak or small boat along the lake. There are sometimes kayak races and swimming, but unfortunately the water is rather polluted.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about transportation in Matka.