Paragliding XC heaven.
NORTH MACEDONIA: (Formerly Macedonia)
Paragliding XC heaven.
The southern part of Nth Macedonia delivers amazing paraglider XC potential, easy to understand weather, huge grassy takeoffs, and bountiful land-out opportunities...
Paragliding XC adventure enthusiasts,... welcome aboard the “Curious Goat” 2020 Macedonian XC Adventure.
August 1st 2020 through to August 10th 2020
This trip is open to all pilots, but you’ll gain the most out of the tour if you are competent with your inflations/launches (both forward and reverse) and have some inland thermalling experience, although the latter isn’t a prerequisite.
The launches are mostly large and grassy (some astroturf). There should be the potential to go XC every day
Generally, even though the area is highly thermic, the conditions are very friendly and accessible for low-air-timers.
Nth. Macedonia (and particularly the Krushevo area) is a very popular location for paragliding. This makes finding thermals as easy as looking for other pilots circling.
There's also the possibility of some evening soaring flights
Our Flying Arena for the tour
The main area we’ll be exploring is the middle south west part of Nth Macedonia. It’s home to the biggest flat-land area in the Nth Macedonia called Pelagonia Valley with the main cities of Prilep and Bitola..
Surrounding this flat land area to the north, west and east are three independent mountain chains. The Pelagonia valley runs south to Greece and is thus influenced by the mild Mediterranean climate.
July-August is the best time of the year with thermal activity starting at about 10am and going through to 5pm or so.
At this time of year, it typically rains about 4 times per month (usually short sharp showers) so like neighbouring Greece, it’s quite dry.
The main launch of Krushevo faces NE, and the prevailing winds are north-west, it’s very rare to be shut down by winds over the back as strong wind are generally not a problem here. Local anabatic east winds set-up in the morning providing exceptionally dependable flying conditions for the main launch and along the Krushevo mountain chain through the morning. As the north wind feeds into the flat lands later, permanent thermic cycles become established in the flatland area in the valley.
Weather here is easy to understand and predict.
Temperatures during the daytime are usually warm (above 30°C) on the plains but can be a bit chilly when you get up to base.
We will be staying in the magical mountain town and living museum of Krushevo. (BTW, there are numerous ways of spelling Krushevo, Kusevo, Krusevo and some Macedonian spellings that are way too hard to write here).
By far the best hotel in town is the Hotel Montana Palace. It’s a fantastic hotel and most rooms have awesome views of Krushevo and is our recommendation for an excellent stay. Pilot can choose to stay elsewhere in town if either the Montana Place is booked out or you choose to stay elsewhere. Please let us know when you make your booking. And remember that the earlier you book, the better your chance is of getting the accommodation you want.
For most of the flying we’ll be using the local sites (located an easy ten minutes from the Hotel!). These are the best and most reliable sites in Macedonia. But we also want to see a little bit of Macedonia so we also hope to visit some other sites, for example, the site at Treskavec (Mount Zlato) and Lake Ohrid (See the photos below).
Lake Ohrid is without doubt one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe. Here, pilots regularly achieve XC flights along the mountains running north-south on the west lake-facing slopes.
Mount Zlato is home to another great site, where a recently paved road takes us all the way to the 1422m launch right next to
the 13th-century Treskavec Monastery. It’s a great evening site and just across the valley from Krusevo.
What’s included in your tour:
Transfers from Skopje Airport to Krushevo
Transport from the Krushevo to whichever flying site is used each day.
Bombout retrieves. (The efficiency of your retrieve will be dependant on the number of pilots who are flying and the number and locaton of the others who are needing retrieves. Remember that it’s relatively easy to catch a ride back up to launch if our bus is busy gathering up others)
Transport to other sites during the tour. (some of these other sites may require a walk up as the bus is only 2WD)
Morning briefing to discuss XC strategies for the day.
Assistance and coaching with XC flying during the day. (The amount of “in-air” coaching and assistance will depend on your location relative to the instructor)
Transfer Krushevo to Skopje airport.
What’s not included.
Accommodation (A double room at the Hotel Montana Palace is around 35 Euro per night which includes a very good buffet breakfast)
Food (A very good traditional Macedonian dinner in town can be bought for around 10 Euro) Drinks.
Lift passes, tourist attraction entry fees, side trips other than those conducted with our tour bus.
Our recommended hotel accommodation is the Hotel Montana Palace. This is by far the best accommodation in Krushevo both in terms of standard of accommodation as well as the amazing views of the town nestled in the valley below. Breakfast is included in the price of the accommodation. The hotel also has amazingly fast free wifi throughout. Rooms available are twin share or singles. We leave it to the tour guests to choose their level of accommodation. We will supply you with all the details on the accommodation when your booking is received.
The Macedonian currency is the dinar. There are about 39 Dinar to the $AUD. Probably the easiest and usually the most cost effective way of obtaining local currency is via an ATM at Skopje airport on arrival.
There are also ATMs in in the town of Kruhsevo. Prices for food and beer are generally half (or less) the prices found in Australia. .
Safety and Medical Facilities
Safety is our absolute priority. We continually assess flying conditions in our passionate endeavour to keep you as safe as possible. However, please understand that although we will do all we can to ensure your safety, you should know your own level of ability and as a qualified pilot when it comes to flying understand that it is your decision to fly, and yours alone! Ensure you bring all your medications with you on the tour as it is hard to obtain specialist medications in Macedonia.
Tour Cost. $1790 per person.
If this sounds like your type of adventure, please get back to us ASAP.
More detailed information will be forwarded on request, or with your booking.
"I joined Phil's Macedonia tour in 2019 and it was one of the best Paragliding decisions I made.
As a PG3, I found Phil's guidance and site knowledge to be of
enormous help and I flew PB's each flight!
Krushevo is such a wonderful place to fly, a huge valley ringed by mountains with towns and tobacco fields dotting the valley landscape and a driver to pick you up wherever you land.
When a westerly is blowing, our trips to the incredibly beautiful Lake Ohrid (Macedonia's own Lake Como) were just spectacular, flying high along 2000m high ridges and over the lake, on top of the world.
I returned to Australia a better pilot and with new dreams and inspiration.
I highly recommend taking this tour, memorable for the flying, relaxing camaraderie food and culture. Phil's regaling of his 63 years of Paragliding experience will provide you with information, entertainment and laughs. " Romain