Just 20 kilometers west of Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia, you will find a natural treasure that hasn’t been fully discovered yet. The Matka Canyon and the Vrelo Cave in the lake Matka! Maybe the Matka lake is artificial, constructed in 1938, there is nothing artificial though regarding the natural beautiness around it.
Being one of the most popular destinations in North Macedonia attracts tourists from all over the world especially during summertime. It is not strange that it was selected in the first phase for being one of the 440 locations by the new7wonders of nature campaign.
Vrelo Cave is one of the deepest, underwater caves in the world. Several attempts took place in order to justify the exact depth of the lake but every diver who tried broke a new record.
- In 2008 the cave had a recorded depth of 100 meters being in 71st position in the world
- In 2009 climbed in 14th place as divers discovered that the cave has at least 192 meters depth
- In 2010 the Italian diver named Luigi Casati dived in 212 meters
- In 2016 the Poland Krzysztof Starnawski reached the 230 depth announcing that the cave is going, even more, bringing the cave in the top 3 of Europe!
What to do in Matka Canyon
Wooden boats with polite English speaking captains will drive you in the entrance of the Cave. It costs no more than 5€ per person and you will get a full tour of the cave. You can even try your singing capabilities on the excellent acoustic cave or you can let the guide to singing for you. Oh yes, he will!
The surroundings are amazing and you will find out from our photos as well! Every photo of the river banks that you are going to make from the boat, especially some wooden old abandoned houses, they will remind you of thriller scenery of the ’80s.
Kayaking is also a great idea in Metka Canyon! Rent your canoe for maybe the half price of the boat and enjoy your ride in the calm waters of Metka lake!
Where to eat/drink
There is a beautiful restaurant serving local cuisine with a view to the Matka Canyon and the lake Matka called how else, “Restaurant Canyon Matka”!! If you are not hungry it is ok. You can enjoy your coffee but we would recommend you to try a hot chocolate, especially if you are visiting Matka Canyon in the wintertime (as we did). Ask for hot chocolate drink with plasma biscuit! We loved it!!!
Where to stay
As we mentioned above, Matka Canyon is more or less 20 minutes with the car from Skopje. Booking a hotel in the capital of North Macedonia will be just fine but if you want to relax a couple of days away from the city’s noise you may have to check in Villa Moon Hotel or Canyon Matka Hotel. Both of them will provide the peace that you need in scenery that reminds a little bit of Lord of the Rings!