Dobredojde Macedonian Welcome Center organized the hiking at the Skopje village Kuckovo and the monastery of Saint George on Saturday, May 19, 2018.
The hike was approximately 3.5 hours long. A group of enthusiastic hikers gathered in front of the Center and organized a carpool drive to the starting point, the parking lot of the Staro Bure Kuckovo, which is a very nice restaurant with close range to Skopje and offers great escape.
The route started from Staro Bure Kuckovo uphill on the road towards the village of Kuckovo.
For many Kuckovo is one of the most beautiful villages in the Skopje area. It is located on the northern part of the Skopje valley, 15 kilometers from Skopje center and it sits on 560 meters above sea level.
The population of this village has been decreasing in the last 100 years drastically from 1000 inhabitants from hundreds of years ago, to around 50 nowadays. The hikers passed traditional Macedonian houses and abandoned houses. A very important interesting fact is that in and around Kuckovo on the surrounding hills, there are 10 churches and monasteries which is quite a large number.
The next section of the route was the uphill hike towards the Kuckovo cross. The uphill hike was very exciting, it was full of spring flowers and from there the group had an amazing view of Skopje and Skopje valley. Also, we observed the Kuckovo village and the surrounding hills.
The next stop and the highest point of our hike was the hill above Kuckovo where the Kuckovo cross is located. This is quite a popular destination for cycling from the city. We observed the cite if the remaining of King Petra chapel, which is built in memory of the lost soldiers from the period between the Balkan war and World War I. Also the hikers had the opportunity to enter some military tunnels which are abandoned networks from former Yugoslavia.
The next thing on this tour was the 30 minutes stretch and flexibility class where the hikers had a great opportunity to stretch their muscles from the hike and to work on their mobility all the while surrounded by mountains and forests, grass areas which provided the perfect setting to have a relaxing stretch class.
After the hike the hikers went downhill towards the hidden gem in this area, the Monastery if Saint George, the main church in this area, it’s a monastery which dates from the 14th century.
The group entered in the monastery and in the church, observed the murals and the icons, and after that had a nice and refreshing coffee before the group went back down to the starting point.