Vevčani - mountain village at the foot of Jablanica mountains

Vevčani - mountain village at the foot of Jablanica mountains

Only around 15 kilometres from the Rino campsite is the mountain village of Vevčani, at around 800 - 950 meters above sea level. The groundskeeper "Pimi" pointed out to us several times that the village structure had been preserved in its original form, and there are also the legendary waterfalls of Vevčani, which are known far beyond the borders of Macedonia.

Until now, it was assumed that the village of Vevčani was founded between 600 and 800 AD by a Mr. Berziti, who is also said to have introduced Christianity here. The first houses, even the first church, which is still known as Selište as a square today, were built at the foot of the Jablanica Mountains. Archaeologists have now found out that the village was founded in the 2nd century BC and that the new settlement took place in the 6th century next to the existing Seliste settlement site.

Village of Vevčani founded between 600 and 800 AD by a Mr. Berziti

vevcani wasserlauf 02Reason enough to take a day trip to the village, which we did by car to further explore the area. We had also heard that there are also some former glacial lakes above Vevčani, the highest and most famous of the lakes is Lokva, which is located at over 2,000 meters above sea level on the Jablanica mountain. This mountain lake is responsible, among other things, for supplying water to the “Golina” spring, but more on that later.

It is also interesting to know that traces of a Roman camp were found to the right above the village. The immediate proximity to the Via Egnatia will hopefully allow further conclusions to be drawn in further exploration and excavations, especially since the exact course of the Via Egnatia is still unclear today. In many places the Roman road builders laid their routes along the rivers, i.e. in the valleys. However, the Via Egnatia leads in large sections, including between Elbasan and Ohrid, high up on the mountain slopes. Whether this was for security reasons to protect against attacks or for reasons of the terrain, Lake Ohrid meant that there were large swamp areas between Ohrid and the Jablanica Mountains is still unclear today. It is also clear that the Roman camp was always built in the immediate vicinity of fresh water, here the springs or waterfalls of Vevčani, so one can certainly look forward to future excavations.

Exact course of the Via Egnatia is still unclear today

vevcani wasserlauf 03We leave Struga on the R1201 and drive through the towns of Vranishta and Velestha to the turnoff to Vevčani. From here the narrow road climbs continuously until you find yourself in the centre of the village at around 970 meters above sea level. Vevčani is surrounded by dense deciduous forests, the distance to the border with Albania is about 4 kilometres, although it is high above the town. We park our car near the entrance to the springs area, which is more touristy than we expected. There are paved footpaths that lead along the watercourses to the various springs, with wooden bridges in between so that you can often change perspectives. Despite the advanced season, there was plenty of water gushing from the springs.

vevcani wasserlauf 08The largest of the springs is located at the entrance to one of the many caves in the region. Below this large spring there are 10 other springs, which then flow together to form a stream. The most famous spring in this region is the "Jankov Kamen" spring at around 1200 meters above sea level. Another spring is called "Mala Livada" whose water has a unique taste and also a different colour. Minerals that come from the mountains are dissolved in it. The Mala Livada spring rises at around 1600 meters above sea level. The highest source is the already mentioned "Golina" at around 2000 meters above sea level. The maximum flow of water from this spring is approximately 1500 litres per second, which of course is only possible in spring due to the melting snow.

Mala Livada spring rises at around 1600 meters above sea level

vevcani wasserlauf 09Despite the footpaths, it was a very pleasant walk along the streams from source to source as nature was allowed to take its course. Fallen trees had not been removed, which gave the landscape a very original character. It's just a shame that a small rain shower left us wet. As soon as we got back to the village, the sun appeared again, so we were able to get to know the village in detail.

Please read as well:

Ohrid - lovely city hike with Marta and Luis

Famous Matka - Canyon, Dam and Gorge near Skopje


Life | Outdoors