The Matka Canyon, which is 15km to the southwest of Skopje, covers an area of about 5,000 hectares. Its morphologic features define it as a ravine. Its karst forms are particularly noteworthy -- 10 caves, with lengths varying between 20 and 176 metres, and two vertical pits, up to 35 metres deep. Of the total of 1,000 plant species, 20 percent are endemic or rare.
The canyon is home to 119 species of diurnal and 140 species of nocturnal butterflies. It is the natural habitat of 77 types of small endemic Balkan butterflies, while 18 species are still new to scientists. The ravine is spectacular, with many hidden tracks, each leading to a church or a monastery with fantastic views.
While in Matka, visit also the monasteries of St. Andrea and St. Mother of God.
Matka’s mysticism comes also from its hidden springs and the numerous caves that can be found behind them. The canyon is one of the most magnificent parts of Macedonia. It is surrounded by vertical rocks, which conceal ancient temples, medieval churches, and monasteries.
The beautiful Lake Matka came into being with the construction of a hydroelectric power plant on the Treska River. It is about a 45-minute drive from Skopje, followed by a light walk to the lake and the restaurant. In the summer, it is a popular spot for swimming, canoeing, and boat sightseeing. Matka offers more than you can see in a day.