The mountains are rich with gems waiting to be discovered. If you are nature and hiking lover you shouldn’t miss Smolari Waterfall located on the lower flow of the Smolari river, on the mountain Belasica, Macedonia.
Smolari Waterfall is the highest waterfall in the country, it’s about 39,5 m high (129,6 ft) on the altitude of 630 m (2066 ft) above sea level. The waterfall is protected by The Institute for Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities and Museum in Strumica.
Before ascending to adventure, you have to drive to the village with the same name as the waterfall, Smolari, which is 25 km away from the city Strumica. There is a parking just before the beginning of the hiking trail. A restaurant awaits you there as well, which is better visited on your way back 🙂 After the restaurant, there is only 450 m (1476 ft) to reach the final goal.
You should be prepared for an interesting hiking experience that includes passing a vast number of steep steps, as those in the picture below. The trail is not so difficult, even children can do it by taking brakes in the designated resting areas. It takes approximately 45 minutes one way. Although a mild one, I wouldn’t recommend this trail for people with bad knees because of the steps.
All the way to the waterfall enjoy the surrounding. Depending on the time of the year you can find different scenery, different flowers in bloom, a rushing river or a timid one, and even taste delicious wild strawberries. There are benches where you can make a break, breath in the fresh air, admire the colors and the tall trees, or simply stop to have some fresh spring water.
The trail leads you along the river all the way to the main attraction. It is important not to rush; take your time and enjoy the small things. If you like you can take a small adventure and explore the nature, just don’t go too far, because the mountain is wild and it’s easy to get lost.
Somewhere in the middle of the trail, there is a flat part with a small picnic area, perfect to rest, or have some snack. The east region of Macedonia, where the waterfalls are located, is one of the warmest in my country so I can imagine how nice it is for the locals to come here for a picnic and enjoy the fresh air and the sound of the water in the summer.
As you go higher the river looks smaller, while the excitement grows. Some parts are very calm, you can only hear the songs of the birds. True serenity.
The waterfall is more visited on the weekends. While we were hicking, we passed few people, some of which were tourists from Bulgaria. As you are getting closer to the noisy sound of the water, your heart starts pounding faster knowing you have almost reached your goal. The end the trail gets steeper and more narrow, first going up, then down the hill. There is no need to worry though since there is a wooden fence you can hold to, and even a light if you decide to go there in the evening.
It is totally worth your time. The black rock provides a nice contrast with the foamy water that falls very fast.
There is a wooden bridge as a viewpoint to the waterfall right in front of it. We were there last weekend and the amount of water was pretty big. Check out the video at the end of the post.
The best time of the year to see the waterfall is April-June because of the bigger amount of water. I don’t recommend visiting during winter, especially if there is snow in the village, that means it’s much more on the trail. The icefalls are spectacular but it’s only for the bravest adventurers.
If you start early in the morning you can combine this visit of Smolari Waterfall with Mokrino Springs and Koleshinо Waterfalls in the villages nearby. Just ask Google and it’s easy to find everything.
As good hikers make sure to wear suitable clothes to the weather conditions and hiking shoes. Take your garbage with you or throw it in the garbage cans. Let’s lеаve it as beautiful as it is for the next generations. Don’t forget your camera or smartphone by any chance.
I hope I have just awakened your need of connecting with nature. It’s something we have to do every time when possible to remind ourselves how important it is to protect it as much as we can. No matter if it’s waterfall, river, lake or sea.
Thank you for reading.
Daily Prompt: Luminescent
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