- Go from April to November
- Mountain and flatland cross-country flying
- Strong but safe conditions
- One of the best competition venues in the world
With its mix of flatland and mountain terrain Kruševo (also Krushevo) is a great venue for flying cross country. The area is suitable for all levels of pilot, with wooded hills on the on the west side of the valley creating conditions that aren’t too strong, and rocky ridges on the east side create booming thermals for the experienced XC hounds. The flying arena is a natural bowl, making it great for triangles.
WHERE IS IT?
WHAT’S IT LIKE
Kruševo is well known on the competition circuit, having hosted the Paragliding World Cup in the past and playing host to the numerous international competitions for both hang gliding and paragliding. In recent years it has also hosted the Ozone Krushevo Open, aimed at pilots new to the competition scene.
Unusually the town sits in a natural bowl on the ridge top so launch is an easy walk from there. The grassy take-off sits above wooded slopes that drop down to the Pelaginian plain that stretches south. There is a large landing area at the base of the ridge, and although there is no permanent shuttle back up, hitch-hiking works well and taxis are cheap.
From launch, pilots can easily follow the ridge north or south. Going north you can follow the hills round to the east side of the plains and the town of Prilep, where conditions are often stronger amongst the rocky mountains in this area. There are two launches on this side, accessed by tarmac roads.
For the more adventurous it is possible to leave the immediate area and fly north back towards Skopje. North Macedonia is a country of mountains so there are plenty of possible routes.
The best conditions are from June to September. At the start of the year there is more moisture and more clouds, but as the year progresses it becomes drier with fewer clouds. Conditions don’t generally change very quickly and it is very predictable, making the flying safe. There are no strong valley winds in the area.
WHEN TO GO
April to October
Average cloudbase: 2,500-3,000m
HANG GLIDER ACCESS
There are roads to the launches, so access is easy and there are plenty of big flat landing spaces around the valley, so it’s very hang glider friendly.
MUST BE FLOWN
Fly south along the ridge then out into the flats towards the Greek border.
Fly round the north end of the valley or head straight out across the flats to get to the Monastery of Treskavec above Prilep, where the obvious pointed rocky mountain is a great thermal trigger.
WATCH OUT FOR
There can be some walk-outs from the fields in the flatlands and the drainage ditches can make that more complicated! It’s best to land by one of the roads or villages. There are no airspace issues.
There are plenty of guest houses in town and the large hotel Montana Palace which is cheap by Western European standards. There is no campsite in the area, although unofficial camping close to take-off is tolerated. There are plenty of cheap places to eat in the town.
TAKE THE FAMILY AND RAINY DAYS
Kruševo was the first republic in the Balkans, and was the site of a major battle between the Turks and the Macedonians. The area has plenty to go and see on rainy days: there are several museums, the Ilinden monument, several monasteries and the ruins of the Roman town of Heraclea Lyncestis in the town of Bitola are not far away. In the mountains there are good mountain biking trails and Prilep has become known as one of the best bouldering areas in the world.
Skopje and Tesaloniki (Greece) are the closest airports. You can arrange transfers with the hotels or get a bus or taxi. There is no real need to hire a car as the flying site is so close to town.