Europe, July/August, March/April, May/June, September/October, Travel Guide

Guide to Krusevo, Macedonia

Friday 20 November, 2015
Cloud-surfing above the city of Kruševo. Photo: Marcus King

Cloud-surfing above the city of Kruševo. Photo: Marcus King

With its mix of flatland and mountain terrain Kruševo 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.


Kruševo is well known on the competition circuit, having hosted the PWC in the past and playing host to the Europeans for both hang gliding and paragliding in 2016.

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 to the Greek border. 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. Macedonia is a country of mountains so there are plenty of possible routes.

Gliding over Prilep towards the monastery of Treskavec

Gliding over Prilep towards the monastery of Treskavec. Photo: Marcus King

The best conditions are from June to September. In the begining 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.

April to October

Launch: 1,400m
Landing: 650m
Average cloudbase: 2,500-3,000m

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.

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.

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 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.

Kruševo was the first republic in the Balkans, and  was the site of a major battle between the Turks and the Macedonians. There area has plenty to go and see on rainy days: there are several museums, the Ilinden monument, several monastries 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.

Get weather forecasts from MeteoBlue and WindGuru. There is also a meteo station on the top.

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.


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