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

Macedonia Magic: Skopska Crna Gora

Tuesday 23 January, 2018

North of Macedonia’s capital a good road climbs through beautiful beech forests before emerging on a grassy col on Skopska Crna Gora. Experienced pilots can take off from here but for the rest a dirt track heads east for a kilometre to the main launch, a huge grassy area with room for 100 gliders.

The main landing is in view and easily in reach, although if launching from the col you have to pass through another col to reach it. Last year there was a cable in the field but there were plans to bury it. Hang glider pilots can land in a nearby sports airfield with more space. Local pilots will often try to fly back towards Skopje, an easy XC flight.

Cross-country flying is rather limited but the ridge runs for about 15km, so modest out and returns are on. The main airspace for Skopje airport starts at the east end of the ridge so you can’t go further that way and the Kosovon border lies just to the west. A local pilot has gone over the back to fly through the flats around the town of Kumanova, but this has only been done once.

In winter the hill often rises out of the fog that can fill the main valley, which can mean enjoyable flying in the sunshine while everyone else spends the day in the murk. A landing a few hundred metres below the summit makes this possible.

Photo: Alek Pejoski

Macedonia’s Kruševo is a well-known competition venue – but there is loads more to this fascinating country. Explore more Macedonian flying sites

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