Expedition Macedonia 2019

Part Balkan, part Mediterranean and rich in Greek, Roman and Ottoman history, Macedonia has a fascinating past and complex national psyche. Glittering Lake Ohrid and the historic waterside town of Ohrid itself have etched out a place for Macedonia on the tourist map, but this small nation is far more than just one great lake.

Skopje may be the Balkans’ is a truly beautiful capital city, thanks to a government-led building spree of monuments, museums and fountains. What has emerged is an intriguing jigsaw where ancient history and buzzing modernity collide.

The rest of Macedonia is a stomping ground for adventurers.  Tourist infrastructure is scant, but locals are unfailingly helpful. Mountains are omnipresent and walking trails blissfully quiet. The national parks of Mavrovo, Galičica and Pelister are also cultivating some excellent cultural and food tourism initiatives.  These gorgeous regions are criminally underexplored.  If you want to get off the beaten track in Europe, this is it.

With picturesque villages, a wine region, modest mountains, lovely lakeside resorts, Macedonia is rich in history, gorgeous scenery, a favourable exchange rate, and welcoming people.  Rejuvenated after a devastating 1963 earthquake, the capital city Skopje is a charming, cosmopolitan jumping off point.  Named this year as one of the NY Times “Fifty Places to Visit in 2015, “ the Balkan country which touts links to Alexander the Great offers a myriad great reasons to visit.

If you would like any further information about the expedition, please contact Mr Adam Neill on adamn@crickhowell-hs.powys.sch.uk.

Wilderness Expertise

Wilderness Expertise was founded by Peter Harvey in 1994 when he was mountaineering in the Alps. His vision was a small and staff-friendly company with a passion for personal development.  Peter combined forces with Catherine Roger, who shared his enthusiasm for outdoor education as a way of challenging and educating young people.

“Discover that you can be more and do more than you believe.”

We know that a personal development overseas expeditions offers a once in a lifetime opportunity that can have lasting benefits for the future.  We all learn so much more when we move outside our comfort zone, pushing boundaries and testing our known limits.

With our structured programme and framework of support, Wilderness Expertise provides a safe environment for students to embark on this challenge.

Throughout the planning and training as well as the expedition itself, participants will develop important life skills that will enhance their employability, such as teamwork, leadership and problem-solving.  They will gain valuable experience in budgeting and managing money.  Students will have to take responsibility for their own nutrition and hygiene.  They will also gain a real sense of global and environmental awareness, having actively engaged with the very different culture and environment of their expedition destination.

Through hard work and commitment, students return rewarded with a greater self awareness, confidence and a real sense of purpose for their future, as well as great memories of their time away.

The Expedition

Simply put though, this is an 18-day personal development expedition to Macedonia in the summer of 2019.  Students will be given the opportunity to design their own itinerary and lead this experience, which makes it  totally unlike a normal school trip.  Students will have the following goals on our expeditions:

  • Develop or enhance self-awareness 
  • Gain an understanding and appreciation of the wider world and their place in it
  • Understand how to work with others to achieve agreed outcomes
  • Provide the opportunity to lead others and to reflect on how to do so effectively
  • Help bolster or build resilience
  • And to gain an understanding of how to transfer skills & experience into other facets of current & future life

Broadly speaking, the expedition falls into three will phases: 

  • Volunteering, where they will carry out trail marking and bridge building in Demir Kapija – a stunning but poor area which requires tourist infrastructure to help the community survive. The team’s work will encourage tourists to come and walk in this beautiful area.

  • Physical challenge: the team will be able to explore some of the magnificent mountains – over 34 peaks go up to over 2000m!

  • Sight see: the team’s chance to explore the country – visit the UNESCO world heritage site of Ohrid, visit one of the many stunning monasteries and other historical sights and explore the 7000 year old capital city of Skopje, visit Vrelo Cave in the Matka Canyon by boat among other things.

There’s so much more to this country and expedition so don’t miss the Wilderness Expertise presentation on Tuesday 20th March at 5.30 pm.  Please make sure you’ve returned your attendance slip.  If you want more information on Wilderness Expertise, the expeditions they run and their lengthy experience in running these kinds of activities, please visit their website at www.wilderness-expertise.co.uk .

Have a look at the videos below for a brief tour round Macedonia’s capital city, Skopje, Ohrid and the country in general.