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Balkans Cat Ski Safari

Balkans Cat Ski Safari4.5/54
Balkans Cat Ski Safari4.5 out of 5 based on 4 reviews
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Adjara Cat Skiing
Balkans Cat Ski Safari Enquire
Price p/p From price per person, based on any 2-day segment of a catski safari
Base/invoice currency is in EUR inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 486

CAT SKIING ROAD TRIP
7 Days | 6 Nights | 6 Cat Skiing Days

Location: Europe | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Off-Piste, Backcountry, Sidecountry
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Price p/p From price per person, based on any 2-day segment of a catski safari
Base/invoice currency is in EUR inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 486
Discover the Balkans with this fully hosted & guided cat skiing safari taking in 3 different snowcat operations in North Macedonia & Kosovo. Choose your own dates & fully customise a cat-ski safari. A typical 7 day road-trip includes 6 days guided catskiing, accommodation, meals, avi safety eqt plus a full time host...
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Custom Booking Period: Jan 01 - Apr 16, 2023
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Balkans Cat Ski Safari Package

Overview

The Balkans Cat Ski Safari is one of the most awesome snow adventures in Europe. Combining awesome cat-skiing with the classic road trip, the all-inclusive Balkans Cat Ski Safari takes in three snowcat operations; two in North Macedonia & one in Kosovo. The safari is fully hosted from start to finish by a wonderful local team that will ensure a great time for all. The region is known for its magnificent food & hospitality which is the perfect accompaniment to the powder-laden mountain freeride experience.

After flying into the North Macedonian capital of Skopje (see how to get to Skopje here) (or alternatively Pristina, Sofia or Thessaloniki airports), you will head north to Kosovo & the Brezovica ski resort for 2 days with Dane Freeride. From there you will go to Popova Shapka in the Shar Mountains National Park, where you will ride in Shar Outdoors own cat skiing backyard, based in the 4-star Hotel Scardus. For the finale, journey further south to the border with Greece at Pelister National Park, where the SF Freeride crew will show you magnificent alpine playground (& perhaps a few rakija shots as well!).

All guiding, accommodation, meals, are included in the Balkans cat ski safari, allowing the group to simply switch off & enjoy the ride through this intriguing part of the world. For many, the trip will be a unique voyage of discovery into places that most skiers & snowboarders will never have dreamed of.

For details on the full program, see the Itinerary tab.

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Cat skiing Kosovo & Macedonia
Balkans Cat Ski Safari
Balkans Cat Skiing

Snow & Terrain

The 3 cat ski operations on the safari are in the snowiest parts of the Balkans. Terrain is generally between 1,800m & 2,600m, guaranteeing snow cover. As with mountains everywhere, the wind can play a massive part in the prevailing snow conditions, but all the ski locations have options to make the most of the conditions.

The terrain is predominantly north-aspect at Brezovica & Pelister, with multiple aspects (east, north, and west facing) in the Shar Mountains at Popova Shapka. Whilst the skiable vertical at each location can be as much as 1,600m on a valley descent in Brezovica, each run is generally 500-800m vertical. At above 1,800m, the terrain is predominantly high alpine peaks, ridges, chutes, meadows & bowls. At Pelister & Brezovica, the high alpine gives way to light & then heavy trees, allowing for fun skiing & riding even in poor visibility.

Cat skiing Kosovo & Macedonia
Balkans Cat Ski Safari
Balkans Cat Skiing

Accommodation & Food

Accommodation utilised on the tour ranges from 4-star hotels to cosy mountain huts, depending on the groups wants and needs. Food is a highlight of the tour and something you will not forget ....ever! For more details on accommodation & food, see the Lodging tab.

Snowcats

Each of the cat ski operations visited on the Balkans Cat-ski Safari has at least 3 modern & comfortable snowcats capable of seating 14 people. One snowcat is held in reserve to cover any unforeseen issues (cat-skiing is tough on these machines!). Most (but not all) snowcats have safe side entry doors & side mounted ski storage.

Cat skiing Kosovo & Macedonia
Balkans Cat Ski Safari
Balkans Cat Skiing

Typical 7-Day Balkans Cat Ski Safari Package Itinerary

The schedule of the tour can be customized according the weather and snow conditions.

A typical Itinerary for a classic Balkans cat ski safari taking in 3 different locations is below. Extra cat ski days, longer stays at locations, travel days & sightseeing can all be added depending on the wishes of the group (plus the snow & weather conditions). Every cat ski day will include around 6hr of ski time (not including lunch).

Day 1: Arrival Day (late afternoon or evening)

Arriving in Skopje, Pristina, Sofia or Thessaloniki airports, welcome to the Balkans. Travel to Kosovo and to the accommodation at Brezovica. Greeted by a local host. Dinner will be available depending on arrival time. Opportunity to meet with your local mountain guide in the hotel restaurant and discuss the coming days of freeriding.

Days 2 & 3: Brezovica (Kosovo) Ski & Snowboard Days

Your ski days in Kosovo are in & around the Brezovica ski resort with Dane Freeride. Lunch at David's Bar Restaurant which doubles as the cat ski operation headquarters. If staying in the mountain hut accommodation, David’s will also be where wonderful breakfasts & dinners are eaten. If staying off the hill at the Pine Hotel, a 15min drive is required in the morning.

Ride high alpine bowls, chutes & ridges, plus light tree & gullies lower down & even steep heavy trees if conditions allow & skiers are keen. The last run of the first ski day will be a 1600m vertical valley descent from the upper mountain into the village of Štrpce. Après ski at a local village bar before transferring by car back up to the mountain or hotel for the evening

Late Afternoon Day 3: Brezovica to Popova Sapka

Travel from Brezovica Kosovo to Popova Sapka in North Macedonia. Stay overnight in the 4-star Hotel Scardus.

Cat skiing Kosovo & Macedonia
Balkans Cat Ski Safari
Balkans Cat Skiing

Days 4 & 5: Popova Sapka Ski & Snowboard Days

Catski tours in Popova Sapka has been increasingly active in the last few years, mainly because of the natural shape of the mountains which allows easy access to the peaks by snowcats. From wide open faces to narrow couloirs and natural pipes, the nature of the terrain provides maximum enjoyment for both those new to cat-skiing & the more experienced riders. On a day with good visibility there are no restrictions and one can ride everywhere. The ski guides will find the best quality snow and you can do long lines from top to bottom ranging from 500 to 850 vertical meters per line. In bad weather conditions the daily agenda is usually to stay at lower altitude for amazing forest skiing where the powder stays protected from the wind, and the trees are used as a tool for orientation in the fog. Breakfast & dinner will be at the Hotel Scardus, where you can also enjoy a soak in the pool or spa.

Late Afternoon Day 5: Popova Sapka to Pelister

Travel from Popova Sapka to Pelister. Stay overnight in the Sumski Feneri Hotel.

Cat skiing Kosovo & Macedonia
Balkans Cat Ski Safari
Balkans Cat Skiing

Days 6 & 7: Pelister Ski & Snowboard Days

Based around Mt Pelister (also known as the Baba Mountain), SF Freeride are your hosts for the next two days. The hotel accommodation & food are sensational & the team is super friendly & enthusiastic. Lunches during the cat ski days are in the Shiroka mountain hut & are amongst the best in North Macedonia. At just over 2,600m, the peak is accessible by cat & if conditions allow, a wonderful array of steep chutes can be ridden, otherwise it is open bowls & light to heavy glades - perfect if visibility is an issue. For a final run there is an option to ride a long extreme descent off the southern side of Pelister & then get picked up by a van for return to the hotel.

Late Afternoon Day 7: Pelister to Skopje

After an epic days riding, you get the chance to clean up at the hotel, then get transferred to Skopje. If your plane is leaving in the evening the drop off will be at the airport, otherwise you will be taken direct to your hotel (not included in tour). The tour operator can arrange a hotel & provide recommendations for restaurants & sight-seeing in Skopje.

Cat skiing Kosovo & Macedonia
Balkans Cat Ski Safari
Balkans Cat Skiing

NOTE: This itinerary is a guide. The tour is dictated by the weather each day and the wishes of your group. Your host & guide will seek the best conditions snow conditions whenever possible. That’s the beauty of a guided tour!

Balkans Cat Ski Safari Lodging & Dining

Accommodation

All packages include accommodation in a variety of locations in Kosovo & North Macedonia. In Kosovo, choose from simple mountain hut style lodging with shared facilities in the Brezovica ski resort or the 4-star Pine Hotel, a 15min drive away. In Popova Sapka, your home is the Hotel Scardus 4**** including SPA + GYM. Twin-share, quad-share or VIP rooms up to 8 persons available. At Pelister you will stay in the superb Sumski Feneri Hotel owned & operated by the same management as SF Freeride Cat Skiing. Rooms are large, comfortable & modern. The restaurant & bar is wonderful & the centre of the hotel's lively social activities. Depending on the group & weather conditions, a night may be spent in the Shiroka Mountain Lodge conveniently located amongst the ski terrain, allowing for an early start in the morning. A night in contemporary Skopje may also be an option.

Cat skiing Kosovo & Macedonia
Balkans Cat Ski Safari
Balkans Cat Skiing

Food & Drink

Experience a sensational array local Macedonian cuisine. Delicious food, part of a rich local tradition, that is fresh, tasty, hearty and different when compared to places most guests spend their ski holidays. Breakfast is buffet style & full of diversity to satisfy all tastes. Lunch is either a mountain top extravaganza at 1950m elevation in the rustic & comfortable Shiroka Hut at Pelister, a picnic on a high alpine summit or ridge at Popova Sapka, or a feast spread across the table next to the open fireplace at David’s Bar & Restaurant in Brezovica. Dinner is a moving feast of the best local cuisine - meat based & vegetarian meals are available. After, during or before dinner, try a few good local rakija shots - it will definitely get the heart started - at least for a little while. One thing that will NOT happen on the Balkans Cat Ski Safari is going hungry!

Cat skiing Kosovo & Macedonia
Balkans Cat Ski Safari
Balkans Cat Skiing

Rates & Inclusions

Rates

From €500/person for each 2-day cat ski segment (incl. of meals, accom etc)

  • Invoice / base currency is EUR €
  • Price based on combination of twin-share or quad-share depending on lodgings chosen
  • Convert to your currency here
Inclusions
  • CAT SKIING: Full days guided cat skiing each day of the tour
  • LODGING: Accommodation on each night of the tour (twin-share &/or quad share)
  • MEALS: All meals - breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks
  • AVALANCHE SAFETY EQUIPMENT: Includes ABS backpack, shovel, probe, & beacon.
  • HOSTED: Local host for the duration of the safari
Add-ons
  • TRANSFERS & TRANSPORT: Airport pick-up/drop off (Skopje, Pristina, Sofia, Thessaloniki), & ground transport during the tour - price dependent on airport & tour destinations
  • GEAR RENTAL: Ski & snowboard rentals (b.y.o. boots) - price on Application
  • EXTRA DAYS: Add days to the tour - price on request
  • SINGLE ROOM: Price on request (subject to availability)
Not Included

Terms & Conditions

As per agreed terms & conditions with the tour operator, Shar Outdoors, at the time of booking, and including, but not limited to the T&Cs listed below. Any contractual arrangements as a result of a booking enquiry are directly with the tour operator and is subject to their terms and conditions.