Popova Sapka

Popova Sapka, skiing

The well-known ski resort Popova Sapka lies above Tetovo in the Shar Mountain. It is well linked to the town by road and a cable railway. Some of the mosques in the town are old and date back to the l7th century. The best known among them is the Painted Momplex. The Monastery of Leshok with the churches of St. Athanasius and of the St. Holy Virgin, from the l4th century, is situated 8 km near Tetovo. In the yard of the Monastery of Leshok is the tomb of the Macedonian educator, Kiril Pejchinovik who was born in 1770. In his honor, this monastery hosts an International Meeting of Literary Translators. Tetovo is also a host to the Festival of Macedonian Choirs. The town has a population of 180,654 (1991) and it covers 1.080 sq. km.

The ski track on the south side of the Shar Mountain is located at 1875 m altitude, 18km from Tetovo and 48 km from Skopje. The gondola chairlift Tetovo- Popova sapka is 7 km long (the ride takes about 40 min). It has a total of 11 chairlifts with a total length of 7,7 km which connect the ski terrains at latitude of 1100 to 2500 m.

Sar Planina Shar Planina

Shar Planina is one of the three Alpine mountain ranges in Macedonia, the other two being Korab and Bistra mountains. The Shar Planina range is 80 km long and 12 km wide and is covered with snow from November till March and April every year. The highest pick is 2760 meters. From the diverse fauna, the Sarplaninec dog is worth mentioning, as it has earned a fine reputation among the pet dog lovers. These dogs are used by the sheep-herders of Shar Planina, to guide and protect their sheep herds.

Various kinds of game, in particular bears, boars, deer, and mouflons, provoke the development of hunting. Due to its rich vegetation and wildlife on the one hand, as well as because of the preserved and unpolluted environment, it represents a real Mecca for tourist resorts and sports facilities, where medical herbs can be picked up, and game hunts arranged.

At summer time, Shar Planina can be described as a ocean of grass. In fact, Shar is the largest compact area covered with pastures on the European Continent. This provides excellent opportunities for animal husbandry. High quality dairy products, mainly cheese and feta cheese, are made in the many sheepfolds on Shar and the adjacent mountains. The best known kinds of feta cheese are Shara and Galicnik. The Shar Mountain, along with the adjacent mountains, is rich in wide-ranging vegetation, which provides possibilities to gather medical herbs and to produce healthy food.

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