Galicica Mountain, where the national park has been proclaimed, is part of the Shar-Pind mountain system. It is located in the southwestern part of Macedonia between Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa, on the border with Albania and Greece. The area of the national park is 24,152 hectares. Within the borders of the national park is the only island in Macedonia, Golem Grad in Prespa Lake. The national park is located in the cities of Ohrid and Resen. 72% of the park's territory is on the UNESCO list within the boundaries of the World Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid Region. Galičica National Park is within the boundaries of the Ohrid-Prespa Biosphere Reserve. The altitude of the Galičica mountain massif in Macedonia ranges from 695 meters above sea level (Ohrid Lake level), or 850 meters above sea level (Prespa Lake level), to 2265 m above sea level.
In 1958, the National Assembly of the People's Republic of Macedonia proclaimed a part of Mount Galicica for a national park. In accordance with the Law on Nature Protection, the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia in 2010 re- proclaimed the Galicica National Park due to its special natural beauties, characteristic flora and fauna and high biodiversity and endemism.
Galicica National Park is a biodiversity hotspot in the region and beyond. It stands out from other areas of similar size by the exceptional richness of habitats and species in a relatively small area. There are more than 37 habitat types, 40 plant communities, about 1,600 taxa of vascular plants, over 143 species of lichenoid fungi, more than 480 species of fungi and over 3,250 taxa of fauna on an area of about 24,000 hectares. There are 4 taxa of invertebrates and 13 vertebrates in the park that are considered globally endangered. Several hundred rare and protected species in the park are represented by significant populations. Some of them are found only within the park: 29 taxa of algae, 12 species of vascular plants, 68 taxa of invertebrates and 4 taxa of vertebrates. In addition, the park is inhabited by a large number of taxa found only in Macedonia or the Balkans: 46 taxa of higher plants, 89 taxa of invertebrates and 14 taxa of vertebrates, proposed NATURA 2000 site. A significant feature of the park is the high number of endemics and relict species. Galičica, together with Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa, was a refuge for many species before the onset of the Ice Age. The position of Galičica, the geological background and the specific micro climate have created a landscape with exceptional natural beauties.
The basic geological basis of Galičica consists of Paleozoic metamorphic silicates, covered with a layer of massive porous limestone, 500-550 m thick. Due to the porosity of massive limestones, there is an underground connection between Prespa and Ohrid Lakes. The waters of Lake Prespa on the western slopes of Galičica spring from many coastal and underwater karst springs. The most impressive karst springs on Lake Ohrid are the springs near the monastery of St. Naum. They consist of 30 underwater and 15 coastal springs, with a total capacity of about 7.5 cubic meters of water per second.
As a complex, the park, together with the Ohrid and Prespa Lakes, is a relatively limited area with very rich biodiversity, a high degree of heterogeneity and endemism and in this sense is considered a very valuable site in Europe.
The park has a rich cultural heritage, including several cultural monuments, such as the monastery of St. Naum, the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Stephen's Armor, the early Christian basilica Studencista and the rich cultural heritage of the island of Golem Grad. During the First World War, Galicica was part of the Macedonian Front. The source of St. Naum with its immediate surroundings stands out with a unique combination of natural and cultural values, which makes it one of the most important tourist destinations in Macedonia and beyond.
Galicica National Park is located between Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa, which are the main tourist destinations in Macedonia. Exceptional natural beauties and landscape-aesthetic values, long views of both lakes and surrounding mountains with great biodiversity are the reason for the large number of visitors. Apart from the standard number of mountaineers, the slopes of Galičica are also attractive for many adventure sports (paragliding, hiking, photo safari ...).
The national park develops and maintains a serious tourist infrastructure. In the park there are two Info Centers, over 250 km of marked and arranged hiking and biking trails, 2 picnic sites, registered and arranged take-offs for paragliding, Via-Ferata, arranged viewpoints...
Within the park there are numerous hotels, restaurants, apartments and camps.
Annually the park is visited by about 200,000 visitors. Tourism and recreation are the main ecosystem service of the park. The value of this service with an internationally accepted methodology is set at 37,000,000 euros per year.
The Galicica National Park can be reached by the western highway from Skopje via Tetovo, Gostivar and Kicevo, but also via Bitola and Resen. There is an airport near the city of Ohrid. In the park on the south side there are 2 border crossings with Albania. There is a developed network of asphalt and forest roads in the park.
PUBLIC INSTITUTION GALICICA NATIONAL PARK
6000 Ohrid, Republika of North Macedonia