The Republic of Macedonia is a predominantly mountainous country. The average altitude of the terrain is 850 meters. Approximately 80% of the country consists of hills and mountains. The mountains are divided into two basic groups: Shar Mountains, mountain range that continues to West Vardar/Pelagonia mountain range (also known as Dinaric range) and Osogovo-Belasica mountain chain (also known as Rhodope range). Shar Mountains and West Vardar/Pelagonia mountain range is a continuation between the Dinaric Alps and Pindus mountain ranges, whereas Osogovo-Belasica mountain chain is a continuation of the Rila-Rhodopes mountain massif.
The mountain massif has been formed in the Tertiary Period. The most upper parts of the mountains have been frozen with large amounts of ice and snow.
The Shar Planina (Shar Mountains) are located between the Gostivar and Tetovo valleys, with Mavrovo Lake to the south and the Mal Korab mountain range to the west. The Shar range extends as far west as Albania and as far north and northwest as the Kosovo border. It covers roughly 1,600 kilometers (994 miles). Its highest point is Titov Vrv at 2,747m (9,012 ft).
Snow Sports Area By the Numbers
The Popova Sapka Ski Centre, covering an area of some 35 sq. km (14 sq. mi), is one of the most visited ski centers in Macedonia, particularly in the Tetovo region. It contains several hotels and other accommodations, a refuge (called Smreka), and weekend cottages on the opposite side of the ski slopes and lifts. The resort can be accessed via a local road from Tetovo (18 km/11 mi) that goes right between the settlement and this ski center and proceeds on to Skopje some 48 kilometers (30 miles) away.The ski slopes in Popova Sapka are first class and start at an elevation of 1,690 m (5,544 ft) above sea level. All are connected by chair and drag-lifts.
With 23 peaks reaching over 2,500 m (8,202 ft) in altitude and 39 lakes (27 of which are in Macedonia), these mountains offer much to those interested in hiking.
Best Access and Parking Area
The most frequently used approaches to the Popova Shapka Ski Centre are via Tetovo or via the village of Vratnica.