Matka Canyon - an attractive tourist destination in Skopje
Matka Canyon is a canyon on the river Treska, a right tributary of Vardar, covering an area of about 5,000 hectares and located 17 km southwest of Skopje. According to the morphogenetic characteristics it represents a ravine-breaker. Karst forms deserve special attention in this area. These are the ten caves with a length of 20 to 176 meters and two precipices with a depth of up to 35 meters.
Canyon Matka-relict and endemic plants and animals
Matka Canyon is one of the largest refugial centers during the glacial period, which contributed to the presence of many relict and endemic plants and animals today. Of the total number of 1000 species of plants, 20% are endemics or relicts. Among the tertiary relics, more important are the violet (Viola kosaninii) and natalie Ramonda (Ramonda nathaliae).
Two new species of true spiders and five false scorpions were discovered at the site Matka. In the Matka Canyon 119 species of daily and 140 species of night butterflies are registered. It is important to note that 77 species of Balkan endemic small butterflies are found in the Matka Canyon, while 18 other species are new for the science.
Within the canyon there is the speleological park "Jovica Grozdanovski", named after the tragically dead climber. The park is composed of three caves (Vrelo, Ubava and Krstana), as well as an underwater cave (Podrevlo).
More information about Canyon Matka can be found on this website.