Brajčino - A view from our expert author

This pristine and picturesque eco-village is the first ecotourism initiative in Macedonia, with access to glacial lakes and the mountain huts of the Pelister summit.

Less than 5km from the border with Greece, the village of Brajčino can claim to be the first ecotourism initiative in Macedonia. Brajčino is pristine and picturesque, sitting on the edge of Pelister National Park. Its idyllic location is away from the hustle and bustle of city life and is protected by the Baba massif and with a view onto Lake Prespa. It has good access to the glacial lakes atop the range and from there to Pelister summit and the mountain huts. It is easily accessible by car or by bus from Resen (several buses every day).

Formerly a rich trading village, Brajčino still has a small population of mixed ages despite the emigration of many of the villagers in the middle of the 20th century to Canada and Scandinavia due to a lack of employment or in order to escape communist persecution. The departure of most of the business know-how from the village has left it in hard times, even more so since the break-up of Yugoslavia which has taken its toll on the village’s formerly prosperous apple trade. Previously, apples from the area would be sold as far away as Zagreb and Ljubljana, whereas new borders and taxes have all but eliminated the apple export. Now the villagers, through the help of Swiss funding and the local non-governmental organisations of DEM (Ecological Movement of Macedonia) and BSPM (Bird Society Protection of Macedonia), are reviving the local economy by offering visitors access to their pristine lifestyle in return for keeping it so. Ten percent of the income of the guides, accommodation and the village shop is reinvested into preserving the local area.

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