Mariovo the cleanest eco region in Macedonia

Mariovo is a mountainous region in southern Macedonia situated between the slopes of Selecka  Mountain (Селечка Планина), Nidze (Ниџе), Kozjak (Козјак) and Dren (Дрен) mountains, in the valley of Crna Reka (Црна Река, Black River).

Across the whole area of Mariovo region flows Crna Reka (Black River) which actually flows through the largest canyon in the Republic of Macedonia, Skochivirska Klisura (Скочивирска Клисура) which is also one of the priceless natural beauties of this area.

Bridge in Zovich village, Mariovo

From the west Mariovo borders with Pelagonija plain, with Greece from the south (surrounding of the city Voden (Воден) and the area Meglen (Меглен)), on the north with the Raec region (Raechka River) and from east with the plateau Vitacevo (Витачево) / Tikvesh Valley (Тиквешка Котлина).

The whole area Mariovo covers an area of 1251 km ² and traditionally is divided into 3 smaller (Ethno) geographic units: Bitola Mariovo (Битолско Мариово) – former municipality Staravina, Prilep Mariovo (Прилепско Мариово) – former municipality Vitoliste and Tikvesh (Kavadarci) Mariovo (Тиквешко (Кавадаречко) Мариово) – western and central parts of the former municipality Konopishte.
In this area are located the villages:

  • Bitola Mariovo: Staravina, Makovo, Rapesh, Zovik, Gradesnica, Budimirci, Gruniste, Orle, Brnik, Iveni and Petalino.
  • Prilep Mariovo: Vitoliste, Beshishte, Veprchani, Vrpsko, Dunje, Zivovo (Ziovo), Kalen, Kokre, Krusevica, Manastir, Polchishte, Peshtani, Chanishte and Gugjakovo (Gudjakovo).
  • Tikvesh Mariovo: Rozden, Klinovo, R’zhanovo, Majden and Galiste.

In the Turkish census “defters” from XIV and XV century (1476/77 to 1544/45 year) in Mariovo were observed following villages, where today exist localities with same or similar names: Kostenovo, Cumagovo, Smagovo, Vidrishani, Crnichani, Satoka, Bistrenci, Berani, Sudenec, Osinec, Kirilikovo, Sveta Petka, Leskovo.

Besides the above three sub – areas of Mariovo, people living in Mariovo also divide the region in accordance to the flow of Crna Reka (Black River) as “Malo” (Small, New, Мало, Ново) Mariovo (left side of the river) and “Golemo”(Big, Old, Големо, Старо) Mariovo (right side of the river).

St. Elijah (Sv. Ilija, Св. Илија) Monastery in Melnica, Mariovo

The population in Mariovo had always been Macedonian with orthodox Christian religion, and Mariovo during Ottoman rule didn’t have Islamization of the population.

Gradesnica (Gradeshnica) village in Mariovo

The small number of inhabitants in the villages, and the absence of industry and factories, place this area among the cleanest eco regions in Europe.

The Movie Bridge in village Zovik, Peshta fortress from ancient times, Alshar, Chebren, Waterfall in the village Brnik, WW1 location Kajmakcalan, churches St. Dimitirija (village Gradesnica), St. Nikola (village Monastir), St. Elijah (village Melnica), are only a small part of the beauties that this region hides.

Gradesnica (Gradeshnica) village in Mariovo

Here are the famous Mariovo Lamb, Mariovo Honey and certainly Mariovo “Bieno” (beaten) cheese, which are an integral part of each visit in Mariovo.