Miyak Tribe Trail - North Macedonia

Miyak Tribe Trail

5 star rating   24 July 2022

Giselle who has been on 17 In The Saddle rides. Miyak Tribe Trail - real sense of achievement trail riding | This holiday exceeded my expectations in every way. Every care was taken to match rider with horse. On the first morning, we each had to ride around in the paddock so that our riding seat and balance could be assessed. Every-one was matched very well. The riding was challenging, fast and vigorous - probably the more so than any other trip I have been on, but the sense of achievement at the end was all the greater for it.

The landscape was very varied, indescribably beautiful and completely natural and unspoilt, all open and unfenced and absolutely timeless. Nothing to remind you of what century you are in.

The horses' tack was amazing and of exceptionally high quality - no expense spared. All hand crafted in the best leather from Rajasthan.

[In The Saddle Note: Thank you for this incredible feedback. We're so pleased that you enjoyed the Miyak Tribe Trail so much.]

The Riding

How well were you matched with the right horse for your ability?
5 star rating
How would you rate the variety of riding, pace or terrain?
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How would you rate the overall standard of the horses, tack and stables?
5 star rating

The Accommodation

How would you rate your room(s) for comfort and facilities?
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How would you rate the standard of the food?
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Do you have any comments about the accommodation and food?

The food was quite simply the best I have had on any holiday. And the best of all was at our picnic lunches (full table, plates, knives and forks and napkins - huge attention to detail) and at camp. Cannot praise it more highly. The guidebooks tend to imply that North Macedonia is a meat eating country (they are after all traditionally celebrated for being sheep farmers) but vegetarians are spoilt for choice too. The main meal is always preceded by mezze which is entirely vegetarian and a meal in itself.

Only had 2 nights single accommodation. The hotels are not really set out for single accommodation. But it didn't really matter bcause I was paired up with a charming French mother and daughter and we got on very well. And I was given a double tent to myself for camping - no extra charge. The hotels varied a bit from basic (first night) to opulent (at Lake Mavrovo with spa, sauna jacuzzi and swimming pool), but all perfectly adequate.

Before Your Holiday

Did you have all of the information you needed to:

Plan and prepare for your holiday?
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Feel comfortable about your transfers and what to expect?
5 star rating

How could we improve the quality of pre-holiday information that we send?

In this rapidly changing world, things change fast in North Macedonia too. So you will need maybe to update your brochure e.g. visiting working sheep farms and sampling the goods. Many sheep farms have closed/are closing - younger generation are not interested in doing it. We visited a few but there is only one now which has the whole process: milking out and making and fomenting and packaging the cheese on site. And this farm is only kept going because Vasko our host, a real ambassador for the Miyak tribe, is subsidising it. We were not allowed to sample goods on site but Vasko was given cheese that we ate at the campsite:delicious. We stopped off at about 3 smaller farms to have a lunch break.

It would be helpful to stress that when you have to dismount and lead your horse - this is invariably downhill, not uphill (same in Crete) too. This is improtant to know for me even when making a decision on choice of holiday as I am fine going downhill but uphill I puff and blow more.

How could we improve the way we handled your booking and payment?

All fine

Do you have any other feedback for us?

I cannot rate this holiday more highly. All credit to Vasko our guide and host. He is a tremendous ambassador for the Miyaks and is passionate about promoting their culture and traditions - we learned a lot. He was also very assiduous in checking the horses over challenging terrain - tightening/loosening girths as required and very on top of both the rders' and horses' well being and safety. But his operation is immensely enhanced by having a fantastic back-up support and logistics team headed by David and assisted by his wife Beatrice - what a lovely couple and also by another lovely Danish couple on a working holiday - they were both doctors. Between them they assured our every comfort at lunch stops and camp. And they had a number of lads from the Ranch helping with the horses (feeding, staking out etc). We were never asked to assist with camp duties or tacking up (maybe because we were a large ride (11) and perhaps they do not have so many support staff on smaller rides?). Unusually I was the only Brit - the others were Dutch, Flemish speaking Belgians and a French mother and daughter living in Austria. I enjoy meeting people from other countries and we all got on famously and are still in touch - indeed some of the photos I sent you are theirs.