Radika River

Radika River is the true pearl among the rivers of Macedonia, whose valley in West Macedonia is characterized as a fragile ecosystem of unique ancient beech forests. Radika River features pure, clear and cool water with dark green color, which is result of the calcium carbonate in it.  Set between Mavrovo and Debar on one side, and on the Albanian side and Kichevo on the other side, the Reka region with the Radika River borders Shar Mountain on the northwest, Deshat Mountain on the south, the Korab and Krchin on the west and mountains of Bistra and Stogovo on the east.

Radika River rises on 2200 meters above sea level on the spectacular Bistra Mountain. From its source to the mouth of the river in Debar Lake, Radika River is 67 km long. The valley of Radika River is one of the most attractive and picturesque canyon valleys in beautiful Macedonia. The Radika canyon has been formed over millions of years, breaking through the mountain sides of Bistra and Stogovo in the East and Korab and Deshat in the west. The canyon on the Radika River is truly enchanting with the clear mountain water, surrounded by thick vegetation, as well as with the abundance of trout fish, which lures the fishing lovers. The scientists have researched over 30 caves, 10 meters long, in the upper part of the Radika River. Outstanding with its beauty is the 500 meters long “Simka” Cave.

The Reka region consists of several parts – Gorna Reka, Golema Reka, Mijak region and Mala Reka region. Gorna Reka is the territory of the upper course of the Radika River with some mostly abandoned villages, as it used to be populated with Orthodox Serbs in the past, and nowadays with ethnic Albanians who spoke Albanian. The Dolna Reka region includes still active picturesque villages – Zirovnica, Rostusha, Bitushe, Jance, Skudrinje… The region of Mala Reka covers the area along the flows of Mala, Tresonce and Gari rivers, as well as the part of the Stogovo Mountain, with following villages : Gari /wonderful tiny village at 1100 meters/, Tresonce, Lazaropole, Selce, Rosoki, Osoj and Mogorche. Population of the regions of Golema Reka, Mala Reka and Golema Reka is made of around 10000 Macedonian Mijaks who are either Orthodox of Muslim, and have always been farmers or migrant workers. They have always been reputed fresco painters, wood carvers, brick-layers and mosaic artisans and nowadays they are some of the most sought after facade makers, tillers and bricklayers in Italy and Western Europe. They are also fantastic hosts in variety of local workshops with memorable culinary and lifestyle activities organized by our Macedonian partners for our clients !!!

Mijaci – pl. Miyaks are the Serb tribe which settles the area of western part of the present North Macedonia – in the course of the Radika River, the right tributary of Crni Drim River – Black Drim River, that is known as the Reka region. Locals of the Reka region are known in other parts as Rekanci, but also Debarci for the fact that the nearest settlement is Debar, which they administratively belonged to during the Turkish reign. The term of Galičanci is also used, after the once largest Miyak village of Galicnik. The Serbian tribe of Mijaks – Miyaks in present north-western Macedonia in the Mala Dolna Reka – known as ‘Mijacija’ – is the Serb ethnic group which belongs to the old Balkan population, that for long time resisted Bulgarization and communist movement of Macedonization. Mijaks are organized in tribal communities similar to tribes in Herzegovina, Littoral, Old Crna Gora – Old Montenegro, Brda – Hills, Metohija and Raska areas. Mijaks are also very similar to the Serbs on the other side of the Sar Mountain, in the Sirinic Zhupa of Metohija area, around Strpce and Brezovica settlements. The largest settlements populated by Mijaks are Lazaropolje, Galicnik, Gari, Bituse, Selce, Osoj and Susica. However, today among Mijaci-Mijaks only minority declares themselves as Serbs, while majority declares them the Macedonians, and those who would consider themselves as Bulgarians almost do not exist.

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