How to get to the Duf Waterfalls
There are many waterfalls in North Macedonia. One of the popular waterfall destinations in this Balkan country is the Dufski or Duf Waterfall (Macedonian: Дуфски водопад or Дуф). The Duf falls are located in the northern part of North Macedonia in the national park of Mavrovo, near the village Rostushe (Macedonian: Ростушe / Rostuše).
The Duf waterfalls are located about 115 km fromSkopje, the capital of North Macedonia. The waterfall is about 23.5 meters tall (77ft), and an extension of the river Rostusha. The uniqueness of this double-drop waterfall is the circular shape of the first, or highest, drop of the waterfall that looks like the water is going into a well due to the rock bolder between the two sides of the Duf gorge.
To learn more about the Duf hiking trail and how to get to the waterfalls continue reading below for a complete hiking guide to visiting the Duf waterfalls in North Macedonia.
Basic Hiking Details
- Location: Rostushe, North Macedonia
- Trail Level: Easy
- Distance: 1.9 miles (3.0 KM) round-trip – including walking up and down to the parking lot in the center of Rostushe.
- Trip Time: approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes roundtrip (with rests and photo sessions).
- Elevation Gain: ~170-200 meters.
How to get to the Rostushe Village
The easiest way to get to the village Rostushe, where the Duf waterfalls are located, is by car – personal or rental. From Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia, the drive is about one hour and 45 minutes.
Take the main highway (Mother Theresa) from Skopje to Mavrovo National Park, passing Tetovo on the way. There will be three pay-tolls, and each pay-toll costs around 1 euro.
When you enter Mavrovo, you will pass the famous lunch spot called Mavrovi Anovi. Here you will find lots of small breakfast cafes and restaurants (travel tip: right before Mavrovi Anovi there is a Makpetrol gas station if you need to fill up).
Continue driving past the Mavrovo lake toward Sveti Jovan Bigorski (St. John the Great). The village of Rostushe is about 45 minutes from Mavrovi Anovi on the main road. You will see a sign to turn right and go uphill when you get to a very narrow bridge. The uphill drive is about 5 minutes.
On the way up, once you see ruins of what was once an old mosque, you will be close to the stairs that start the hiking journey to the Duf waterfalls.
There is no parking around the entrance to the hiking trail to the Duf waterfalls. Before the start of the hiking trails by the before mentioned ruins of an old mosque, on the left-hand side, there is tree and grass area by the graveyard, where people park their cars.
If you can’t find any parking there, you can drive into the village and park around the municipality and school area. The walk down to the Duf waterfall hiking trail is about one to two minutes – not far at all, and most importantly it’s an actual parking lot.
For those that won’t be using a car, taking the bus is another open. You can catch a bus from the national bus station in Skopje to Rostushe. The bus leaves Skopje at 9:00 AM and returns from Rostushe at 4 PM (16:00). Currently, the ticket price is 330 MKD per person.
Hiking to the Duf Waterfalls
The Duf waterfall hiking trail starts off the main road in Rostushe, which leads one to the center of the village. There are several signs on the road indicating the beginning location to the hike – stairs next to the wooden information plaque on the main road.
Head uphill using the dirt stairs and wooden railing. The first uphill hike is fairly short and great aerobic exercise to the get hear pumping. The dirt road levels out for a few meters, which then turns into a downhill. Be careful, the dirt road is narrow and slippery – no side-by-side walking.
Once you get to the intersection at the bottom of the hill, turn right.
Now, follow the once again narrow path and wooden railing for another kilometer with small uphill and downhill climbs.
Once you reach the picking area, around the Rostusha River, you will have hiked about two-thirds of the trail. You can relax and take a short break here. The water is cold, but clear and beautiful.
From the picnic area and onward, you will climb up and pass four wooden bridges. When you reach the wooden gazebo, you have reached your destination – the waterfalls are just down the hill.
Some tips for your hike to the Duf falls:
- There are many local stray dogs in Rostushe, so they will most likely follow you on your journey to the waterfalls. When I went hiking, they were like my own private tour guides – showing the way to the falls and only expecting some love in return.
- Some of the wooden bridges are not in great shape. If you are going with small children be extra careful, so they don’t fall.
About Rostushe (Macedonian: Ростушe / Rostuše)
Rostushe (also known as Rostusha) is a village in the Municipality of Movarovo and Rostusha. It has a mixed ethnicity population between Macedonians, Turks, Albanians, and Bosniaks.
The village is within a close vicinity of the Monastery of Saint Jovan Bigorski, about a 15-minute drive. Of course, Rostushe is well-known because of the Duf waterfalls.
Even though the village is small, there are two small cafes and a market shop in the village center in case you need to eat or want to drink some coffee.
About Mavrovo National Park
The national park of Mavrovo is one of the three largest national parks found in North Macedonia. It covers about 73,000 hectares of land, encompassing the mountains Korab, Deshat, Shar Planina, Bistra, and Krchin.
The national park of Mavrovo is home to several mammals such as the brown bear (protected), wildcat, Eurasian lynx, and the Balkan chamois.
Popular Attractions in Mavrovo
Standard popular attractions for locals include weekend trips for picnics and barbecues at Lake Mavrovo. For tourist interest, be sure to visit St. Nicholas – a church mostly underwater throughout the year in Lake Mavrovo.
Another recommendation, besides the Duf Waterfalls, to visit in the national park Mavrovo is the Monastery of Saint Jovan Bigorski (Macedonian: Свети Јован Бигорски) – a beautiful Macedonian Orthodox monastery about 30 minutes from Lake Mavrovo.
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