About Macedonia, most tourists know only that geographically this small country is located in Europe, and more precisely, on the Balkan Peninsula. Some travelers even know that many centuries ago the famous Alexander the Great wanted to make Macedonia the center of his powerful state. But the fact that this small country has picturesque natural nooks and well-preserved architectural monuments of antiquity and the Middle Ages is known to very few Russian-speaking tourists. But if you look closely, it turns out that little-known to us Macedonia with marvelous lakes and caves, sacral monuments and various excursion programs is an attractive option for active tourists and travelers interested in educational tourism.
So, being on one of the popular resorts of Macedonia - in Ohrid, Skopje or Bitola, tourists will find a mixture of modern and ancient national buildings, well-groomed streets in flowers, as well as a large number of monuments and colorful natural objects. In this interesting country live hospitable and friendly people who speak a funny and incomprehensible language for many of us. To parse the Macedonian language is quite difficult. Due to the abundance of hard consonants, it is hard for tourists to perceive. And only due to the fact that many Macedonians living in resort towns, speak English well, the problem with communication successfully settled. For example, in Ohrid, vacationers may encounter the fact that the staff of some restaurants do not know English at all, but in the institution there is a menu in Russian, German and English. And the Macedonians sitting at the next table, noticing a misunderstanding between the waiter and the visitors, will not hesitate to intervene in the conversation and help make the order, first of all suggesting what dishes in this restaurant are definitely worth trying.
Transportation and car rental
You can travel around Macedonia on a rented car or a long-distance bus. Tourists can rent a car directly at the airport in Skopje or Ohrid immediately upon arrival in the country. This will require an internationally licensed driver’s license, paid insurance, and in some cases a cash deposit. The driver must be at least 21 years old. True, some private garages and travel companies involved in car rental, put the requirements for the driver's age - at least 25 years. Also, you will additionally need to pay a tax and a one-time insurance fee. On average, rent a car will cost tourists 2000 denar per day.
In general, driving around the country by car is quite comfortable. The main roads of Macedonia have good coverage, which cannot be said about the local roads of some resort villages. They probably have long required repair and installation of high-quality lighting in the dark.
In addition, in Macedonia, there are toll roads, as reported by special signs at the entrance and exit of them. Fare must be paid at special turnstiles or with coupons sold at checkpoints.
An alternative to the car can be a trip around Macedonia by bus. The country has a very well-developed bus service, especially between popular cities - Ohrid, Skopje and others. In most cases, intercity transport is represented by comfortable buses, in which the fare is relatively inexpensive. Buses are often used by local residents, and this nuance should be taken into account for tourists planning a trip from one city to another. The fact is that tickets for the season are bought up very quickly and it is best to buy them in advance. A ticket from Skopje to Ohrid costs about 325 denars.
As for public urban transport, they are usually outdated buses. Travel to them is carried out by tickets, which are sold at newsstands or directly from the driver. And the cost of coupons from the driver for some reason more expensive. In the stall for a ticket will have to pay about 35 denar.
The official currency of Macedonia is denar. Tourists can exchange rubles, dollars or euros for local money in banks and exchange offices. In small villages, financial institutions work on weekdays from 7:00 to 13:00, and in large cities, the working day in banks ends at 19:00. To complete the exchange operation, tourists will need to present a passport. However, taking into account that outside of Macedonia it is impossible to convert a denar into another currency, travelers should exchange money in small amounts.
The use of credit cards in the country is not particularly welcome. They are accepted for payment except in expensive hotels and boutiques in Skopje. It will be much easier to withdraw cash from the card in one of the resort banks and then pay with “live” money.
Macedonia can be called a relatively safe country. Outbreaks of aggression are found perhaps in the border areas with Serbia and Kosovo. However, traveling around these suburbs is possible only with a special permit. As for the popular resort towns, in them the rest is quite calm and safe. Undoubtedly, sometimes there are unpleasant situations associated with petty theft and fraud, but no resort is insured against it. Most often, theft of personal belongings occur during walks in the Albanian areas. Therefore, it is better for tourists to limit themselves to excursions in the Christian quarters of Skopje, Ohrid and other Macedonian cities.
During the independent travel in Macedonia, girls can feel quite safe. At large resorts you can even walk in the evenings (in Christian tourist areas) without fear for your life.
As for hygienic safety, in Macedonia, you can safely drink tap water and try fresh milk. The local fish is distinguished not only by its special taste, but also by its exceptional freshness. Macedonians are very serious about the quality of food and their freshness.
Tourists leaving Macedonia are prohibited from exporting national currency, gold coins and plates, as well as items of cultural and historical value.
HOW TO GET IN MACEDONIA
There is no direct flight from Russia to Macedonia. When flying with docking, it should be noted that there are two airports in the country - in Skopje and Ohrid. The distance between them is small - only 3.5 hours by car on a streamer, but these are two different regions, so it is better to decide in advance on the choice of airport of arrival and departure. Actually, even in a relatively short travel time, you can do everything if you make a small plan of what you need to see, try and feel in Macedonia.
1. TO SIT IN THE RESTAURANT OF NATIONAL KITCHEN
A mixture of Balkan, Turkish, European, Slavic, Albanian - this is the national cuisine of Macedonia. First of all, it is meat, fish, vegetables. Splendor and kebabs here are different than in Serbia, Montenegro and Turkey, but no less, and, perhaps, more tasty (although, of course, this is subjective). Mavrovska, Ohridska or river pastrika (trout) is another dish that you should definitely try.
In addition to the wonderful fresh food, in the evening in the restaurants you will find national music and dancing. And most importantly - the price. For two or three, ordering salads, meat with a side dish, drinks and local wine you are unlikely to spend more than 1,500 rubles. And this is not in the "eatery", namely in a good and expensive (by local standards) restaurant.
2. GO TO THE CROSS MILLENNIUM
This giant cross in Skopje towers over the city in the Vodno area. At the very top of the cross can be reached by elevator. Views, of course, fascinate - the endless mountains, forests. You can get there as part of the tour, and if you are traveling on your own, it is better to use a taxi.
Taxi drivers carry on the counters, but you can agree "on the shore" about the price. On average, the price of a taxi will be about 0.3-0.4 euros per kilometer. Back, having a rest at the top, enjoying the views or even having a small picnic nearby in nature, you can safely go back by bus, which runs with good frequency between the cross and the city. Pay the driver in cash. Come out in the center of Skopje. Do not worry, you will know the center of the city.
3. STAY AT THE CENTER OF SKOPJE
In 1963, Skopje was hit hard by an earthquake. Therefore, the city center is a "new building". But he will conquer you: such amount of monuments and sculptures per square meter of the city square can hardly be found.
Stroll through the central square, neat cobbled streets of the old Skopje, appreciate the fountains, sculptures and pedestrian bridges, go to the museums, look at the "Turkish quarter", passing through the bridge - the symbol of the city. And most importantly - wait for the evening, when all this will light up in the backlight and sparkle with new colors.
4. TO VISIT IN THE CABINET
Canyon Matka is an amazing natural place with majestic mountains, green forests, a blue river and mysterious caves with bats on stalagmites. Enjoy a trip on the ship to the caves, and you can return back along the narrow path along the river. The path is arranged right on the rocky slope of the mountains and a hike on it will give you in addition to the gorgeous views for a photo shoot, special, slightly extreme, sensations. You can also get back from the canyon by bus or ask to call a taxi to numerous cafes.
5. MAKE A WAY FROM SCOPIE TO OHRID
Yes, you will certainly like this road. Three and a half hours of travel along breathtaking serpentines between picturesque mountains, valleys, gorges and mountain tunnels. Perhaps in all the reviews of travelers in Macedonia this way appears. Views from the road - mountain peaks, where even in June there is snow and bright lush vegetation of the valleys - will make you uncover your camera more than once to take pictures. The average cost of a trip by taxi will be about 100 euros. The bus will be much cheaper (Skopje-Ohrid-Skopje ticket is about 800 rubles), but, of course, you will be deprived of certain possibilities.
6. VIEW THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF LAKE OHRID
Probably, there are no those who visited Macedonia and did not visit this unique lake. Ohrid - the deepest and oldest lake in the region, located at an altitude of 750 meters above sea level. Tens of thousands of tourists from Europe fly and go to Ohrid just because of him. Suffice to say that during the peak season - July and August - about 250 thousand guests join the 50 thousand local residents.
The medieval city of Ohrid is located along the lake. The paved pavement, narrow streets, incomparable white houses with tiled roofs, and the fortress of the Bulgarian tsar Samoilov, the Stronghold towering over the city - a walk through the city will fill you with a romantic mood. Not far away, 20 km away, there is another picturesque Macedonian town - Struga. And on the Albanian side of the lake is the town of Pogradec.
The lake itself is famous for its purity and extraordinary transparency (up to 20 m), endemic species of flora and fauna, and, of course, beaches and clubs along the coast.
There are many beaches on Ohrid, but the most popular among tourists are Cadmo and Cuba Libre with clubs of the same name. Entrance to these beaches is free, sun beds and umbrellas are also free, but on the condition that you place an order at the bar. Prices in bars cannot be called high: Coca-Cola – 80 rubles, beer - 100 rubles, 4 sandwiches - about 120-180 rubles, depending on the filling. You can rent a good hotel room in Ohrid for an average of 20-40 euros per day.
7. VISIT KANEO AND PLAYER
Macedonians boast that Ohrid has 365 churches - as many as there are days in a year. It is difficult to verify the accuracy of this statement, but there are really a lot of churches here. The most famous, which you will find on numerous postcards with views of Ohrid - Kaneo and Plaoshnik. Both of these temples are located on the mountain. Church of St. John Kaneo built until the 15th century and is located on a cliff. The view from there and the pictures are very picturesque. But the entrance fee, and the price of a ticket for the Macedonians and tourists vary. But, as the prktika shows, it is enough to make it clear that you are Russian and Orthodox, and charge for entry as from a Macedonian.
Climbing higher on the mountain you get to Plaoshnik. Here in the 9th century the temple of St. Clement of Ohrid was built. By the way, it was St. Clement and Naum, the disciples of Cyril and Methodius, who created the Cyrillic alphabet (we recall that Cyril and Methodius themselves created another alphabet for the Slavs - the verb). Now, in addition to the archaeological excavations, a whole complex of buildings is being built in Plaoshnik - a monastery, a church library, a religious school, and so on. In the temple itself are the relics of St. Clement and the preserved paintings of 10-12 centuries. From Plaoshnik you can walk along the mountain along a grove where the saints made their walks centuries ago.
8. MELT IN THE LIGHT OF NAUM
For 10 euros (travel back and forth with parking at 2.5 hours) go from Ohrid by boat to Sveti Naum. This very beautiful monastery is located 30 km from Ohrid right next to the Albanian border. You can, of course, take a bus or a taxi, which will be cheaper, but in this case you will lose a beautiful lake trip with charming views of the ship. Stroll through the most beautiful monastery of Macedonia. For photographers and selfie lovers, paradise is here: small fountains, a very sophisticated landscape design of the park, and peacocks at ease. Then go to the local fish restaurant on the water and order a catfish or carp and “fish chorba” (local version of fish soup). Surrounded by untouched nature, views of the monastery and the lake, to the national music, enjoy a meal and go back to catch the ship.
9. VIEW HERACLE
Herakleia - well preserved remains of an ancient Greek polis near the city of Bitola. You can get to Bitola by bus or taxi. On average, a taxi from Ohrid there and back, with the expectation will cost you about 50 euros. Bitola is the southernmost city in the entire territory of the former Yugoslavia, and the second largest in Macedonia, it was founded by Philip II of Macedon as Heraclius Linkestis. In the center of Bitola, there is a pretty architecture of the 19th century, a pretty street for a promenade with good and inexpensive restaurants and cafes. The city has a wide variety of religious and historical objects of the 17th-19th centuries - Orthodox, Muslim, Catholic. It is worth visiting the Museum of Bitola, where, in addition to various artifacts of past eras, there is also an exhibition dedicated to Kemal Ataturk.
From Bitola to ancient Heraklea - about two or three kilometers. They can go through the park, and you can drive by car. The entrance to Hercules is about 3 euros. Ancient mosaics, statues, a theater and other buildings are located in a relatively small area. If you are still full of energy after Bitola, museums, churches and most of Hercules, you can climb the mountainous national park Pelister, which borders Greece. Pelister is one of the favorite Macedonian holiday destinations, where in summer you can walk along the paths of pre-laid tourist routes, and in winter you can go skiing. But the most convenient, of course, to watch all the listed attractions with a transfer and a guided tour.
10. TRY UNIQUE DISHES IN OHRID
Yes, in Ohrid there are unique dishes that you can try just there. Ohrid cake is a dessert, a chocolate cake with nuts, rather sweet and really tasty. Price - about 2 euros. Fierce is, on the contrary, fried hot pepper. He is actually very sharp in Ohrid. Therefore, I advise you to be careful with him, but still try. It is about 0.5-1 euros.
And, the third thing you should definitely try is the Ohrid dunk or the White Onion. This is a unique Ohrid sauce made from garlic and sour cream. It is customary to dunk bread in it (and better, “funnarinki” - special bread products made from unleavened dough), it is also put on meat, fish, and even in soups or chorba. This sauce costs about 1 euro, depending on weight, you can buy it also in grocery stores.
IN CONCLUSION, SEVERAL USEFUL TIPS:
· Talk to people, they will always tell you where it is cheaper or better.
· Do not be afraid to go to the markets. Food prices there are indicated, bargaining is not very accepted, but the price for you will be exactly the same as for the local ones.
· Say that you are Russian. It causes positive emotions and can spur on a discount.
· Buy a local SIM card. It will cost about 10 euro with - already with the included mobile Internet package and a certain number of minutes voice communication. But you will always have cards, guide phones, travel agencies, taxis, an online translator on hand, and you can post your photos on social networks without getting off the ground.
Original and special
This former Yugoslav Republic can be easily reached from almost anywhere in Europe. The flight from the neighboring country will take only 1.5-2 hours. But for many, the former Yugoslav Republic is still an unexplored place. Попасть туда – значит, ощутить невероятную атмосферу смешения культур.
В Македонии комфортно практически в любое время года. Лето здесь жаркое и сухое, а зимой температура редко опускается ниже -4 градусов. Потому исследовать интересные места будет не проблемой.
Начнем с исторических мест. А их здесь действительно огромное количество. Locals first recommend visiting the capital of Skopje. There is the famous fortress of Calais, which is a national pride. The most ancient settlement in its place is dated to the 4th century BC.
Today, inside the fortress there is a beautiful park, where you can have a great time, and enjoy the beauty of nature.
Bridge over the river Vardar
Staying in the capital, be sure to visit the Stone Bridge, crossing the river Vardar. This building can be seen even on the flag of the country. It represents 12 solid blocks that are placed on the columns, forming the same number of arches. Majestically and thrilling.
Memorial House of Mother Teresa
This is an open-air museum where you can learn all about one of the most famous missionaries in the whole world - Mother Teresa. The museum contains the state, because it is very proud that such a famous person was a native of the city of Skopje.
National parks Galichitsa and Pelister are very popular with tourists. In Galichitsa, for example, it is a pleasure to ride a bike and walk on foot. Travelers are also invited to see the caves in Karst Valley. And having gone on the road connecting the Ohrid and Prespa lakes, it is possible to look at the city and nature from a height of about 1.5 km.
In Pelister you can enjoy a leisurely rest, admiring nature. Be sure to visit the "mountain eyes" - crystal clear lakes. The recreational area in Pelister is something that attracts tourists incredibly. Numerous hotels and restaurants offer travelers to combine two types of recreation - unhurried and active, conquering the mountains and enjoying the tranquility on the cozy terraces.
On the territory of Macedonia, a huge number of different temples and churches. But the most popular are the temple of St. John Kaneo and the monastery of St. Naum.
The temple of St. John Kaneo is located in the city of Ohrid, but far from noise and people. Look for him on the edge of a cliff. In this shrine, you can see icons dating from the 15th century.
All who visited this place are unanimous in their opinion that the best viewing platform on the Ohrid Lake cannot be found.
Monastery of St. Naum - a place where believers must come. They say that if you put your ear to the relics of St. Naum, you can hear his heart beating. But besides this power, according to the local, they heal from many diseases, including mental ones.
Architecture lovers will appreciate this construction. After all, this is one of the most beautiful places in Macedonia. 16 meters high and 386 meters long. The 55 arches of the waterworks still look majestic. At the same time, being a prominent representative of Byzantine architecture.
Looking around the sights of Macedonia, it is impossible to miss Kokino. This is an ancient Hellenic observatory that operated about 3.5 thousand years ago. The design is partially preserved until now. In particular, travelers can see the stone marks with which the ancient people tracked the movement of the Moon and the Sun.
The cost of tours to Macedonia is rather small, which annually attracts thousands of tourists to this country who discover new and fascinating places. Ready for new emotions? Then have a nice trip!
1. Ohrid Lake
Lake Ohrid is one of the most famous sights of Macedonia. This ancient Balkan body of water is protected by UNESCO. Tourists here expect clean beaches, many comfortable hotels, as well as everything necessary for sailing.
2. Stone Bridge in Skopje
The stone bridge across the Vardar River is a true symbol of the city of Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. This ancient bridge was laid during the time of the Roman Empire. Today it is not only a beautiful monument of architecture, but also an important transport artery connecting Old and New Skopje. According to the legend, luck will accompany everyone who crosses the Stone Bridge with light thoughts and a pure heart.
Palaoshnik is located in a surprisingly beautiful wooded area near Lake Ohrid and Samuilova stronghold. This tourist center gained its popularity due to the perfectly restored archaeological finds, in particular the church of St. Panteleimon. It was erected on the site of the temple, built in 893 in honor of St. Clement.
4. Skopje Fortress
The national pride of the capital of Macedonia is the oldest fortress called Calais, the foundations of which date back to the 1st century of our era. Stone walls, paved paths, landscaped park - in Calais has everything you need for a wonderful holiday. You can get to the fortress on foot, moving from the square of Macedonia.
5. Stone town Kuklitsa
One of the most popular places in the North of Macedonia is the stone town of Kuklica, which is also called the Valley of Dolls. This is a unique natural landscape, which consists of more than 120 naturally formed stone pillars, whose shape resembles the figures of people. There are many legends associated with the Valley of Dolls explaining this amazing natural phenomenon.
6. Museum on the water "Bay on the bones"
On the Ohrid Lake there is a unique archaeological complex - “Bay on the bones”. This museum, created in the form of floating houses, most imitates the ancient village of fishermen. Here is the archaeological museum and equipped camping for those who want to stay longer in the “Gulf on the bones”.
7. Millennium Cross in Skopje
The Millennium Cross was erected in 2002, and is the highest cross in the world. This building was built in honor of 2,000 years of Christianity in the lands of Macedonia. The cross is located on a mountain, its height is 66 meters, thanks to which this monument can be observed from almost anywhere in Skopje. The Millennium Cross looks particularly impressive in the night illumination.
8. Antique amphitheater Ohrid
In the heart of the city of Ohrid, there is a well-preserved ancient amphitheater, the construction of which dates back to two hundred years BC. Despite its impressive age, this building is still used for its intended purpose. Here they spend musical evenings, festivals, and also give theatrical performances.
9. Galichitsa National Park
Galichitsa National Park is located in southwestern Macedonia. Many unique plants grow here, and bears, deer and wolves are found in the forests. For visitors of Galichitsa, they regularly go hiking, and cyclists will be pleasantly surprised by the equipped bicycle lanes. Also here you can make a sightseeing flight on a paraglider.
10. Herakleia Linkestis
The city of Bitola, located in southwestern Macedonia, is famous for its unique archaeological finds. So, here were found the ruins of Herakleia Linkestis, an ancient ancient city. This settlement dates back to the V-IV centuries BC. There is a well-preserved amphitheater, several ancient walls, as well as beautiful floor mosaics.
11. Monastery of Saint Naum
The monastery of St. Naum is one of the oldest temples of the country. It is located 30 kilometers from Ohrid in a quiet area by the lake. The iconostasis, the interior walls and the ceiling of the monastery amaze the imagination with the magnificence of its decoration. The monks of this monastery traditionally treat their guests with national dishes and wonderful own wine.
12. The fortress of King Samuel
The fortress of King Samuel, which was built by the Bulgarian ruler to protect his possessions, begins its history from the 10th century AD. The foundations and walls of ancient defensive buildings have been preserved to this day. To get to the fortress is best on a special tour bus.
13. Lake Prespa
The age of the unusually beautiful Lake Prespa is more than 5 million years old. In this reservoir is located the only Golem Grad island in Macedonia, on whose territory there are the ruins of the ancient monastery of St. Peter. To enjoy the views of the lake or visit the ruins of the temple, you should use the boat rental in the neighboring villages of Konsko or Stenie.
16. Monument "Warrior on a horse"
The central square of Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, is crowned by a sculpture in the form of a horseman with a sword. This monument was named "Warrior on a Horse" and it is believed that this structure perpetuates Alexander the Great. The opening of the "Warrior on Horse" was timed to the 20th anniversary of the independence of the Macedonian Republic.
17. Canyon Uterus
At 15 kilometers from the capital is one of the most popular tourist attractions - the Canyon Matka. This picturesque place was created by the river Treska, flowing through the mountain range. In 1938, the river was blocked by a dam, which formed a beautiful mountain lake. In the canyon Uterus you can also visit the stalagmite cave Vrelo.
18. Mosque of Mustafa Pasha
Not far from the Old Market in Skopje is the most famous Islamic landmark of Macedonia - the mosque of Mustafa Pasha, which was built in the Middle Ages. Admire the decoration of an ancient mosque can not only Muslims, but also representatives of other religions.
19. Temple of St. John Kaneo
Not far from the Ohrid Lake stands the medieval church of St. John Kaneo. The temple is made of stone, and its architecture combines Armenian and Byzantine styles. The interior of the church was made in the XV century and since then has been perfectly preserved. In the evenings, the Church of St. John Kaneo is illuminated by illumination.
20. Pelister National Park
Pelister National Park occupies a huge area of more than 12 thousand hectares. Among tourists, this park is valued not only for its unique nature, but also for the annual ski season. There are many comfortable hotels in which visitors can stay in order to comfortably enjoy the beauty of Pelister Park.
21. Church of St. Sophia in Ohrid
The unique and inimitable church of St. Sophia, which is located in the city of Ohrid, was built in the XI century. Today it is one of the most revered Christian shrines, which tourists from all over the world come to visit. The rarest frescoes of the XI-XIII centuries, which adorn the church of St. Sophia, are forbidden to photograph.
22. Ancient aqueduct Vizbegovo
Not far from Skopje is the village Vizbegovo, which has gained considerable popularity thanks to the aqueduct, located on its territory. This impressive architectural structure consists of 55 arches, towering 16 meters above the ground.
Macedonia is located on the Balkan Peninsula, having such neighbors as Bulgaria, Serbia, Albania and Greece. There are no beach resorts in the country, but interesting excursions, beautiful countryside, numerous places for active recreation and the ruins of castles completely compensate for this shortcoming. Another advantage of the republic is a visa-free regime with Russia and Ukraine.
The state is located in the Macedonian mountains, so ski tourism is developed at the highest level. A temperate continental and Mediterranean climate with an average temperature of 21-23º C in July operates on the territory of the country that does not go to the sea, so Macedonia is comfortable to visit at any time of the year. In the southern regions, the weather is milder due to the transitional climate and the proximity of the sea. In the state, ancient architectural buildings are combined with modern streets and structures, and the Macedonian people are famous for their friendliness and hospitality.
How to get to Macedonia from different countries of the CIS
The easiest way is to fly to the Serbian capital Belgrade, from where by plane or bus to the capital of Skopje or the large city of Orchid. There are still flights with transfer in other European cities. Aircraft of Turkish airlines fly from Kiev to the capital of Macedonia, and a round trip ticket will cost about 270 euros. Airline services from Austria are slightly more expensive.
From Moscow to Skopje there are flights of the same Turkish company with connections in Europe, but such a trip is 50 euros cheaper than a flight from Kiev. Rich tourists get to Orhid on a charter plane. If you have a Greek visa, you can first fly to Thessaloniki, from where the railway lines to Skopje are laid.
Turkish and Austrian airplanes also fly from Minsk with the appropriate transfers. Car lovers during their trip to Macedonia will visit Poland, Serbia, Slovakia and Hungary.
Resorts and resort cities of Macedonia
Macedonia is not the richest country, but it follows the development of tourism, presenting resort cities in the best light. Here are just the most famous resorts worth visiting:
- Skopje The capital of the republic is the oldest city, which at different times was ruled by the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires. More than once this metropolis was subjected to severe earthquakes, but all the time the city authorities rebuilt the Macedonian center. The new part of the city is famous for its many hotels, bars, restaurants and entertainment centers. In the old city, populated by Albanians, is the best on the continent of the eastern bazaar. You can’t just pass by the fortress of Calais, ancient architectural monuments and buildings that have been preserved since the days of Turkish rule.
- Ancient Ohrid owes its name to the famous lake, whose coast is littered with sanatoriums and various sights. In the "Balkan Jerusalem" travelers admire cultural and architectural monuments, Orthodox churches and monasteries, ancient ruins. In the modern part of the resort there are numerous hotels, entertainment and shopping centers, as well as restaurants that serve delicious dishes of local and European cuisine.
- The cultural center of the country and the second largest city in Macedonia is Bitola. The cultural resort is famous for its many museums, old churches and souvenir shops that are popular among European tourists. Local restaurants and shops will delight gourmets and shoppers.
- Stip Not far from this city, located in the east of the country, various archaeological excavations are carried out. For therapeutic recreation, tourists use the services of the mineral resort Kezhovitsy. Various ancient monasteries, churches and other religious monuments are still located in Kratovo, Prilepe and Strumitsa.
Macedonia ski resorts
The republic is famous for its ski resorts. Such popularity is due to a good level of service at quite reasonable prices. The main Macedonian ski resort is Mavrovo, located in the southern part of the country, near Skopje. The ski season in Mavrovo begins in late autumn and lasts until April. The resort has three tracks for beginners, five - medium difficulty and ten - for the masters. For round-the-clock use, some tracks are artificially illuminated. Next to these places is the eponymous national park - the largest in Macedonia.
On the slope of the mountain Shar Planina located resort Popova Hat. The city has a developed infrastructure, so luxury hotels here in abundance. The ski season lasts from November to early spring, when the peak is covered with snow. You can visit the top of the mountain with the help of funiculars and chairlifts.
The resort of Krushevo is an hour’s drive from the town of Bitola. The village boasts three trails and the same number of lifts. Here there are special children's schools, where specialists teach kids to ski. Newbies in Krushevo will be able to use the services of an instructor and rent equipment.
The main entertainment of Macedonia, how to spend time
Macedonia will delight tourists with a wide choice of entertainment - from walks through the ancient streets of Skopje and Ohrid to interesting excursions to cultural, archaeological and religious monuments of the country. In the capital there are numerous restaurants serving local, European, Turkish and Chinese cuisine. From the Stone Bridge to the old railway station stretches the longest street of the metropolis, strewn with various shops. Near the opera house, book lovers will be able to stroll through the book market.
Every July, music and dance festival of Balkan folk art is held in Ohrid, and in August, as part of the “Ohrid summer” in the church of St. Sophia, residents and visitors of the city attend concerts of classical works. Fans of active nightlife have fun in chic clubs, bars and restaurants.
In Macedonia, many souvenir shops. Home travelers from here bring national clothes, beaded and pearl jewelry, a variety of crafts, local coffee, wine drinks and moonshine "Raki".
Sights of Macedonia where to go
The main attraction of the republic is Ohrid Lake area of 358 km ². On the coast of the beautiful pond there are numerous campsites, luxury hotels and motels. The swimming season starts in May and lasts until mid-autumn. Next to the lake is the Galichitsa National Park, where tourists will enjoy the amazing nature and admire the local animals.
Скопье славится Каменным мостом, символизирующим единство мегаполиса. Вечером строение красиво подсвечивается, поэтому экскурсии в это время завораживают. На вершине горы Крстовар, к которой ведет канатная дорога, возвышается крупнейший в мире Крест Тысячелетия высотой 66 м.
The Ohrid monastery of St. Panteleimon previously housed a Slavic university and the oldest European medical school. Now here are collected 800 icons of the Byzantine era. The oldest Ohrid church of St. Clement was built at the end of the 13th century. Saint Clement, whose relics are kept here, is famous for adding some letters to the Greek alphabet.
The world-famous museum of Mother Teresa, who was born in the capital of Macedonia, is located in Skopje. The former railway station is now a monument to the victims of the earthquake that occurred in the summer of 1969. The clock stopped at 5:17, when the center of the republic was destroyed by the elements.
Due to political tensions in the Balkan Peninsula, Macedonia does not guarantee absolute security to the tourist. However, the implementation of basic precautions will avoid various unpleasant situations:
- large sums of money, documents, decorations and other valuable items should be stored in the hotel safe,
- in crowded places and near popular sights, valuables should always be kept under supervision,
- without a special permit, it is not recommended to walk in the Albanian areas and visit cities near the borders with Serbia and Kosovo,
- do not smoke in public places
- you must avoid fraudsters who demand money under the guise of providing various services.
In Macedonia, a well-developed bus service, although in the cities themselves the state of transport is not the best. If you have an international driver's license, insurance, or when making a cash deposit, you can rent a car.
Guest reviews about the trip to Macedonia
Evgenia Lyubimova: The former Yugoslav Republic borders with many Balkan countries. Skopje has been known since Roman times, and Ohrid, called the second capital of the state, is the main spiritual, tourist and cultural center of Macedonia. Next to it lies the famous lake of the same name, protected by UNESCO World Heritage. While visiting Macedonia, it came to be realized how mysterious the country is for travelers. Having stayed here for a month, it was not possible to visit all the sights and admire the mountain scenery of this amazing state.
Antonina Malinina: My husband and I wanted to visit the Balkan Peninsula for a long time, so we practically didn’t think when we were offered to go to Macedonia. Before the trip, there were concerns about security, but later disappeared, although it is better not to wander into the Albanian areas of Skopje. First of all, Macedonia struck by the number of various architectural, cultural and historical monuments and numerous old cars on the streets of the capital. Visit to Ohrid is remembered by the local lake. Now it is clear why this reservoir is the pride of the whole republic. The Macedonian people were pleased with hospitality and friendliness, and the prices in local shops and shops were pleasantly surprised.
Despite the lack of seaside resorts, in Macedonia there is a mass of entertainment, attracting a huge number of tourists from Eastern Europe. Local tourism will suit lovers of culture, history, archeology, as well as lovers of outdoor activities, because Macedonia is the ski center of the Balkan Peninsula.