“While the Vardar embraces the fields of ripened grain, proud and dignified as a mountain bird, with a song this country captivated all the hearts and wine from its sources I drink now…”
Macedonia covers an area of 25 000 square kilometers in the southeast of the continent. It borders with Bulgaria in the east, Greece in the south, Albania in the west, Kosovo in the northwest and Serbia in the north. Geographically, this country is divided into western Macedonia, through which Saar-Pindus Mountains extend, the central part of the country or the Vardar valley, which abounds with lakes and valleys and Eastern Macedonia, which occupies a valley surrounded with high mountains.
The country has about 2 million inhabitants and most of them are Macedonians (64 percent), Albanians (25 percent), while the Croatian minority gathers little more than 0.1 percent of the population. The capital and largest city – Skopje – is situated in the valley of the Vardar River in the northwest, and in the middle of the Balkan Peninsula. It used to represent an important industrial and textile center of the country, while in the new millennium it is more oriented toward the service sector.
Macedonian cuisine is a blend of Turkish, Middle Eastern and Greek influences. Due to the warm climate in this region various vegetables and fruits can grow, and the dishes are varied, but spicy. One of the most famous gourmet representative is baked beans or ‘gravce na tavce’, as well as many meals with the inevitable addition of peppers and eggplants. In Macedonia, they like to drink locally produced wines – especially Tikveš and ‘T’GA ZA JUG’, as well as brandy.
5 memorable tourist attractions in Macedonia:
History and Architecture
Explore Skopje and its cultural and historical sights. Be sure to take a look at the old part of a town Bit Pazar and fortress Kale, the Byzantine church of St. Panteleimon, the Cathedral of St. Kliment Ohridski, and Millennium Cross on Mount Vodno, which rises to 67 meters above sea level. Near the town there is an archeological site Skopje aqueduct as well as the ruins of a Roman settlement Scupi.
Culture and swimming
Favorite tourist destination is the town of Ohrid which is under the protection of UNESCO. The town is situated in the northeastern coast of Lake Ohrid – which in turn is located in the southwest, on the border with Albania. Here you can visit many churches, castles and other monuments, enjoy in the beautiful landscape, but also take time for swimming and sunbathing.
Nature lovers will visit the largest national park in Macedonia – Mavrovo, which covers about 73 acres in the northwest. This is home to numerous species of birds and mammals that live in beech forests. Macedonian flora and fauna can be explored in Galicica National Park on the same name mountain, and in the national park Pelister in the southwest.
The mountain adventure
Macedonia is a perfect destination for camping, hiking and mountain biking. Tourists like to visit Sar Mountain, which extends in the north of the country (and in the south of Kosovo), as well as its natural extension – Mount Korab – which represents the highest part of both countries, and rises to about 2764 meters.
History lovers refer to the town Krushevo in the southwest, which is famous for Ilinden uprising. The whole city is a real museum dedicated to this most important event in the history of Macedonia. In recent years, many visitors come to the town to visit the final resting place of Macedonian singer Tose Proeski.
Official language: Macedonian
Religion: Christianity (65 percent of the population), Islam (33 percent)
Currency: Macedonian denar (MKD)
Disease and prevention: a special vaccination to enter the country is not required.
When to travel: Spring-summer
Accommodation: Villa Water and Hotel Rose Diplomatique in the capital are a good choice. In Ohrid stay in Villa St. Sofia.
Restaurants: Hotel restaurants are always a wise choice. Visit the Waterwheel Restaurant Mulino in the capital or tavern Momir in Ohrid.