Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia is a small country situated in the heart of the Balkan Peninsula. It borders with Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Albania. It covers an area of only 25,333 square kilometers, but the country is situated at crossroads and its location is extremely favourable. Most of the territory is occupied by mountains. Most of the year peaks are covered with snow. The highest peak in Macedonia is Golem Korab, situated in the mountain Korab.
It is 2760 meters high. Most of Macedonia is covered with dense deciduous, mixed and coniferous forests, while the lower areas of the country are occupied mostly of farmland.
Actually this is not surprise – generally most of the countries on the Balkan Peninsula are quite fertile and have a perfect climate for the development of agriculture.
Here because of the mild climate and plenty of sunny days per year are grown high quality grapes and produce excellent wines. Symbol of Macedonia is Lake of Ohrid.
It is considered to be one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe. A small part of the lake is situated in the territory of Albania, but the majority is in Macedonia.
The biggest part of the lake is surrounded by green mountains, and often their slopes descend steeply to the calm lake waters. Ohrid Lake is quite deep.
In places its waters reach a depth of 288 meters. East of Lake Ohrid, is located Prespa Lake. It is located at a slightly higher altitude and its environs are much less populated.
Here the wildlife prevails. This does not make it less beautiful, but just on the contrary. Although it has less fame, it is not less beautiful. Prespa Lake has an exclusive charm.
The surrounding area is very well preserved and the modern civilization almost did not leave its mark. It is interesting to note that despite its small area, it is situated in 3 countries – Macedonia, Albania and Greece.
Macedonia has a population of about 2 million people. Of these, about 600,000 live in the capital Skopje, which is the largest and most dynamic city in the country.
Although Macedonia is a developing country with relatively low standard of living in the central parts of the city has a great variety of malls, shopping centers, shops and restaurants.
Generally in the center of Skopje, as it is in many other European city has a wide variety of ways by which one can spend his money.
The Vardar River crosses Skopje through the city center and make for the Aegean Sea to the southeast.
The true Macedonia, however, you will feel outside the big metropolitan city and if you have sights of that country as a tourist destination you have to know that it is better to direct to places that are saturated with history and architectural monuments.
In Macedonia there are towns in which the spirit of the past, culture and tradition could be felt in the air. These are Struga, Bitola, but especially the pearl of Macedonia – Ohrid.
These cities are major tourist centers and your journey to this small Balkan country would not be completed if you do not enjoy to their old atmosphere.
Struga is a small town located near the border with Albania. It has a population of about 40,000 inhabitants. The main part of the population is consists of Albanians.
Macedonians are second in number ethnic group. The city is quiet and very calm. Its main advantage is that it is situated on the shore of the famous Lake Ohrid.
The town is small with narrow streets and many buildings with traditional architecture. Like every other resort town and Struga also looks cheerful and attractive, and the infrastructure is relatively good.
On the streets you can see many hotels and restaurants. The city has a pebbly beach on the lake coast. Although Macedonia has no sea, lake could be a substitute for it, especially when we talk about tourism.
Not far from Struga is the most beautiful and famous city in the country – Ohrid. It has a population of about 55,000 people. It is bigger than Struga and is the most important tourist destination in Macedonia.
In the northern part of Ohrid, there are a few small but very nice beaches, which during the warm and sunny summers are full with visitors and guests.
The old town of Ohrid will enchant you with its romantic atmosphere. Near by the shore steep and narrow streets criss cross the old town without direction and the old houses pose before the cameras of the thousands of tourists.
Here it seems as if the time has stopped long ago. The rhythm of life is relaxed and the old cultural and family values are still very important for the people.
Macedonia, especially around Lake Ohrid is considered to be one of the most important sites for Christianity in Europe.
Here you will find really thousands of churches, chapels and monasteries, but some of them as the Church of St. Clement and St. Panteleimon, St. Sofia and the monastery Joakim Osogovski you can not miss.
Among the most important sights are also Ohrid Samuil fortress and the Robeva house. Ohrid, as you can see is much more than beautiful scenery and beautiful views of Lake Ohrid.
It is a symbol of culture. The city is a very important historical center. Here in 886 was established and flourished the Ohrid Literary School, which is an important moment in Bulgarian history.
But the small and picturesque towns are not the only reason to visit Macedonia. The country has a very pleasant moderate climate with very hot and sunny days from May to late September.
During this period, temperatures in Macedonia range from 21 to 31°C. Winter is less suitable for tourism. Then temperatures fall to around 5°C. If you travel to Macedonia in the period from May to September the thin summer clothes will be enough for you.
Well, if you are in Macedonia in early May or late September, however, you would do well to get in your luggage and a thin coat or a light jacket for example, just for in case.
However, if you have decided to travel in winter, then it is better to wear warmer clothes, because here from December to February usually happens to fall even snow.
Although Macedonia has no harsh winter, the temperatures are not as high as on the Mediterranean coast.
If you want to see the whole of Macedonia and want to organize everything alone without travel agent, first make a list of main attractions, but after your arrival in the country concert your plans with the views of some travel consultant.
Direct your attention mainly to the region of Lake Ohrid. It is something as the Macedonian Riviera. The second you have to do is to take care of your transport soon after your arrival.
It will be better if you rent a car. Do not expect too much of the public transport. Here we should mention that because of its small territory, you can travel the all country just for a few days (well, if you have not decided to visit all of its churches and monasteries, because for this reason you have to stay here more than one year).
If you rent a car you can take full advantage and you will utilize your vacation, even if you do not have much time. In its two most distant points of Macedonia is about 215 km long, i.e for one day you could visit landmarks that are in quite opposite points of the country.
If we assume the capital Skopje as your starting point, you’ll travel no more than two hours to any point in the country.
In terms of prices Macedonia has always been one of the more easily accessible tourist destinations, although it have never suffered from lack of tourist interest.
Here prices are relatively low and you could visit the many restaurants and shopping centers without spending a lot.