Population: 2,058,359 (est.)
Currency: Macedonian Denar (MKD)
Driving on: Right side
Dialing Code: +389
Internet TLD: .mk
Macedonia is the undiscovered gem in the heart of the Balkans. Its dazzling array of breathtaking mountain peaks, historical and cultural monuments, crystal clear lakes, nightlife buzz and the opportunities for adventure sports, more than make up for its small size. Its turbulent history is visible layer upon layer at the many astonishing archeological sites across the country, as well as in the cultural heritage which is one of the richest and oldest in the world.
With its mix of Mediterranean and Continental climate it offers the best for all seasons. Hit the slopes in the winter at one of the ski resorts that offer great value for money, especially for the adrenaline seekers, extreme skiers and climbers. As for the other seasons, enjoy trekking and mountain biking across the wonderful national parks in one moment, and enjoy the crystal clear waters at ancient UNESCO protected Lake Ohrid the next.
Cultural enthusiasts will have their hands full as well, as Macedonia is filled with historical landmarks, monasteries and mosques, castles and archeological sites. It is hailed as the doorstep for Christianity in Europe as St. Erasmus church in Ohrid is dated back to the 6-th century AD. But perhaps the most profound experience are the stories told by friendly locals who would be more than happy to share their unique traditions and folklore tales over a hot cup of coffee.
Skopje, the largest city and capital of Macedonia attracts most visitors, and it's easy to notice why. The city can offer something for everyone's taste, from shopping malls and centers, ballet and opera, cinema and theaters, to one of Macedonians favorite pass time activities, drinking lots and lots of coffee in the best coffee places in the city center. Located between seven mountains the outdoor activities are abound and many to choose from, skiing, hiking, canoeing, trekking, climbing, mountain biking all within an hour drive... talk about a great location.
See more about Skopje here.
Western Macedonia - Ohrid, Mavrovo, Krushevo, Bitola...
Ohrid can easily be named the spiritual Capital of Macedonia. An ancient city that comes to life during the summer, attracting visitors with its breathtaking crystal clear Ohrid lake, sizzling nightlife and numerous cultural events, and in winter a fairytale land surrounded by mountain caps covered in snow of the National Park Galicica, only a 15 minutes away by car. Further northwest of Ohrid you will find Mavrovo National Park with Zare Lazarevski Ski Centre and beautiful Mavrovo Lake, which offer year round recreation and fun activities. Bitola, the city of consuls, provides a cultural touch to the area with its trademark square Shirok Sokak, full of coffee shops and bars that make the city one of the top nightlife destinations in the country, and it is home to a numerous cultural events throughout the year. Krushevo has a special place in Macedonian history and soul. The nation's biggest holiday, 2nd of August or Ilinden, is celebrated there with many cultural events like re-enacting historical battles, traditional folklore dances and poetic reading, not to mention the amount of food and drinks consumed every year.
See more about Western Macedonia here.
Central Macedonia - Veles, Kavadarci, Gevgelija...
Going along the largest river Vardar and the country's largest highway, the Central part of Macedonia is perfect for stop&go visits, however there is more than meets the eye. Veles has a lot to offer, its rich cultural and historical background has provided Macedonia with exceptional people to whom the city pays tribute to, think of Koco Racin, whose Memorial House is a must see. The surroundings include archeological site of Roman times city Stobi, whose mesmerizing mosaics still remain intact, and beautiful Veles lake a site perfect for family recreation and picnics. Further south, Kavadarci is the wine capital of Macedonia, and its region Tikveshijata is producing the best Macedonian wine. Wine tasting and staying at the resorts the wineries have built can make an ordinary week-end, perfect and unique. Next up, Gevgelija is known as the warmest, southernmost city in Macedonia. The small town also bears the nickname Macedonia's Las Vegas with its size of only around 20,000 people it has three five star Hotel and Casino resorts, which offer great value for money, with impeccable service and big tradition. Just 30 minutes by car is Kozuf Mountain Resort which offers year round outdoor activities and is planned to become Balkan's largest Mountain resort in years to come.
See more about Central Macedonia here.
Eastern Macedonia - Berovo, Strumica, Dojran...
Berovo is part of the eastern mountains of Macedonia, and it is all about alternative tourism. With hills and forests abound, the town and its area offer recreational activities such as mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding. Strumica on the other hand, only 40 minutes away is a vibrant young city with great value for money shops and a very active nightlife. Further south, Dojran Lake is the smallest natural lake in Macedonia, but its healing algae waters make up for every drop. Dojran City, thrives during the summer with numerous music festivals, which leaves the accommodation providers operating at full capacity, the rest of the seasons it's calm small city, perfect for relaxing and spending some quality time with your loved ones.
See more about Eastern Macedonia here.