A small landlocked country in the Balkan Peninsula, Macedonia is at the crossroads of East and West. In the course of its turbulent history, the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Slavs, Ottomans – who remained for more than five centuries – passed through it, followed by Bulgarians and Serbs. In other words,
Macedonian identity is complex and multifaceted. If the country is still relatively unknown, it may well be that this is not the case in a few years. Best time in Macedonia is between June and September. The most climate-friendly months to visit are from April – October. On average, the hottest months are July and August when the mercury touches 40, and the coldest month of the year is February with freezing temperature.
Mostly Slavic and Christian Orthodox, the population also has a strong Albanian and Muslim minority, which is increasing. This diversity is displayed by the coexistence of churches and mosques in the cities. Independent since 1991 and the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, the very young Republic is still looking for an identity and a place in the heart of the Balkans.
Macedonia is opening up to international tourism and is relying heavily on the influx of foreign visitors in the coming years. Macedonian landscapes and its wild nature where hikers and outdoor enthusiasts find something to satisfy their passion, between mountains, numerous lakes, rivers, and forests. Finest time in Macedonia is during summer months.
- For those who prefer cultural and heritage discovery, there is also plenty to do with the many monasteries, frescoed churches, mosques, archaeological sites and villages of character. It must be said, tourists are welcomed in Macedonia. Openness and kindness are the general rules.
- The capital of Macedonia is Skopje, the economic center of the country, where you will be able to walk in the old bazaar, visit hammams, mosques and a beautiful Kale Fortress. Though many of its sites were destroyed in the devastating 1963 earthquake, it has many festive and cultural events and has great museums. The most pleasant time in Macedonia is walking the streets of Skopje and admiring the grand buildings.
- Ohrid is a real tourist capital, the UNESCO heritage of medieval architecture built on the shores of the lake, also on the beautiful beaches and the marina.
- There are several archaeological sites in the country which should not be missed – Tumba Madzari a Neolithic village, a Skopje neighborhood, painted caves at Tsotev Kamen, the Kokino Megalithic Observatory one of the oldest on the planet.
- Do not forget to mention three national parks, which are near the country’s mountain ranges, are home to wild animals such as deer, wolves, bears and lynxes and wildlife, including endemic species such as Macedonian pine. Greatest time in Macedonia is spent here hiking along the trails.
- Another wealth of this country: its numerous lakes, traditional villages, crafts, monasteries of Byzantine architecture and Ottoman mosques.
- Some places to visit for those who want to think outside the box: Devich farm near the Treska River, which practice alternative tourism in a beautiful place; Pelsiter National Park, 15 km from Bitola, with unspoiled landscapes, springs and lakes; Mountain cabins Golemo Ezero and Kopanki near the lakes of the same name. Outside the city of Bitola, are the graves of 6,200 French soldiers who fell on the Eastern Front during the First World War.