May 31, 2023

North Macedonia is likely one of the most underrated nations within the Balkans, typically ignored by vacationers exploring the area. And even when they resolve to go to Macedonia, it’s typically simply Lake Ohrid and Skopje. However there are such a lot of extra nice locations to go to in Macedonia: breathtaking mountains, charming cities, historic websites, attention-grabbing structure, and extra.

places to visit in macedonia

I’ve been visiting Macedonia steadily for some 10 years now and it shortly turned one in all my favourite nations to journey to. There all the time appear to be new locations to find and returning to the previous ones is all the time a pleasure. Add to that scrumptious meals, pleasant locals, and inexpensive costs and you will notice why I take pleasure in North Macedonia a lot.

However creating this checklist of finest locations to go to in North Macedonia made me understand that there are nonetheless some superior locations there that I must see (and want a automobile to get to as not all the pieces is reachable by public transport, sadly). That’s the plan for the close to future, although!

places to visit in macedonia

Once you resolve to go to North Macedonia you’ll want to embrace extra than simply the favored locations in your itinerary. Under you will discover the checklist of what to see in Macedonia that may hopefully function the inspiration in your journey.

Greatest locations to go to in North Macedonia

Skopje

Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia, is likely one of the quirkiest cities you’ll ever see. At first, it may appear fairly random, with blocks of flats overlaying the middle, however when you dig a bit deeper into the place you might be in for a deal with.

You received’t discover many historic sights there as town was largely destroyed by the 1963 earthquake however Skopje is such a bizarre mixture of architectural kinds that they someway match collectively.

The central a part of town is lined with fashionable buildings that attempt to resemble historic ones and with numerous statues (a few of them painting well-known historic figures, others are simply random scenes). An important one is “the warrior on the horse” situated in the course of the primary sq. of town – Macedonia Sq.. Not solely it is rather spectacular with its 12-meter peak, however it is usually a really controversial statue that in actual fact exhibits Alexander the Nice.

Throughout the Vardar river, you may discover the oldest a part of Skopje – the bazaar with the maze of slender streets and the fortress towering above the realm. Wandering round there’s like stepping again in time.

If you happen to take pleasure in brutalist structure (I do!), Skopje is sort of a large playground with so many concrete masterpieces round.

For a fast escape from the hustle and bustle of town, you may head to the close by Vodno mountain from the place you may go climbing or just benefit from the gorgeous panorama of Skopje and its environment.


Learn extra about Skopje in my articles:


places to visit in macedonia

places to visit in macedonia

places to visit in macedonia

places to visit in macedonia

places to visit in macedonia

Matka Canyon

Solely a brief experience away from Skopje you will see one of the lovely locations to go to in Macedonia – Marka Canyon. This spectacular place was truly not made by nature. In 1938 the dam was constructed on river Treska, creating a synthetic lake surrounded by excessive mountains, the oldest lake of that sort in North Macedonia.

The Matka Canyon covers an space of round 5,000 hectares. 20% of the plant species you may see listed here are endemic, that means they’ll’t be discovered anyplace else. You can even see 77 sorts of butterflies within the space! There are additionally ten caves at Matka Canyon, the most well-liked one being Vrelo Cave. It was even included on the checklist of the highest 77 pure websites of the world within the New 7 Wonders of the World challenge.

When visiting Matka Canyon you are able to do right here quite a few actions, like climbing, fishing, or kayaking. You can even discover some previous monasteries within the space. However the primary purpose to go to Matka Canyon is to easily see what a surprising place it’s.

You will get to Matka Canyon from Skopje by bus or be part of one of many excursions that go to this place.


Learn extra about Matka Canyon in my article: Matka Canyon – an ideal nature getaway exterior Skopje


places to visit in macedonia

places to visit in macedonia

Tetovo

Tetovo is likely one of the most underrated locations to go to in North Macedonia. Even when it’s conveniently situated solely 45 km away from Skopje, on the way in which to Lake Ohrid, not many vacationers resolve to cease there. Big mistake as Tetovo hides one of the gorgeous buildings you may see in North Macedonia – the Painted Mosque.

It was in-built 1438 and later rebuilt in 1833. Even when the mosque is relatively small, it certainly is gorgeous with very wealthy decorations (not like many different mosques, the dominant motifs are floral and shiny). That is additionally the one mosque in southeast Europe the place you will see the illustration of Mecca – the holy place of the Islamic world.

Whereas the Painted Mosque is wonderful there are literally extra issues to do in Tetovo: the Sixteenth-century Turkish hammam become a gallery, Arabati Baba Tekḱe – a non secular complicated fashionable in Sufism faith, based within the Sixteenth century, or a couple of nice brutalist buildings. Tetovo additionally presents some lovely views of the encompassing Sar Mountains.


Learn extra about Tetovo in my article: Tetovo, North Macedonia – Beautiful Painted Mosque and Extra


places to visit in macedonia

places to visit in macedonia

places to visit in macedonia

Lake Ohrid

Lake Ohrid is, fingers down, probably the most wonderful place to go to in Macedonia and the most effective within the Balkans. Each time I’m there my jaw drops at how gorgeous this space is. Whether or not you might be searching for cultural, enjoyable, or lively holidays – Lake Ohrid falls into all of those classes.

The principle city on the lake is Ohrid the place you will see a lot of the sights and monuments. One of the simplest ways to get to know Ohrid is to easily wander across the Outdated City and stumble throughout all it has to supply: quite a few church buildings (it’s mentioned that previously there have been 365 church buildings on the town), the Tenth-century fortress or the traditional amphitheater. Probably the most iconic view in Ohrid (and even the entire nation) is the 14th-century church devoted to Saint John at Kaneo, constructed on a excessive cliff above the lake.

As soon as you might be completed with visiting Ohrid, there are extra locations alongside the lake that you simply shouldn’t miss: Saint Naum Monastery (based on the very starting of the Tenth century, it is likely one of the most essential non secular websites in North Macedonia), Bay of Bones, Holy Mom of God Zahumska church or Struga (one other giant city on the lakeside).

Each, town of Ohrid and the lake had been included within the UNESCO World Heritage Listing and are one of many few locations which are each on the Cultural and Pure checklist.


Learn extra about Lake Ohrid in my articles:


places to visit in macedonia

places to visit in macedonia

places to visit in macedonia

places to visit in macedonia

Veles

Veles won’t be the not apparent vacation spot selection when visiting Macedonia however the metropolis, situated 55 km south-east of Skopje, has no less than one landmark that’s well worth the consideration. If you’re aware of the idea of Yugoslav spomeniks – the WW2 memorials that usually have relatively uncommon shapes – you may need to come to Veles to see one in all them.

Kosturnica Memorial, relationship again to the late Seventies, was created to honor Partisan troopers from Veles and surrounding areas who had been preventing in opposition to the fascist German and Bulgarian forces through the Nationwide Liberation Struggle from 1941 to 1945. The memorial was imagined to appear like the open poppy-seed flower, the image of life and rebirth. Inside you will discover the museum with the largest mosaic in North Macedonia.

Visiting Kosturnica Memorial has another benefit – from the monument, you may admire a phenomenal panorama of Veles (town has a extremely picturesque location). Moreover the abstract-looking spomenik different locations price seeing in Veles embrace the historic clock tower from the 18th century and the Church of Saint Pantaleon from the Nineteenth century.


Learn extra about Veles in my article: Veles, North Macedonia – an underrated metropolis within the Balkans


places to visit in macedonia

places to visit in macedonia

Kratovo

Even when right now Kratovo is a sleepy little city, it has an extended and attention-grabbing historical past, relationship again to Roman occasions and for hundreds of years it’s been an essential mine heart with varied uncooked supplies mined right here.

Kratovo is picturesquely situated in a basin surrounded by inexperienced hills on the fringe of Osogovo mountains and the townscape is full of pink rooftops and medieval stone towers. Prior to now there have been seventeen stone towers from the twelfth to 14th century (the best variety of medieval towers in Macedonia), right now solely six stay however they positive are spectacular. One other remnants of the previous occasions are medieval stone bridges connecting two sides of the small rivers and creeks, there are nonetheless 5 of them in Kratovo.

Altogether, visiting Kratovo feels a bit like stepping again in time. This is likely one of the most underrated locations to go to in Macedonia.


Learn extra about Kratovo in my article: Kratovo, North Macedonia – the City of Stone Bridges and Towers


places to visit in macedonia

places to visit in macedonia

Bitola

Bitola, recognized additionally because the “Metropolis of Consuls” is the second-largest metropolis in North Macedonia, situated within the south of the nation close to the border with Greece.

Due to the various consuls who had their seats right here within the Nineteenth century town nonetheless has a distinct, extra laid-back, and European vibe than different locations in Macedonia. The middle is lined with lovely Nineteenth-century buildings and the pedestrian central avenue – Shirok Sokak – is full of cafes the place you may sit down, observe the world round and benefit from the enjoyable ambiance of Bitola.

Even when town is thought for its Nineteenth-century significance, Bitola is way older and you will discover some older monuments right here too, particularly mosques and the bazaar space (which might compete with the one in Skopje).

However the true spotlight of visiting Bitola is Heraclea Lyncestis – the ruins of the traditional city situated simply 2 km exterior of the middle.

places to visit in macedonia

places to visit in macedonia

places to visit in macedonia

Pelister Nationwide Park

When visiting Bitola don’t additionally miss Pelister Nationwide Park, situated simply exterior of town. That is the oldest nationwide park in North Macedonia, established in 1848, and surrounds the Baba Mountain massif with its highest peak Pelister (2601 m, the third highest mountain within the nation).

The park is thought for its beautiful wildlife, it is usually an ideal place for climbing round and the shut proximity to Bitola makes it a well-liked nature getaway amongst locals. When wandering round you may anticipate some wonderful views, it’s also possible to go to two mountain lakes known as Pelister’s Eyes.

places to visit in macedonia

Prilep

Prilep is thought largely because the Macedonian tobacco and beer capital however this metropolis, situated between Skopje and Bitola, has truly so much to supply.

The central a part of Prilep isn’t giant nevertheless it’s full of monuments from the traditional, Byzantine, Ottoman, neoclassical, communist, and fashionable occasions. The previous bazaar is relatively small however actually nice with its vibrant ambiance. On the sting of it, you may see the ruins of the Čarši Mosque from 1475 (the oldest mosque in Europe with a double balcony on its minaret) that was sadly set on fireplace through the 2001 protests. Regardless of its present situation, you may nonetheless simply think about what a phenomenal place it was once.

In Prilep, it’s also possible to see one other Yugoslav spomenik – Mound of the Unbeaten – commemorating the Prilep space’s fallen within the Battle for the Liberation of Macedonia.

What catches the eye straight away when visiting Prilep is town’s lovely location with rocky hills surrounding the place. On these hills on the sting of town, you will discover remnants of the medieval fortress from occasions when Prilep was the capital of the medieval kingdom of Kings Vukašin and Marko. This is likely one of the finest locations to go to in Prilep, not just for its historic worth but in addition gorgeous views round.

10 km away from town it’s also possible to go to the secluded Treskavec Monastery from the twelfth century with unbelievable frescoes inside. The hike to the monastery is a bit difficult however the panorama and views round are the very best rewards for the hassle.

places to visit in macedonia

places to visit in macedonia

places to visit in macedonia

places to visit in macedonia

places to visit in macedonia

Krusevo

With an elevation of 1,350 m Krusevo is the highest-located city within the nation that, in 1903, was the middle of the Ilinden Rebellion in opposition to the Ottoman Empire. Immediately it’s a very picturesque but sleepy city with a couple of monuments price visiting.

The spotlight of Krusevo is one more spomenik, in all probability probably the most recognized one in North Macedonia – Makedonium, opened in 1974 on the thirtieth anniversary of the Second Session of the Anti-fascist Meeting for the Nationwide Liberation of Macedonia and the 71st anniversary of Ilinden Rebellion. The design of this construction is de facto distinctive and appears like from outer house. If you’re fortunate and Makedonium is open you’ll want to go to it inside too to see some attention-grabbing stained glass home windows and basreliefs.

Krusevo was additionally the hometown of the most well-liked Macedonian singer, Tose Proeski who died in a automobile accident in 2007 on the age of 26. Immediately you may go to his memorial dwelling and his grave in Krusevo, there are additionally quite a few indicators everywhere in the city commemorating this well-known artist.

Krusevo can also be an ideal place for a lazy stroll round, to admire the gorgeous structure of the city and exquisite views of the city and past.

places to visit in macedonia

places to visit in macedonia

places to visit in macedonia

places to visit in macedonia

Mavrovo Nationwide Park

Mavrovo Nationwide Park is the most important nationwide park within the nation, situated within the western a part of North Macedonia, close to the border with Albania. You will discover there some lovely landscapes with lakes, rivers, and caves in addition to the best peak of Macedonia – Mount Korab (2,764 m).

The preferred place to go to in Mavrovo Nationwide Park is the submerged Church of Saint Nicholas from the mid-Nineteenth century. How a lot of it you may truly see is determined by the water stage in Lake Mavrovo, within the summertime when the lake dries up you may even go to the church inside.

The realm of the nationwide park has truly extra attention-grabbing monuments you may go to, the spotlight being Saint Jovan Bigorski Monastery initially from the early eleventh century, with the spectacular wood-carved iconostasis. Don’t additionally miss the village of Galičnik, recognized for its historic structure – it has the largest variety of buildings underneath safety in the entire nation.

places to visit in macedonia

places to visit in macedonia

places to visit in macedonia

Stobi

Stobi might be probably the most spectacular historic city you will discover within the territory of North Macedonia, relationship again to BC occasions. Across the 2nd century BC, it fell underneath Roman rule and was creating till the sixth century when it was destroyed by earthquakes and invasions.

Immediately you may go to wonderful remnants of that historic city and see ruins of quite a few historic websites: homes, basilicas, streets, and extra, there are additionally some well-preserved mosaics nonetheless on the bottom.

places to visit in macedonia

Šar Mountains

Positioned on the border between North Macedonia and Kosovo, Šar Mountains supply some breathtaking views and climbing prospects. With 30 peaks larger than 2,500 m in addition to a couple of glacial lakes situated over 2,000 m, Šar Mountains is a paradise for all nature lovers.

For the reason that space isn’t broadly fashionable you may anticipate pretty empty trails when wandering round. The best peak of the Šar Mountains is Titov Vrv (2,747 m). The mountain vary is situated simply exterior Tetovo and is definitely accessible from this metropolis.

places to visit in macedonia

Osogovo Monastery

Positioned close to the border with Bulgaria, Osogovo Monastery was based within the twelfth century however the oldest a part of the construction we will go to right now dates again to 2 centuries later.

The monastery in actual fact consists of two church buildings: the bigger “Saint Joachim of Osogovo” and the smaller “Holy Mom of God”. That’s additionally the place you will see a residency for the Head of the Macedonian Orthodox Church.

Moreover its historic and non secular worth, it’s price visiting Osogovo Monastery for the gorgeous frescoes you may see contained in the church buildings.

places to visit in macedonia

Kuklica

Stone Dolls of Kuklica is usually known as “the Macedonian Cappadocia”. There are over 100 stone pillars: 15 giant (10 meters tall) and 120 smaller ones. Since lots of them resemble people, the legend says that the pillars are in actual fact wedding ceremony visitors that had been become stones.

Kuklica is situated solely 10 km away from Kratovo so you may mix visiting these two locations collectively.

places to visit in macedonia

Kokino

Found solely in 2001, Kokino is the location of the megalithic observatory that’s believed to be virtually 4 thousand years previous, making it the fourth of the oldest observatories in response to NASA. You possibly can nonetheless discover there particular stone markers used to trace the motion of the solar and moon on the japanese horizon.

What makes this place much more price visiting is the spectacular surroundings within the Kokino observatory is situated in.

places to visit in macedonia

Kozjak Lake

Kozjak Lake is the most important synthetic lake in North Macedonia, situated not removed from Skopje. Surrounded by picturesque mountains rolling all the way down to its floor, the lake is 32 km lengthy and within the widest place, the space between the shores is as much as 400 meters. Kozjak Lake was created in 2004 when the close by hydroelectric energy plant opened.

The lake is very fashionable amongst fishermen however even in case you are not fascinated by fishing you need to nonetheless go to the realm because the views, particularly from the higher elements, are breathtaking.

places to visit in macedonia

Lake Prespa

Much less fashionable than Ohrid, Lake Prespa is split between three nations: North Macedonia (the most important half), Greece, and Albania. With an elevation of 853 meters, that is the best tectonic lake within the Balkans, surrounded by two nationwide parks of Macedonia: Galičica and Pelister. That is additionally the place you will see among the finest seashores in North Macedonia, making Lake Prespa a well-liked vacation spot amongst native vacationers.

Moreover the gorgeous views, there are different locations price visiting round Lake Prespa: Golem Grad (the most important island within the nation) in addition to a couple of previous church buildings and monasteries.

places to visit in macedonia

Galičica Nationwide Park

The realm between Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa is the place you will see Galičica Nationwide Park, targeted across the Galičica mountain vary with the best peak being Kota (2,292 meters). Throughout the park, you will discover over 1600 floral species. The nationwide park makes an ideal nature getaway or perhaps a day journey vacation spot when visiting Lake Ohrid.

places to visit in macedonia

Map with the very best locations to go to in Macedonia

To offer you a greater overview of locations to go to in Macedonia, right here is the map with the areas of all of the destonations talked about above.

Remaining ideas on visiting Macedonia

As you may see, North Macedonia actually has so much to supply and even when it doesn’t have sea entry (which I believe is the rationale why it’s much less fashionable than different Balkan nations) there are nonetheless loads of nice locations to see in Macedonia. Give the nation an opportunity and you’ll not be dissatisfied! You may even hold returning to North Macedonia similar to I do.

places to visit in macedonia

places to visit in macedonia


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places to visit in macedonia


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