20 Reasons why to visit Macedonia
1. Mountains & Nature
This is just several reasons why you need to visit Macedonia. The list of reason is really big, but we will choose just 20 for now from what our visitors are saying about visiting Macedonia.
Those who really like nature and untouched places, locations that are not visited and shared by a lot of tourists at the same time. Beautiful lakes, big national parks, and mountains combined with a wide range of outdoor activities make it a great destination for all outdoor travelers.
2. To try delicious Macedonian food and normally wine 🙂
We know that every country is saying that has the best food in the world. This time our visitors are saying this 🙂 Time for food is a lot of different experiences for every Macedonian, and not just Macedonians, they really enjoy in food. First of all, we eat a lot, and really enjoy. Every time we start with our traditional SHOPSKA SALAT & RAKIJA. After that we continue with some of our big menu od traditional food. Gravche tavche, sarma, ajvar, selsko, is just several plates from big Macedonian menu.
3. National Parks
Are you a nature and mountain lover? If the answer is yes then Macedonia is waiting for you. Our 4 NATIONAL PARKS (Pelister, Mavrovo, Galicica & Shara) know to offer really unforgettable experiences for you. Landscapes that spread far far away, nature, mountain lakes are just several things from the big list that you cant miss while you are in Macedonia.
This is one another great reason why most of travelers are choosing Macedonia. Macedonia is a pretty cheap country, if you are traveling on a budget or you are looking for a not-so-expensive destination, this is the right choice for you.
You can easily eat three-course meals and enjoy a bottle of wine every night without breaking the bank.
The hotels are also reasonably priced for the services you receive. Your travel budget will definitely stretch a lot longer in Macedonia compared to other European countries.
5. Arts, Culture & Tradition
Macedonia is a country with rich history and tradition. The country’s history is evident in its diverse architecture, from ancient time monuments like Heraclea Lyncestis to Ottoman-era mosques that every city in the country has. Churches, museums, traditional folklore events, and festivals in the summer are the extra reason why you need to visit this gem of tradition.
Photos by Diogen Hadzi-Kosta Milevski
Macedonia has one of the oldest lake in Europe. UNESCO-protected Ohrid is often referred to as the ‘jewel in Macedonia’s crown’, and you can soon see why. Lake Ohrid is the oldest continuously existing lake in Europe, some three to five million years old, and along its glistening shores you’ll find springs, beaches and restaurants – it’s the perfect place to spend a summer’s day.
Prespa Lake and Prespa region is the second largest lake. Region famous by Ppespa apple, one of the best apples you can find in this region.
From ancient times and up, we can say that Macedonia is actually one of the places that have been settled the longest in Europe, and there is evidence showing that a civilization flourished here as early as 7000 years BC. That means you will find plenty of historic ancient locations, monasteries, mosques and a lot of other historical sites here.
The location itself is interesting too because the region has had so many different eras and rulers over the years. So, if you like history this is another reason why you need to visit Macedonia.
Churches and monasteries in Macedonia are among the country’s most precious treasures, where the spiritual and artistic heritage of the Byzantine Orthodox tradition is magnificently preserved. Macedonian churches share the essential characteristics of all Byzantine churches across the Balkans in terms of construction, design, and artwork.
Monastery tourism in this country, from a historic perspective, has a long tradition being supported with evidence of the hospitality of the monasteries in accommodating travelers. Macedonian monasteries have always welcomed all passengers, travelers, and all good people passing by to have a meal, rest or spend the night before they carry on with their journey. Monasteries have remained the place to help the needy and the feeble. Apart from leading monastic lives there, monasteries have always represented important literacy centers. Monasteries have been creating groups of icon painters, wood carvers and builders to meet their own needs, which have been decorating monasteries even outside the Macedonian borders and these are probably the best groups of icon painters, wood carvers, craftsmen, and builders throughout the Balkans.
9. The Deepest Underwater Cave In The World & Matka Canyon
From the last expedition where they reached a depth of 240 meters and because of technical issues couldn’t fully explore this cave we can say that this cave is really really deep cave. Nevertheless, visiting Matka Canyon it will certainly be worth of your time since the Matka Canyon is one of the most beautiful places in the Balkan Peninsula and is regularly overcrowded with tourists.
The canyon is famous for rock climbing, kayaking, the iconic view of Skopje, and several medieval monasteries, so the cave just adds to its popularity.
10. Space Observatory Which Is 4,000 Years Old
Less than an hour drive away from Skopje, near the Serbia border, you will find Kokino, one of the world’s oldest observatories as recognized by NASA. The oldest archaeological findings of this marvelous place date back to 19th century BC or to the early European Bronze Age. Kokino consists of two platforms that cover an area of about 5,000 square meters and here you can also find an abundance of fragments of ceramic vessels, dating back to between the 19th and the 11th century BC.
We are wine and rakija lovers 🙂 Since Roman times wine in Macedonia is playing a big role. Macedonia produces red and white varieties of high-quality wines. Must-see vineyards and to try out their wines are Winery Popova Kula, Winery Grkov, Winery Tikvesh, Winery Elenov, and Winery Bovin.
If you have a chance and to be a guest to some Macedonians for sure they will offer a glass of wine from their own production. Almost every household is producing homemade wine for winter days, whereas after they drink the wine they produce rakija with ditstillation for summer days.
12.Ohird - UNESCO city
Gorgeous Lake Ohrid is the oldest and deepest lake in the Balkans, and Macedonia’s crowning jewel. With an age of almost five million years, it’s considered to be one of the most biodiverse lakes of its size in the world. UNESCO honored both its natural and historical importance in 1979, when it designated Ohrid a World Heritage Site, along with the lakeside town of the same name.
Ohrid was an important religious site for hundreds of years, and its landscape is still dotted with dozens of fabulous medieval monasteries. One of the most visited and most important churches of St. Jovan at Kaneo and St. Naum offer postcard-perfect views ideal for soaking up a stunning lakeside sunset. Art lovers will want to visit the Church of St. Bogorodica Perivlepta, whose incredible icon gallery is second only to Moscow’s famed icon collection.
Located on the slopes of Mt. Galicica near the shore of Lake Ohrid, the monastery of St. Naum was founded in 900 AD.
As you stroll the cobbled lanes of the Old Town, look out for the one-of-a-kind “Ohrid pearls,” which are made from the scales of a small fish said to exist only in Lake Ohrid. The method for making the pearls is reportedly a closely guarded secret.
13. Bitola - City of art and culture
Bitola is one of the most interesting cities to visit because of its rich history that has. The ancient Heraclea city build by Filip II the father of Alexander the Great. The city where the most important person in the history of Turkey, famous Kemal Ataturk was studying military school here.
The Art manifestation “Small Monmartre of Bitola” is organized by the art studio “Kiril and Metodij” and over the years has turned into a successful children’s art festival. The most important dimension of ,,Small Montmartre of Bitola” is respect for the artistic heritage, with comparative works of children from different cultures and traditions. By meeting different cultures, children develop the spirit of multiculturalism and tolerance.
So far on the manifestation Small Monmartre of Bitola have participated more than 8,000 primary schools and kindergartens, with more than 500 000 children’s drawings from more than 45 countries worldwide.
The Manaki brothers, Yanaki and Milton, were photography and cinema pioneers of the Balkan Peninsula and the Ottoman Empire. They were the first to bring a film camera and create a motion picture in the city of Manastir(the name of Bitola used in the Turkey Empire), an economic and cultural center of Ottoman Rumelia.
14. Memorial House of Mother Teresa
Gonxha Bojaxhi, otherwise known as Mother Teresa, was born in Skopje in 1910. The desire to pay respect to Skopje’s most famous person and the only Nobel Peace Prize winner from Macedonia culminated in the realization of a long-standing vision – building a Memorial House for Mother Teresa. Accordingly, the foundation stone of the Memorial House was laid on May 9, 2008. The building, dedicated to the most humane woman in the world, was completed in just nine months. For visitors, the Memorial House was open on January 30, 2009. For more info you can find on Memorial House of Mother Teresa
15. Visiting monasteries
One of the most attractive and most picturesque monasterie is in Ohrid 🙂 The 13th century monastery St. John of Kaneo overlooking Lake Ohrid is one of the many ou can visit while you are in Ohrid. In Ohrid region it has 356 monasteries and churches, so you will need one year if you want to visit them all. 30 kilometers from Ohrid (also on the lake) stands the Monastery of St. Naum and the Springs of Ohrid Lake.
Another impressive monastery, the Monastery of St. John Bigorski is a little over an hour away in Mavrovo National Park. Known for its carvings and artwork, the monastery supposedly contains the forearm relic of St. John the Baptist.
16. Krusevo city
It is the highest town in Macedonia and one of the highest in the Balkans, situated at an altitude of over 1350 m above sea level. The Ilinden Memorial Complex, also known as Makedonium, is one of the most remarkable monuments in Krusevo and Macedonia. It was established on August 2, 1974, at the thirtieth anniversary of the ASNOM session and the 71st anniversary of the Ilinden Uprising and it is located immediately next to Krusevo, in the site Gumenje. It is a complex of four platforms that symbolize the invincibility, the struggle and the eternal aspiration of the Macedonian people for freedom and an independent state.
Krusevo builders, painters and woodcarvers become famous names in other parts of Macedonia, as well as in the neighbouring countries. Among the oldest sacral buildings, which were built in Krusevo, is the church “St. Nikola” (1832), burnt down during the Ilinden uprising in 1903. This main church is famous for the renowned iconostasis, created by the group of Petre Filipovich – Garkata.
Vevčani was likely first inhabited around the time of the arrival of Slavs to the region. Along with the rest of Macedonia, it was under the Ottoman rule for five centuries until the Balkan Wars in the early 20th century.
The village of Vevcani is a great one site stop for combining multiple unique Macedonian experiences. Many people are known to visit exclusively for the Vevcani carnival, mapping this place for another mid-summer tour as well. The Vevcani springs, glacial lakes, mountain slopes and scenery quickly add to one of the most colorful outdoor experiences. Close to Ohrid and Struga, this is a place that you must schedule on your next tour.
BBC Travel has a really nice story about Vevcani where you can read about it. BBC Travel – Vevcani story