Cities of Macedonia

Skopje

The largest city and the capital of Macedonia is Skopje with a population of more than 600.000. ... more Skopje is cultural, economic and academic centre. In the Roman period it was known under the name Skupi. In 1392, the city was conquered by the Ottoman Turks who called the town Üsküp. The town stayed under Turkish control for over 500 years, serving as the capital of pashasanjak of Üsküp and later the Vilayet of Kosovo. At that time the city was famous for its oriental architecture The city developed rapidly after World War II, but this trend was interrupted in 1963 when it was hit by a disastrous earthquake. In 1991, it became the capital city of an independent Macedonia. Skopje also is a very attractive tourist destination with its fortress, cultural and historical monuments, archaeological sites, sport halls, caves in the canyon of the River Treska and Lake Matka

What to visit in Skopje

  • The old bazaar ( date back to the 12th centry and predominates Ottoman architecture. You can see Mustafa Pasha Mosque, Daut Pasha Hammam, Kapan Han, Cifte Hammam…)
  • Macedonia Square (the centre of the city, complete with statues of national heroes)
  • Skopje fortress
  • Stone Bridge
  • The Millennial Cross
  • Memorial house of Mother Treresa
  • St. Spas Church
  • Monastery of St. Pantelejmon-Nerezi
  • Monastery of King Marko
  • Canyon Matka

Ohrid

The largest tourist centre in Macedonia, known as Jerusalem of the Balkans, is visited by thousands of tourists every year. ... more In 1979, Ohrid and Lake Ohrid were accepted as Cultural and Natural World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Ohrid was a centre of Slavic literacy, spirituality and culture. Kliment and Naum, the two best - known disciples of the missionary brothers Cyril and Methodious of Salonica with their arrival, Ohrid developed into a leading centre of Slavic cultural and literary activity. Kliment spent thirty years among the Macedonian Slavs. The first Ohrid literary school was founded at his monastery church of St. Pantalejmon in Ohrid, (built in 893). The 3500 pupils who came out of this school spread the Slavic script, culture, art and church singing across several Slav lands as far as Kiev in mediaeval Russia. By the end of the 9th century and beginning of 10the century the Slavic literacy, spirituality and culture were founded. Ohrid has a deserved place in the spreading of the Slavic spirituality in Europe and across the world, especially in the process of evangelism of the Slavic Christian East. Ohrid is also famous for Ohrid pearl which is his trademark. The production of Ohrid pearl is a family secret tradition passed down one generation to another. During the summer, Ohrid has a very rich nightlife. You can attend on Ohrid festival enjoying the music of the world stars, or go to the night clubs, bars, discotheques and cafe bars.

What to visit in Ohrid

  • Samuil’s Fortress
  • St. Naum Monastery
  • Museum on Water
  • Antique Theatre
  • St. Sofia Church (11th century)
  • St. Jovan Kaneo Church (13th century)
  • St. Mother of God Perivlepta (1295)
  • St. Pantelejmon - St. Kliment’s Monastery (9th century)
  • Gutenberg Workshop
  • National park Galichica

Bitola

”The city of consuls’’- Bitola is the second largest city in Macedonia, home to twelve consulates. ... more It was known to the ancient world as Heraclea Lyncestis, a city founded by Phillip II of Macedonia (father of Alexander the Great). Today, Bitola is real mix of old and new, where Ottoman constructions and ancient ruins intermingle with modern office buildings.

What to visit in Bitola

  • Shirok Sokak (pedestrian boulevard is lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants. You can see the old Macedonian and Ottoman style houses.)
  • Clock-tower (The monument from 17th century. Legend says that 60.000 eggs were collected from the households and mixed in the mortar to make the building stronger)
  • Heraclea Lyncestis (an ancient city which include the Roman theatre, Roman bath complex, small and large basilicas, floor mosaics…)
  • Congress of Manastir (an academic conference held in the city of Manastir (Bitola) from November 14 to November 22, 1908, with the goal of standardizing the Albanian alphabet.)
  • National park Pelister

The Tikvesh region

Veles, Kavadarci, Negotino, Demir Kapija are the cities producers of the best Macedonian wine. ... more The vineyards in the Tikvesh Region are spread on about 11.000 hectares. The wine is one of the symbols of the Macedonian land. The great secret of the beautiful taste of the Macedonian wines is in the sun, which in the Tikesh region gives a specific taste to every grape. Macedonia is one of the first European countries in which the vineyard culture was nurtured. In the last ten years wine tourism In Macedonia has seen phenomenal growth. Host of the Tikves grape picking-gathering is the city of Kavadarci, the biggest wine producer in Macedonia and one of the bigger in the Balkan Peninsula. This traditional and tourist festival, forms part of a continuous, long and rich tradition that has been maintained in this region from the antique period, when in honour of the god of wine and grape, Dionysus, were held the ”Days of Dionysus’”

National parks

*National park Pelister

Pelister National Park is a national park in the Municipality of Bitola from 1948. ... more The park is located in the Baba Mountain. The altitude of the park varies between 927 and 2,601 m, above sea level and is filled with exquisite flora and fauna. Among flora elements, the presence is especially significant of the five-needle pine molica, Pinus peuce - a unique species of Cenozoic age being present on only a few mountains in the Balkan peninsula From Pelister one can see the Pelagonia valley, Lake Prespa, mountains Nidže, Galičica, Jakupica, and the city of Bitola. Pelister is one of the most southern mountains in the Balkans that has an alpine character.

*National Park Mavrovo

It was founded in 1949 and is located in the west of the country between Mavrovo Lake and the Albanian border. ... more The highest mountain peak in Macedonia is found in the National Park of Mavrovo, the peak Great Korab (2,764m ) Mavrovo’s impressive forests contain more than 100 rare species of trees and its hilltops are rich in wild teas and herbs that can be easily gathered by hand. Mavrovo Lake which is located just beneath the ski center makes the National Park of Mavrovo a very popular weekend resort all year round.

*National Park Galichica

The National Park Galichica is situated on Mount Galichica. ... more Galichica enjoys moderate Continental climate influenced by a large quantity of water from both Lakes (lakes of Ohrid and Prespa) and the hot Sub-Mediterranean influences that break through the relatively low mountain saddles in Albania. In addition to the extraordinary natural beauty and aesthetic values, Galicica is also a unique environment with well-preserved natural flora in several ecosystems. The flora in the National Park Galichica covers more than 800 species, among which there are numerous relict and endemic forms whose farthest limit of distribution is Mount Galichica itself. The fauna on Galichica is also prolific and diverse. There are no precise data about the number of invertebrate species. Vertebrates are present with 170 species: 10 amphibians, 18 reptiles, 124 birds, and 18 mammals

Lakes

Macedonia is home to three natural lakes: Ohrid Lake, Prespa Lake and Dojran Lake.

Ohrid Lake is one of Europe's deepest and oldest lakes, preserving a unique aquatic ecosystem that is of worldwide importance, with more than 200 endemic species. There are three cities on the lake's shores: Ohrid and Struga on the Macedonian side and Pogradec in Albania.

Prespa Lake is divided between Albania, Greece and Macedonia. Because Prespa Lake sits about 150m above Ohrid Lake, its waters run through underground channels and emerge from springs which feed streams running into Ohrid Lake.

Dojran Lake is shared between Macedonia and Greece. The mud of the Dojran Lake is mending. Its specifically beneficial in healing of the muscles and bones. People cover themselves with mud and bake on the sun. They believe in its healing powers.