This tour offers a glimpse in the hidden spiritual connection these places of worship have provided through the centuries. North Macedonia is a biblical country. Today 992 churches and monasteries, 50 000 m2 fresco painting, more than 20 000 icons (4-th most valuable collection in the world), 240 iconostasis, baldachins and bishop’s thrones carved in stone or wood are a cultural wealth North Macedonians should and are proud of. They are also proud of having given the world one of the modern saints , St Theresa of Calcutta born in Skopje.
Location: North Macedonia
Duration: 7 days
Arrival at the Skopje’s airport. Transfer to your hotel. Short introductory tour of the town and its main monuments and visit of St.Theresa memorial house if time permits. Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Skopje.
After early morning drive to Kriva Palanka to visit the Monastery of St Joakim Osogovski founded by Joakim the monk, a disciple of Ivan Rilski who lived in the 11th-12th century. The present-day monastery complex consists of two monastery churches, the older one dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Sveta Bogorodica), and the new church of the mid-19th century is dedicated to St Joakim Osogovski himself. Return to Skopje to visit the Church of Sveti Spas (Holy Salvation) built in the late 17th and early 18th centuries and famous for its icons dating from the early 19th century and also for housing the remains of the revolutionary Goce Delchev. The iconostasis was cut from walnut wood and created from 1819 to 1824 by three of the most famous wood carvers of the time. Overnight stay in Skopje 3* Hotel.
After early breakfast drive west to Mavrovo where we visit to the Monasteries of St.George in Rajchica (est. 19th cent.) and St. John the Baptist Bigorski (est. 10th cent.). Further south, Kalishta has a monastery complex of small cave churches situated high up in the rocks with paintings dating from the 14th -16th century. After visits drive to Ohrid a UNESCO town where the most religious monuments can be admired. It is thought that Ohrid and surroundings have a church for each day of the week meaning a staggering 365 churches. Overnight in Ohrid 3* hotel.
After breakfast the tour starts in front of the statue of St. Cyril and Methodius, and it continues to the Lower gate, the National Museum of Ohrid, the Church of St Sophia, the Roman amphitheatre, the Upper gate, St Clement’s Church of the Holy Mother of God Most Glorious (Sveta Bogorodica Perivleptos), The Icon Gallery, Tsar Samoil’s fortress, Plaoshnik, and it ends in a walk through Ohrid’s marketplace. Continue to the church of St.John at Caneo, which has become an icon representation of North Macedonia in the printed and electronic media. Afternoon boat trip to St.Naum, Monastery situated in a beautiful part of lake Ohrid. Overnight in Ohrid 3* hotel.
After breakfast transfer to Bitola to visit the early Christian basilica of Heraclea Lyncestis, followed by walking city tour in the centre of Bitola (Shirok Sokak street) and the St. Demetrius church. Continue on to Prilep where we visit the monasteries of Treskavec and Zrze as well as the female monastery in the Varosh district. Afterwards continue to Skopje where we visit the Cathedral of St Clement of Ohrid in the centre. Dinner and overnight in Skopje.
After breakfast, head to Matka (the Canyon Matka covers an area of around 5.000 ha and is located 15 km south-west of Skopje) and a visit to the Monastery Church of St. Andreja. Andreja, the younger son of King Volkashin, erected the monastery in 1388/89, with later additions in the 16th century. The fresco paintings are the work of the well-known painter Metropolitan Jovan and the Monk Gregory. From the rich iconographic program, with its voluminous figures, the most distinct are the portrayals of the Holy Warrios and the scenes from Christ’s Passion. After lunch, a drive to monastery of St Pantelejmon in the village of Gorno Nerezi, which was built in the 12th century and represents an important monument from the Byzantine period. Return to Skopje for overnight. Dinner at a local restaurant.
Checkout after breakfast. Free time until the transfer to the airport.
470 Euro per person sharing a double or twin room for minimum 6 participants
499 Euro per person sharing a double or twin room for minimum 4 participants
755 Euro per person sharing a double or twin room for minimum 2 participants
Single room supplement = 80 (Single rooms will usually be double or twin for single use.)
Note: The above dates are for orientation purposes, to help people book on the same dates, and pay the cheaper price. However we will run this tour on other dates as per clients’ requests.