Ohrid, North Macedonia

11 reasons why you should travel to North Macedonia right now

Fatima Mammadova Fatima Mammadova 29 April 2021
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North Macedonia is distinguished for its landscapes and national parks that protect those landscapes. One of these parks in North Macedonia was named Mavrovo, probably in honour of the Moors or Mavrovites who once visited these places.

It is lucidly clear that these heartbreaking assumptions attract restless crowds of tourists to these places. By the way, an interesting fact - with the daily departure of a huge number of tourists from China, comparable to the population of more than one North Macedonia, the number of Chinese in their country does not decrease.

If you decided to travel to North Macedonia, it could be one of your best decisions ever. In this article, we will tell you why we think like that. Also, if you care a lot about the weather, you will find information about the best time to visit Skopje and North Macedonia overall. 

1. To see the capital of North Macedonia

capital of north macedonia

If you decided to travel to North Macedonia, the first city you need to visit- Skopje. Skopje is the capital of North Macedonia and part of the former Yugoslavia.

The Vardar River divides Skopje into two parts: the Old Town and the New Town. The old part houses the main historical monuments of Macedonia, while the new city is famous for its Central Square and clubs, bars, and restaurants. Both parts of the city are connected by a series of bridges, one of which flaunts the Skopje flag.

A special style of Skopje is given by the eastern architecture, erected during the rule of the Ottoman Empire, so if you travel to Skopje, you will be inspired a lot. The Kurshumli-Khan inn, on which the State Museum of Archeology is located, is very popular among tourists.

skopje

Not far from this place is the famous Mustafa Pasha Mosque, built-in 1492. The most interesting building of Turkish culture in Skopje is Saat Kula the oldest clock tower, not only in Macedonia but also in Turkey. The tower was completed in the 16th century.

Among the various Orthodox cathedrals and temples built in Skopje, only the Church of the Holy Savior is well preserved. Its main relic is a large wooden iconostasis decorated with stunning carvings. Inside the temple's courtyard, there is a coffin in which Gotse Delchev, a famous Macedonian revolutionary, rests.

2. To try delicious Macedonian cuisine

macedonian cuisine

The national Macedonian cuisine is a mixture of Balkan, Turkish, Albanian also European cuisines. Meat, fish, and vegetables are the main ingredients of Macedonian cuisine.

It is worth trying here tavce-gravce - fried beans cooked in a special earthenware dish. This dish is also called beans in Macedonian: gravce is beans, and tavce is earthenware.

Sarma, or cabbage rolls in grape leaves, is similar to Azerbaijani dolma and cabbage rolls. The dish is considered national also in Ukraine, Romania, but everywhere it has a different name and a slightly different method of preparation.

Ohrid trout is trout baked with vegetables. It is better to try it in Ohrid, not Skopje.

3. Macedonia's most distinguishable landmark, Matka Canyon

matka canyon

The amazing Matka Canyon has located 20 km from Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia. There will be plenty to do things there all day: sailing boats on turquoise water, walking along the canyon, exploring caves, visiting nearby monasteries, and relaxing in cafes.

The entrance to the canyon is free, and the car can be left in the free parking.

The cost of a boat trip to the cave and back is 400 MKD (= 6 euro) per person of a 1-hour walk. For 250 MKD (= 4 euro) per person, you can take a 25-minute boat ride through the canyon. The boats are moored along the canyon, it is impossible not to notice them.

folk dance

The most popular Macedonian folk dance comprises teshkoto. It is a male dance performed to the accompaniment of tapan and bagpipes. It begins with a slow rhythm, which speeds up significantly by the end of the dance. If you travel to North Macedonia, you can dance to their dances or enjoy looking at them. 

5. Unique climate of Macedonia

sunset

In most of the territory where is North Macedonia located, it is moderately continental, and in the south, it is close to the Mediterranean. Summers are hot and dry: the average temperature is +18 ... + 22 ° C. Winters are mild and humid: the average temperature is -1 ...- 3 ° C. The summer holiday season runs from May to September. So, there is no best time to visit Skopje as most cities because each season is good. 

However, the best time to visit Skopje if you want to explore the local sights and walk in comfort and good weather is the summer months. There is no sweltering heat in Macedonia. The temperature at this time of the year is kept at around +22 +24 degrees Celsius.

6. Discover the best attractions in North Macedonia

church

In Macedonia, you can not only relax but also touch the origins of Orthodox culture. Here is a compressed list of only the main sights of the country that are worth visiting: Iversky Monastery, Simon Petra Monastery, St. Dionysius Monastery, St. Joachim Ozogovsky Monastery, St. John the Theologian Church in Kaneo, St. Clement Church in Ohrid, St. George Church in Kurbinovo, "Rock of Bears" in Kruzvo, Lake Ohrid, Galichitsa National Park, Lake Prespa, Samuel Fortress, Vardar River in Gostivar, Lake Doirani, as well as numerous picturesque villages of Macedonia.

7. Best Festivals In Macedonia

festival

Many festivals and fairs take place in Macedonia every year, the main ones being the Summer Festival (Ohrid), Poetry Evenings (Struga), Balkan People's Festival (Ohrid), May Opera Nights (Skopje), Old City Songs Festival (Ohrid) and the International Jazz festival (Skopje).

8. North Macedonia skiing adventure

skiing

Skiing is one of the enjoyable activities in the area where is North Macedonia located.

The famous resort Mavrovo is famous for its excellent ski runs and cosy hotels built in a traditional style. The season here starts in November and lasts until April. The slopes are located at an altitude of 1300-1900 meters and are suitable for different levels of training: from beginners to true professionals.

9. To climb to the Millennium Cross

millennium cross

The giant Millennium Cross is located in Skopje in the Vodno region. You can get here as part of an excursion, by a rented car, taxi or bus number 25. The fare is 35 MKD, on the way - 30 minutes. Buses leave from the bus stop. Most often, these are red double-decker buses, like in London. Climb to the top of the cross for breathtaking views of endless forests and mountains.

10. To visit Ohrid, Macedonia's most seductive destination

lake ohrid

Ohrid is the pearl of Macedonia. Thousands of tourists travel to this country to get to Lake Ohrid, the oldest in this region. If you travel to Skopje, you can get from there by hitchhiking, bus or taxi. Bus timetables and prices can be found here. Skopje-Ohrid-Skopje tickets will cost about 20 €. They can be bought at the ticket office of the bus station.

The serpentines, mountain peaks, and valleys on the Skopje-Ohrid road are no less impressive than the lake itself.

Romantic Ohrid stretches along the lake. There are many beaches, bars, and churches, and cobbled narrow streets, tiled roofs on white houses are inspiring. Stay here for the night - a double room in a 3 * hotel right on the shore of the lake costs only 23 €.

struga town

Apart from travel to Skopje, we advise you to travel also to Struga. Struga is a Macedonian city within the Struga municipality of the Southwestern Statistical region, located on the coast of Ohrid lake near the border with Albania. It is 15 km away from Ohrid and 170 km away from Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia.

The pristine beauty of Lake Ohrid, which is under the tutelage of UNESCO, attracts connoisseurs of ecological tourism to Struga. While vacationing in the city, vacationers will be able to hike along the coast and explore the rich underwater world of the country's deepest reservoir. If you wish, you can go on an excursion to the Galicica national park.
In the resort, you can stay in a hotel, camping or a private guest house.

national park

Local beaches dispose of both for a relaxing family vacation with children and extreme tourism. Active vacationers will have the opportunity to try themselves in yachting, sailing, windsurfing, and kiting, as well as diving or snorkelling, go on a boat trip, play golf and volleyball.

A trip to Struga will allow fans of event tourism to visit one of the city's holidays and festivals. The Struga Poetry Evenings festival attracts poetry lovers from all over the world. For fans of excursion tourism, introductory walks around the resort are organized, during which vacationers get acquainted with such historical and architectural monuments as Saint George church, Halveti Teke and Miladinovci House. Those interested can take a trip to Ohrid to visit Samuil's fortress, Monastery of Saint Naum, and the ancient theater of Ohrid.

So, we hope that we were able to tell you about North Macedonia. Look at the advantages of North Macedonia's area and the cities in it, make plans, and have a great time!

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Fatima Mammadova

Fatima is a student of Moscow State University in Baku, Azerbaijan. Her major is Management, but at the same time, she loves organizing and working on social projects. She believes that with small actions, each person can change society in the right way. One of the biggest dreams of her is to travel all over the world. For now, she is focused on reading and gathering information about all the countries she wants to visit. The most favourite quote of Fatima belongs to Helen Keller: "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all".

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