Visit North Macedonia
Timeless

Include North Macedonia in your Balkan tour

No tour around the Balkans can be complete without a stop at scenic North Macedonia – a country with a fascinating natural and historical diversity.

МacedoniaWhether you’re traveling with close friends or in a large group Balkan Tales knows what to show you:

  • All tours are put together with the traveler in mind – your preferences will be included in the travel itinerary.
  • You are taken to the most wondrous locations that commercial tours tend to skip.
  • The level of organization is high and every detail is taken care of, so you only have to think about taking great photos.

Browse through our suggestions below for your own tour ideas. Balkan Tales is also open to any questions, inquiries and special requests you want featured on the tour.

Currency: Macedonian denar
Population: 2.077 million
Religion: 2/3 Macedonian Orthodox and 1/3 Islam
Language: two main languages – Macedonian and Albanian

Cities to stay

To visit the best of North Macedonia during a short private tour, we suggest the following cities for overnight stay.

Skopje – the capital

Skopje is the biggest city in North Macedonia, which has history dating far back to 4000 BC. There you can find a combination of Christian, Ottoman, Roman and modern landmarks. A half day is enough to visit the city landmarks on the way to Ohrid or Bulgaria, but if you have time can spend a day and night there and take a day tour to Kosovo.

Skopje Central SquareThe restored fortress, rebuilt in medieval style, lends a picturesque appeal. . The City Museum is located in the former train station, or rather in its remains after the 1963 earthquake which also brought the fortress down. Also musts to visit are the Museum of Macedonian Struggle, and the Holocaust Memorial Centre.

Things to do in Skopje

  • Visit the Museum of Macedonia and the Archeological Museum will tell you of glorious periods via their exhibits
  • Don’t miss the National Gallery, housed in two former Turkish baths
  • Take a picture of the Memorial House dedicated to Mother Teresa
  • Try to count all monuments in the center

Ohrid – The Unesco protected city

The city of the immortal Ohrid is the sublime lakeside point that for many represents the culmination of the Macedonian experience. Here you can spend 1,2,3 or even more days and enjoy the boat rides, Old town walks and interesting landmarks dated far back since Roman times. Ohrid will also welcome you with the famed lake which, together with the city, belongs with UNESCO’s sites of world heritage.

Ohrid Lake Church

Things to do in Ohrid 

  • Take a boat ride to the St. Naum Monastery
  • Take a walk in Galicica where can see a breathtaking view to both Ohrid and Prespa lakes
  • Go for a walk in the old part of town
  • See the Frescos of the Church of St. Sophia (Sveti Sofia)
  • Admire the View from Tsar Samuil’s (Samuel’s) Fortress
  • Have a traditional Macedonian dinner

Places to visit

Places to visit in North Macedonia

We strongly suggest you include as many as possible of the following places in your private tour of North Macedonia.

Matka Canyon

Matka Canyon is the perfect destination for a day trip from Skopje.

  • This canyon, near Skopje, boasts 5,000 hectares of fantastic nature.
  • In it, there is Macedonia’s oldest artificial lake, Matka.
  • You can visit several medieval monasteries in the canyon.

Macedonia Matka CanyonThe canyon area will show you a bundle of interesting sites. The caves there are 10; the shortest is 20 metres, and the longest one’s length is 176 metres. Other impressive landmarks are the two pits, over 35 metres deep. Special mention will deserve the Vrelo Cave, belonging with the top sites worth visiting worldwide. There, two lakes are located at the end, and in the middle the highest stalactite will impress you. It has a name derived owing to its shape: Pine Cone.

Korab Mountain

Korab mountain is the highest peak in Albania,2751 m.

Macedonia Korab MountainThe mountain range itself is rugged and comprised of shale and limestone only. If you want to climb Mount Korab, the mountain’s highest peak, join the international expedition organized yearly by the mountain club in Skopje. Alpine, ice and rock climbing are popular activities in the mountain, as well as technical mountaineering and ski mountaineering. This is a heaven for aficionados of nature’s rugged beauty.

Šar Mountains

Šar Mountains is the only national park in Kosovo, it runs along the border with North Macedonia.

In Šar Mountains, over half of which is in Macedonia, you can admire mountain landscapes and peaks covered with snow and ice.

The mountains reach the other notable mountain, Korab, in the southwest.

The Šar peaks can be seen on Skopje’s coat of arms.

The lower areas of the mountains are covered with forests, and the upper one with pastures, the largest pasture area in Europe. They are fascinating with the flowers dotting the areas. Another name you can hear for this mountain is Carska Planina, or Tsar’s Mountain. It is due to the two capitals, Prizren and Skopje, and, too, to the monasteries in the area. Go to Šar for unforgettable hiking and mountain biking.

Saint Mother of God Church, Ohrid

  • The church’s name is  St. Bogorodica Perivleptos, meaning Mother of the Most Glorious God.
  • Although it was built in 1295, it is completely preserved; the building materials were baked bricks and limestone.
  • Inside the church, Saint Clement’s sculpture stands, dating from the late 13th century.

Ohrid Lake ChurchThe Saint Mother of God is a fascinating church in Ohrid, Macedonia. It dates from medieval times.  The architecture, unique not only for those times, is in what is known as Palaelogus style. The frescoes date from the 13th and the 14th centuries. By the entrance door, on the left, a belfry stands, with a bell which was donated in 1924. To the right of the church, the Ohrid Icons Gallery is located.

The present name, Church of Saint Clement, is due to the transferral of Clement of Ohrid’s relics to it from Saint Pantheleimon Church, which was turned into a mosque.

 

Things to do

What to do in North-Macedonia?

  • Take a boat tour in Ohrid Lake
  • Explore the Skopje old town on your own

Hiking

Explore Šar Mountains, especially the well marked trail from Staro Selo to Ljuboten peak.

Again in Šar, take the exciting trail to Kozja Stena and to Livadichko Ezero.

Hiking in the Korab mountain will be auspicious for showing unparalleled panoramas, too.

The Staro Selo – Ljuboten trail offers medium difficulty, through forests and pastures, and show off the western mountain part’s beauty. The Ljuboten peak is 2,499 metres high. The trail to  Kozja Stena and to Livadichko Ezero will show three kinds of relief, rocks, the ridge, and the lower part with the lake. For hiking, choose July and August as the best months.

Festivals

Festivals in North Macedonia

  • Macedonian meat pie festival Pastrmajlijada
  • Vinoskop wine festival
  • Strumica carnival
  • Balkan Festival of Folk Songs and Dances, annual folklore music and dance festival
  • Galičnik Wedding Festival, an annual festival held in Galičnik in which a selected couple gets married in the traditional “Galička” style wedding

UNESCO

UNESCO Sites

Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region (1979,2019,1980)

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