The Republic of Macedonia is a small Balkan state located in southeastern Europe. Extraordinarily beautiful nature, many archaeological sites, beautiful lakes - all this Macedonia is ready to present to its guests. Local cuisine and service deservedly receive high marks from tourists.
Macedonia carefully safeguards its natural wealth. The original Ohrid Lake has been preserved in its original form. The unusually beautiful national parks of Galichitsa, Mavrovo and Pelister are equipped for hiking and cycling. Lovers of historical sites appreciate Macedonia for its many medieval and ancient architectural monuments. For urban tourism, such well-known cities as Skopje, Ohrid and Bitola are perfect.
Ohrid pearls are usually brought from Macedonia - a unique product that has no analogues in the world. Fans of practical gifts will appreciate the quality shoes, the production of which Macedonia has been famous for more than a dozen years. As souvenirs, tourists prefer to bring Macedonian national embroidery, icons or local wine.
What to see in Macedonia?
The most interesting and beautiful places, photos and a brief description.
2. Stone bridge in Skopje
The stone bridge over the Vardar River is a real symbol of the city of Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. This ancient bridge was laid back in the days of the Roman Empire. Today it is not only a wonderful architectural monument, but also an important transport artery connecting Old and New Skopje. According to legend, luck will accompany everyone who crosses the Stone Bridge with light thoughts and a pure heart.
Palaoshnik is located in a surprisingly beautiful wooded area near Lake Ohrid and Samuil Stronghold. This tourist center has gained popularity thanks to the well-restored archaeological finds, in particular the church of St. Panteleimon. It was erected on the site of the temple, built in 893 in honor of St. Clement.
4. Skopje Fortress
The national pride of the capital of Macedonia is an ancient fortress called Kale, the foundations of which date back to the 1st century AD. Stone walls, paved walkways, a well-maintained park - Calais has everything you need for a wonderful holiday. You can get to the fortress on foot, moving from the square of Macedonia.
5. Stone Town Kuklitsa
One of the most popular places in the North of Macedonia is the stone city of Kuklitsa, which is also called the Valley of the Dolls. This is a unique natural landscape, which consists of more than 120 naturally formed stone pillars, which in their form resemble human figures. There are many legends associated with the Valley of Dolls explaining this amazing natural phenomenon.
6. Museum on the water “Bay on the bones”
On Lake Ohrid there is a unique archaeological complex - “Bay on the Bones”. This museum, created in the form of floating houses, maximally imitates the ancient village of fishermen. Here is the archaeological museum and equipped campsite for those who wish to stay longer in the Bay of Bones.
7. Millennium Cross in Skopje
The Millennium Cross was erected in 2002, and is the tallest cross in the world. This building was built in honor of 2000 years of Christianity in the lands of Macedonia. The cross is located on the mountain, its height is 66 meters, so this monument can be observed from almost anywhere in Skopje. The Millennium Cross looks especially impressive in night illumination.
8. Antique Amphitheater of Ohrid
In the heart of the city of Ohrid is a well-preserved antique amphitheater, the construction of which dates back to two hundred years BC. Despite its impressive age, this building is today used for its intended purpose. It hosts music evenings, festivals, and theater performances.
9. National Park Galichitsa
Galichitsa National Park is located in the southwest of Macedonia. Many unique plants grow here, and bears, deer and wolves are found in the forests. Hiking tours are regularly organized for visitors to Halychytsya, and cycling enthusiasts will be pleasantly surprised by the equipped bicycle paths. Here you can also make an overview flight on a paraglider.
10. Heraclea Linkestis
The city of Bitola, located in the south-west of Macedonia, is famous for its unique archaeological finds. So, here were discovered the ruins of Heraclea Linkestis, an ancient ancient city. This settlement dates back to the 5th-4th centuries BC. It has a well-preserved amphitheater, several ancient walls, as well as beautiful floor mosaics.
11. Monastery of St. Naum
The monastery of St. Naum is one of the oldest temples in the country. It is located 30 kilometers from Ohrid in a quiet area on the lake. The iconostasis, internal walls and ceiling of the monastery amaze the splendor of its decoration. The monks of this monastery traditionally treat their guests with national dishes and wonderful wine of their own production.
13. Lake Prespa
The unusually beautiful Prespa Lake is over 5 million years old. The only Golem Grad island in Macedonia is located in this reservoir, on the territory of which are the ruins of the ancient monastery of St. Peter. To enjoy the views of the lake or visit the ruins of the temple, you should use the boat rental in the neighboring villages of Konsko or Stenier.
14. Memorial House of Mother Teresa
The House-Museum of Mother Teresa is located on the very spot where the Catholic Church used to be located, in which the future saint was christened. The museum houses several exhibits about the life of Mother Teresa, containing documents, photographs and personal belongings of this holy woman. There is also a functioning chapel, and the square in front of the building is decorated with a monument.
The unique archaeological site of Kokino, which, according to research, is more than 3800 years old, is located on the Tatichev Kamen Upland. This structure is an ancient observatory made of stone slabs. The radius of Kokino is 100 meters, many archaeological finds experts attribute to the Bronze Age.
16. Monument "Warrior on a horse"
The central square of the capital of Macedonia, the city of Skopje is crowned with a sculpture in the form of a rider with a sword. This monument was called the “Warrior on a Horse” and it is believed that this structure immortalizes Alexander the Great. The opening of The Warrior on Horse was timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the independence of the Macedonian Republic.
17. Uterus Canyon
15 kilometers from the capital is one of the most popular tourist attractions - Matka Canyon. This picturesque place was created by the Tresca River, flowing through the mountain range. In 1938, the river was blocked by a dam, due to which a beautiful mountain lake was formed. You can also visit the stelagmite cave of Vrelo in Matka Canyon.
19. Temple of St. John Kaneo
Not far from Lake Ohrid rises the medieval church of St. John Kaneo. The temple is made of stone, and its architecture combines the Armenian and Byzantine styles. The interior of the church was completed in the XV century and has since been perfectly preserved. In the evenings, the Cathedral of St. John Kaneo is illuminated.
20. Pelister National Park
Pelister National Park covers a vast area of more than 12 thousand hectares. Among tourists, this park is appreciated not only for its unique nature, but also for the annual ski season. There are many comfortable hotels where visitors can stay in order to comfortably enjoy the beauties of Pelister Park.
21. Hagia Sophia in Ohrid
The unique and unique church of Hagia Sophia, which is located in the city of Ohrid, was built in the XI century. Today it is one of the most revered Christian shrines, which tourists from all over the world come to visit. The rarest murals of the 11th-13th centuries that adorn the church of St. Sophia are forbidden to photograph.
Mavrovo National Park
The largest of the national parks of Macedonia impresses with the most picturesque landscapes and is an ideal place for exciting ecotourism. Mavrovo also has the highest peaks in the region, which attracts climbers and lovers of skiing. Mavrovsky lake with a length of 10 km is one of the best places in the country for trout fishing, swimming and boat trips.
You should definitely go on an excursion to the partially flooded church of St. Nicholas. She repeatedly found herself under water during floods in the 1950s, until she eventually acquired the mystical appearance that is now so impressive for tourists and photographers. You can take a tent with you and stay for a few days on the coast to enjoy a relaxing holiday. If you want more comfort, you can book a room in one of the hotels in the neighboring village of Mavrovo.
This historic city of Macedonia is located on the shores of the lake of the same name, which is one of the most popular attractions in the country. A settlement in these places has existed since the time of the Dassarets and Illyrian tribes. Ohrid impresses with architectural structures that date back to the 4th century BC. The ruins of the fortress of Samuel is the most interesting historical attraction of these places. The fort was erected during the reign of King Samuel to protect the city from invaders during the existence of the First Bulgarian Kingdom.
Cobbled streets, quaint restaurants and houses with orange roofs in the old town and the turquoise waters of the lake - all this gives the city of Ohrid the glory of one of the best tourist destinations in Macedonia. It is best to come here during the Ohrid Summer Festival. Tourists from all over the world come to this festive event with many theatrical, musical and dance productions and shows dedicated to the rich culture and history of Macedonia.
By the way, on our site most-beauty.ru you can find an interesting article about the most beautiful streets in the world.
Another beautiful city of Macedonia - Bitola is surrounded by the mountain ranges of Baba, Nije and Kaymakchalan, which makes it a great place to contemplate the most picturesque landscapes of the country. It is rarely visited by tourists, remaining the little-known cultural center of Macedonia. There are art galleries, museums, cafes and restaurants here, which allows visitors to the country to get the most vivid idea of the rich cultural heritage of Macedonia and taste the most characteristic local dishes.
The architecture of Bitola will also impress fans of art. Here you can find a real kaleidoscope of architectural styles, from prehistoric monuments Veluška Tumba to neoclassical buildings. In addition to interesting houses, in Bitola there are many beautiful churches and mosques. You should definitely admire the ancient Yeni Mosque, which is one of the most attractive architectural attractions of this city of Macedonia.
It would be unforgivable to visit Macedonia and not visit its capital. Located on the Vardar River, the city is an important European trade center for the export of chemicals and equipment. But it is also famous for its rich history. It was ruled by the Romans, Serbs and Turks, as eloquently testified to the architectural heritage of Skopje, representing an alloy of various cultural influences. Mosques of the Ottoman Empire are adjacent to the buildings of the communist era, which makes walking along the streets of the city especially fascinating.
It is worth visiting here on September 8, when the independent status of the country is annually celebrated in Skopje with colorful fireworks, parade processions and musical performances.
This picturesque town is located in the crater of an extinct volcano on the slopes of Mount Osogovo and attracts tourists with numerous bridges and towers that were erected in the Middle Ages. A walk along the winding cobbled streets past ancient stone buildings allows you to plunge into the medieval past of the country.
Initially, Kratovo was an important mining city, but now it is so modernized that it is difficult to believe in it.
1. Lake Ohrid
The deepest and oldest lake in the Balkans, Ohrid, was formed as a result of a tectonic fault in the earth's crust as much as 5 million years ago, despite the fact that the average age of all fresh water bodies on the planet does not exceed 100 years. A natural attraction is also unique in that it is located overnight in Macedonia and Albania. On the lake are the most fashionable hotels in Macedonia, where you can relax while enjoying the magnificent view from the window.
Tourists have long been fond of the east coast of Lake Ohrid for the pearl of ancient culture - an archaeological site called Plaoshnik. The place is famous for the church of St. Panteleimon, which was restored exactly like the prototype of ancient drawings, as well as the ancient building of the first university of the ancient Slavs. If you have planned to visit Lake Ohrid, then do not be lazy to review the east coast: here you will find a lot of interesting places that tell about the history of the state.
3. Stone bridge in Skopje
Trains to any country cannot do without visiting its capital. The city of Skopje is located on two banks of Vardar, 9 bridges were built across the river in the Middle Ages. The central place is reserved for the Stone Bridge. This 16 meter high structure consists of monolithic stone blocks, each weighing 15 tons.
6. Millennium Cross in Skopje
If you are interested in what to see in Macedonia from architectural monuments, then we strongly recommend paying attention to the Millennium Cross, which is located in the capital, Skopje. This building is really grand! The height of the cross is as much as 66 meters, it is the largest architectural monument of the Orthodox cross in the world. The Millennium Cross was built in Skopje in 2002 in honor of the celebration of the millennium since the adoption of the Christian religion by the people of the Republic.
7. Water Museum "Bay of Bones"
Looking for interesting places? Think what to visit in Macedonia? It is recommended to look at the Bay of Bones. This open-air museum is also located on the eastern shore of Lake Ohrid, so you can include it in a comprehensive overview of Ohrid. In 2007, during another archaeological research at the bottom of Lake Ohrid, the remains of an ancient Slavic settlement were discovered, which can be seen in the photo of the results of the dive. It was decided to restore the village by creating a unique museum on the water. And the complex got its name because of the many bones of livestock that were discovered on the excavation site.
12. The fortress of King Samuel
Reviews of enthusiastic travelers unanimously advise tourists planning excursions in Macedonia to visit the fortress of Tsar Samuel. This ancient fortification is the pearl of the city of Ohrid. The length of the fortress is as much as 3 km of stone wall with a height of 16 meters and a thickness of about 2 meters. The fortress was founded by Bulgarian king Samuel in the 4th century for defensive purposes during the war with the Turks and managed to save the city from the invaders, surviving to this day almost in its original form.
15. Memorial House of Mother Teresa
A trip to the capital of the Republic of Skopje must certainly result in a visit to the Memorial House of Mother Teresa. This open-air museum shows us the life of Saint Agnes from birth to her death. The attraction exists as a non-profit organization and is maintained at the expense of the state. Earlier on the site of the museum was the temple of the "Sacred Heart of Jesus."
20. Osogovsky Monastery
The temple was founded in the XIV century A.D. Orthodox monk Fedor during the reign of Manuel Komnin. The building of the church is located in the valley of the Osogovsky Mountains, in the eastern part of Skopje. The sights of Macedonia cannot be imagined in all its glory without a visit to this temple, since its architecture is the clearest example of Byzantine traditions and the building itself has perfectly preserved its beauty to this day.
21. Ancient aqueduct of Vizbegovo
Well, how can you do without aqueducts when it comes to Byzantine culture? Numerous recommendations of tourists unanimously advise to visit a village in the north of Skopje called Vizbegovo and admire the ancient water supply structure - the aqueduct. Only 50 of its arches 16 meters high have survived to this day. Once this building supplied fresh water to the whole city of Skopje. Today, active work is underway to restore the aqueduct, the city authorities plan to bring the construction in its original form.
22. National Park Pelister
It is impossible to say with confidence that you have seen all the best attractions without visiting the Bitola National Park - Pelister. This natural memorial covers an area of about 12.5 thousand hectares. Here you will find not only the beauty of the virgin forests, but also admire the famous Pelister Lakes, which are popularly called "eyes" for their crystal clearness. And you can also test yourself as a conqueror of peaks by climbing Pelister Peak, whose height is slightly more than 2.5 km. It offers a wonderful view of Skopje, and the most persistent and hardy tourists, having come up the mountain before dawn, will be able to capture the magnificent sunrise over the Pelister Mountains.
23. Hagia Sophia in Ohrid
And finally, we complete our virtual journey and a description of the main attractions of the state, looking into the church of Hagia Sophia. This ancient architectural monument dates back to the period of medieval culture, but is unique in that it was completely transformed into an Islamic mosque during the time of the Turkish invasion. At the top of the highest dome of the church, a minaret now flaunts. But if you go inside the temple, you can admire the true beauties of Byzantine painting, exposing the faces of the patron saints of the church.
Visiting the Republic and its capital Skopje, you get a great opportunity not only to spend time informatively visiting historical, cultural, scientific and architectural monuments, but also to relax your soul and get enough of the energy of nature in numerous lake parks and virgin Balkan forests.
Read also about the best sights of Moldova and be inspired for your further trip to Europe!
Skopje is located in a zone of high seismic activity. One of the most devastating earthquakes occurred in the capital of the republic in 1963. The city was badly damaged, many architectural monuments were destroyed or seriously damaged. One of the attractions of Skopje is associated with this unkind catastrophe. The clock at the railway station stopped when the earthquake started, they did not begin to repair it, but left it as a memory. On the site of the old station, the City Museum is now located.
The capital of Macedonia itself is one big attraction. The city is divided into two parts - the old and the new. The border between these parts symbolizes A stone bridge. The construction of this monument dates back to the 15th century. It connects the banks of one of the two largest rivers in Macedonia - Vardara. During the earthquake, the old city was almost wiped off the face of the earth, a small part was kept adjacent to the fortress of Calais. Now here is a picturesque Charshia districtwhere you will find one of the best oriental bazaars in Europe.
One of the most striking sights of the Macedonian capital is Saat Kula Clock Tower. This forty-meter building, originally wooden, and now stone, is a wonderful landmark, it can be seen from anywhere in Skopje, and the clock is heard throughout the city. Everything in the Macedonian capital still remembers the disaster of 1963. The symbol of the city suffered, the tower was almost completely destroyed. During the reconstruction, something completely unbelievable happened - a huge clockwork was stolen. Therefore, he had to order a new one.
In Skopje, sights are literally at every step, there are a huge number of monuments. The biggest one is 66 meters high crosslocated at the natural height of Krstovar. It was established in 2002 and is dedicated to the two thousandth anniversary of the Christian religion. If you reach the Cross by cable car, you can admire the magnificent panorama of Skopje and the surrounding area from the observation deck. There is a monument to our compatriot Yuri Gagarin in the Macedonian capital.
Memorial House of Mother Teresa
It was here in the capital of Macedonia that Agnes Gondzu Boyagiu was born, known throughout the Christian world under the name of Mother Teresa. The memorial house-museum of Mother Teresa is located on the site of a Catholic church in which little Agnes was once baptized. The work that Mother Teresa was engaged in, and her very name now symbolize genuine mercy, humanity, the desire to serve people and high spirituality. Mother Teresa saw her ministry in selflessly helping the destitute and unfortunate, therefore she founded a community of nuns dedicated to helping sick, poor people.
After the death of Mother Teresa in September 1997, more than four thousand missionaries working in 123 countries of the world remained. In 2003, Mother Teresa was canonized, and in 2016 she was canonized. The Macedonians are extremely proud of their famous compatriot, and the museum of Mother Teresa is one of the most visited attractions in Macedonia.
Macedonia is an Orthodox country. Christianity was adopted in the country in 864, during this period Macedonia was part of the Bulgarian kingdom. In the XIV century, the Ottoman Empire seized power over this territory. And now some of the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia profess Islam, mainly the Albanians living here. Therefore, along with the Orthodox churches in Skopje there are mosques. For example, Mustafa Pasha Mosque, erected at the end of the XV century. The well-preserved structure is a monument of eastern architecture from the time of Ottoman rule. The minaret of the mosque is decorated with the finest stone carvings, which, in fairness, can be classified as works of art.
Church of St. Sophia, located in Ohrid, built in the 11th century. Now it is an Orthodox church, however, during its long history, he managed to stay and a mosque. The unique frescoes of the XII-XIII centuries have been preserved, largely due to the fact that Muslims have covered them with lime. After the Second World War, the church was reconstructed, trying to return to its original form. The place here is prayerful, special, believers make a pilgrimage here.
Tourists are definitely recommended to visit the Hagia Sophia Church as a unique architectural monument that has preserved the richest historical heritage.
It will be no less interesting to visit monastery of St. Naumlocated about 30 km from Ohrid. Here is a cancer with the relics of a saint, who is considered a disciple of Saints Cyril and Methodius. It is located in the Galichitsa National Park. The monastery has preserved ancient murals and frescoes that describe traditional religious subjects and the life path of St. Naum. Here you can see the old wooden iconostasis and valuable icons, some of which are attributed to miraculous properties.
In Ohrid there are a huge number of temples and monasteries, so it is rightly considered the religious and spiritual center of Macedonia. Built in the shape of a cross ancient church of St. John Kaneoattracts a huge number of tourists. It is located on a rocky site, from where one of the most picturesque views of Lake Ohrid opens. Here you can make the most beautiful photos in Macedonia. The temple is not a pilgrimage center, rather, it is of cultural and historical value.
Real 15th century murals have been preserved here. It will be especially interesting to visit the temple in the evening, when they turn on special lighting.
There are many churches and monasteries in Macedonia, most of which have a long history. What other religious attractions can I visit?
- Church of St. Panteleimon,
- Church of St. Clement,
- Sultan Murat Mosque,
- Athos Monastery,
- church plašnik.
Ohrid Lake - This is a real attraction and a national treasure of Macedonia. Crystal clear water, stunning landscapes around and transparent healing air, that is what attracts tourists here. Ohrid Lake is distinguished by its large size, depth and rich diverse ecosystem, which is why the reservoir is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
National Park Galichitsa located in a picturesque area between the two largest lakes of the Macedonian land - Ohrid and Prespa. The unique nature and unforgettable beauty of these places will not leave anyone indifferent. Here you can observe unique karst fields, visit caves, try national cuisine and chat with good-natured and friendly locals. The park, despite carefully guarded natural beauty, is well equipped for the most comfortable stay of tourists. If you wish, you can even paraglide and explore the national park from above.
The natural beauty of these places is amazing. You can’t tell about it and don’t pass it on the photo. Macedonia will open to every visitor many picturesque and unique places. You can see:
- Prespa Lake,
- Pelister National Park,
- ancient viaduct Vizbegovo,
- Uterus Canyon,
- Heraclea Linkestis,
- antique amphitheater,
- Stone Town Kuklitsa.
And many more incredibly beautiful natural and architectural monuments that are better to see with your own eyes.
Despite the fact that the Republic of Macedonia is a rather small state, here everyone can find for themselves entertainment and relaxation to their taste. Extraordinary natural beauties and ancient monuments, organically combined with a developed infrastructure that meets the needs of vacationers, will give an unforgettable experience.
Bigorsky Monastery in the Republic of Macedonia
The Bigorsky Monastery of St. John the Baptist is a spiritual, Orthodox landmark of Macedonia. It was founded a thousand years ago (1020) on the site of the appearance of the miraculous icon of John the Baptist. The monk caught her in the local river Radik.
White tuff stone (limestone), from which all the monastery buildings are composed, in Macedonian sounds like "bigor". This word was included in the name of the Orthodox spiritual center of Macedonia.
During the period of Turkish invasion, the monastery was empty, and the icon disappeared. But not without a trace, as it turned out later. She appeared again at the same place, and the monastery gradually began to revive.
Today it is inhabited by monks and workers who are engaged in restoration of buildings, publishing, spiritually nourish the inhabitants of nearby settlements and receive numerous tourists and pilgrims from around the world.
The main shrine of the Bigorsky monastery is an icon of John the Baptist. Now she is dressed in an expensive silver salary. The iconostasis of the central temple is the most famous in Macedonia. It consists of six tiers and is decorated with a unique carved floral ornament.
Millennium Cross on the mountain
Northern Macedonia has not only the sights of the past days. Here, the antiquities of the beginning of our era are in perfect harmony with modernity. And new buildings emphasize and develop the significance of history.
The symbol of Macedonia was the Millennium Cross, erected in the capital Skopje on top of Mount Vodno in 2002 to commemorate the fact that two thousand years ago the Macedonians adopted Christianity.
According to legend, the cross on this place existed before, but much smaller. Today it is the largest cross in the world, its height is 66 meters. Inside the building there is an elevator that lifts all who wish to be on the “top of the world” and survey the entire surrounding area at once.
Public transport runs to the foot of the mountain. And from there to the monument there is a cableway with a length of 1750 meters in one direction, on which a total of 30 gondolas. The total time of ascent, inspection and descent takes about three hours. You can climb the mountain and on foot, if you want to walk along the mountain trails.
This is the case when the attraction is visible from almost everywhere. At night, the Millennium Cross is a stunningly romantic sight, as it is illuminated across the surface. A lot of passionate declarations of love and offers of hands and hearts were made here. The place for such an occasion fits perfectly.
Ezereni Bird Sanctuary
The Republic of Macedonia was able to turn its attractions into an important direction of the country's economy. Natural resources are protected and preserved here, creating objects that attract tourists.
One of them is Ezereni Bird Sanctuary. It is located in the northern part of the mountain lake Prespa. It is inhabited by 120 species of birds.
There are 33 nature reserves in Macedonia.
Getting to this corner is not so easy. From the nearest village you will have to walk about 7 kilometers along a rocky mountain trail.
Ancient aqueduct in Vizbegovo
In memory of the Byzantine period, an aqueduct remained in Macedonia - a structure of 50 arches of 16 meters high, which supplied the capital with water. It is located near Skopje, six and a half kilometers in a place called Vizbegovo.
At present, a large-scale reconstruction of the aqueduct has begun, with the restoration of damaged elements and the improvement of the adjacent territory. It is planned landscaping, arrangement of the pedestrian zone and the construction of a summer scene, where concerts, festivals, cultural and entertainment programs will be held.
Very soon this place will become even more attractive in the eyes of local residents, citizens of Macedonia, regional and foreign tourists. Upon successful completion of the project, the aqueduct will become one of a kind in the Balkans.