Top 50 Things to Do and to See in Macedonia

One of the oldest Civilizations of human beings, it is located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. Macedonia has nearly 50 lakes and 16 mountains that have heights of higher than 2,000 meters. The Republic of Macedonia is home to splendid scenes of sun, rivers, mountains, and lakes that encapsulate the visitor’s imagination. Macedonia has rich cultural that is reflected in its archaeological legacy. There are plenty of Antique theaters, spectacular peaks, beautiful churches, Ottoman mosques and lakes. Macedonia is also rich in natural beauty. The hospitality of the Macedonian is famous the world over. Fifty things that you can enjoy along with your family in Macedonia are as follows:

1. Lake Ohrid

The Lake Ohrid of Macedonia is one of the major tourist attractions that are to be found situated in the city of Ohrid. This city is indeed one of the extremely beautiful cities in the country and the lake is said to be among the oldest lakes in Europe, with unique aquatic ecosystem, with more than 200 endemic species of worldwide significance and crystalline waters. It is also referred as a magnet for foreign tourists. You can enjoy a ride on a boat or indulge yourself in fishing, swimming or kayaking.

2. Heraclea

Another prominent tourist destination of Macedonia is Heraclea situated towards the south of Bitola. It offers its visitors with a feel for what life was like in Macedonia way centuries ago. Heraclea actually represents a Roman ruins, open to public. You can get to Heraclea on foot or by bike from Bitola. Visit Heraclea to explore some of the finest ancient ruins and witness experience to see all these structures which date back 2 000 or more years ago.

3. Smolare Waterfall

Smolare Waterfall is the highest waterfall in the entire Macedonia is one of the most popular tourist attractions of the country. The amazing waterfall falls from a height of 39, 5 meters and is situated above the village of Smolare in the Municipality of Novo Selo towards the southeastern part of Macedonia. It is a part of the Lomnica River and is situated deep in the Belasica Mountain with the height of 630 meters. This famous tourist attraction of Macedonia is surrounded by 100 year old beech trees, surely worth a visit.

4. The Monument on Meckin Kamen

The Monument on Meckin Kamen is also referred as Bear’s Rock is a major tourist attraction of the country. The major reason for its popularity is because of the legend that is attached to the hill. Pitu Guli was a duke who fought bravely to save the region of Krusevo, so at the same location where he was executed, today it is placed the monument of Pitu Guli. The legend of Meckin Kamen says that a long time ago there were a number of brothers who lived in a small suburb. They occupied their time with agriculture and life stock, and one day when they were returning from the hill they have met with a big bear.

5. Samuil’s Fortress

Samuil’s Fortress is one of the spectacular tourist attractions of Macedonia. The fortress is a remarkableantique fortress situated in old town Ohrid. It was constructed when Samuil was ruling the country, today it remained almost fully intact, and the rock walls and towers are accessible by visitors. Samuil’s Fortress is one of the most popular and significant tourist attractions in Macedonia.

6. National Parks

The country of Macedonia offers three exceptionally beautiful national parks and considered as a must visit tourist destinations of the country. The three famous national parks of Macedonia are Galicica National Park, Mavrovo National Park, and Pelister National Park. Each of them offers many activities, stunning mountains, thick forests and beautiful lakes. Pelister National Park is the oldest and second largest national park in Macedonia, and is famous for the five-needle pine molica, which is a unique species of tree found only in the mountains of the Balkan Peninsula.

7. St. Jovan Kaneo

St. Jovan Kaneo is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Macedonia. The church is beautiful little one to be found on the shore of Lake Ohrid. This attractive church offers beautiful architecture, religious artifacts, tranquil and attractive view and is one of the most appreciated churches in Macedonia.

8. St. Sophia

The church of St. Sophia is among the most visited churches of Macedonia. It is a beautiful little church situated in the city of Ohrid. This church was constructed over a long period of time, during the 11th and 12th centuries. For those who appreciate culture and artwork, in the church there are several medieval frescoes which are available for viewing.

9. The Valley of Stone Dolls

The Valley of Stone Dolls is also known as the Kuklica is a natural phenomenon of characteristic erosive landforms called earth pillars or stone dolls. It is one of the famous tourist spots of the country. You will find these landforms on the right side of Kriva River valley. There are many legends associated with these phenomena, but the most famous legend says that there was a man who couldn’t decide which of two women he should marry. So, he planned to marry each woman on the same day but at different times. During the first wedding, the second woman went to see who was getting married on the same day as she, so when he saw her future husband who was marrying another woman, she cursed all who attended the wedding and turned them into stone.

10. Lake Matka

You will find this magnificent lake called as Lake Matka quite close to the city of Skopje, it is the capital of Macedonia. This lake is an extremely popular for tourist attraction that is also easily accessible. Visitors can enjoy various activities here such as boating, sailing, kayaking, swimming or hiking along the shore.

11. St. Mother of God Perivleptos

St. Mother of God Perivleptos is found in the city of Ohrid and was constructed during the year 1295 and named as St. Bogorodica Perivleptos, is an entirely conserved medieval monument is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Macedonia. It is renowned for its impressive architecture and Renaissance fresco paintings. This church became the cathedral church of the Archbishopric of Ohrid. The paintings in the church mark a new chapter in mediaeval paintings.

12. The Ohrid Icon Gallery

The Ohrid Icon Gallery offers some of the spectacular collection that comprises of numerous interesting icons. As much as 30 of these icons have been considered as masterworks created in a longer period that lasted from 11th to 19th century. The collection is among the first four icon collection in the world of its significance and value. Most icons in this collection were created by the Ohrid medieval zographs (icon-painters) while some of them were sent in from the workshops of Constantinople (Istanbul) and Salonika (Thessalonica). A visit to this Gallery of Ohrid is worth it.

13. Museum on Water Ohrid

The Museum of Water Ohrid was considered to be the famous landmark of the city of Ohrid. It is enriched with another cultural and historical attractionand also with a tourist attraction – Museum on Water – is a famous and unique archaeological complex, which is one of a kind in the region. On the southern coast of Gradiste Peninsula in the Bay of Bones, a pile-dwelling settlement has been erected, which in the past was spreading at a total surface of 8.500 m2. The museum date back to between 1200 and 700 BC.

14. Museum of Mother Theresa

The Mother Teresa Memorial House is one of the famous places to visit in Macedonia. The museum is dedicated to the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mother Teresa and is situated in her hometown Skopje, in the Republic of Macedonia. It was constructed on the famous Macedonia Street in the Centar municipality, on the very spot of the once Sacred Heart of Jesus Roman Catholic Church, where Mother Teresa was baptized.

15. Megalithic Observatory Kokino

Megalithic observatory Kokino is a famous place in Macedonia. During the year 2005 NASA officially ranged it 4thplace in the world, of its accuracy and importance. The location is as old as 3800 years. Kokino consists of two parts and contains special stone markers used to track the movement of the Sun and Moon on the eastern horizon. The observatory used the method of stationary observation, marking positions of the Sun at the winter and summer solstice and also of the equinox.

16. Mustafa Kemal Attaturk Bitola Museum

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was a Turkish army officer, revolutionary statesman, writer, and founder of the Republic of Turkey and also he was the first Turkish President. Following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in WWI, he led the Turkish national movement in the Turkish War of Independence; he was a military officer during World War I. It is believed that his military campaigns gained Turkey independence. Atatürk then embarked upon a program of political, economic, and cultural reforms, seeking to transform the former Ottoman Empire into a modern and secular nation-state. The values of Atatürk’s reforms, upon which contemporary Turkey was established, are referred to as Kemalism.

17. Stone Bridge

The Stone Bridge is constructed with solid stone blocks is one of the spectacular tourist attractions of the country. The Stone Bridge is a bridge across the Vardar River, located in Skopje. The bridge is indeed regarded as one of the major landmarks of Skopje and is the main element of the coat of arms of the city, which in turn is incorporated in the city’s flag. This magnificent Bridge connects Macedonia Square, in the center of Skopje, to the Old Bazaar.

18. Mount Korab

Mount Korab is the highest mountain of Albania and the Republic of Macedonia, its peak forming a border between the 2 countries. It is located next to the Šar Mountains. During the year 2011, Albania declared the region as part of the Korab-Koritnik Natural Park.Mount Korab is also a major tourist attraction of Macedonia.

19. Kokino

Kokino is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Macedonia. It is a Bronze Age archaeological location with approximately 30 km from the town of Kumanovo. It is located between about 1010 and 1030 m above sea level on the Tatikjev Kamen summit and occupies a total area of around 90 by 50 meters, overlooking the eponymous hamlet of Kokino.It was discovered by archeologist Jovica Stankovski, director of the national museum in Kumanovo, in the year 2001.

20. Mavrovo Lake

Mavrovo Lake is located in the Mavrovo area, is one of the most famous tourist attractions of the country. The lake is abundant with trout and is used for recreational activities such as swimming, boating and fishing during the summer. You will also find half-submerged church in the lake. Spreading over an area of about 300 square miles (780 km2), the Mavrovo National Park features deep canyons, snowy peaks and blue lakes combine with dense forests that abound with diverse wildlife.

21. Pena

Pena is the biggest Šar river in Polog, after the Vardar River. It is the biggest Vardarian tributary from the Šar lakes. Pena is among the major tourist attractions of Macedonia. You will notice that the spring of the river are on 2,500 meters above sea level and is 27 km long. In its river-bed pour 12 other rivers and out of these 12 the major ones are the Karanikolovska River, the Przhina, the Vejčka, the Lesnhička, and the Brodečka.The Pena River is very vital for the city of Tetovo not just as a symbol of the city, but as economic object as well.

22. Arabati Baba Teke

The Arabati Baba Teḱe is a tekke situated in Tetovo, is one of the famous spots to visit in the Republic of Macedonia. It was initially constructed during the year 1538 around the türbe of Sersem Ali Baba, an Ottoman dervish. It is considered as one of the finest surviving Bektashi monastery in Europe, the extensive complex offers flowered lawns, prayer rooms, dining halls, and also a beautiful marble fountain inside a wooden pavilion.

23. The Millennium Cros

The Millennium Cross is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Macedonian; its height is 66 meter and located right on the top of the Vodno Mountain in Skopje. The major purpose was to build a memorial to serve 2,000 years of Christianity in Macedonia and the world.

24. Markovi Kuli

Markovi Kuli is also referred as Marko’s Towers are located towards he northwest of Prilep, Macedonia. The towers of Macedonian medieval Prince Marko Mrnjavčević are positioned on a 120-180 m high hill that is entirely bounded by sheer slopes covered with minute granite stones. The archeological research that was conducted during the four-decade and the remnants that are discovered indicates the existence of an early antique settlement — Keramija, were found. In the Roman period, this small village expanded into the southwest, a fact suggested by the several marble ornaments of an early Christian basilica.

25. Plaošnik

Plaošnik also known as Plaoš is an archaeological location that is also very sacred site located in Ohrid, it is to be found around 250 meters below Samuil’s Fortress. It is said that in near future, the whole complex will have konaks as in the time of Saint Clement of Ohrid, together with several surrounding objects.

26. The Ancient Theatre

The Ancient theatre of Ohrid that belongs to the Hellenistic era is situated in Ohrid, is one of the most popular tourist spots of Macedonia. The Ancient Theater was constructed during the 200 BC and is the only Hellenistic-type theatre in the entire country as the other three in Scupi, Stobi and Heraklea Lynkestis are from Roman times. It is said that the open theater has a perfect location: the two hills that surround it keep it protected from winds that could interfere with acoustics during performances.

27. Skopje Aqueduct

The Skopje Aqueduct is an archaeological place situated in the village of Vizbegovo. It is the only aqueduct in the country and indeed one among the largest and well maintained in the former Yugoslavia along with Diocletianus Aqueduct near Split, Croatia and Bar Aqueduct in Montenegro. Different theories states the period in which the Aqueduct would have been constructed, although its exact date is still not clear.

28. Kozjak

Kozjak is a mountain and a famous destination for tourist located on the border between the Republic of Macedonia and Serbia. You will find it towards the north-east side when coming from Kumanovo. The tallest peak of Kozjak is Virovi at 1284 meters. It is also referred as Kozjačija.Kozjak is famous for the Prohor Pčinjski monastery in which the first session of the ASNOM was held during the year 1944.

29. Yeni Mosque

The Yeni Mosque is among the famous mosques of Macedonia located in Bitola. This magnificent mosque was constructed by Kadi Mahmud-efendi during the year 1558. The mosque is renowned for its beautiful decorative ornaments and stalactites. The glazed decorative features found on the Yeni Mosque are the only examples of their kind in the country. Today, this mosque houses an art gallery. Yeni means “new” in Turkish.

30. Statue of Alexander the Great

The Statue of Alexander the Great is located right in the country’s capital is undoubtedly the most popular landmarks in Skopje and it’s one of the top sights to visit in Macedonia. You will find the statue of Alexander on the back of his famous horse Bucephalus and it’s definitely worth the photo opportunity since it’s the grandest statue you’ll see anywhere in Macedonia.

31. Ohrid Lake

The Ohrid region is certainly among the most beautiful places to visit in Macedonia and it’s home to the popular Ohrid town and Ohrid Lake, which is considered to be an extremely famous summer destination in Macedonia. Ohrid offers some of the finest tourist attractions such as the medieval walls and also the famous Church of St. John at Kaneo and Samoil’s Fortress (Ohrid Fortress), which is a lovely medieval fort, perched atop the old town of Ohrid that offers superb views of Lake Ohrid.

32. Treskavec Monastery

The Monastery of Treskavec is one of the famous religious spots of Macedonia that is surely worth visiting because of its spectacular collection Byzantine frescoes (these frescoes date from the 15th century and are the oldest in Macedonia). From the top of the monastery you can get some of the best views of Macedonia’s country side.

33. Monastery of Sveti Naum

The top of Sveti Naum monastery is one of the most impressive spots to visit in Ohrid which offers gorgeous spectacular views of Lake Ohrid and the beautiful countryside. Well, the monastery is open to the public, though the majorattraction of the monastery remains taking a boat rides on the freshwater springs surrounding the monastery.

34. Galichnik, Mavrovo national park

The village of Galichnik is perhaps the most popular tourist attractions of the country during summers. The village is renowned for the traditional wedding festival that is conducted annually in early July. The Galicnik Wedding Festival is considered a must visit attraction of Galichnik, you can also participate in the celebrations. Once here you will surely love the atmosphere here during the festival. It will be one of your delightful experiences.

35. Golem Grad Natural Site

Golem Grad is a nature reserve island situated exactly in the middle of Lake Prespa. It has been for hundreds of years; today it’s definitely the most unspoiled area in Macedonia where you can also indulge yourself in various activities such as bird watching. The only way to get to Golem Grad is by boat, which you can hire inexpensively from either Konjsko or Stenje. Saying this, the boat ride from Konjsko takes just 25 mins; whereas Stenje is a good 80 minutes by boat.

36. Ajdar Kadi Mosque

Ajdar Kadi mosque was constructed during the year 1561, as the project of the famous architect Sinn Mimar, ordered by the Bitola kadija Ajdar-kadu. According to the inscription in Arabic on the stone plaque above the door, the mosque was constructed during 969 he (1561/62 AD). It is a huge domed mosque with huge wall of around 1,4 meters thick, making it one of the most impressive spots to visit in Macedonia. The surface under the dome is 11x11m. In the description of Evlia Celebia’s travels through the Balkans in the 17th century, this mosque was considered as one of the most beautifully decorated. Marble decorations adorn the mihrab and the triangle-shaped tromps.

37. Archangel Michael Monastery

Archangel Michael monastery: Varos, Prilep, The complex of the Varosh monastery consist of foundations of necropolis and settlements from the iron as well as the bronze ages. It also includes various beneficial thermal spas that belong to the Roman erawith plenty of well-preserved cultural-historical monuments from the middles ages.

38. St. Clement’s Church

The St. Clement’s Church of Macedonia is one of the most visited churches of the country. It was constructed during the year 893 by St.Clement on the foundation of an early Christian basilica, and dedicated to St.Panteleimon. St. Clement was buried in this monastery, in the tomb which was built by his own hands.After the advent of the Ottoman Turks, this Church was converted into a mosque, known as the Imaret Mosque, of which only a small enclosure remains.

39. Banjsko Roman Bath

The village Bansko is situated 12 kilometers towards the south-eastern part of Macedonia. The east end of the village, the place where the spring of thermo-mineral water is referred as Bath it is extremely popular among both locals as well as tourist, it is a thermal healing spa from late remains.The archeological digging on the Late-Roman thermal spa has begun during the year 1978 is still active today.

40. Asnom Memorial Complex

ASNOM memorial complex is situated in the village of Pelince right towards the northern part of Macedonia. The complex was constructed during the year 2004 and is a copy of the original building where the first plenary session of the Anti-Fascist Assembly for the People’s Liberation of Macedonia (ASNOM) was held, which is located in the Prohor Pchinjski monastery in neighboring Serbia, 2 km from the memorial center.

41. Basilica In Oktisi Village

It is located in near the village Oktisi not very far from in Struga, it was found in excavations. It is another early-Christian basilica located in the Village of Oktisi.Excavations of this site begand in 1927 and continued till 1958. The basilica is believed to be as old as 5th or 6th century. It has three-naval with a narthex and baptistery. The baptistery has square basis and it is full with mosaics engraved with the images of deer, cantharoses, horses, flowers and trees.

42. Bitola Clock Tower

Bitola Clock Tower was builtduring 1830and the present look was given in the 19th century. The tower is 32 meters tall. It has an entrance on is on the north side of the tower, and it is encircled with big marble blocks. There are around hundred stairs that lead to the clock, to its peak about 32meters high. There is new information on each of the stairs and new transformation begins. In the beginning the clock face was white with black numbers and hands, which was smaller than the present one. The mechanism of the clock was changed in 1936, when 15 new bells, about 900 heavy ones, were added.

43. Bezisten

It is a covered market and located Bitola centre. It is one of the most imposing and oldest buildings in Bitola that belongs to Turkish period. The building was built in the 15th century by the Rumelian Beglerbey, the famous donor Kara Daut Pasha Uzuncarsiliand the Grand Vizier. The building has numerous cupolas that give a look of fortress because of its tree-branch-like inner streets and four big metal doors. It is also one of the biggest covered markets in the region.Most of the shops sell textile and other luxurious fabrics. There was a treasure in Bezisten in specially made small rooms the money from the whole Rumelian Vilaet was kept, before it is transferred in the royal treasury.

44. Cocev Kamen

Cocev Kamen is a rock formation form volcanic origin and includes caves and rock-shelters. It isbelievedthat Cocev Kamen t has been used as a temple from Neolithic age (Bronze Age), throughout Roman ages and until the Middle Agesbecause of the surrounding archaeological sites. There are also rock shelters that are decorated with red figural prehistoric rock art.

45. Daut Pasha’s Amam Skopje

Daut Pasha’s Amam meaning Daut Pasha’sBath Room is one of the most famous monuments of the Islamic architecture. It is in Turkish architecture and was built in the 15th century by the grand vizier of Rumelija, Daut Pasha. Initially it was used for the needs of its harem but later it was converted into public bath.Presently it serves as an art gallery exhibiting Macedonian icons of the 14th to the 19th century as well works of Macedonian artists – pictures, sculptures, drawings, graphics, etc. Recently the bath has held promotions of books and theater performances.

46. Devil’s Wall

The Devil`s Wall is located close to village Bogoslovec, in the vicinity of Sveti Nikole and Stip; it is a stone formation. These stone blocks are large in size we are not sure if these manmade or a natural creation. As per old stories and legends the Devil’s Wall name into existence as one night the Devil has made a bet with God that for one night he would build a wall and turn the flow of the Bregalnica river in a different direction towards the Ovce Pole and flood it. Others believe that this wall is among the remains from the period of Alexander the Great, who has hidden his treasure here. Some also feel that the water here has miraculous power to heal.

47. Deer leap bridge

The Deer jump bridge is also called as Elenski skok and it was built on the Garska River. The length of the bridge is 600 meters; it was built during 16th-17th century. According to the local beliefs the local people have built this bridge after a deer fail to jump which was chased by the hunters. As the deer was unsuccessful she broke off her legs. Hence in its memory this bridge came-up.

48. Dojran lake

The Dojran lake is one the few lakes which have their presence in Macedonia as well as Greek. It is spread over 43, 1 sq km of which 27, 3 Sq Km lies is in Macedonia and 15,8 Sq km in Greece. The Dojran Lakeis almost circular with a length of 9 km and it’s width 7 km.The lake features some of the rarest fish species that include almost 15 types of which famous are kostreš, plašica, carp, sheath-fish and water grass (algi), Dojran Lake is has abundant fishes compared to any other River in Europe.

49. Dr. Nikola Nezlobinski museum Struga

National museum of Dr. Nezlobinski is home to fauna of Macedonia that include some extinct species. It was founded during1928 by Nikola Nezlobinski, a doctor from Russia who lived and worked in Struga after the October Revolution. It provides a good glimpse into the fauna and chance to study some of the extinct species of the region.

50. Museum of Bitola

Museum of Bitola is an institute for preservation of monuments of culture and it is a national museum. The purpose of this Museum is systematization, protection, scientific processing and presentation of the cultural legacy of of Bitola. The Museum of Bitola includes the following buildings: Antique locality of Heraclea Lyncestis,the Old Barrack, Art gallery (Yeni Mosque), Hajdar Kady Mosque, Memorial House of Goce Delcev, the Magaza located at “27 March” and StreetMemorial House of Stevan Naumov Stiv.

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