Macedonia is a beautiful and small country, rich in history and tradition and has a lot of interesting places to offer for its visitors. Macedonia has beautiful lakes, rivers, imposing mountains, interesting cities and incredible history. The history of Macedonia dates back thousands of years. Archaeological findings show that on the region of Macedonia there was a civilization from the period between 9000 BC and 3500 BC. Macedonian kingdom appears for the first time in the period of the IX century BC. There is a dilemma about who was the first king in ancient Macedonia, some say that it was king Karan, while others think that it was Perdiccas I (first historical king of the kingdom of Macedonia).
But did you know where is Macedonia?
Macedonia or the Republic of Macedonia is located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe and is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia. Macedonia declared independence in 1991. Although a continental country, Macedonia has more than 50 lakes and 16 mountains higher than 2,000 meters. Macedonian tourism is in constant increase, thanks to the many natural and cultural attractions.
Macedonia tourist attractions – Tourism in the Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia has cultural richness which is expressed in its archaeological legacy. Antique theaters, beautiful churches, Ottoman mosques, spectacular peaks, lakes, the hospitality of the Macedonian people will make your trip to Macedonia really memorable. Here is our list of the best places to visit in Macedonia. Enjoy!
Lake Ohrid is located in the city of Ohrid, Macedonia – which is one of the most beautiful cities in the country. Lake Ohrid is one of the oldest lakes in Europe, with unique aquatic ecosystem, with more than 200 endemic species of worldwide importance and crystalline waters. Lake Ohrid is one the most beautiful and interesting places to visit in Macedonia, a magnet for foreign tourists. You can enjoy a ride on a boat or indulge yourself in fishing, swimming or kayaking.
Heraclea is a place, located south of the city of Bitola, and allows tourists to get a feel for what life was like in Macedonia centuries ago. Heraclea actually represents a Roman ruins, open to public. You can get to Heraclea on foot or by bike from Bitola – however it is an great experience to see all these structures which date back 2 000 or more years ago.
Smolare Waterfall is the highest waterfall in Macedonia, falling from a height of 39,5 meters and is located above the village of Smolare in the Municipality of Novo Selo in the southeastern region of the country. Smolare Waterfall is a part of the Lomnica River and is located deep in the Belasica mountain at an elevation of 630 meters. To visit this beautiful place surrounded by 100 year old beech trees, visitors must find their way up a nature path, which includes 300 stone steps made from natural materials.
The Monument on Meckin Kamen
The Monument on Meckin Kamen is also one of the most popular places to visit in Macedonia. Meckin Kamen or Bear’s Rock is famous because of the legend that is attached to the hill. Pitu Guli was a duke who fought heroically to protect the city of Krusevo, so at the same spot where he was killed is now 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. But the brave brothers were not afraid, but instead they attacked the bear. The bear rolled a rock down the hill toward them, but they killed the bear with their axes. So the rock which was rolled by the bear is known as Meckin Kamen (Bear’s Rock).
Samuil’s Fortress is is an impressive ancient fortress located in old town Ohrid. The fort was built during the rule of Samuil and remained almost fully intact, and the rock walls and towers are accessible by visitors. Samuil’s Fortress is one of the most famous and important tourist attractions in Macedonia.
Macedonia is proud of three unique national parks which are Galicica National Park, Mavrovo National Park, and Pelister National Park. Each of them offer 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.
St. Jovan Kaneo
St. Jovan Kaneo is beautiful small church, located on the shore of Lake Ohrid. This gorgeous church offers beautiful architecture, religious artifacts, tranquil and attractive view and is one of the most appreciated churches in Macedonia.
St. Sophia is a small church, located inside the city of Ohrid and a popular place for visitors. This church was built 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.
The Valley of Stone Dolls (Kuklica)
Kuklica or The Valley of Stone Dolls is a natural phenomena of characteristic erosive landforms called earth pillars or stone dolls. These landforms are located on the right side of Kriva River valley. There are many legends associated with this 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 women 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.
Lake Matka is located near the city of Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. This lake is very popular for tourists and is easily accessible. Visitors can have fun with many activities such as boating, sailing, kayaking, swimming or hiking along the shore.