PLACES TO VISIT IN NORTH MACEDONIA
This overview of the best places to visit in North Macedonia shows where to find the cultural, historic and natural attractions.
Why North Macedonia...
A land of rock and stone, medieval fortresses and monasteries, green hills, majestic mountains, deep caves and friendly people. A country where culture and history lovers will have the feeling they’ve been transported to the past while walking through the villages and towns, where outdoor lovers will be amazed by the stunning landscapes of the mountains and where every traveler will experience the incredible hospitality of the people and will be treated to a feast of delicious food and wine. Let's have a look at the best places to visit in North Macedonia.
Best places to visit in North Macedonia
The list is not in particular order
Ohrid is a small resort city on the hilly shores of Lake Ohrid in the southwest of the Republic of North Macedonia. In the city’s compact old town, medieval churches, monasteries and open-air ruins stand alongside traditional houses with red-tiled roofs.
It is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in North Macedonia and one of the oldest human settlements in Europe. Built mainly between the 7th and 19th centuries, it has the oldest Slav monastery (St Pantelejmon) and more than 800 Byzantine-style icons dating from the 11th to the end of the 14th century. After those of the Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow, this is considered to be the most important collection of icons in the world.
If you want to go on a day trip from Skopje to Ohrid trough Mavrovo national park with a private driver/guide, click here.
GALICNIK VILLAGE & MAVROVO NATIONAL PARK
One of the most amazing places to visit in Macedonia are located in the Mavrovo National park. The Saint Nicolas Church that was submerged when the Mavrovo Lake was created but after many droughts it can be seen again, the Duf Waterfall, Saint Jovan Bigorski Monastery, the Mijak villages with the most famous among them, Galicnik Village.
The road to Galicnik runs through Lake Mavrovo dam, 14km uphill Mt. Bistra, at 1,450m above sea level. It passes by Tonivoda, the Macedonian steppe. The village has large, robust houses and is virtually deserted. Yet, it gets crowded during the summer and then again desolate after September.
The best time to visit is on Petrovden (St. Peter's Day), 12 July. When Galicnik and its inhabitants are hosts to the only festival of this type, the traditional Galicnik Wedding, echoing the sounds of drums, zurlas, and pipes and displaying the most beautiful and ornate folk costumes of North Macedonia.
SAINT GEORGE CHURCH
Located in the village of Staro Negoricane, the Church of Saint George is definitely one of the most beautiful Orthodox churches in the country and deserves its spot in the places to visit in North Macedonia list. The Church is founded in 1071 by Stefan Uros II from Serbia.
Krushevo is the highest town in North Macedonia (1250m above sea level) and the richest with national history. Krushevo also wast the birth place of the most famous Macedonian singer Toshe Proeski, who died in a car accident in 2007. Krushevo is famous for its "lokum", a sweet with Ottoman origins, rich history and its beautiful mountains.
MOUNT JASEN &
Jasen Mount with Kozjak Lake is very beautiful and much less visited than Matka Canyon. Mostly locals go there because it is only possible by car. After a short hike you can have this beautiful view and a gorgeous sunset/sunrise from the top overlooking the lake. It is a perfect picnic spot as well.
SKOPJE CITY, VODNO,
MATKA CANYON & AQUEDUCT
Some of the most popular places to visit in North Macedonia are located in the Skopje Valley. Beautiful monasteries, nature, bridges, bazaars and ancient ruins are just small part of them.
Skopje the capital of North Macedonia is the gateway to a valley surrounded by 3 mountains, a luscious area where culture, traditions, gourmet food and drink is part of daily life.
Matka Canyon, only a half-hour drive away from Skopje and it is a popular destination among locals at the weekends. With the beautiful green water, it is one of the most beautiful gorges in the region. There is a small church and a cave in the canyon to see. Kayaks can be rented on the spot and also there are boat trips to visit the cave.
The Skopje aqueduct is an archaeological site located in the village of Vizbegovo, 2 km (1.2 mi) northwest of Skopje. The Skopje Aqueduct is the only one in Macedonia, and one of three largest and well preserved in the former Yugoslavia.
Don’t go far to enjoy the beautiful Macedonian nature. Mountain Vodno is a great for short getaway to the nature when you had enough of the city or if you simply want to enjoy some fantastic views to the surrounding peaks.
Kokino is is a Bronze Age archaeological site, an ancient megalithic observatory. It was used the method of stationary observation, marking positions of the Sun at the winter and summer solstice, as well as the equinox.
KUKLICA - The Stone City
Kuklica is a small village near Kratovo, in the Republic of North Macedonia. It is known for the hundreds of naturally formed stone pillars that resemble humans, hence the name Kuklica which means dolls. The stone formations are over 50000 years old
Established in the 12 century and dedicated to Saint Joachim & Saint Mary, the Osogovor Monastery is one of the most beautiful places in North Macedonia. Just 10km from the Bulgarian border, the Monastery is overlooking the Kriva Palanka valley from the Osogovo Mountain.
Sar Mountains (Sar Planina) are near Tetovo and just 50km from Skopje. Beautiful nature with a few lakes, lots of springs and more than 25 peaks that are over 2000m, with 15 of them being over 2500m. The Sar Mountains are the most popular for trekking amongst Macedonians.
Stobi was an ancient Peonian town, afterward part of the Macedon empire and in the end capital of the Roman province of North Macedonia. Stobi is the most important archaeological site in North Macedonia.
In case you have more time to spend in the country, then you should definitely put Bitola, Snake Island and Strumica in the Places to visit in North Macedonia list.