While many of us prefer to travel longer, sometimes what you get is just a 1-week vacation. Therefore, in this article we’d like to write about how to get the best out of Macedonia in 1 week.
Places to visit in Macedonia
Skopje is an incredible city, with beautiful and charming bazaar, several interesting museums and a bizarre mix of architecture. It’s a great stop to learn about Macedonia’s history, to check out statues and sculptures, and to taste local food. Here you can find nice markets, craft beers and some ancient ruins.
Probably the most easily accessible nature spot, it’s located fairly close to Skopje. Climbing, kayaking and hiking are 3 most popular things to do there. Most importantly, it’s a beautiful place with blue-green waters, caves and nature trails.
Bitola is the second largest city in Macedonia and is located in the south of the country. It’s famous for its proximity to Pelister National Park, being home of Heraclea Lyncestis, ruins of ancient Roman town, and its beautiful mosques. A day-trip would cover what you need to see, but make sure you stop for lunch or drink, because a town is quite cozy.
Probably one of the most famous destinations in Macedonia, lake Ohrid is also a popular place for locals to visit in summer. It’s quite big and there are plenty of accommodation options around it, not only in the Ohrid itself. Part of the lake lies in Albania, but Macedonian part is also beautiful.
Monastery of Saint Naum and National Park Galichica
This Orthodox monastery in the southern park of lake Ohrid was established in 905. It’s quite a small monastery with beautiful architecture, but its location is stunning: right next to the lake, surrounded by forest. Besides, you can see Albania from the lakefront! Furthermore, right next to it is located National Park Galichica, and even if you don’t have time to check it out extensively, take a drive and stop at few viewpoints.
Day 1 – Arrive to Skopje and settle in. If you arrive by plane, most probably you will land in Skopje International Airport. Make your way to the hotel, go out to see the evening Skopje and have lunch.
Day 2 – Explore Skopje. Take a morning walking tour to find out some facts about Skopje’s history and most important landmarks. After the tour, head to the Old Bazaar for lunch. In the afternoon check out the museum of the Macedonian Struggle and then have a relaxing evening exploring the city.
Day 3 – Drive to the Matka Canyon. Rent a kayak to explore a cave or go on a hike. Make sure you arrive early, so you can have lunch in a local restaurant between your activities. After the canyon, go to Lake Ohrid.
Day 4 – Lake Ohrid. Spend a relaxing day next to the lake. No matter what you choose, I’m sure it will be great! Whether it’s kayaking, swimming or just lying at the beach, you deserve to have some chill time during your vacation.
Day 5 – Spend your morning exploring Ohrid city. Visit Samuel’s Fortress. Drive down to the Monastery of Saint Naum. Take a walk on the monastery grounds and then drive through the National park Galichica.
Day 6 – Explore Bitola and Heraclea Lyncestis. Head back to Skopje.
Day 7 – Hunt some burek for breakfast and take a last walk in the Old Bazaar, but don’t forget to try some baklava. Head back to the airport.
Foods to try include burek with yoghurt, ajvar, tavche gravche and zelnik.
We recommend to rent a car, because you can move around easier and roads are quite descent in Macedonia.
As always, try to meet some locals for a drink or two. You’ll always learn a unique perspective, what worries them and what makes them happy about their country.
- If you are from Estonia, try to tell it to a local person and let us know in the comments what was their reaction!
That’s it for now. Explore Macedonia, and hopefully you’ll get more than 1 week for your visit!
If you’re travelling in Balkans, check out our other articles:
Top 5 Cities to Visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Places to Visit in Montenegro, the New Zealand of Europe
Wow, Macedonia looks gorgeous! I’ve been nearby but not to Macedonia. I love burek though so I’ll have to get there 🙂
Hah, burek is great! Yes, Macedonia is definitely worth a stop. Thanks for your comment Nina!
I have read a lot about Macedonia. Your itinerary is simple and it seems that one would get to see the best of this place. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks! Hope it’s useful 🙂
The country is so beautiful! I have seen so many amazing pictures but have yet to visit. Booking marking your itinerary for my bucket list.
Thanks, Bianca! Definitely one of the great surprises for us too in 2018
Matka Canyon looks like an incredible place to visit on its own! The scenery looks absolutely stunning! Thanks for sharing this easy-to-follow itinerary, I’d love to visit Macedonia.
Thanks, Jaz. Matka Canyon is beautiful. You can do a few treks there and rent a kayak or a boat, really nice!
Macedonia isn’t that big and your guide seems to show most of the places to go. I think I would love visiting Skopje, because I like weird architecture.
Yess, Macedonia is almost twice smaller than Estonia! And yeah, Skopje has been reformed into a city of contrasts, something many people hate but many love. But even if you would hate that, they have a lovely market and older part of town.
This is a very inviting post. Macedonia has been somewhere on my list – but after reading this and seeing your wonderful pictures, it moved up way up high. Especially lake Ohrid looks absolutely fascinating.
Renata, I’m glad you are considering Macedonia! It’s definitely not on the top of most traveler’s lists, but I consider it a very much worthy place to visit!