Mountainous Macedonia still has an air of mystery to it. Simultaneously ancient and brand new, it’s struggling to find its place in the postcommunist world. Black-clad Orthodox monks are just as much a part of this renewal as the hordes of teenagers, bedecked in the latest Italian fashions, sipping coffee in the stylish bars of the capital.
For outdoors types it’s a paradise. Its extensive wilderness allows ample opportunities for hikers, mountain climbers and skiers. Try the stunning Mavrovo National Park in Western Macedonia for the country's best skiing and some unforgettable alpine views. Meanwhile, ancient ruins will fascinate anyone with even a smidgen of interest in history, as will the amazing Sveti Naum monastery. The culturally-rich town of Ohrid is one of Macedonia's highlights, with its beautiful lake and spiritual significance; capital Skopje is a buzzing place where Eastern European stereotypes and unexpected attractions coexist with intriguing results. In short, for a little place it’s crammed with something for just about everyone.
Quite apart from Macedonia’s spectacular peaks, lakes and rivers, it’s the hospitality of the people of this most southern of Slavic nations that will make your visit truly memorable.
Best places to stay in Macedonia
Mediterranean Europe travel guide
Your journey to Mediterranean Europe starts here. You'll find the tools to plan your adventure: where to go and when, how much to budget, plus info on the region's best festivals.
Macedonia’s unusual nature getaway
Deep in the Balkans, a grandiosely named nature reserve might just be the best-kept secret in Europe’s national park scene. The 'Public Enterprise for Managing and Protection of the Multipurpose Area Jasen' (better known as just Jasen) sprawls across rugged, mountainous terrain in still little-visited Macedonia...
Eastern Europe travel guide
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Western Macedonia gets most of Macedonia's visitors, and no wonder: its mountain ranges provide a stunning backdrop, running south from Šar Planina to the gentler Jablanica range, ending with the 34km-long Lake Ohrid.
Eastern Europe: travel books to read before you go
This reading list excerpted from Lonely Planet's guide to Eastern Europe provides an interesting introduction to the complexities and idiosyncrasies of Eastern Europe as a region. Stalin’s Nose by Rory Maclean...
Mediterranean Europe Phrasebook
One of the most rewarding things about travelling around Mediterranean Europe is the rich variety of cuisine, customs, architecture and history. The flipside of course is that you’ll encounter a number of very different languages. Most...
Eastern Europe - Macedonia (Chapter)
Part Balkan and part Mediterranean, and offering impressive ancient sites and buzzing modern nightlife, Macedonia packs in much more action, activities and natural beauty than would seem possible. Skopje remains one of Europe’s more unusual...
Sights in Macedonia
Activities in Macedonia
Restaurants in Macedonia
Budget hotels & hostels
Guesthouses and B&Bs
Sublime Ohrid is Macedonia's prime destination, with its atmospheric old quarter with beautiful churches along a graceful hill, topped by a medieval castle overlooking serene, 34km-long Lake Ohrid.