Introducing Pelister National Park
Easily the most handsome and quite possibly the friendliest city in Macedonia, chilly Bitola sits on a 660m-high plateau at the foot of Mt Pelister, just north of the Greek border. Named Manastir under Ottoman rule, it surpassed even Skopje as the most important city in the region, with its prestigious military academy attracting the likes of a young Kemal Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey. Its past prosperity has graced it with a fine central promenade, Ulica Maršal Tito, which is lined with 19th-century buildings including the three remaining consulates – Turkish, British and French. In winter the temperatures can reach minus 30°C, but this doesn’t stop the locals strutting their stuff up and the down this street or hanging out in its stylish bars and cafés.