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Macedonia

Getting there & away

Contents

Land

Macedonia shares land borders with Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Serbia and the UN-­monitored territory of Kosovo. Access to/from all neighbouring states is generally trouble-free and unrestricted.

Albania

There are four border crossings with Albania – the two main ones are on either side of Lake Ohrid (Kafa San/Qafa e Thanës, 12km southwest of Struga, and Sveti Naum/Tushëmishti, 29km south of Ohrid). There are two smaller ones at Blato, 5km northwest of Debar, and at Stenje on the western shore of Lake Prespa.

Bulgaria

The main crossings are just east of Kriva Palanka (between Sofia and Skopje), east of Delčevo (26km west of Blagoevgrad) and at Novo Selo (between Petrič and Strumica).

Greece

There are crossings at Gevgelija (between Skopje and Thessaloniki), Dojran (just east of Gevgelija) and Medžitlija. To get to this crossing, take a taxi from the Bitola bus station (€6, 15 minutes, 15km) and then order a taxi on the Greek side to the nearest town, Florina (€12, 15 minutes, 17km).

Kosovo

The main border crossing at Blace is just a 20-minute trip north from Skopje. There is another crossing point close by at Jazince, used by vehicles coming from Tetovo.

Serbia

The main crossing point into Serbia is Tabanovce, either on the motorway or by train. There’s a much smaller crossing point at Pelince about 25km northeast of Tabanovce.

Bus

From Skopje buses travel to Belgrade (1350MKD, six hours, 431km, 16 daily), Prishtina (300MKD, 1¾ hours, 87km, six daily), Sofia (640MKD, six hours, 222km, six daily) and further-flung Eastern European centres such as Sarajevo, Zagreb and Ljubljana. Many of these routes pass through smaller centres, including Ohrid and Bitola.

To/from Albania you can travel from Tetovo via Struga to Tirana by bus (900MKD, six to seven hours, two daily on Monday, Wednesday and Friday). From Ohrid you can catch a Sveti Naum bus to the border (80MKD, 50 minutes, 29km, four daily) and cross on foot.

Car & motorcycle

None of the border crossings should pose any particular problems. You will need a Green Card endorsed for Macedonia to bring a car into the country.

Train

Trains from Skopje head to Belgrade via Niš (1209MKD, nine hours, two daily), Prishtina (€4, 2½ hours, two daily), Podgorica via Niš (2000MKD, 17½ hours, daily), Zagreb (2050MKD, 18 hours, daily) and Ljubljana (2690MKD, 20½ hours, daily). Sleepers are available. You can find timetables for international routes on the website of Macedonian Railways (www.mz.com.mk/patnichki/timetable.htm).

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Air

Macedonia has two international airports, Skopje’s Petrovec airport (SKP; 02-3148 333; www.airports.com.mk) and the much smaller Ohrid airport (OHD; 046-252 820; www.airports.com.mk). There is no departure tax.

Airlines

Adria Airways (code JP; 02-3117 009; www.adria.si; Ljubljana)

Air France (code AF; no local office; www.airfrance.com; Prague)

Croatia Airlines (code OU; 02-3115 858; www.croatiaairlines.hr; Zagreb)

Czech Airlines (code OK; 02-3290 572; www.czechairlines.com; Prague)

JAT Airways (code JU; 02-3118 306; www.jat.com; Belgrade)

Lufthansa (code LH; 02-3216 120; www.lufthansa.com; Ljubljana)

Malév Hungarian Airlines (code MA; 02-3111 214; www.malev.hu; Budapest)

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