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.
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009
Tips & articles
1 October 2010
This reading list excerpted from Lonely Planet’s guide to Eastern Europe provides an interesting introduction to the complexities and idi...
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