Sveta Bogorodica Monastery

Top choice in North Macedonia

Framed by mountains and with a serene, peaceful atmosphere, Sveta Bogorodica is a special spot. Still home to nuns, this working monastery has 18th-century wooden-balustraded living quarters. The beautiful 14th-century chapel has frescoes from the 1500s. A church has stood on this spot since the 6th century, evident from the crosses on the left-hand side of the entrance.

Bogorodica is clearly signposted from the road that leads to the Canyon Matka car park (buses drop passengers off here); walk up the short, steep hill directly above.

Facing the front of the chapel, look out for the 2nd-century Roman gravestone that has been incorporated into the left-hand corner wall. Revered status is given to a painting of the Bogorodica (the Virgin) on the left, which the nuns believe cried real, light-filled tears during the communist era.