North Macedonia in

One Week

Spend a couple of days in Skopje and gawp at the mind-boggling faux neoclassical architecture and the Čaršija with its historic mosques, churches, museums and Ottoman castle. Visit the nearby Canyon Matka and kayak into the canyon, skirt the cliffside walkway and dip a toe in the cool waters.

Next head to North Macedonia's most charming and historic town, Ohrid, for swimming and drinks by the spectacular lake. Admire its frescoed medieval churches, beach-flanked Sveti Naum Monastery, and overwater Bay of the Bones museum.

Complete the week by staying in a village guesthouse on the edge of Pelister National Park, with hiking and top-notch home cooking. Cross Lake Prespa and admire the pelican-inhabited, ruin-strewn island of Golem Grad.

Two Weeks

Linger in Pelister National Park in order to stop in Bitola, loved for its vibrant cafes, elegant 19th-century architecture and ancient Heraclea Lyncestis ruins.

Next visit Mavrovo National Park and stay in historic Janče and Galičnik villages for superb Macedonian cuisine, local cheese and horse riding. Visit the impressive Sveti Jovan Bigorski Monastery.

Make a pit stop in the Tikveš Wine Region for tastings and a tour. Spend the night at North Macedonia's top-winery hotel, Popova Kula.