ORTHODOX HERITAGE

Maininfo-Orthodox

Category: Byzantine Art, Orthodox heritage
Area: Macedonia
Tour duration: 9 days (8 nights)
Evaluation of the Trek:
Easy - nothing more than normal walking while sight-seeing


pantelejmon days

Transfer from Skopje airport Alexander the Great to Skopje and meet your expert guide over dinner where you can discuss the tour, and the Macedonian customs and traditions. Visit the most remarkable Byzantine churches hidden in the alleys of the Old town under the city walls and in the mountains around Skopje. See the outstanding examples of the early renaissance in fresco painting in St Panteleimon; the ceramic Byzantine-age decorations and the masterwork of Michael and Eutichius in their 14th century frescoes in the temples on Mt. Skopska Crna Gora, the unique woodcarving technique of the Myak masters in the famous iconostasis of the Holly Savior church. We will walk inside a beautiful canyon in Suva Gora to see the original stone columns and inscriptions written on the façade of a 14th century monastery, and we’ll visit the nuns’ embroidery workshop in a monastery deep in Canyon Matka. In the most remote parts of National Park Mavrovo we’ll see the world renowned iconostasis of St John and the relics of St George.

Sv Naum days

Start a day with a divine morning liturgy in the church of the Holly Mother of God by Ohrid Lake. Take a tour of Ohrid, the city of UNESCO with 365 Orthodox churches, important archeological sites, a Roman theatre, the medieval Tsar Samoil’s fortress and a priceless gallery of icons with its rich collection: 30 of these icons have been estimated as masterworks created in the period from 11th to 19th century. See the frescoes that are best preserved examples of Byzantine monumental activities between 10th and 13th century and the one of Erasmus Lychnidos- the first Christian missionary in the Balkan from 3rd century! Drive by the lake to St Naum monastery, close to the Albanian border. Dating back to X century, the remains of the Glagolitic and Cyrilic inscriptions on the pillars of this church are mute witnesses of the beginning of Slavic literacy and Cyrillic script. Explore the monk cells carved in the rocks above Ohrid Lake, where through centuries monks used to live in complete isolation, fasting and in continuous prayers. Deep in Galicica National park visit the church in Kurbinovo, one of the most important spiritual and cultural places in the world. Walk by the ancient mosaics in the city of Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great!  

St Nikola days

The Varosh monastery complex of Prilep is located under the medieval towers of King Marko. This site has been home to a cemetery and settlements from Bronze and Iron Age, as well as to baths from Roman Era. We’ll visit here few pearls from the Byzantine period: the church of St Archangel Michael, then the city patron’s church which is the most important Byzantine architecture masterpiece in Macedonia, and the conservative frescoes in St Dimitrija church. Up in the mountains in the monastery Treskavec meet father Kalist, beautiful personality always willing to discuss the principles of Orthodox religion and to explain the importance of the Byzantine heritage of this monastery. Optional: visit Zrze for a true spiritual break in the tranquility of the monastery with beautiful view over Pelagonia plain. Enjoy a dinner with winetasting of premium Macedonian wines in a wine chateau.

pogaca fancy days
Explore spiritual East Macedonia: the 2 most important Byzantine sites Vodicha (10th century) and Veljusa, with preserved architecture from 11th century, and one of the oldest known typikons in the history of Orthodox monasticism about the church construction and the order of the first monastic life here. Several temples have been excavated in this area from Pre-Christianity period, an Early Christian basilica and a cross-shaped church. Up in the mountains of East Macedonia visit the cave churches and the monk cells carved in the rocks by Lesnovo monastery, a church with priceless iconostasis which used to be the biggest library in the Balkans in middle ages. We’ll also visit the pottery manufacturers in a small mountain village here, and the church of St George, important for the rare fresco of Jesus Christ in two positions giving communion to the apostles that shows the difference between the Orthodox and Catholic Christianity. Watch the sunset at Kokino Megalythic observatory and relax by the pool of your Ethno-village hotel-spa.

Leave Macedonia on Day 9, or extend this spiritual tour with 3 days tour of Kosovo UNESCO heritage.

Day 1 & 2
The hotel in Skopje is a modern, 4* hotel, located on 2,8 km from the main city square. All rooms feature stylish design, high-quality mattresses, air-conditioning, a safe, flat screen TV with cable channels, minibar and private bathroom with modern amenities. The hotel offers 24 hours reception service, an on-site lobby bar, a snack bar, gift shop and free WiFi.

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Day 3
The hotel in Kalishta is located right on the beach of Ohrid Lake, just few km outside Struga, and it's attached to a monastery complex with great religious and cultural heritage.
All of its rooms are airconditioned, and equipped with TV with satellite programs, direct telephone line, toilet and a balcony. One of its restaurants is on the balcony with beautiful view over the lake.

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Day 4
The hotel is a four-star modern, luxurious and comfortable city hotel with outdoor swimming pool, centrally located in Downtown Ohrid Macedonia. It offers: 24 hour front desk service with English-speaking staff, safety deposit boxes, central air-conditioning and heating, business club with computers, internet, printer, scanner and fax available 24 hours, room service, laundry services, 24 hour aperitif bar at your service. Ideal for your relaxation, its outdoor summer pool and covered terrace are for hotel guests only.

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Day 5
The hotel offers air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi. Each room features a flat-screen TV with cable channels and a minibar. The en-suite bathroom is fitted with a shower and free toiletries. An on-site café-bar is available.

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Day 6 & 7
The Popova Kula Hotel offers unique experience to its guests with its distinct 4 suites and 7 rooms, each carefully named after, and decorated in the colors of the wine type they represent. Each is equipped with telephone and internet connection, air conditioning and balcony giving view to the breathtaking surroundings – true enjoyment for nature lovers.

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Day 8
The ethno village complex offers outdoor pool and a relaxing spa, beautiful summer garden, a children playground, and tasty traditional Macedonian cuisine. All rooms are air-conditioned, with cable TV, private bathrooms and free WiFi throughout the property. 

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mapa orthodox heritage

Price: Call for Pricing

Included in price:
Accommodation: 4 x 4* hotel, 3 x boutique hotel, 1 x Ethno village hotel
Meals: 8 x breakfast, 7 x lunch, 8 x dinner
Transport with air-conditioned tourist van / coach
Full escort by professional tourist guide
All entrance fees for churches / monuments visited
Winetasting with dinner (Day 6)
Visit of clay pottery producers
Boat ride in Ohrid
Reforestation certificate for one tree planted in your name in Macedonia
Full organization and logistic by Macedonia Travel

Not included in price:
Drinks during the meals
Any personal expenses not mentioned under “Included in price


What to pack

Footwear:
comfortable walking shoes
Casual clothes
Water/windproof jacket with hood
Hat
Toiletries
Sunglasses
Camera
Passport
Trip voucher
Money:
cash, or, you can also use your credit card in most cities in Macedonia. Feel free to ask your guide for help
Travel insurance
Personal medications

TOUR EXTENSION: KOSOVO UNESCO HERITAGE

grachanica monastery days

Early in the morning we’ll cross Macedonian – Kosovo border and drive along Kachanik Gorge to our first stop, Grachanica monastery: a UNESCO world heritage site of extraordinary beauty, famous for its church devoted to Annuciation of the Holly Mother of God. Continue to the Kosovo greatest battlefield in its history, where Sultan Murad and Emperor Lazar fought with their armies back in 1389. Only few kilometers away is the tomb/turbe of the Ottoman Sultan Murad the First, who was killed in that battle. From here we head to the Kosovo Capital Pristina, for lunch and afternoon guided panoramic city tour followed by a walk along Pristina’s  main street and the pedestrian zone by the monuments of Mother Teresa, Skenderbeg, and the monument of the first president of Kosovo, Ibrahim Rugova. Transfer to Pec. Dinner and overnight in hotel in Pec.

kosovo jewelry days

The Patriarchate of Pec is the next UNESCO World Heritage site on our tour, which had continuous life for over seven centuries. We’ll visit here a complex of four churches built and fresco-painted back in XIII-XIV century, and head back to Pec and Decani to visit one more UNESCO World Heritage site: the Serbian Orthodox Christian monastery VisokiDecani, famous for its frescoes declared as "one of the most valued examples of the so-called Palaeologan renaissance in Byzantine painting".  Continue to Prizren driving by Djakovica, and by Terzi Most, an interesting bridge from XVIII century. After a traditional lunch in Prizren restaurant we’ll take a walking tour of this wonderful historic city of Kosovo with preserved old buildings, bazaar, mosques and orthodox churches, a catholic cathedral, bridges and a fortress. See why this ancient city is named “the Open Air Museum”!!!Departure to Skopje in late afternoon and finish the day with a grand farewell dinner in Skopje. Overnight in hotel in Skopje.

skopje stone bridge days

Free time to explore the capital center completely rebuilt for the project Skopje 2014 with numerous monuments, baroque buildings and fountains until departure home.

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