Top 5 Best Activities you can do in Macedonia
If you’re looking for somewhere at the crossroads of the Balkans, Greece, and the Ottoman Empire, there are few places better than Macedonia. And there’s a lot more to it than Lake Ohrid – stunning as it may be, As well as an intriguing history, there’s natural beauty all around, and friendly locals who will astound you with their warm hospitality.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the 5 best activities you can do in Macedonia. Hopefully, we’ll help you to get a better idea of how to plan your trip and really make the most of your time in this beautiful country!
If you want to discover the most beautiful landscapes and astounding nature of Macedonia, there are few better ways to do it than hiking. And you don’t even need to leave the capital Skopje to hike! Vodno Mountain stands at 1,066 metres above sea level and offers sumptuous views of Macedonia’s capital. However, that might be a bit too close to the hustle and bustle for some people. There are also lots of Airbnb vacation rentals in Skopje, Macedonia that you can book as you visit one of Europe’s fascinating capitals.
Thankfully, there are several amazing walking locations throughout the country. Search for the bold eagle and Egyptian vulture at Matka Canyon, or get views over into Albania accompanied by shepherds on Mount Bistra. And no trip to Macedonia is complete without visiting the jaw-droppingly beautiful Lake Ohrid. Travelling here offers the best of both worlds. You can spend an afternoon strolling through the picturesque old town, or really push yourself by heading out into Galicica National Park!
Wherever you hike in Macedonia, you’ll have an unforgettable experience. And of course, you’ll get some great photographs too!
Macedonia has the 5th highest average elevation of any country in Europe, with more than 50 lakes and 34 mountains at an altitude of 2,000 metres or above. So, it’s safe to say that there are some jaw-dropping locations for cyclists to discover. Mavrovo National Park is one of the best places to start your cycling adventure, although you might want to drive there with your bike in the car. The roads out of Skopje can be pretty hectic!
Another beautiful spot is Pelister National Park. Here, there are forests and mountains which line the eastern border with Bulgaria. They’re quite a sight to see! If you’re planning on a multi-day cycling holiday through Macedonia, you’ll be pleased to know that accommodation and food is much cheaper than neighbouring Greece. And the delicious food is the ideal way to fuel up before your cycling adventures!
If cycling doesn’t give you enough on an adrenaline buzz, mountain biking certainly will. It’ll give you the opportunity to get off road and really raise your heart rate! In recent years, its popularity has grown in the country, with mountain biking clubs organising regional tournaments and events. Obviously, you are welcome to look into these, but it’s also possible to take it at your own pace and just enjoy or get to grips with the sport! Trails have been popping up all over the country and some are as long as 30km!
One of the best places to embrace mountain biking in Macedonia is Galicica National Park. Yep, we’re talking aobut Lake Ohrid again! Stages 1 – 3 of the route from Ohrid to Krstec offer stunning views of the lake, as well as flora, fauna, and jaw-dropping landscapes. Mavrovo is another stunning location to get pedalling. There’s a network of paths through the national park, including a circular path at the village of Leunovo. Make sure if you are planning on renting a mountain bike in Macedonia that you get a helmet and have adequate travel insurance. As with any extreme sport, there’s always an element of risk involved!
Macedonia may not be internationally renowned on the culinary scene, but gourmands are often surprised and enthralled by the variety of its cuisine on arrival. Each meal will start with a fresh salad, known as meze. White cheese accompanies the vegetables, whetting your appetite for what’s to come. Mouthwatering mains include bitolska (veal stew with garlic sauce), tavce gravce (a bean dish served in a clay pot), and eel a la struga (eel casserole). Whatever you’re eating, it’s likely to be accompanied by a red pepper sauce known as ajvar or pindjur. Each meal is rounded off with a dessert like baklava and Turkish coffee.
Not only is Macedonia food delicious, hearty, and filling, but it won’t cost you a lot either. So, for budget travellers or long term travellers, fill up safe in the knowledge that you won’t have to part with too much cash for a great meal!
If you’ve already been to Macedonia and want to try making some authentic dishes for yourself, check out the recipes on Macedonia Travel’s food page!
Cheap beer & wine
In Macedonia, you can’t have a tasty and hearty meal without the accompanying glass of beer or wine. The country’s climate is perfect for growing grapes, and you’ll find fine wine that has been drunk for the last 4,000 years. Yes, even Alexander the Great enjoyed divine Macedonia wine! Well known grapes both red and white are grown in Macedonia, including Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Merlot. The tastiest varieties that you should definitely order with your tavce gravce or bitolska include smederevka and vranec, two of the best-known wines of Macedonia! As well as dining out and trying these wines, oenophiles can visit the vineyards, some of which offer excellent accommodation options as well as the obligatory tasting sessions!
So, now that you know the best activities in Macedonia…
Let us help you find a way to plan your trip. Mass tourism hasn’t hit Macedonia yet, and while that’s great for exploring pristine wildernesses and charming historic towns, it also means infrastructure can be unreliable and it’s difficult to travel around. To avoid problems such as that, take a look at Macedonia Travel
. They can help you find the best of the activities mentioned above and many, many more!
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