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Northern Macedonia – according to its name, this country has only existed since 2019. For years, the name dispute with Greece over the name Macedonia and the legacy of Alexander the Great kept the country busy. And it hindered the country’s integration into the West. Since 2005, the small state has been a candidate for EU membership, and since 2020 it has been a member of NATO.
The country has been independent of Yugoslavia since 1990 and since then been undergoing a transformation process that is far from complete. Fortunately, the country was not ravaged by wars in the 1990s as in other former Yugoslav republics. Nevertheless, northern Macedonia is not free of tensions. This is also due to the fact that coexistence between North Macedonians and Albanians, by far the largest minority in the country, does not always function without tension.
But don’t worry, you can vacation in North Macedonia without any problems. And there is a lot to discover! The capital Skopje has spruced itself up in recent years and resembles a mosaic of magnificent representative buildings, a quaint Muslim quarter as if from 1001 Nights and several somewhat kitschy monuments.
But there is also much to see outside the capital! The town of Ohrid on the picturesque lake of the same name is one of the oldest human settlements in Europe and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The lake, which just like Lake Prespa forms the natural border with Albania, is at the same time something like the “North Macedonian Sea” and a popular vacation destination.
But also the east with the Osogovo Mountains is worth a visit. Here, at the summit of the often snow-covered Carev Vrv, hikers in particular won’t be dissapointed. And the Korab waterfall at the other end of the country is even the largest in all of southeastern Europe.
In addition to the many historic cities and natural beauty, but above all the North Macedonian culture is convincing, which with its unique mix of Slavic and Albanian elements has produced many peculiarities.
Come with us on a trip to North Macedonia, on the following pages we introduce you to the small Balkan country in more detail, give practical tips and show you the most beautiful places!
About 25 % of the populatin of North Macedonian live in Skopje, by far the country’s largest city. The cultural, economic and political life of the country is concentrated here. Picturesquely situated on the Vardar River, you can stroll through an oriental quarter, admire the remains of an ancient Roman settlement and visit a fortress high above the city. But also the surrounding area offers many exciting discoveries.
The east of the country on the Bulgarian border is a real paradise, especially for hiking fans, which many have not even considered. It is also home to the country’s second largest city, Kumanovo. Here lives a large part of the Albanian minority of the country and the region is dominated by Muslims. However, the Bulgarian and Muslim influences in this part of northern Macedonia, where life is not always without conflict, also make the area very charming.
The three provinces of Polog, Pelagonia and Southwest (Jugozapaden region) make up the west of the country on the Albanian and Kosovan borders. Here you can hike in the Šar Planina, visit the uniquely beautiful Bitola or relax at Lake Ohrid or Lake Prespa. What more could you want?
To prepare your trip even better, we have created a packing list for you. It contains recommendations for things that will make your trip more comfortable and secure.
Finding cheap flights with good connections is not always easy. We are pros at finding the cheapest and best flights. Here we share our experiences with you.
Money withdrawel can be extremely expensive. Especially those who pay a lot with foreign currencies should therefore have a travel credit card, which is free of charge or offers low fees. We tested the best.
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