Macedonia Travel Guide

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The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is a landlocked country located in SE Europe in the Balkans, bordered by Serbia to the north, Greece to the south, Albania to the west and Bulgaria to the east. Macedonia was a former Yugoslav Republic . It is a mountainous country with areas of fertile farming land, rivers, lakes, medieval architecture from the Byzantine and Ottoman eras, monasteries and vineyards all mixed in with modern hotels and sophisticated shopping areas. The major river is the Vardar.


In approx. 150 BC ancient Macedonia was conquered by Rome and became a province of Rome until the Roman Empire was divided. Macedonia was then ruled at different times by the Byzantine Empire , Turkey and the Balkans and Bulgaria . Following the 2nd Balkan War of 1913 Bulgaria lost a lot of Macedonia and the territory was divided between Serbia , Bulgaria and Greece . In 1918 Macedonia , as part of Serbia , was joined with Slovenia , Croatia and Montenegro to form what was eventually named Yugoslavia . Macedonia was eventually to become a separate nation again after WWII. In 1991 Macedonia declared independence from Yugoslavia and became a member of the United Nations in 1993. Because of a dispute with Greece over the country name of Macedonia , the formal name is the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).




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The population is comprised of mainly Macedonians with some Albanians, Turks, Roma, Serbs and others. Languages spoken include Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish, Roma and Serbian. The dominant religion is Macedonian Orthodox.


The capital, administrative centre, and largest city is Skopje . It has been largely rebuilt as a result of an earthquake in the 1960s but parts of the old town area still remain, including a medieval fortress, mosques and bazaar. One of the most photographed sights is the wonderful bridge which spans the River Vardar.


Bitola is a large city located just a few miles from the border with Greece . Nearby are the ancient ruins of the city of Heraclea . Bitola was an important place during the Ottoman rule and is the second largest town in Macedonia .


The mountain resort of Mavrovo, as well as others, have various outdoor activities, such as skiing, mountain biking and hiking. The Macedonian people are gregarious and enjoy their celebrations, especially the carnivals of Strumica and Vevchani.


The city of Ohrid, located in the SW of the country and situated alongside lake Ohrid, is a UNESCO site set in a beautiful area of lakes and mountains and a medieval town with 10 th C remains of a fortress and many old churches, including 11 th C frescoes. It is a popular tourist destination with its beautiful beaches, historical attractions, cultural activities and good accommodations. Another town on Lake Ohrid is Struga, which is popular for its beaches, campsites and other attractions.


For nature lovers the mountainous areas have great natural beauty and spectacular landscapes with a variety of species of flora and fauna. Some areas, such as Galicica and Mavrovo have been named as national parks.


.Lake Dojran and Lake Prespa are also popular locations for visitors, and the waters are believed to have medicinal effects. Camping is available in the area, as well as hotels. There are more than fifty thermal spring spas in the country which have facilities for various methods of treatment and activities.




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Inclusion in this Travel Guide does not guarantee travel insurance is available in any country at any given time. Travel Insurance is not available in countries where the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has issued an advisory against travel.

We strongly advise a visit to the FCO website for updated travel information and general travel advice before you book and pay for any travel.