The Balkan nation of Macedonia is a landlocked country jam-packed with mountains, walking trails, sparkling lakes and European architecture. It is home to over two million people and 3,700 plant species, the abundance of which is breathtaking in the country’s National Parks.
This glorious, landlocked country is steeped in Greek, Roman and Ottoman history and boasts breathtakingly rugged terrain punctuated by mountains and scenic waterfalls. Culturally rich in art, poetry and music, the people of Macedonia enjoy music and drama festivals throughout the year. You’ll find them to be warm, welcoming and very sociable so be sure to immerse yourself in their culture for the most authentic experience.
This is where the sway of the Mediterranean meets Central Europe and blends with the exotic East. From the Danube to Dracula's castle, there is history at every turn.
When it comes to immersing yourself, there is no better place than the capital of Skopje – a quirky city with both cultural and historical monuments in amongst museums and enormous fountains. This thriving, riverside capital has become a stimulating metropolis where ancient history meets modern development. Mother Teresa was born in Skopje, visit her memorial house or marvel at the 1400-year-old Skopje Kale (Fortress). At dusk, head to Plostad Makedonija Central Square at the heart of the city and enjoy the atmosphere from one of its countless bars and restaurants.
For those after a slower pace, Macedonia serves up sensational spa towns, such as Kosovrasti and Negorci, alongside its diverse cuisine reflecting Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes. Be sure to try the national dish, Tavče gravče, a fresh beans recipe served in authentic earthenware.
In a nutshell, Macedonia is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful countries to add to your list, both naturally and architecturally.
When to go: Located so far south in Europe, Macedonia is great to visit most of the year round. It is particularly welcoming during spring and autumn, outside the high tourist seasons and when the weather is at its most pleasant.