The legendary Alexander the Great, king of the Macedonian kingdom, forever introduced the word “Macedonia” into world history. Now Macedonia is not as big as during the time of the empire of Alexander the Great, but, nevertheless, its very name speaks of the great history of this country. Even if Greece disputes the right of Macedonia to bear such a name… Modern Macedonia surprises tourists with its nature, mountains, lakes, and culture. This Balkan country has several thermal and ski resorts.
Geography of Macedonia
Macedonia is located in the center of the Balkan Peninsula, in Southeast Europe. Macedonia borders Bulgaria to the east, Serbia to the north, Kosovo to the northwest, Greece to the south, and Albania to the west. The total area of this Balkan country is 25,333 sq. km, and the total length of the state border is 748 km.
Macedonia is located in the valley of the Vardar River, and yet most of this country is occupied by mountains (Skopska Crna Gora, Pindus and Pirin). The highest peak in Macedonia is Mount Korab, whose height reaches 2764 m. In general, there are 16 mountains in this country, with a height of more than 2,000 meters.
The largest lakes in Macedonia are Ohrid, Prespa and Dojran.
According to itypejob.com, the capital of Macedonia is Skopje, which is now home to more than 870 thousand people. Archaeologists believe that the first human settlement on the territory of modern Skopje appeared in the 3rd century BC.
In Macedonia, the official language is Macedonian (it belongs to the eastern subgroup of South Slavic languages).
About 67% of the population of Macedonia are Orthodox Christians (Macedonian Orthodox Church). Another 15% of Macedonians are Sunni Muslims.
According to computerminus.com, Macedonia is a parliamentary republic. The head of state is the President, elected for 5 years.
Legislative power belongs to the unicameral Parliament – the Assembly (120 deputies).
Climate and weather
Macedonia has a transitional climate from Mediterranean to continental. Summers in this Balkan country are hot and dry, while winters are not very cold. There are three climatic zones in Macedonia – temperate Mediterranean, mountainous and temperate continental.
The highest average air temperature in Macedonia is observed in July and August – +31C, and the lowest – in January and February (-3C).
Rivers and lakes
There are about 50 lakes in Macedonia. The largest of them are Ohrid, Prespa and Doyran. By the way, Lake Ohrid was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1980.
As for the rivers of Macedonia, the Vardar River flows through the entire territory of this country, the length of which is 388 km.
In ancient times, Thracian and Illyrian tribes lived on the territory of modern Macedonia.
In 356 BC Philip II of Macedon expands the Macedonian kingdom, capturing the surrounding lands. The Macedonian kingdom reached its peak under Alexander the Great.
During the early Middle Ages, Macedonia was under the rule of the Byzantine Empire and the Bulgarian kingdom. At the beginning of the XIV century, Macedonia became part of the Serbian state, and then the Ottoman Empire conquered this country. Macedonia was part of the Ottoman Empire for five centuries.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Macedonia belonged to Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria. Then Macedonia, under the name Vardar banovina, was part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
After World War II, Macedonia became one of the republics in the socialist Yugoslavia.
Macedonia became independent in 1991. In 1993, Macedonia was admitted to the UN.
In all Macedonian cities and villages, the inhabitants carefully preserve their folk traditions. An example of this is the medieval town of Krushevo, where the traditions of the Macedonians are probably most pronounced.
The most popular holidays among Macedonians are New Year, Orthodox Christmas, Great Day, Independence Day, and Ramadan Bairam.
Macedonian cuisine has absorbed many of the culinary traditions of the Balkans. Macedonian cuisine has been heavily influenced by Greek, Turkish, Middle Eastern and Hungarian culinary traditions. Macedonians eat Shopska salad (Shopska salad) almost every day – diced tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and cheese.
We definitely advise tourists in Macedonia to try ajvar, tarator, kacamak, moussaka, burek and sarma.
Great wine is made in Macedonia, which is no worse than in Greece. Other traditional Macedonian alcoholic drinks are Rakia and Mastic liqueur.
Sights of Macedonia
Ancient Macedonia will be of great interest to any inquisitive tourist. This country has many interesting sights. The top ten Macedonian attractions, in our opinion, include the following:
- Stone bridge in Skopje
- Fortress Skopsko Kale
- The old Turkish hotel Kursumliya An
- Church of the Holy Savior in Skopje
- Turkish baths Daud Pasha in Skopje
- Ancient Roman city of Stobi
- Medieval town Krusevo
- Mustafa Pasha Mosque in Skopje
- Statue of Mother Teresa in Skopje
- Tsar Samuil’s Castle
Cities and resorts
The largest cities in Macedonia are Bitola, Kumanovo, Prilep, and, of course, the capital is Skopje.
Macedonia can be called a mountainous country, so it is not surprising that there are ski resorts there. The most popular of them are Krushevo, Mavrovo, Kozuf, and Popova Shapka.
There are many thermal springs in Macedonia, and even the Turks of the Ottoman Empire knew about their healing properties, who built baths in their places. Now excellent spa resorts operate at Macedonian thermal springs – Banište, Banja Bansko, Katlanovo, Kežovica, Kosovrasti, Istibanja, Banja Kočani.
Tourists from Macedonia usually bring handicrafts (such as ceramics), Macedonian embroidery, traditional Macedonian clothing, gold and silver jewelry.
Ukrainians need to apply for a visa to enter Macedonia.
Since 1992, the Macedonian dinar has been in circulation in Macedonia (its international designation is MKD). 1 dinar = 100 deni. Most shops, hotels and restaurants accept all major cards including Diners Club, Visa and MasterCard.
The amount of 10 thousand euros at the entrance to Macedonia must be declared. When leaving the country, the amount of more than 10 thousand euros must also be declared.
Animals can only be brought into Macedonia if they have a veterinary certificate.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
The address of the Embassy of Macedonia in Ukraine:
Index – 04070, Kiev, st. I. Fedorova, 12
T: (044) 238-66-16
Email. mail: [email protected]
Address of the Embassy of Ukraine in Macedonia:
Skopje, st. Pitu Gouli, 3
T: (8 10 3892) 317-92-59
Email. mail: [email protected]
192 – Police
193 – Fire brigade
194 – Ambulance
195 – All emergencies
The difference with Ukrainian time is -1 hour. Those. if in Skopje, for example, in the summer it is 9:00 am, then in Kyiv it is 10:00 am.
Tipping in restaurants in Macedonia is 10% of the bill. Some restaurants include a service charge on the bill.
No special vaccinations are required to enter Macedonia, but health insurance is required.
Macedonia is generally a safe country for foreign tourists. However, we urge tourists in Macedonia to still follow the usual precautions. Pickpockets sometimes “work” in tourist places.