We currently don't offer any organised trips to Macedonia. However, Peregrine can create bespoke tours to many destinations, including Macedonia. That’s the same locally-led, small group experience, but crafted to suit you. Just fill out your details below and a travel specialist will be in touch.
Passing through Macedonia is like progressing through its dark and intriguing past, each icon forming a chapter of its history. The story begins with the classical amphitheatre in Ohrid, a relic from Macedonia’s Hellenistic period. The tale moves on to the 10th Century Castle of Car Samoil, the crumbling emblem of a once formidable Bulgarian state. And the ancient Church of Sveti Jovan-Kaneo, with its lavish examples of Byzantine art, concludes with the eerie religiosity that still pervades the region. Macedonia may be a tiny country, but its living record is enormous.
|Currency||Macedonian denar (MKD)|
|Time zone||(GMT+01:00) Sarajevo, Skopje, Warsaw, Zagreb|
Macedonia travel highlights
Cruise along the tranquil Lake Ohrid
Lake Ohrid is famously Europe’s oldest and deepest lake, with an ecosystem that continues to impress biologists. It’s also famously pretty.
Matka Canyon in Macedonia
This impressive ravine runs through lush mountain-scapes and hides medieval monasteries and caves deep within its walls.
Take shots with the locals in Bitola
The family-run inn in Bitola welcomes guests with home-style cooking and a shot of potent Rakia.
Macedonia holiday information
Macedonia has numerous ethnic groups living within its borders. The largest are the ethnic Macedonians which form about 60% of the population, while others include Albanians, Turks, Romani and Serbs. The ethnic Macedonian majority is primarily Orthodox Christian, with the remaining percentage of Albanians and Turks being Muslim. Most ethnic Macedonians live a relatively liberal European lifestyle, but unfortunately, the ethnic Albanian population is marginalized. In the Macedonian custom, men shake hands upon greeting while women are expected to kiss on the cheek, sometimes even on first meeting.
The Republic of Macedonia is in South Eastern Europe, surrounded by the nations of Kosovo, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Albania. Macedonia is part of the Balkan Peninsula, the rugged region of southern Europe named for the Balkan mountain range. Its two major mountain ranges are the Šar Mountains and the Osogovo-Belasica Mountains, and the main river is the Vardar. Macedonia has several lakes, the most notable being the Ohrid Lake, which is one of the oldest and most biologically interesting lakes in the world. Macedonia has a mixed continental and Mediterranean climate, with hot dry summers and harsh winters.
Macedonia holidays offer great opportunities to collect goods from the region. Typical mementos include ceramics depicting local churches as well as pottery and brass ornaments. You’ll find small shops selling Turkish coffee pots (jezve) made in traditional copper and decorated with attractive designs, as well as a range of coffee cups. The popular night market in Skopje sells used and antique items such as traditional jewellery, garments and books.
Balkan Folklore Festival
This event in Ohrid showcases traditional dance and song from Macedonia and dozens of its European neighbours. It also includes exhibitions of regional consumes and artefacts.
The Galicnik Wedding
This strange yet fascinating festival is part of a greater even known as Galicnik Summer. The event involves the marriage of a local couple who’ve won the contest to be married the Galicnik way. Locals and visitors alike are invited to partake in a three-day-long traditional wedding with all its customs and practices.
International Festival of Antique Theatre
It takes place in the ruins of the ancient town of Stobi, a revival of Hellenistic drama, philosophy and other re-enactments
Macedonian meals often start with a session of appetizers called meze, usually bread, cheese, nuts and olives. The traditional fruit brandy known as rakia is used as an appertif before meals, and even first thing in the morning to get warm during winter. Typical dishes include the rich and hearty tavche-gravche (casserole) which includes beans and sometimes pieces of sausage; and kofte (mince meat kebabs). Locals incorporate bread and peppers into most meals, but at restaurants, mainstream European dishes like pizza are popular. Meals are customarily closed with strong shots of Turkish-style coffee.
Recommended books to read about Macedonia:
|Black Lamb and Grey Falcon||Rebecca West|
|The Golden Mean||Annabel Lyon|
|Hidden Macedonia||Christopher Deliso|
|Macedonia||Harvey Parker and Heather Roberson|
Macedonia travel FAQs
Most nationalities have visa-free access to Macedonia for a period of 90 days.
Tipping isn’t common practice in Macedonia. Some restaurants may include a surcharge and there’s no need to tip on top of this.
Macedonia has good internet access in its major cities and towns but service is unreliable in rural and remote areas.
You’ll have mobile phone coverage in major cities and towns but coverage is limited in rural and remote areas. Remember to activate global roaming with your provider if you wish to use your mobile while traveling.
Macedonia has western-style toilets in most places. Soap and toilet paper aren’t always provided so you may like to carry some with you.
- 0.5 litre domestic beer = 75 MKD
- Cappuccino in a coffee = 75 MKD
- Meal at an inexpensive restaurant = 200 MKD
- Three-course meal for two at an expensive restaurant = 1,000 MKD
Drinking tap water is safe unless otherwise stated. For environmental reasons, avoid buying bottled water and bring a refillable bottle or canteen with you.
You can use your credit card in high-end hotels and restaurants, however prepare to pay cash when dealing with most local businesses.
There are plenty of ATMs in major towns and cities.
Yes. All peregrine passengers are required to purchase travel insurance prior to their trip. Your insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day.
For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/macedonia/public-holidays