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Macedonia Travel & Holiday Tips


Macedonia is a mountainous land right at the heart of the Balkans. Its churches and mosques contain many fine examples of art and architecture from the Byzantine and Ottoman periods.

There is no shortage of outdoor pursuits in Macedonia. Hiking, cycling, climbing, caving, canoeing, hunting and even paragliding are all available. Mavrovo is a well-developed ski resort in a stunning location with a good range of hotels and a large nightclub. Also try Popova Sapka, a resort near Tetovo in the far northwest and set at 6,000 ft/1,830 m. The slopes are very good.

Vodno Mountain (1066 m above sea level) towers over Skopje. It is a popular hiking place with marked paths leading through the woods and there are a couple of rest areas. On the top of Vodno, the Millennium Cross was built to mark 2000 years of Christianiy in Macedonia. It is 66 mm high and it is the highest structure in Macedonia.


Macedonia's capital is largely new, owing to an earthquake in 1963. There is, however, plenty to see. Skopje Old Town is the most attractive quarter of the city. It is full of shops and restaurants. Here is the Church of the Holy Saviour with its intricately carved iconostasis (a screen in orthodox churches on which icons are hung). Also to be found in the Old Town are the Kursumli An (16th century) and the Suli An (15th century) caravanserais and the Daut Pasha Baths with its two large and 11 small domes. It now houses the Art Gallery. There are a number of mosques dating from the Ottoman period, particularly the 15th-century Mustafa Pasha Mosque, as well as the old 10th-century Kale Fortress and a magnificent footbridge spanning the River Vardar. Near Skopje is the Nerezi Monastery with the accompanying 12th-century Church of St. Pantelejmon housing magnificent Byzantine frescoes.

Clock Tower (Saat Kula)

Every bazaar in Macedonia has a clock tower, as muslims had to close their stores five times a day to attend prayer. Working hours were introduced in the old bazaar, and nobody had a chance to work and earn more than the other, so the clock towers were built. Skopje’s clock tower is the first one ever to be built in the Ottoman Empire, which show us the importance of Skopje as a trading centre. It was built during 1566-72. It has more Islamic appearance than the other clock towers in Macedonia. The clock on the clock tower was brought from Szeged, Hungary. Unfortunately the clock disappeared during the chaos after the earthquake and today is in a clock museum in Switzerland.

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