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Your guide to visiting North Macedonia

Plan your trip to North Macedonia:
the Marvel of the Balkans

Land-locked North Macedonia is a beautiful gem in the Balkans, with a rich history and culture, stunning natural beauty, and friendly people. Plan your trip with our travel photos, facts, things to know before traveling, and curated YouTube videos. We visit Lake Ohrid, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and cross the land border from Albania.

 

Lake Ohrid, one of the oldest and deepest lakes in Europe, is split between Macedonia and Albania, and is home to a variety of plant and animal life. It is also a popular tourist destination, with many resorts and activities available. The land border between North Macedonia and Albania is located in the western part of the country. It is a short and easy crossing, and it is a great way to explore both countries.

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Our interactive map & guide to North Macedonia

Check out all of the places we visited in North Macedonia courtesy of this interactive map from Wanderlog. Tap any of the numbers for more information including directions, our blog posts, links to reviews and much more.

Wanderlog is a free travel planning app that allows users to create trip itineraries, organize flights, hotel and car reservations, view places to visit on a map, and collaborate with friends. It is super handy and has made a big impact on our travel planning. It saves time and is super easy to use!

Interesting Facts

Here are 12 interesting facts about North Macedonia. Some may just surprise you!

1. Birthplace of Mother Teresa: Skopje, the capital city of North Macedonia, is the birthplace of Mother Teresa, the Nobel Prize-winning humanitarian and founder of the Missionaries of Charity.

2. Land of Lakes: North Macedonia is home to more than 50 lakes, making it a haven for nature lovers. Lake Ohrid, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is one of the oldest and deepest lakes in Europe. The border with Albania actually runs through Lake Ohrid itself.

3. Ancient History: The region of North Macedonia has a rich ancient history. The city of Ohrid, located on the shores of Lake Ohrid, is considered one of the oldest human settlements in Europe, with a history spanning over 2,400 years.

4. Multicultural Heritage: North Macedonia is known for its multicultural heritage. It is home to various ethnic groups, including Macedonians, Albanians, Turks, Roma, Serbs, and Bosniaks, among others, contributing to the country's cultural diversity.

5. Balkan Crossroads: Geographically, North Macedonia is located in the central part of the Balkan Peninsula, making it a crossroads between Europe and the Middle East. This location has influenced the country's history, culture, and cuisine.

6. Stone Bridges: North Macedonia is often referred to as "The Land of the Stone Bridges" due to its numerous historical stone bridges. The most famous one is the Stone Bridge in Skopje, which has become an iconic symbol of the city.

7. Wine Production: The country has a long tradition of winemaking, dating back over 2,000 years. North Macedonia is known for its high-quality wines, particularly the Vranec red wine and the Žilavka white wine.

8. Matka Canyon: Matka Canyon, located near Skopje, is a stunning natural gorge that offers breathtaking scenery and outdoor activities. It is a popular destination for hiking, rock climbing, and boat tours on the Treska River.

9. Cyrillic Alphabet: North Macedonia is one of the few countries in the world to use the Cyrillic alphabet as its official writing system. The alphabet was created by the Byzantine scholars Cyril and Methodius in the 9th century.

10. Filigree Jewelry: The city of Bitola is renowned for its traditional filigree jewelry. Filigree is a delicate and intricate metalwork technique using silver or gold threads to create elaborate designs.

11. Tavče Gravče: Tavče Gravče is the national dish of North Macedonia. It is a traditional bean stew made with white beans, onions, peppers, and spices, often served with bread or pita. It is a beloved and flavorful staple of Macedonian cuisine.

12. Name Change: The country was known as the Republic of Macedonia until February 2019 when it officially changed its name to the Republic of North Macedonia. This move resolved a long-standing naming dispute with its neighbor, Greece.

The name dispute between North Macedonia and Greece centered around the use of the name "Macedonia." Greece opposed the use of the name by its neighbor, arguing that it implied territorial claims over the northern Greek region of the same name. Greece feared that the use of the name "Macedonia" could lead to confusion and irredentist aspirations. The dispute lasted for several decades, with Greece blocking North Macedonia's efforts to join international organizations and hindering its European Union and NATO aspirations. In June 2018, an agreement known as the Prespa Agreement was reached between the two countries. Under this agreement, North Macedonia agreed to change its name to the Republic of North Macedonia, while Greece pledged to lift its objections to the country's Euro-Atlantic integration. The name change became official in February 2019, opening the path for North Macedonia's accession to NATO and improving its prospects for EU membership. The resolution of the name dispute marked a significant diplomatic breakthrough, easing tensions and improving relations between the two countries.

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