From my experience, Skopje isn't very touristy yet. Once it's all built up, there will be plenty to see and do but right now, there isn't a huge amount to see. Ohrid is the place to go for tourists.
And the problem is, you will be going there in February which means it will be very cold with the potential of lot's of snow, which will restrict where you can go. If you want to go to mount Vodno for example, and there is heavy snow, you may not be able to get there. Once the cable carts are built it will be ok but that's still a way off.
But, you can still visit the Kale fortress, and the Turkish bazaar. Lot's of cafe's and nice food there. Also visit the museum in the old train station.
Walking through the city at night with all the lights and decorations is also very pretty.
I posted in the phototeka forum, but I think it's more appropriate, to do it here.
After exploring this forum, and some other sites, and looking on many photos, I decided, that sometime in next spring/summer/autumn we would like to visit your nice country. Also all the other ex-YU countries and Greece.
My original plan was a road trip Macedonia+Greece, I was thinking on something like 2 weeks (14-16 days) most probably with my car, something like this http://goo.gl/maps/ooPX. Nothing is set yet, it's still in status "planning" .
First I would like to say that we are not so into hiking up, we like beautiful environments, so we can do a little walk if it's worth it . Timisoara, our city has no hills, it's total flat, so we are used with long city walks.
The plan sounds kind of like this (feel free to add anything worth it, or remove something not so worth it):
1. Arrival in Skopje in the evening, staying there 2 nights, with visiting the city, Millennium Cross hill (I imagine the view at night is nice also), Matka Lake. Here are 2 plans I made http://goo.gl/maps/2jSC and http://bit.ly/fhdBP1
I also saw 2 beautiful pictures with Kozjak Lake, but I'm not exactly sure how to also visit it, there are two major roads to it (P302 - http://goo.gl/maps/M7Pv, to Nova Breznica and another one more south to Dolna Belica and after that a secondary road to Zdunje - http://goo.gl/maps/f8Ti, but I don't know how drivable it is, and if it's asphalted). The first one should be closer to Skopje, the other one is not that accessible.
Regarding Pelister, I see the roads are not marked as a major roads, how much of them are doable with the car? Are they asphalt roads, I really would not go on dirt roads, maybe leave the car and walk a little if necessary, I think on our route there is much to see anyway.
4. Our return from Greece would be on E75.
A final remark, I'm not sure if the 2 weeks are enough to do this entire trip, and maybe not hurry it too much, Greece is also huge, maybe I should limit myself only to Macedonia, another time go directly to Greece, maybe it's too much at once, so make the trip shorter, but also take a look in the east of Macedonia, maybe you have some suggestions. Or if already near, Albania could be visited, but I also need a passport to get in, I don't have one now :nuts:.
If you could also help me with (free) places to safely leave the car, cozy affordable places to stay, maybe with view.
So thanks for your help and looking forward to visit Macedonia.
I depends how deep you want to go in the country and explore. If you want to see more than Skopje and Ohrid, hidden places you should need some more time.
It is a small country and you can reach any city in less than 5 hours from almost anywhere.
Firstly, the roads are relatively in good condition. To Ohrid there is a highway to Tetovo, then expressway to Gostivar, and a mountainous road to Ohrid... which is 2+1 for driving up and 1+2 for driving downwards...
1. It depends when you will visit Macedonia. If is the next summer, you might be lucky and not have to climb to the Millenium Cross on foot. Because there is only traffic allowed till Sredno Vodno. The cable-car to the Millenium Cross should be finished in April-May.... To Matka the road is good but you go thru some villages.... and it can be crowded... you will make it
I think for Skopje... 2 nights might be enough, but you will be on a hurry... maybe 3 nights.... I think you will be interested in Pantaleimon Monastery as well...
Also there is an asphalted road to Kozjak....
2. I think you will visit Monastery of Jonh Bigorski, i saw that you will go thru Debar... It is a good road, but a great option.... the nature is great...
Like fossil, i'd also reccomend visiting - St John Bigorski monestary, which is on your planned route, near Debar. There is another monestary near Debar worth visiting - St George the victorious. Debar itself (the town) is a total waste of time. If you have time, you should consider visiting some of the villages on Bistra Mountain, like Galichnik.
While in Ohrid, a visit to St Naum monastery and the nearby springs is a must if you ask me. The springs are amazing, so definetely take a boat tour around the area.
About Kozjak, definetely go through Nova Breznica, AFAIK the P-302 is perfectly ok, but at least for now there is no good road if you want to continue south along the lake. Actually that road is being constructed at the moment, so perhaps it will be ready while you visit
The links to the pictures you asked about are broken BTW
Hey guy, me and a friend want to travel to Ohrid from the netherlands. We will fly to thessaloniki. We were wondering if you have any good advice on how to travel best from thessaloniki to ohrid? On the internet it says by bus to florina, taxi to bitola and bus to ohrid. What do you guys think?
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