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This is one of the most underrated destinations in Europe. Filled with beautiful countryside, it should be a magnet for those who love the outdoor life, but it also has plenty to offer those who enjoy city life too.
You could start your journey in the capital city of Skopje. There are large apartment blocks that date from the socialist rule of the country alongside more modern buildings. In addition there are Ottoman and Byzantine features to the city that are a reminder of the days before communism. The city also offers a lively nightlife with plenty of clubs and bars.
The rural areas of the country feature lakeside towns like Ohrid. Both locals and international visitors can be found relaxing by the lake during the summer months. The town also has churches that have changed little over the centuries and the surrounding hills are home to vineyards and wineries.
Close to Ohrid is the Sar Planina mountain range. There are glacier lakes and hiking trails within the Pelister National Park which is reminiscent of the Alps. There are rustic inns here for accommodation (don’t expect to find luxury resorts!) which are comfortable and reasonably priced. If you visit during the winter months then you can indulge yourself and take part in snowboarding and skiing.
Getting around Macedonia is fairly easy. You can choose to drive and hire a car for your stay but you need to be aware that in some parts of the country the roads are not in good condition and the standard of driving varies. There are tolls on some of the main roads too. Both local and international car hire companies operate in Macedonia and you need to have a full driving licence from your home country or an international driving permit. Wear your seatbelt at all times and keep the headlights on dipped at all times.
An alternative to driving yourself is a taxi. There are plenty to be found in the city and it is a good value way of travelling between different places, especially if there are a few of you to share the cost. If you are exploring the countryside consider hiring a bike, but you do need to watch out for drivers that have little regard for public safety. Coach travel between cities is a popular choice for travellers as it is good value and there is a good network.