Macedonia (North Macedonia from 2019) is a little-known country on the tourist map of the world. In the ranking of tourist destinations it is located on the 132 place with 425 thousands of tourists. This is incredibly small number. Having been in Albania, we thought that visited a European reserve, but it turned out that Albania is visited by 10 times more tourists!
Macedonia appeared in 1991, during the breakup of Yugoslavia. Here live mostly Macedonians (64%) and Albanians (25%). Accordingly, a lot of tourists come from neighboring Albania, at least in Ohrid we have seen a lot of Albanians.
Despite the fact that everybody calls the country Macedonia, in EU and NATO it has another name - Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). This is due to legal action from Greece, which has the region with the same name. This debate continues today.
The country is mountainous, which is clearly seen on the following map
Mountains are visible from anywhere in the country.
Macedonian and Albanian. Alphabet - Cyrillic. Russian and Ukrainian speakers understand a lot of words. I spoke with a Gypsy and we understood each other. He speaks Macedonian and relocated from Montenegrin Budva where he was constantly beaten by locals.
Judging by the reviews on the internet and our observations the people are friendly and there are no problems with Safety.
Low, despite the fact that foreigners are paying double price for everything. We paid 20 euros for a complete meal for two with a bottle of wine in a good restaurant. Best hotels in Ohrid and Skopje cost 70-80 euro, apartments much cheaper.
Rent a Car
We did not use public transport, so can not say anything. Upon arrival, we rented a car in Skopje airport. It's incredibly convenient, as the country's roads are empty. As in any other country - full insurance is obligatory. On the autobahn, the small stone left a crack on the windshield. Without insurance it would be 400 euros, despite the fact that this damage did not depend on us.
Roads more or less normal, although in the national parks they may be absent. Our Opel Astra was totally enough, the SUV was not required. There are paid roads which can be paid by local denars or by euros.
Distances are small, Skopje can be reached in 4 hours from any corner of the country. At the beginning of October the mountains were covered with snow, so consider winter tires.
What to see
It makes sense to go on a circular route: Skopje - Prilep - Ohrid - Debar - Mavrovo - Gostivar - Skopje. In Prilep, you can walk in the center of the city and climb up the hill to the ruins of Markovi Kuli fortress. In Ohrid it makes sense to stay for at least two days, take a walk in the city, climb the mountains, ride around the lakes and in the Galicica national park. Another must see place is Mavrovo Lake in the eponymous national park. We found this place while watching panoramas on google maps. There is a cable car here.