Travel to Republic of North Macedonia – Episode 387

categories: europe travel

Hear about travel to the Republic of North Macedonia as the Amateur Traveler talks to Kelsey of about her recent trip to this country in the Balkans.

The Republic of North Macedonia is just north of Greece and Kelsey found much more to recommend in this much too overlooked country. In a week they were able to see much of the country.

She started her trip at beautiful Lake Ohrid which is the main waterfront for this landlocked country. Both the town of Ohrid and Lake Ohrid are UNESCO world heritage sites. Starting with their first encounter with locals they were stunned by how people would go out of the way to help them. Strangers guiding them, shopkeepers giving them tours of cities. Lake Ohrid is thought to be one of the oldest lakes in the world. Ohrid is dominated by a large fortress and a Roman theatre which is still in use. Excavations nearby continue to uncover Roman mosaics. They hiked up the mountains in Galicica National Park just outside Ohrid with views to Albania and Greece on a clear day.

The also visited Bitola which is the second-largest city in the country. The city is full of 18th and 19th-century architecture. It is cooler in the Summer which makes it popular with locals. Kelsey traveled with someone obsessed with Roman history so they had to visit Bitola because of the nearby ruins at Heraclea which include baths, basilicas, beautiful mosaics, and an amphitheater with great acoustics.

They visited the mountain resort town of Krusevo where they saw two very different memorials. The first was the Ilinden Uprising Monument to those that died in an unsuccessful uprising against the Ottoman Turks who ruled Macedonia for 500 years. The second was the Tose Proeski Museum which was dedicated to a very popular Macedonian singer, the “Elvis of Macedonia”.

In the southeastern corner, they visited the wine country of Macedonia. Strumica is a good base for visiting that part of the country. They are numerous hiking trails from the city. They also visited another Roman site at Bankso which is the hot springs capital of Macedonia.

They visited Kratovo which is in the caldera of an old volcano and is known for its mining. There they saw the “Stone Dolls” National Monument with its strange rock formations.

The capital of Skopje where major renovations are preparing for Skopje 2014. Skopje is filled with sculptures, statues, and fountains. They took the cable car up Mount Vodno which is topped by a large cross and has great views of Skopje.

right click here to download (mp3)
right click here to download (iTunes version with pictures)

Show Notes

Church of St. Clement of Ohrid
Ancient Theatre of Ohrid
National Park Galicica
Heraclea Lyncestis
Ilinden Uprising Monument
Tose Proeski Museum
Roman Bath Bansko
Stone Town of Kuklica
City of Skopje
Lake Matka
Memorial House of Mother Teresa


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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

2 Responses to “Travel to Republic of North Macedonia – Episode 387”



Hi Chris,

Great podcast on Macedonia. Lots of good detail. We have had Macedonia on our radio for some time but travel connections look tough. One thing i was hoping to hear was more detail on connections. The guest got a car somewhere and entered through Albania? What about Greece? How is the driving there? How bout flying pros and cons?

Keep em coming,

Waikoloa, Hawaii

Mark Carrara


I think the guest and Chris confused the Republic of Macedonia with the Kingdom of Macedonia. Alexander’s kingdom of Macedonia is in modern day Greece and is Greek. The Republic of Macedonia is North of Greece and Slavic

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