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Locations

- City/Urban

Macedonia’s cities have their own unique identity and characteristics, different religious and cultural prints from the past and each one of them with a specific beauty. Skopje is the capital city and an administrative centre of Macedonia. With its 600,000 citizens, set on the Valley of Vardar River at a crossroads of the Balkan routes, it is almost exactly midway between the capital cities of its neighbouring countries - Tirana (Albania) is 299km from Skopje and Sofia (Bulgaria) is 220km from Skopje . Athens (Greece) is 691 km from Skopje, Belgrade (Serbia) is 425km from Skopje and Pristina (Kosovo) is 85km from Skopje. The largest urban areas of Macedonia are: Kumanovo (36 km from Skopje), Bitola (158km), Prilep (117km), Tetovo (51km), Veles (52km), Stip (92km), Ohrid (178km), Gostivar (74km), Strumica (155km), Kavadarci (104km), Kocani (118km), Kicevo (115km), Struga (174km), Radovis (127km), Gevgelija (157km), Debar (142km), Kriva Palanka (98km), Sveti Nikole (76km) and Negotino (93km).

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- Rural

Macedonia is a land with many rural areas each preserving a different custom throughout the years. On a plateau at Mount Bistra at an altitude of 1,350m the village of Lazaropole is located. It is one of the most quiet and calming places and it offers a great view of the peaks of Krchin, Korab and Stogovo. There you can find the gratifying church of St.Giorgi built in 1838 as well as couple of small churches in the forest close to the village. Along with Lazaropole there is another village located on the slopes of Mount Bistra, surrounded by a beautiful countryside, the mountain village Galicnik. It has a traditional architecture and has a preserved amphitheatre in the village square. Here you can taste the white cheese which is locally made. Near Resen, 6km from the Lake Prespa, at the foot of Mount Baba is situated the village of Brajcino. Here you can move through a mountain nature trail with beautiful landscape that leads from the village to Mount Baba. In this small village you can find 5 churches and a monastery. Every year on 7th and 8th of August in the Monastery St.Petka there is a celebration.

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- Lakes

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There are three larger tectonic lakes in Macedonia. The Ohrid Lake, the pearl of the Balkan, lies at an altitude of 693m and is one of the oldest and deepest lakes in Europe. Located in the border region between Macedonia and Albania, in the valley between Ohrid and Struga and surrounded by Mount Galicica, Mount Mokra and Mount Jablanica, many mistake it for a sea because of its size. It covers an area of 358 km² and it has a maximum depth of 288m. It is the seventh deepest lake in Europe. The water temperature in the deepest layers of the lake is approximately 6 degrees Centigrade, whereas the surface layers may warm up to 24 degrees, and even to 26 degrees closer to the shore. Together with the city on its shores, Ohrid it is under the protection of UNESCO. The Prespa Lake is the second largest lake in Macedonia and with a surface area of 274 km² and a Maximum depth of 54 m it is located at a higher point (853m) than any other lake on the Balkans. The temperature of the water is between 18 C degrees in June and 24 C degrees in July and August. It has sandy beaches and a comfortable summer air temperature. The climate in the Prespa area is Mediterranean with sunny springs, warm to hot summers, chilly autumns and moderately cold and snowy winters. In the summer of 2002 the first Prespa International Boat Regatta took place, with participants from Macedonia as well as the neighbouring countries. Although there are many settlements on the shores of Lake Prespa, Oteshevo is the largest one, located about 5 km (3 miles) away from the city Resen. Oteshevo hosts in the summer an international colony for ceramic art, which is part of the International Academy of Ceramics, run under the umbrella of UNESCO. The Dojran Lake is located in south-eastern Macedonia and it is the smallest tectonic lake in the country. At an altitude of 148m, it covers an area of 43km² and it has a maximum depth of 10m. It has sandy beaches and a comfortable summer temperature.

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- Artificial Lakes

Apart from the natural lakes Macedonia has artificial lakes too, the biggest one being the Lake of Kozjak on the Treska River. It is located in the Western part of the country in the municipality of Makedonski Brod and it is 30km from the capital, Skopje. The Lake of Kozjak is 32km long and has a maximum depth of 130 meters. One of the most beautiful artificial lakes in the country is the Lake of Matka. It is located west of Skopje, deep into the canyon of Matka and with its emerald green colour and clear water it simply lives you breathless. In the canyon of Matka there are also ten caves, one of them being Vrelo which is between the top 77 natural sites in the world, and there are two vertical pits, both about 35 meters in depth. In the canyon is also located St. Andrew’s Monastery, built in 1389 and filled with frescoes. Near it, giving a stunning view of the lake, on the top cliff above Matka is the St. Nikola Sisovski Monastery. Another breathtaking spot in the country is the artificial Mavrovo Lake. It is 10km long and 5km wide with a maximum depth of 50m. Situated in the Mavrovo region it is a great place for swimming and boating during the summer. One of the most specific and rare things that it holds, is the half-submerged church in the lake. The Tivkes Lake is another artificial lake in Macedonia. It is located 12km southwest from Kavadarci on the River Treska and it covers an area of 14km² and has a maximum depth of 105m. Other artificial lakes in Macedonia are: Debar Lake, Mladost, Kalimanci, Stresevo, Mantovo and Suvodol.

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- Rivers

The rivers in the Republic of Macedonia flow into three different basins: the Agean, the Adriatic and the Black Sea basin. The River Vardar (388km long) is the largest in the Agean basin. It rises from a beautiful spring in the village Vrutok (located at the foot of Mount Sar) and continues to flow through Gostivar, passes through Skopje, than trough Veles Gorge and than through the Greek border through the Thessaloniki area flows into the Aegean Sea. The River Black Drim forms the Adriatic Basin. It flows out of the Lake Ohrid, at Struga at a 695m altitude above sea level and it is 56km long. As a part of the Black Sea basin that covers the north side of Mount Skopska Crna Gora is the river Binacka Morava which joins South Morava and later the Danube. Other rivers that run trough Macedonia are: Treska, Radika, Crna Reka, Bregalnica, Pcinja, Lepenec etc.

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- Waterfalls

The tallest waterfall in Macedonia is Smolare Waterfall. It is located deep into Mount Belasica above the village of Smolare and it falls from a height of 39.5m. The Kolesino Waterfall is 19m high and is flowing from the Baba River found at an elevation of 610m on mount Belasica. Falling over the cliffs it is a beautiful spot in every period of the year. Depending on the temperatures its streams may become frozen in winter. The astonishing Korab Waterfall forms in spring time from the melting snow of Mount Korab and its drop varies from 70m to 138m. If you want to see it at its best you need to get there in late May or early June because later the levels drop. The Bogomila Waterfall is formed from the Babuna River and located north of the village of Bogomila.

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- Mountains/National parks

Macedonia has plenty of mountains whose peaks rise over 2000 meters. The highest mountains are: Mount Corab 2,764 m; Sar Mountains 2747 m; Baba Mountain 2,601m; Jakupica 2,540m; Nidze 2,521m; Deshat 2,373m; Galicica 2,288m; Stogovo 2,273m; Jablanica 2,257m; Osogovo 2,251; Mount Bistra 2,163m; Plackovica 1,754m; Stogovo 2,278; Jakupica 2,540m; Ograzden 1,644m; Malesevo 1,803m; In Macedonia there are three national parks: Mavrovo, Galicica and Pelister. The largest one in the country is the Mavrovo National Park. It covers an area of 74,000 hectares and has astonishing flora and fauna (over 1000 plant species and over 140 bird species). Stretching in an area of 13 km² at an altitude of 1220m is the man-made Mavrovo Lake. All together, the Mavrovo National park has a spectacular landscape making your stay enjoyable through the whole year regardless of you being there for the skiing in the winter or chilling out in the summer. Separating the two bigest lakes (Ohrid and Prespa) in Macedonia the National Park Galicica covers an area of 25000 hectares with the lowest elevation of the park being Ohrid Lake (695 above sea level) and the highest being the peak Magaro (2255m). It is one of the richest parks with flora in Europe and it has a relief with large and deep valleys and a vast mountain crest that give a spectacular view. It is very easy accesible and it is about 15 minutes drive from the city of Ohrid. In the southern part of Macedonia, west of the city of Bitola is located the magnificent National Park Pelister. It is one of the 25 peaks of Mountain Baba and it is 2600m above sea level. It holds plentiful forests, exceptional geological formations, springs, streams and rivers. Pelister has two glacial lakes known as the Pelister’s Eyes - the big lake is 2,218 m above sea level while the small one is 2180m above sea level.

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- Archaeological sites

There are many archaeological locations in the Republic of Macedonia:  Skopje Aqueduct - located in the village Vizebegovo, 2 km from Skopje, this aqueduct is the only one in the country. Today it is 386 meters long and it has 55 arches.  Kokino Ancient Observatory - Around 30km from Kumanovo at 1030m above sea level and more than 3800 years old this is one of the most beautiful sites in Macedonia. The observatory holds the special stone markers used to track the movement of the Sun and the Moon on the eastern horizon.  Skopsko Kale Settled at the highest point of Skopje the Kale fortress gives you the impressive view over the city. It was built in the 6th century A.D. and among the relics found it holds the foundations of a 13th century church.  Stobi Located 80km from Skopje, near Gradsko this ancient town is the most famous archaeological site in Macedonia. It holds the remains of a church built in the 5th century - the Northern and the Central Basilica, the House of the Psalms, the Main Town Public Fountain, the Palace of Emperor Theodosius and many others.  Ancient Theatre of Ohrid An ancient theatre located in Ohrid, built in 200 BC. Nowadays it is used for various events.  Stone town of Kuklica Located 8 km from Kratovo, Kuklica holds 120 naturally formed stone pillars. The legend says that there was a man who wanted to merry two wives in a same day. When the second one saw that the man that she was supposed to marry is taking another woman she cursed all that attended the wedding and turned them into stones.  Heraclea Heraclea is another antique city founded in the 4th century B.C. It is located near Bitola and it is very famous for its amazing mosaics, Roman baths and the ancient theatre.  Plaosnik It is located in the old town of Ohrid and recently reconstructed this is an astounding example of a Byzantine Church.

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- Churches and Monasteries

Macedonia is a home of over 500 churches and monasteries. The country over the centuries often changed its borders and its ethnic compositions but the people managed to preserve most of these Macedonian treasures regardless of the different emperors and different religions that passed through. It is believed that Ohrid holds most of this treasure because once it had 365 churches - one for each day of the year. Some of the churches and monasteries are: St.Panteleimon - Nerezi, near Skopje St.Spas - Skopje St.Naum - Ohrid St.Sophia - Ohrid St.Jovan Kaneo - Ohrid St.Joakim Osogovski - Kriva Palanka St. Nikola - Stip Markov Monastery - Skopje The Monastery of St.Nikita - Skopje

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