7 Wonderful days to spend exploring Macedonia
· The tour starts at the museum of the city of Skopje, where you will get some basic info regarding getting around in Macedonia. The walk starts along Macedonia Street towards the square. Along the way is the Memorial House of Mother Teresa built in honor of a great humanitarian and a winner of Noble Prize for Peace. Mother Teresa was born in Skopje, in 1910.
· The tour continues towards Macedonia Square which has undergone tremendous restoration in the last few years with a lot of new monuments and buildings around, representing Macedonian cultural heritage and history. Macedonia Square is the heart of the capital Skopje.
· From Macedonia Square we continue towards the Old Bazaar passing over The Stone Bridge which is one of the most recognizable symbols of Skopje. Being so it has the main lead in the coat of arms of the city itself. The location of the bridge is in the heart of the city positioned on the greatest river in Macedonia, Vardar.
· Once we get into the Bazaar, the first thing you notice is the feeling that you have gone back in times, returning to the days when the bazaar was swarming with people from all around the Balkan trading their wares and services.
· Lunch will be served at the Kapan an restaurant.
· After a through and detailed tour of the Bazaar, we finish up the sightseeing of the old town with the story of the fortress Kale at the top of the hill overlooking the entire city.
· The rest of the day is planned for the Matka Canyon with its outstanding work of nature, preserved natural and geographic characteristics in which rare and endemic species found their escape.
· We get back to Skopje after which we check in at the hotel where we have spare time for refreshments and any individual activities.
· Diner will be served in one of the local restaurants where we finish the first day of our 7 wonderful days exploring Macedonia.
· Breakfast at the hotel and check out.
· The first stop is the 4th oldest megalithic observatory in the world Kokino, recognized by NASA and listed side by side with ancient observatories such as Stonehenge (Great Britain), Abu Simbel (Egypt) and Angkor Wat (Cambodia).
· Next destination on the tour is the Joakim Osogovski monastery complex in the vicinity of the city of Kriva Palanka in the North-East of the country.
· The Monastery of St. Joakim Osogovski dates from the 11th century. It is in these quiet areas around the monastery where the anchorite monk St. Joakim Osogovski used to live. Today the monastery is open to pilgrims, visitors, tourists, travellers and well-wishers coming to worship beneath the miraculous relics of St. Joakim kept in the monastery.
· The oldest building in the monastery complex is the small church of Nativity of the Virgin Mary built between the 14th and 16th century on the foundations of an older church from the 11th or 12th century. The architecture is in typical Byzantine style and is one of the first medieval churches on the territory of Macedonia.
· Lunch will be served at the Monastery complex.
· The tour continues to the archeological site of Stobi, an ancient town of Macedon, considered by many to be one of the most famous archaeological site in Macedonia.
· After the Stobi tour, we will continue our way toward Povardarie region in the sunny hills and valleys of Central Macedonia. We will visit the winery of Popova Kula, one of the most authentic Macedonian winery. Here you will taste the most precious Macedonian wines and dishes. You will have chance to visit the vineyard where you will see the century old secrets of harvesting the wine grapes.
· Overnight at the winery Popova Kula.
· Breakfast at the winery and check out
· Departure for Strumica
· We start the day with the trip to Smolare waterfalls. It can be found above the village of Smolare at an elevation of 630 meters located deep into the mountain of Belasica where the springs of the Lomnica River are hidden among the hundred years old beech trees.
· We leave the waterfalls behind us and continue our trip to Strumica. Strumica is the main agricultural city in Macedonia and it has a developed economy and trade which is provided by the location of the city itself. After the sightseeing in the downtown free time will be provided for lunch in one of the local restaurants.
· The next location is the Veljusa monastery which is just about 7 kilometers out of Strumica in a village named Veljusa where typical village life takes place. All you need to do to change the rural surroundings around you is to cross the gate of the monastery and enter a place of tranquility, humbleness and religion. After we visit the Vodocha monastery.
· We finish the day with check-in at the mineral spa hotel in Strumica. Free time in the spa-welness centre for massage, sauna, spa, jacuzzi, fitness room, Vitamin bar.
· Dinner will be served at the Hotel.
· Breakfast at the hotel and check out.
· After the breakfast we depart for Prilep.
· We will have a glimpse of the city surroundings and the most famous locations such as the village of Varosh, King Marko’s Fortress and St. Archangel Michael Monastery. The Varosh Monastery complex includes foundations of necropolis and settlements from the bronze and iron ages, thermal spas from the Roman period and numerous well preserved cultural and historical monuments from the Middle Ages. After the review of the city centre free time will be provided for lunch in some of the local restaurants.
· The tour continues to the city of Krushevo, a small mountain town situated on an altitude of 1350 meters which still preserves its 19th century architecture. It is also home of the monuments Makedonium and Meckin Kamen, both landmarks of the famous Ilinden uprising, one of the most important days in the Macedonian History.
· The day will end with checking in at a hotel. After the check in, dinner will be provided in one of the local restaurants. Free time
· Breakfast at the hotel and check out.
· After the breakfast we depart for the city of Bitola. The city of Bitola is an administrative, cultural, industrial, commercial, and educational centre. It is located in the southern part of the Pelagonia valley surrounded by the Baba and Nidze mountains. After an overview of the city of Bitola visiting the most significant locations ,we will have lunch at one of the restaurants in Sirok Sokak. We continue the day with the archeological site Heraclea Lyncestis. The city of Heraclea was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC and presents one of the best preserved antique cities.
· Departure for Ohrid.
· The tour continues towards the Monastery of St. Naum Ohridski and a pictures drive through the Galichica National Park. The area around St. Naum Monastery is among the most beautiful along the shore of Lake Ohrid. The magnificent greenery surrounded by the springs of the Crn Drim River, the spacious sand beach, the monastery complex and the view of the location makes it one of the most attractive tourist spots.
· Dinner time will be provided at the monastery complex and after the overview of the location we will be heading to Ohrid. Check in at the hotel and free time for individual activities.
· Breakfast at the hotel.
· We start the day in downtown Ohrid. The city is rich in picturesque houses and monuments while tourism is predominant because of the special natural and cultural surrounding of the area. We will visit some of the most important localities such as the old bazaar, the church of St. Sophia, the church Mother of God (Perivleptos), the ancient theatre, Tsar Samoil fortress, the archaeological site of Plaoshnik, the church of St. John (Kaneo) and many others. We will have lunch at one of the restaurants in the old Bazaar.
· Finishing the tour we will head to the village of Vevchani. The village is located 14 kilometers north-west of the town of Struga and is most famous for its springs. The largest spring is located at the opening of one of the many caves in the region. The most famous spring is "Jankov Kamen" which is situated at about 1200 meters above sea level.
· Arrival back to Ohrid.
· Dinner time provided at a traditional restaurant in Ohrid.
· After dinner we head back to the hotel.
· Breakfast at the hotel and checking out.
· Departure for Skopje
· We are headed to the National Park Mavrovo while visiting St. John the Baptist (Bigorski) Monastery. According to the Monastery's 1833 chronicle it was built in the year of 1020 by Ivan I Debranin. It was burned, pillaged and ruined several times but reconstructed time after time. One of the most valuable treasures of the Monastery is the iconostasis created by Petre Filipovski Garkata from the nearby village of Gari.
· After visiting the Monastery we departure to one of the local sheepfolds. Lunch time will be provided at the location.
· Departure for the city of Tetovo follows with an overview of the Sharena Dzamija (Painted Mosque). The Painted Mosque was built in the year of 1459 on the foundation of an older edifice. An example of early Constantinople style, this mosque is adorned with an elaborate painted facade and interior, making it unique.
· Departure for the city of Skopje where the tour ends.
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