5 Day Nature, Culture and History Tour of 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.
· The tour includes lunch at one of the restaurants in Old bazaar.
· After a thorough 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.
· Dinner will be served in one of the local restaurants where we finish the first of our 5 days of Perfect mix of Culture, History and Nature.
· The tour starts with breakfast at the hotel in Skopje and check out following an overview of the tourist spot Sharena Dzamija (Painted Mosque) located in Tetovo. 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 for tourists.
· After the overview of the mosques we continue our tour to the Mavrovo National Park. The tranquility, the climate conditions, the hydrological and vegetative features enhanced together with the human creativity contributes in making this region a very special place. Here we will have a walk around the surroundings while enjoying in its natural beauties.
· The tour continues towards the beautiful tourist location the Monastery of Saint John the Baptist with its distinctive architecture with priceless and rare wood carvings. Dating from the 11th century this Monastery presents an important cultural and historical place surrounded by legends for its mystical icon with healing powers.
· From there we head with our tour towards Ohrid where we stop at village Janche for lunch.
· After finishing the lunch we will head out 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.
· After this charming little village we continue our tour to the city of Struga where we have review of the downtown with the river of Crn Drim that flows out of the Ohrid Lake.
· Next we head for the city of Ohrid, where we check-in at the Hotel. A dinner is planned at a local restaurant, after which you will have spare time for a walk or any other activities.
· Breakfast at the hotel and starting the day with the trip to the Monastery of Saint Naum.
· Along the way we will stop at the archeological locality named Bay of Bones where an authentic reconstruction is made as part of the settlement dating back between 1200 and 700 BC.
· After that, we head towards the St Naum Monastery. The area around the 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.
· Lunch will be served at the Monastery complex and after the overview of the locations we are heading back to Ohrid.
· Getting back to downtown Ohrid we visit the National Ohrid Museum located in the house of Robevci. The Robevci House is one of the finest examples of 19th century Macedonian architecture. Today the house is protected under the Institute for protection of cultural monuments in Ohrid.
· Dinner at the old bazaar and spare time after which we get back to the hotel.
· After breakfast at the hotel and check out we will start the tour at 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.
· As an option you can visit a pearl shop where you can observe and buy the worlds famous Ohrid pearls.
· Lunch will be served at a local restaurant after which we say farewell to Ohrid and coninue with our tour. Out tour continues towards Bitola. On the way we stop at the archaeological 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. We will than check in at the hotel and have some time for refreshments. It is one of the gratest Macedonian monuments of history that are a part of this tour.
· 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 and it is an important part of Macedonian culture.
· Dinner is included in the tour and it will be served in a local restaurant where we finish the day with some free time for walking around Shirok Sokak or any other activities “in the city of the consuls”.
· Following a busy night at Shirok Sokak we start our tour with a little bit more time for rest and a relaxed breakfast. 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
· Then we head towards the Stobi winery where you will enjoy the Macedonian cuisine compiled with superb and impeccable quality of the wines they produce.
· After the Stobi tour, we continue our way towards 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.
· After the lunch, we visit 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).
· We finish this tour heading back to Skopje.
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