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1 week in North Macedonia

North Macedonia is a beautiful country in Europe’s Balkan peninsula. It’s a fascinating destination packed full of many cultures, a complex history, and incredible mountainous terrain. Macedonia also has an efficient rail network, making it a great destination for Eurail travelers with one week or more to explore.

Destinations

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Live the history, culture and religions of North Macedonia’s old towns and cities, and see everything from the stunning natural beauty of Lake Ohrid to the epic mountains dotted throughout the country.

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Day 1 & 2: Skopje

 

Skopje is the capital of North Macedonia, and its history of diverse rule makes it an architecturally and culturally fascinating city to travel.

 

  • Visit the capital’s famous Stone Bridge, considered by many to be the symbol of Skopje.

  • Splash out at the Old Bazaar, an Ottoman style bazaar complete with shops, cafes and markets.

  • Want to get some fresh air? Take a hike up the nearby mountain of Vondo.

 

How to get there?

 

Skopje is easy to reach by rail from neighbouring Serbia – there is a night train from Belgrade that takes just under 10 hours. Alternatively, Skopje International Airport fields flights from many destinations around the world.

 

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Day 3 & 4: Ohrid

 

Ohrid is a small resort city located on the shores of the beautiful Lake Ohrid.

 

  • Pack some snacks and head for the Church of St John at Kaneo – it offers beautiful views over the lake, as well as plenty of picnic space.

  • Samoil's Fortress is a Byzantine era city wall that run for three kilometres, and are a fascinating historic relic to visit.

  • Get your blood pumping with some outdoor activities – you can paraglide, kayak or even go diving.

 

How to get there?

 

Take the train from Skopje as far as Kichevo - the journey time is just under two hours. From there, Lake Ohrid is just 60 minutes away by bus.

 

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Day 5: Bitola

 

Bitola is a city located in south-west of North Macedonia, close to several natural attractions in the lower half of the country.

 

  • Visit Peliser National Park – it’s a beautiful 170 square kilometre park famous for its beautiful plant and animal life.

  • Explore the city on foot – there are several architectural gems to visit, including the Saat Kula, Yeni Mosque, Heraclea Lyncestis.

  • Looking for a bite to eat in the heart of the action? Head to Širok Sokak, a beautiful pedestrianized street lined with restaurants and cafés.

 

How to get there?

 

You can reach Bitola from Ohrid by bus or taxi, depending on your budget. The journey time between the two is one hour by car, and approximately 90 minutes by bus.

 

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Day 6: Prilep

 

Prilep is one of the larger cities in North Macedonia and it has an extensive and interesting history.

 

  • The Treskavec Monastery is a beautiful monastery built in the 12th century, and it’s located 8km north of the city.

  • Take a walk back in time with a visit to Markovi Kuli - they are towers named after Serbian medieval Prince Marko Mrnjavčević and surrounded by impressive scenery.

  • Prilep’s Old Bazaar is a fascinating market to visit - even if you’re not looking to pick any food or other odds and ends.

 

How to get there?

 

Prilep is just 30 minutes away by train, and there are typically four trips to the city from Bitola per day.

 

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Day 7: Tetovo

 

Tetovo is located close to the capital, located close to Šar Mountain, and divided by the Pena River.

 

  • Stretch those legs with a trip to Popova Šapka – a massive peak popular for skiing in winter, and hiking in summer.

  • Visit the Šarena Mosque - a beautiful mosque dating back to the mid-1400s.

  • Explore the Arabati Baba Tekḱe, a monastery that opened in 1538 and still holds marked significance to the people to Tetovo.

 

How to get there?

 

Complete the loop within North Macedona by catching a train back to Tetovo – an easy 4-hour train ride that requires one connection in the capital Skopje.

 

 

Which Pass?

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North Macedonia is a country known for its fascinating, complex history, cultures, and stunning natural beauty. If you have one week to explore the country, but want to take in as much of this as possible, then this quick 7-day itinerary will expose you to some of the country’s most celebrated regions and their highlights. The Macedonia One Country Pass is perfect for this trip, or go for a Global Pass to explore the surrounding countries.