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Demir Kapija: The Iron Gate
We spent two days visiting the small town of Demir Kapija, in the wine region of south-central Macedonia. The town’s name is Turkish for “Iron Gate”, referring to a narrow gorge cut into the hills. Besides a couple great wineries, the town is known for its hiking and rock climbing opportunities… Read More

Oct 30, 2014


Šuto Orizari: Europe’s Biggest Roma Settlement
Just outside downtown Skopje is the municipality of Šuto Orizari, commonly known as Šutka, home to 18,000 of Macedonia’s Roma population. We took a taxi out to check out Šutka’s market, and see what life is like in Europe’s largest Roma settlement… Read More

Oct 29, 2014


Imako Vino in Štip
Macedonia’s wine industry is on the rise. The warm Mediterranean climate of the valleys which run through the center of the country have provided perfect grape-growing conditions since the days of the Romans, but the region is only now being discovered by the world at large. In the final weeks of our stay in Macedonia, we set off to explore the area. First stop: Štip and the Imako Vino Winery… Read More

Oct 29, 2014


Scuba Diving in the Bay of Bones
Lake Ohrid has become a popular destination with scuba divers thanks to both the stunning clarity of its water, and its history: along with Titicaca in South America and Baikal in Russia, it’s among the very oldest lakes in the world. We strapped on tanks and dove in with the guys at Amfora Diving Center to visit the Bay of Bones: an underwater archaeological site from the Bronze Age… Read More

Oct 28, 2014


The Hike from Vevčani to Gorna Belica
Departing from the small park in which we found Vevčani’s natural springs, a path of eight kilometers take you through the hills, eventually leading to Gorna Belica. It’s a non-stop ascent; strenuous, but worth the effort once you arrive in this beautiful mountain village… Read More

Oct 28, 2014


Honorary Citizens of the Vevčani Republic
Independence was all the rage during the swift, painful breakup of Yugoslavia. But it’s hard to imagine that the citizens of the village of Vevčani weren’t just having a laugh, when they held a referendum to establish their own country. The Vevčani Republic has never been recognized by anyone, but after buying passports in the gift shop, I suppose we’re honorary citizens… Read More

Oct 28, 2014


Weddings, Trout and Roman Roads in Radožda
Found on the western coast of Lake Ohrid, not far from the border with Albania, is the town of Radožda. On a weekday in the winter, this must be a peaceful, quiet place. But we were visiting on a weekend toward the end of summer, when “quiet” was the last thing on Radožda’s mind… Read More

Oct 27, 2014


Paragliding Over Lake Ohrid
Frequently visible in the skies above Lake Ohrid are paragliders who have jumped from the mountains of the Galičica National Park. It’s an activity we’ve always wanted to try… and why not in Macedonia? We gave the guys at Vertigo Paragliding Club a ring and, before long, were bouncing up the mountain in a jeep, nerves beginning to tickle our stomachs. This was a good idea, right?… Read More

Oct 27, 2014


The Waters of Sveti Naum
While in Ohrid, an excursion to Sveti Naum should be considered essential, not so much for the monastery as for the natural area it inhabits. At the south side of the lake, you can take a boat trip to see natural springs bubbling up from the underground into a lagoon of startling clarity… Read More

Oct 27, 2014


Lake Prespa’s Forgotten Hotel Evropa
Today, Lake Prespa is a place of almost perplexing tranquility. Macedonia’s second-largest lake sees nothing of the tourism that reaches the shores of nearby Lake Ohrid. But it hasn’t always been so neglected. The abandoned Hotel Evropa, on the western shore, is proof that Prespa was once a major tourist destination… Read More

Oct 25, 2014


Golem Grad, Better Known as Snake Island
The only island in Macedonia is completely uninhabited… at least by humans. Found in the south of Lake Prespa, near the Albanian border, Golem Grad is most frequently referred to as “Snake Island”… Read More

Oct 25, 2014


From Lake Ohrid to Prespa
A scenic drive through the Galičica National Park connects Macedonia’s two largest lakes, Ohrid and Prespa. And for those willing to hike, it’s possible to see both lakes from one incredible mountaintop view… Read More

Oct 24, 2014


A Hike in the Pelister National Park
We dedicated one of the days we spent on Lake Prespa to the nearby Pelister National Park. Extending roughly from Prespa to Bitola, and down to the border with Greece, this park was established in 1948 to protect 170 square kilometers of southern Macedonia’s pristine mountain land… Read More

Oct 24, 2014

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