Day 1: Arrival Skopje
Day 1: Arrival Skopje, Macedonia
Upon arrival to Skopje airport you will be met by our representative and transfer to your hotel for overnight.
Overnight in Skopje – Hotel Duvet 4*
Day 2: Skopje – Stobi - Heraclea - Bitola
Today we will explore Skopje, capital and the largest city in the Republic of Macedonia. It is located in a valley, on both sides of the river Vardar. It can be traced back 2000 years when it was known as the ancient city of Skupi. We will walk through the old part of the town “Charshi”, where is the Stone Bridge - a symbol of Skopje built by Turks in 15th century. We will visit the church of St. Spas, with its marvelous iconostas first from 17th century, Old Bazaar, Fortress Kale whose first walls date to the 6th century, Mustapha Pasha Mosque – one of the most beautiful objects of Ottoman architecture erected in 1492 with the earliest wall paintings, Daut Pasha Bath, a masterpiece of Islamic civil architecture from the second half of 15th century.
In the afternoon we will leave Skopje and drive south. First, we will visit the ruins of one of the largest ancient town in Macedonia - Stobi. It was built just before the rule of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great in the early Hellenic period. It had beautiful basilicas and palaces, and many wonderful mosaics still can be seen.
Our next stop will be Bitola. “City of the Consuls” as it used to be called. This town is an extraordinary mixture of old and new, a meeting point of different cultures and civilizations, where for centuries Christians, Muslims and Jews lived side by side. We will see the church of St. Dimitrius, one of the biggest Orthodox temples in Macedonia, and we will enjoy the Old Bazaar, which is among best preserved in the country.
On the outskirts of the town we will find the very famous and very important Roman town of Heraclea Lyncestis. The founding of this town is linked to Phillip II in the middle of the 6th century BC. Later it become a Roman military base and important urban center, and we can still see today the Episcopal residence, basilicas, a theater, and many floor mosaics.
Overnight Bitola - Hotel Epinal 4* (B)
Day 3: Bitola - Lake Prespa - Mt. Galicica - St. Naum - Ohrid
After breakfast we will start our journey by driving around Lake of Prespa, second largest lake in Macedonia, with its extraordinary, wild and unique beauty. It covers an area of 274 sq. km and lies at an elevation of 853m above sea level.
We will descend into breathtaking Mt.Galicica (National Park), which makes the natural division between Lake Prespa and Lake Ohrid, and is blessed with an abundance of diverse flora and fauna.
Coming down to the Lake Ohrid and before arriving to the town of Ohrid we will visit the Monastery from the 10th century dedicated to St. Naum who was, with St. Clement, the most consistent and worthy of pupils of the Thessalonica brothers Cyril and Methodius.
Overnight in Ohrid - Hotel Royal View 4* (B)
Day 4: Ohrid
This morning we will go on a walking tour around the old town-museum of Ohrid (UNESCO cite), located on the shore of Lake Ohrid, which lays at 695m above sea level. The town is known in prehistoric and classical times under the name of Lychnidos - the City of Lights. Slavs gave it the name of Arida in 10th century, and it became a major center of culture and art for this area. It is the cradle of Slavic written language and literature, from where the alphabet called Cyrillic was created by brothers Cyril and Methody and then spread all over the Slavic world.
Out of endless number of monuments and churches – Ohrid is also known as “City of 365 churches“, we will visit the most important ones such as Tsar Smuili fortress from 10th century, St. Kliment from 13th century St. Sophia from 11th , and St. Panteleimon from 9th.
Afternoon will be free for you to enjoy this Macedonian pearl, on your own.
Overnight in Ohrid - Hotel Royal View 4*
Day 5: Ohrid – St. Jovan Bigorski - Skopje
After breakfast we depart from Ohrid. First we will pass Struga, a town located at the mouth of river Black Drim into Lake Ohrid and we continue our drive on a beautiful scenic mountain road. Our first stop will be The Monastery of Sv. Jovan Bigorski, famous for its iconostasis carved in wood and by its particular nice location on the slope of the mountain.
Before reaching Skoplje we will pass through the National Park of Mavrovo - biggest in Macedonia, made famous by its lake, river, gorges and waterfalls.
Overnight in Skoplje – Hotel Duvet 4* (B)
Day 6: Skopje departure
Today we will finish our visit to Macedonia. You will have a transfer to the airport in time for your flight. (B)
B - Breakfast L – Lunch D – Dinner
All hotels are carefully chosen for their character or best central location or they are simply the only option at certain destinations. All of them can be changed on a request. The categories mentioned by the hotel names are according to the local standards and sometimes do not reflect to Western standards
Trip organized by: “BALKAN EXPERT” d.o.o. license no. OTP 54/2013
Tour available with general condition of travel of “BALKAN EXPERT”