Macedonia is an ancient nation dating back thousands of years to when Slavic tribes settled in the lands north of Greece. These wild lands are now home to gorgeous scenery, archaeological wonders, several distinct, vibrant cultures, and history and adventure around every turn. A Macedonia tour with Planet Ride will surround and immerse you in that culture and practically let you meld right into it.
Macedonia is a land-locked nation that shares borders with Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Kosovo. It’s hilly, sometimes mountainous, geography, massive lakes, stunning national parks, and ancient, impressive architecture make for an amazing Macedonia tour, no matter which parts of the country you visit. The sights you’ll see along your Macedonia road trip will leave you in disbelief. Take, for example, the 6th century stone bridge in Skopje that still handles the majority of the foot traffic into the main square and the old bazaar, the beachside resort town of Ohrid, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or the peaks of Pelister National Park.
The magnificence of Macedonia’s geography really cannot be understated! Rugged mountains, pristine rivers and lakes, undulating hills to the east, and other examples of outstanding beauty cannot be found throughout the country. It doesn’t take much to imagine your Macedonia adventure including carving hairpin turns in the mountains, leisurely cruising around the major lakes, and even a few jaunts down stone city streets while surrounded by impressive architecture. There are too many sights to list, but a few that should not be missed include Skopje’s Stone Bridge and aqueduct, the Kale Fortress, and the Porta Macedonia. Then there’s Krusevo’s historic architecture and great skiing; Prilep’s churches, monasteries, and fortresses; the dueling European and Ottoman influence evident in Bitola; and Strumica’s fantastic outdoor activities and Carnival.
Typical Macedonian will resemble that of the rest of the southern Balkans, which means plenty of grilled meat (known as skara), along with side dishes like shopska salata, which is a mixed salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, and grated sirenje (white cheese similar to feta). A couple of other local specialties include ajvar, a red paste made from roasted peppers and tomatoes, and taratur which is comparable to the Greek tzatziki and is made of yogurt, cucumbers, and garlic. The national dish of Tavce gravce is a concoction of beans, paprika, and other vegetables and is usually served with cut sausage and bread. Make sure to give all of these a try during your Macedonia adventure, along with the fantastic fresh fish available in Ohrid and around the other major lake towns! If you indulge in alcohol, Macedonia’s offerings are not to be missed. Rakija is a type of grape brandy that could be considered Macedonia’s national beverage (at least the alcoholic kind). The country also boasts a number of great breweries and numerous fantastic local wines. Try “T’ga za Jug,” which is a red wine made from a local grape variety called Vranec and a Macedonian favorite. Some local white wines include Traminec and Temjanika.
Visitors from most European nations, the United States, and Canada can all visit Macedonia visa-free for up to 90 days. Chances are, you’ll take a flight into Skopje or Ohrid, and both cities are well-served from numerous other European cities, including both major and budget airlines. Some other travel options include flying to Sofia (Bulgaria) or Thessaloniki (Greece) and traveling by car, train, or bus into Macedonia.
While Macedonia will be a noticeable departure from much of Western Europe, do not take that to mean it would be any less safe. If you use common sense, you’ll have little or nothing to worry about during your visit. A few tips to help you, though, would be to drive or ride extra cautiously, as the roads and other drivers can be a bit sketchy from time to time, and to avoid any touchy subjects like politics or the relatively recent turmoil in neighboring Kosovo.
What Planet Ride Offers for road trip adventures in Macedonia
Planet Ride seeks out nothing but the best Macedonia road trip and adventure travel options. We aim to provide an unrivaled travel experience that offers much, much more than simply navigating the roads of your chosen country. We partner with expert local guides; guides that must meet our stringent quality standards. These professionals have lived, ridden, and worked in the settings you’ll explore. Our guides aren’t just there to ensure you get to the next stop on your itinerary. No, they provide a much more connected, inclusive, and helpful experience. From the minute you land, they will be there to assist with airport transfers, provide a detailed briefing on your trip, and get you familiar with your vehicles and riding partners. Once on the road, they’ll support you along every kilometer. Whether that means helping to figure out that local street signs, decipher the menu at the café where you’ll stop for lunch, or performing maintenance on your vehicle, they’ve got your back! We work hard to find the finest guides, and they work hard to provide the finest trip possible.
We are constantly scouring all available sources for the next best Macedonia adventure. That could be anything from a 5-day adrenaline-packed motorcycle ride to a 25-day leisurely car camping expedition, and everything in between. In some countries, we offer 4×4 tours, classic cars, ATVs, and more. So, keep your eyes peeled as we continue to expand our Macedonia tour options!