WOOCS 2.1.6

Macedonia small group tours for mature & senior travellers.

Crafted Tours for Mature World Travellers

Macedonia Tours

A Journey that commences in Rome before Christmas, takes in 12 places along it’s journey to Athens. Enjoy this off season tour avoiding the summer crowds to the key galleries and Museums of Mediterranean Europe as the history unfolds before you in a mild climate as you travel through the key countries of the Mediterranean.

27 days
Europe

This 18 day tour takes you deep into the the Balkan Peninsula. Starting in Dubrovnik, travel through Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia and Albania before returning to Dubrovnik. The scenery is stunning and the long, troubled history of the region makes this a fascinating journey of discovery. Religious and cultural differences add to the interest of the area and help make this a tour which goes well beyond the usual tourist trail.

18 days
Europe
Level 2 - Moderate

Getting around

Odyssey travels by coach and occasionally uses local transport, including trains and ferries. Specifics are always outlined in your tour itinerary. Macedonia has a well-developed intercity bus service, with many buses running out from Skopje to regional areas. Train services are reliable but slow, with train lines linking Skopje to smaller towns. Bear in mind that Ohrid does not have a train station. Taxis are commonly available and relatively inexpensive, though avoid entering a cab with no taxi meter to avoid getting ripped off.

Accommodation

In major cities, Odyssey stays in centrally located 3-4 star hotels, with easy access to public transport. In smaller towns or rural areas, we usually stay in family-run hotels or guesthouses. On our longstay tours, during which you spend the length of the tour in a single location, we use serviced apartments.

Tour guides

Odyssey always engages local guides with regional knowledge to ensure an authentic experience during which you can learn as much as possible about the history and culture of places you visit.

Geography, Environment, & Weather

Macedonia is a landlocked country, covering 25,713 square miles. Much of the terrain in the north and western areas of the country is rugged, with mountains ringing the country’s borders. The Vardar river flows through the middle of the country, while many lakes punctuate the landscape of Macedonia, including Lake Ohrid, one of the oldest lakes in the world.

Macedonia experiences hot summers and cold winters, especially in the mountainous regions. Depending on when you intend to travel, check the weather reports and dress accordingly.

World heritage sites

Macedonia has 1 UNESCO World Heritage Site, with another 3 on the Tentative List. You can view the official list of the sites here (https://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/mk). The listed sites currently include:

Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region, an area of rich history and charming local architecture built around the stunning Lake Ohrid

Festivals & Events

Numerous festivals and events dot the calendar in Macedonia. Independence Day is a landmark annual event in Macedonia; held on the 8th of September, Independence Day commemorates the anniversary of the country’s exit from Yugoslavia, and is celebrated with parades, fireworks, free music concerts, and themed dance performances. The Balkan Folkore Festival is a major event in the country, with over 40,000 people gathering to share traditional stories and tales through dance, song, rites and poetry. The local practices and traditions of Macedonia’s regional areas are preserved in events such as the Galičnik Wedding Festival, whereupon thousands descend upon the village of Galičnik to witness and celebrate the marriage of one particular lucky couple over two days with music, dancing and feasting.

Reading list

Macedonia and the Macedonians: A History, by Andrew Rossos
White Dawns, by Kočo Racin
People of the Storm God: Travels in Macedonia, by Will Myer
Macedonia: The Political, Social, Economic and Cultural Foundations of a Balkan State, by Victor C. de Munck and Ljupcho Risteski.

Eating & Drinking

Macedonian cooking is characterised by the use of vegetables, meats and spices. Capsicums (bell peppers) are widely used in Macedonian cuisine, utilised as a key ingredient in many dishes, or in the form of a relish or spread. One such dish is Tavče gravče, the national dish of Macedonia. Made from capsicums, onions, beans, and spices, tavče gravče makes for a hearty dinner. Polneti Piperki (stuffed capsicums) are another popular dish, with capsicums stuffed with rice, ground meat, chopped vegetables and spices, then roasted in an oven. Southern Balkan culinary influences feature in Macedonian cuisine, with musaka (a savoury dish made from layers of potatoes, vegetables and/or meat) and turli tava (a stew made from okra, potatoes, eggplant, capsicum, meat, rice, and onion) reflecting some of the common ingredients and tastes of the southern Balkans.

Macedonians love their coffee, with over 5,000 cafes, coffeehouses, and kafeanas (bistros which serve coffee and alcoholic beverages) in operation in the country. The national alcoholic beverage of Macedonia is rakija, a fruit brandy that comes in many varieties.

Health & Safety

As of writing, smartraveller.gov.au advises travellers to exercise a high degree of caution while travelling through Macedonia. Some protests have violent in the capital Skopje and other major cities, so avoid large crowds and demonstrations. Exercise particular caution in the region bordering Kosovo because othe possibility of civil unrest.

Electrical Supply

Whenever you travel overseas, it’s always wise to take an appropriate travel adaptor. Macedonia’s electricity supply runs at 220V and 50Hz. Macedonia uses both Type C and Type F plugs, so make sure you have the right travel adaptor with you.

FAQs

Responsible travel tips for Macedonia

  • Learn at least the local greetings to break the ice. Although some locals speak English, the more you know of the native language, the greater your experience of the country will be.
  • Carry a business card in your wallet or purse from your local hotel, to assist you with the return journey if you do become lost.
  • Always ensure that you are covered by travel insurance. If you need advice on this feel free to contact Odyssey and we’ll be able to help.
  • Before departing, make sure you have a number of denars in a range of denominations. You don’t want to be carrying around enormous amounts of cash, but take enough to make it easy to pay in locations that might not accept credit card. It will also help you avoid card transaction fees, and it makes tipping a breeze.
  • When travelling independently, make sure you check the opening hours of shops and museums so that you don’t miss out! Also be certain to check whether your trip coincides with any public holidays, so you can plan accordingly.
  • Before departing on your trip, contact your bank to inform them that you may be making purchases overseas. Otherwise, they may flag any activity on your account as suspicious. Also, check which ATMs and banks are compatible with your cards, to ensure you can withdraw cash with minimal fees.

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