Visitors tend to pass through Macedonia's capital, Skopje, where a lasting impression is hard to come by, on the way to somewhere else, and rightly so. The best part of the country lies outside its large non-descript capital; and its lakes, rivers and mountains are worth the detour.
Previously a part of Yugoslavia, Macedonia, (or the Republic of Macedonia), has been struggling to find its place in this landlocked part of Europe, hence why its cities, like Skopje, don't really conjure up much interest for foreigners, who prefer to explore its quaint villages and natural landscapes.
The difference between Macedonia and its neighbours lies in its Ottoman history. Having been under Ottoman rule for over 500 years, magnificent mosques adorn the countryside. Macedonia has been part of several countries, meaning that Orthodox churches and monasteries are also part of the country's heritage.
Architecture aside, the western part of the country tends to be visited the most popular, especially for its three national parks and Ohrid, which is one of the most beautiful towns in the country. Awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1980, a trip to Ohrid is a must. There is no particular historical significance to the town, but sandwiched between the mountains and Lake Ohrid, the area is magnificent. There are also several beaches in the area, most of which can get quite crowded over the summer months June to August, but it makes for a welcome break after sightseeing.Belgrade, Serbia Sofia, Bulgaria