In April/May 2022 I made a tour of the Balkans. The tour was organized by Zagreb Tours. It was originally planned for April 2020 but had to be postponed. They conducted the tour without extra cost in 2022. The organization was outstanding. I had two guides, each driving me for about half of the tour. Everything worked like clockwork. During the tour I wanted to put more emphasis on bird watching than originally planned. Both guides went out of their way to research bird watching sites during the tour and added visits to many bird watching sites.
Coming from Shqipëri (Albania), we crossed the border near the Monastery of Saint Naum. The border control looked at every document there was in excruciating detail. It was the longest we spent on border formalities of the trip.
From the border it was only a short drive to the Monastery of Saint Naum. This monastery is certainly worth a visit.
From there we drove along the eastern shore of Lake Ohrid to Ohrid for one night.
Ohrid has a lot of interesting old architecture, including several old churches and remnants of a couple of early Christian basilicas from the 5th century CE.
The next day we drove over the mountain to Lake Prespa. We drove along the western shore south to Konjsko over a very ratty road. We wanted to hire a boat to visit Golem Grad, a small island where cormorants ad pelicans live, as well as snakes and tortoises. It was a great adventure just to get to the village. The boat tour was very nice and the bird watching was great.
Once back on the good road, we headed for Skopje, where we stayed for the second night. In Skopje we did some sightseeing on foot. The Stone Bridge and other Ottoman buildings are interesting.
The next day we headed east to Bulgaria. Just before reaching Bulgaria we made a detour up the mountain to a nice viewpoint, passing by the Saint Joachim Osogovski Monastery.
The exit formalities on the border were much easier than the entry formalities.
Food and drink were fairly inexpensive. The restaurant in Ohrid had draft beer, which didn't happen much during the trip.
Economically, North Macedonia seems to catch up with Western Europe. They are making progress, but you still see a lot of old cars on the roads, so they still have to work on it.
Lake Ohrid and the area around it is definitely worth a visit. Skopje may have more to offer than I saw, I had only a few hours.
Following are links to various pages with pictures:
All pictures are © Dr. Günther Eichhorn, unless otherwise noted.
The total number of pictures online on my website from North Macedonia is 129
Page last updated on Sat Jun 3 08:28:18 2023 (Mountain Standard Time)
Македонија (North Macedonia) - Old Churches and Ottoman Buildings on aerobaticsweb.org