And happily, that happens to be crowds. Landlocked into relative obscurity in a region worshipped for its coast, Macedonia’s tract of the Balkans is often overlooked. Yet for those looking to venture beyond the Adriatic and Aegean, Macedonia’s rugged interior contains rewards aplenty. Excellent hiking can be had in the mountain forests, Lake Ohrid’s waters rival the clarity of Croatia’s and 500 years of Ottoman rule can be acutely felt in the capital’s bazaars. And to round it all out, the locals will be delighted to have you.
Sample local drops on a wine-tasting tour in the Tikves region
Take a walk among the mountains and pine trees of Macedonia’s oldest national park
Wander through Macedonia’s Turkish heritage in Skopje’s Old Bazaar
Tipping is not customary in Macedonia, but a 10-15% tip at a nice restaurant will be very much appreciated. Some top-end restaurants may include a service charge, in which case there is no need to tip additionally unless the service has really been excellent.
Internet access exists in the major towns and connections are generally very good.
Roaming agreements are in place with most of the major international phone companies, and coverage is generally pretty good.
Western-style, flushable toilets are fast becoming the standard in Macedonia, however squat toilets can still be found in public restrooms and at some cafes and restaurants
0.5 litre domestic beer = 75 MKD
Cappuccino in a cafe = 75 MKD
Meal at an inexpensive restaurant = 200 MKD
Three-course meal for two at an expensive restaurant = 1,000 MKD
Macedonia’s tap water is safe to drink, so stave off buying bottled water for the landfill it produces.
As a general rule, credit cards are really only accepted at upmarket restaurants and hotels.
ATMs can be readily found in major towns and tourist centres.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Please note these dates are for 2017. For a current list of public holidays in Macedonia go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/macedonia/public-holidays
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
1. Be considerate of Macedonia’s customs, traditions, religion and culture. Avoid expressing opinions about the country’s relations with Greece, Bulgaria or its significant Albanian population.
2. Dress modestly and respectfully when entering places of worship. Shoulders to knees should be covered and shoes removed.
3. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.
4. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
5. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
6. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive and supports the local community.
7. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
8. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.