REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA BASIC INFO
AREA: 25.713 km²
CLIMATE: Macedonia has a transitional climate from Mediterranean to continental. The summers are hot and dry, and the winters are moderately cold.
LANGUAGE: The official language is Macedonian and the script in official use is Cyrillic, other languages are Albanian, Turkish, Romanian, Serbian
OTHER BIG CITIES: Kotor, Budva, Bar, Herceg Novi , Niksic
GOVERNMENT: Parliamentary republic.
RELIGION: Christian Ortodox
TIME: GMT + 1
CURRENCY: Macedonian denar (MKD)
THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
Republic of Macedonia (Macedonian: About this sound Република Македонија (help·info), tr. Republika Makedonija), is a country in the Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. A landlocked country, the Republic of Macedonia is bordered by Kosovo[a] to the northwest, Serbia to the north, Bulgaria to the east, Greece to the south, and Albania to the west. The country's capital is Skopje. Other cities include Bitola, Kumanovo, Prilep, Tetovo, Ohrid, Veles, Štip, Kočani, Gostivar, Kavadarci, and Strumica. It has over fifty lakes, and sixteen mountains higher than 2,000 m.
Macedonian cuisine is a representative of that of the Balkans—reflecting Mediterranean (Greek) and Middle Eastern (Turkish) influences, and to a lesser extent Italian, German and Eastern European (especially Hungarian) ones. The relatively warm climate in Macedonia provides excellent growth conditions for a variety of vegetables, herbs and fruits. Thus, Macedonian cuisine is particularly diverse. Famous for its rich Šopska salad, an appetiser and side dish which accompanies almost every meal, Macedonian cuisine is also noted for the diversity and quality of its dairy products, wines, and local alcoholic beverages, such as rakija. Tavče Gravče and mastika are considered the national dish and drink of the Republic of Macedonia, respectively.
Macedonia has a rich cultural heritage in art, architecture, poetry, and music. It has many ancient, protected religious sites. Poetry, cinema, and music festivals are held annually.
MUST SEE IN MACEDONIA
SKOPLJE the capital and largest city, is situated in the northern part of the country on the Vardar River. Skopje has a long history that is evidenced by its many archaeological sites, such as Scupi and the Skopje Aqueduct, and the large number of Ottoman buildings and monuments, particularly in the Old Bazaar, such as Mustapha Pasha Mosque. Today, Skopje, with over 500,000 inhabitants, is becoming a modern city with museums and many cultural and sporting events.
OHRID, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located in the southwestern part of the country on the eastern shore of Lake Ohrid. The town is perhaps the most popular tourist destination in the country, which is largely due to the beaches and atmosphere. However, Ohrid also has many historical monuments, such as Samuil's Fortress and the Antique Theatre.
BITOLA, the second largest city, is situated in the southern part of the country. Like many cities in the country, Bitola has also had a rich history. Heraclea Lyncestis, one of the Republic of Macedonia's largest archaeological sites, is located in Bitola. The long history of Bitola is also exemplified by the town's many neo-classical buildings, Ottoman buildings and monuments, and old churches. The town is also a shopping destination; Širok Sokak, a pedestrian street, is filled with an endless amount of stores and restaurants.
STIP, the largest city east of the Vardar River, is located in the eastern part of the country. Štip has existed for at least 2,000 years which is showcased by its many archaeological sites, such as Astibo, Bargala, and Estipeon. The city is also home to the healing waters of the Kežovica Mineral Spa. Today, Štip is the main cultural and economical centre of eastern Macedonia.
The Republic of Macedonia has three national parks and 33 natural reserves:
MAVROVO, located in the northwestern part of the country, is the largest of the three national parks. It is home to several river valleys, gorges, waterfalls, caves, and other morphological formations.
PELISTER, located in the southern part of the country, near Bitola, is the smallest of the three national parks. The park consists of land that surrounds Baba Mountain. On top of the mountain are two glacial lakes, known as Gorski Oči, or mountain eyes.
GALICICA, located between Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa, is the second largest national park in the country. The park is home to an abundance of diverse flora and fauna, and offers terrific views of Ohrid and Lake Ohrid.
EZENI Bird Sanctuary, located on the northern shore of Lake Prespa, is a strict natural reserve. It is home to over 120 different bird species.
TIKVES Strict Natural Reserve, located 30 km southeast of Kavadarci, is a natural reserve that covers an area of approximately 100 square kilometres. 23 species of predatory birds are present in the reserve and 17 of these nest in the area. Tikveš is said to be one of the most important ornithological sites in Europe.
LOKVI-GOLEMO Konjari Strict Natural Reserve, located near Kruševo, is a natural reserve that is the last remnant of a once enormous swamp.