Life has taught the Macedonians to use the blessings of nature rationally: vegetables, fruits, clear waters, auspicious climate. The unpolluted air, soil and water, especially in the rural and mountain areas, enable production of eco-friendly food. Quality soil and clean water, mixed with the hot Macedonian sun, are important requisite for production of quality wines, as well as, the millennium tradition if making and consuming wine.
This tour offers active introduction to Macedonian gastronomy through communication with the locals, exchanging traditional recipes and taking cooking lessons. Help in collecting ingredients, shop at grossery markets and cook traditional meals together with the Macedonian housewives. Enjoy in the rich taste of the best Macedonian meals and wines.
Skopje (Tirana) – Оhrid – Struga – Vevchani
Transfer from Skopje Airport (or Tirana). Meeting with our guide and continue. Arrival at Ohrid around noon. Check in the hotel.
Ohrid: A day for history, culture and art in the city of UNESCO. Guided walking tour, sightseeing of the old town presenting numerous Byzantine churches with valuable frescoes and icons, nice preserved 18/19th century Macedonian (Turkish-influenced) houses, ancient theater and arena, remains of St. Kliment’s university at Plaoshnik hill, one of the oldest in the world. A stroll through the old bazaar, introducing the old crafts-part of the rich tradition: silver filigree, making of parchments, Ohrid’s Pearls-one hundred year old formula.
Lunch with local fish specialties and starters: Djomleze, Makalo fish soup, endemic wild Ohrid trout. Interactive Introduction, Cooking lesson, Watching and helping to prepare the meal. In the afternoon visit of Struga.
Struga: From the mythical Enhilion to the World’s town of poetry. A visit to the natural-science museum , see the endemic Ohrid flora and fauna. A stroll through the Struga bazaar. We’ll see the Black Drim coming out from the Ohrid Lake from the famous Bridge of Poetry. Continue to nearby village of Vevchani.
Vevchani: The village is home of a medieval carnival and significant history and tradition. On foot sightseeing and visit of Vevcani Springs, a natural rarity. Dinner at a village familly run tavern with home made food, rakija and wine. Interactive Introduction, Local sausage recipe. Entairteinment by live folk music band. Overnight at the hotel in Ohrid.
Оhrid – St.Naum – Prespa – Bitola
Breakfast. Check out of the hotel, and drive along the lake coast, enjoying the beautiful landscapes and picturesque villages. At the end of the lake lies the monastery of St. Naum, from the X-th century.
St.Naum: Visit to the source of the river Black Drim-protected bioreservation and the monastery church with the tomb explaining the miracles of the Saint. Coffee break and continue to Prespa over Galichica mountain. This narrow and curvy road through the National park offers a chance for a great photo session: breathtaking “eagle-eye” panoramic views of lakes Ohrid and Prespa. Short break at lake Prespa shore, enjoying the wild beauty and learning more about the local tradition and life. Drive around the lake to Bitola.
Bitola: Check in the hotel. On foot sightseeing: Tthe old town core with 19th century Neoclassical styled houses, monumental Ottoman buildings, St. Dimitri Cathedral. Visit of the Old Bazaar, one of the largest 18-19th century market places with picturesque narrow streets and shops, old traditional crafts, grosser market offering local agricultural products. Learning more about the traditional crafts and manufacture cervices in interaction with the shop-keepers. Also learning about the local agricultural production from the peasants at the grosser market. Shopping ingredients for the dinner.
Lunch at a typical restaurant: Tasting local specialties, picking different types of salads, starters and traditional local meals. Introduction, Local recipes, traditional serving. In the afternoon Visit of a local Vlach village Learning about the origins of Vlach population, migrations and traditional way of living. Rural architecture and farming. Sheep and goat cheese production. Guided walking tour. Learning more about the rural life, farming and cheese production. Interactive communication with the locals.
Dinner (local village house inn) Vlach traditional pie (pita), yogurt, cheese, traditional meal and home made wine, beer and rakija. Introduction, Cooking lesson, Watching and helping to prepare the meal.
Evening walk down the main pedestrian street Sirok Sokak, maybe sit for a drink and enjoy the rich night life. Overnight at the hotel in Bitola.
Bitola – Prilep – Kavadarci – Skopje
Breakfast. Check out of the hotel and drive to the subburbs of Bitola. Visit of the archaeological site of Heraclea Lyncestis, founded by Philip of Macedon in IV cen. BC, displaying mostly Roman/early Christian remains, with theatre, monumental fountain, and early churches with beautiful floor mosaics. Continue to Prilep, the center of tobacco and marble production in the region.
Prilep: Visit of the Tobacco museum, presenting very rich exhibition of tobacco production, products and accessories from all over the world. Learning from an expert guide about the tobacco from growing to final products, different ways of consuming through ages and accessories. Continue driving to Tikvesh, one of the largest and best known region for wine production in Balkans.
Tikvesh: Drive through the region, along the wine yards. Season depending, possible attending in harvesting. Wine tour: Visit of a local vinery with guided sightseeing, learning from expert guide about the wine and rakija production, selection of grapes, local brands. Tasting a selection of several local wine brands. Light lunch with various types of ham, smoked meat, white and yellow cheese. Enology lessons and advices about wine and adequate food consummation. Shopping at the vinery shop at discount prices. Continue to Skopje, arriving in the afternoon.
Skopje: Check in the hotel. Guided walking tour, visiting the old bazaar with traditional shops, paved streets and incorporated monumental Ottoman buildings as: Caravan Sarays, Hans, Turkish baths, Mosques. Learning more about the history of the town, the oriental culture and cuisine. Time travel: Turkish coffee and sweet break at authentic oriental medieval Han.
Dinner at a local restaurant: Mix of traditional Macedonian and oriental food, unique blend of tastes. Interactive introduction. Cooking lessons. Watching how to prepare the meal with a little interaction. Overnight at the hotel in Skopje
Skopje – Airport (Tabanovce)
Continue sightseeing at the modern part of the city, visiting the central square and the Memorial house of Mother Theresa. Transfer to the airport or continute driving towards Serbia ( or Kosovo). End of the program.
End of program.
Caracteristics of tjis tour are: Active communication with the locals, exchanging recipies, taking cooking lessons, collecting ingredients and prepare together traditional meals.
UNESCO CITY-Ohrid: Situated on the shores of lake Ohrid, the town of Ohrid is one of the oldest human settlements in Europe. Built mainly between the 7th and 19th centuries, it has the oldest Slav University (St. Pantelejmon) and numerous Byzantine churches dating from the 11th to the end of the 14th century. In the Cathedral St. Sophia some frescos from the 11th century have strong Renaissance elements that couldn’t be seen in Europe before 14th century.
Ohrid Lake, one of the oldest and deepest in the world, hides many mysteries. Also a Unesco Natural treasure, its crystal waters are home of the endemic Ohrid trout. The taste of it is also unique experience, prepared the traditional fisherman’s way and served at the beach. Also learn and help to cook the fish soup and local specialties Djomleze and Makalo.
Bitola: Once a significant center on the Via Ignacia road, Bitola later became the diplomatic and cultural center of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans. Having a coffee on Sirok Sokak Street is more than a century long tradition, which together with the rich night life, reflects the “good old bohemic times. At the old market quartier learn about the traditional crafts and the local agricultural production from the peasants at the grosser market. Shop ingredients for the dinner an later on take active place in making a Vlach pie and the traditional meal Turli Tava. Also learn how home made beer and wine is made.
Heraclea Lyncestis: The remaninings from the Roman and Early Byzantine time show the importance of this city founded by King Philip of Macedon. Well preserved Roman Theater and numerous areas paved with colorful mosaics are its main attributes.
Tikvesh Wine Tour: Wine production is one of the oldest traditions in Macedonia. Tikvesh, at central Macedonia is well known wine region since the Ancient times. Visiting a Tikvesh vinery is a perfect chance to learn from expert guide about the wine and rakija production, selection of grapes, local brands. Taste a selection of several local wine brands, cheese and ham and thake Enology lessons and advices about wine and adequate food consummation. Shop at the vinery shop with discount prices.
Time travel at Skopje: The old town core is a perfect example of an oriental bazaar with traditional shops, paved streets and incorporated monumental Ottoman buildings as: Caravan Sarays, Hans, Turkish baths, Mosques. It is the right place to enjoy Turkish coffee with lokum at authentic oriental medieval Han.
Rural experience: Macedonian villages like Vevchani and Dihovo offer an authentic view in the traditional Balkan rural life. Many old houses are masterpieces of stone work, carefully carved and designed to last for centuries. In the back yards and fields vegetables and fruits are grown “the old way”. Unpolluted air, water and soil make this food real healthy. Friendly peasants like to exchange information about their occupations, crafts and living and will be honored if one visits their home. Chance to taste real home made meals, original old “grand mother” receipts, have a shot of strong rakija and good wine.
Valid part of the arrangement are the General traveling conditions