There is organized life on Macedonian soil since the Neolith. The first civilization appeared in the second millennium BC… We discover the mysteries of the ancient civilizations on every step on the territory of Macedonia. There is almost no place that does not have an old story, myth or a legend that carries us back to the Ancient times, Byzantine Middle Ages, the Ottoman Empire. That is why Macedonian archaeological sites are well known through the world and Macedonia is known as “The magical land of archaeology”.
This tour provides interactive exploring of the most important archaeological and cultural monuments on the Macedonian territory, historical lecturing and intellectual involvement in solving off the site mysteries, with the help of local archaeologists, site curators and expert guides.
Arriving to Macedonia at Skopje Airport. Meeting with the guide at 15:00h. Transfer to Skopje.
Skopje: Accommodation at the selected hotel. Walk to the the central square. Crossing over the Stone Bridge (16th cen) we step on the old part of the city. Visit of the Archaeology museum. Free time for individual exploring. Dinner at a restaurant.
Seeking for the origins of Skopje…Sightseeing of Skupi-a Roman city or ruins of Justiniana I? We discuss it with the local archeologists. Continuing sightseeing of Kale Fortress, church of St.Spas and the museum of Ilinden uprising (1903). At the Old bazaar we explore the Ottoman monumental architecture: Mustafa pasha mosque, Kurshumli Han, Chifte Hammam… Lunch at an authentic medieval oriental Inn. In the afternoon an optional visit to some cultural event (art gallery, theatre or so…). Dinner at the hotel.
Skopje – Old Nagorichane – Кокino
We set off to explore the ancient civilizations of the Brigies and Peons. Slight digression along the way -fragments of the medieval past.
Old Nagorichane: Curiosity: Eremitic dwelling of St. Joakim Osogovski, the church of St. George.
Kokino: According to NASA’s classification, the fourth most important Megalithic observatory, the oldest in Europe. Proof of organized life in the 2-nd millennium BC. Lunch in a traditional village restaurant with local dishes. In the afternoon visit of the History museum in Skopje. Dinner at the hotel.
Skopje – Stobi – Каvadarci – Prilep – Оhrid
Breakfast. Checking out. In search for more archeological mysteries, we trace the trails of the old Roman road: Via Militaris and Via Diagonalis.
Stobi: The biggest Roman city on the Balkans. We have discovered traces of Peonic, Hellenic, Roman and early Christian periods. Visits to basilicas, palaces, the Forum, Theatre, casino, museum. Coffee-break and buying souvenirs.
Wine tour: We go through Negotino and Kavadarci, the largest wine region of Macedonia. A visit to a Vinery in Tikvesh region. Lunch: fine selection of Macedonian cheese and ham and testing wines. Going on to Ohrid via Prilep. Stop at the old quarter Varosh and visit of the small but beautifully frescoed church of St.Nicolas. Arriving Ohrid at the afternoon.
Ohrid: Accommodation at the selected hotel. Dinner at the hotel.
Оhrid – St.Naum
Boat tour: The day begins with a panoramic cruise around the old town and across the lake.
Ohrid: Continue sightseeing on foot…a stroll through the picturesque alleys of the old town, discovering the secrets of the UNESCO’s cultural heritage.
The craftsmanship of the old builders in the House of Robevci, the first renaissance frescoes in the church of St.Sophia, the apocryphal scenes from the life of the Virgin in Parivlepta, the transformation of the ancient theatre into arena. At Plaoshnik – large excavations but still a big mystery…once a seat of the first Slavic University of St.Clement. In continue getting familiar with the old crafts-part of the rich tradition: silver filigree, wood carving, Ohrid’s Pearls. Lunch: wild Ohrid trout.
After lunch drive along the lake coast to the monastery of St.Naum: 10 centuries existence. The church is another mystery…the miracles of the Saint tell us an interesting story… A visit to the spring of the river Black Drim- protected bioreservation. Back to the hotel in the late afternoon. Dinner at a typical restaurant with live folk Macedonian music.
Оhrid – Galicica – Кurbinovo – Brajcino
Bay of Bones: Unique attraction! A replica of an authentic fisherman’s village from the Neolithic era. Visit of the Museum on water at the Way of Bones and learn more about the pra-historian life around Ohrid lake. Continue driving across the National park Galicica to the Prespa lake. Time to relax and enjoy the natural beauties of mount Galicica with magnificent panoramic views of both lakes (weather permitting). At Prespa side, more attractions are waiting to be explored…
Kurbinovo: The famous fresco of the Annunciation and several other masterpieces of the Byzantine painting from the early 12-th century that fill the small church.
Brajchino: An example of the typical rural architecture of the region. Village tour, meeting the locals. Lunch in a village taverna with real home made meals. After lunch a short walk in the nature to the monastery of St.Petka. Back to Ohrid in the evening. Dinner at the hotel.
Оhrid – Bitola
We return by the trail of the ancient Via Ignacia, to solve the mystery of life, shown in the scenes of the mosaics in Heraclea Lyncestis.
Bitola: 2.5 millennium of civilization: Visit of Heraclea Lyncestis, founded by King Fillip of Macedon, later on an important Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman center. Also visiting the Archeological museum and the memorial room of Kemal Ataturk in the old Military Academy. Continue by foot in the old town core, the Clock Tower, church of St.Dimitri. Lunch in a typical restaurant with local specialties. In the afternoon walk along the History trail in the National Park Pelister. Back to Ohrid in the evening. Dinner at the hotel.
Оhrid – Vevcani – Struga
Several caves in the rocky western shores of lake Ohrid were inhabited by monks during the medieval period. They left behind real naïve frescoes on the cave walls. Exploring them is always a challenge…
Radozda&Kalishta: Visit to the cave-churches. See several layers of frescoes- with a little effort we will ‘solve’ them.
Struga: From the mythical Enhilion to the World’s town of poetry. You can see the Black Drim coming out from the Ohrid Lake from the famous Bridge of Poetry. A visit to the Nezlobinski Museum of Nature. Lunch at a typical restaurant with local dishes. After lunch a stroll through the
Struga bazaar. In the afternoon drive to the nearby village of Vevcani.
Vevcani: A walk through the village to the Springs of the local river, a rare nature beauty. On the way getting familiar with the local tradition and interesting history of the village. We will also learn about the village carnival. Dinner at a village restaurant with home made local specialties.
Оhrid – Mavrovo
We go first around the lake Globochica, through the Black Drim canyon all the way to the Lake Spilje. In continue, an unique experience: 32km through the longest auto-passable canyon in Europe, on the wild river Radika. And somewhere in the middle…. a monastery.
St. Jovan Bigorski: Founded 990 years ago. Inside the church we’ll find unique relics: The Miraculous Icon of St. John The Baptist, more than 12centuries old, and the priceless iconostasis in wooden carving. Leaving the canyon we’ll arrive at the Lake Mavrovo, in the heart of the National Park.
Mavrovo: Chance to enjoy the natural beauties and taste the local cheese and food. In the afternoon drive back to Ohrid. Free time for individual activities, shopping and packing. Dinner in the hotel.
Оhrid – Tetovo – Matka – Skopje
Checking out of the hotel. On the way to Skopje we stop in Tetovo.
Tetovo: Visit of the Painted Mosque with an unique outside and inside decoration. In continue stop at Matka Canyon.
Matka: Visit of the church of St.Andreas. Boat ride at Lake Matka, inside the canyon, on the way exploring one of the lake caves. Lunch in a nice restaurant. Arriving Skopje in the afternoon. Check in the hotel. After a short break, drive to mount Vodno and visit of the monastery of St.Panteleimon. The church hides frescoes of a great artistic value. Coffee break enjoying the eagle-eyed view of the Macedonian capitol from above. End the day with a dinner in the monastery restaurant enjoying the local specialties, nice warm atmosphere and slow Macedonian music.
Before leaving Skopje there is one thing left to do…when we think of modesty and philanthropy, Mother Theresa is surely one of the best known personalities worldwide. She was born and raised in Skopje as Gondja Bojadjiou and her memorial house is here to tell us the story of her life. After the visit of the memorial house bus transfer to the airport. Time to say farewell…
End of program.
The price includes:
· 10 overnights at 3* or 4* hotels, (4 BB + 6 HB)
· 9 lunches + 4 dinners at traditional restaurants
· Wine tasting & light lunch (local ham and cheese)
· Up to 1 hour panoramic boat cruising at Ohrid lake
· Small boat ride at Matka Gorge (weather permitting)
· Entrances at the visited archaeological sites and museums
· Local experts at archaeological sites
· Licensed domestic guide full time services
· 1 gratis for your tour leader in single room (for groups above 6 paying persons)
The price does not include:
o Drinks, beverages, tips
o Any kind of gear, accessories or individual equipment
o Any services or activities that are not mentioned in the above program or are mentioned as optional
Valid part of the arrangement are the General traveling conditions