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A beautiful jewel of a country, Macedonia has been home to some of the most interesting developments in contemporary southeastern European culture. With its idyllic landscape, which includes mountains and water scenery, as well as vast historical ruins and villages, there is plenty to see and do in this charming country.

Given its position between East and West, Macedonia has traditionally been effectively a bridge between old Europe and the Orient. Today, it remains a vibrant mix of cultures, including ethnic minority groups such as Armenians, Peonians and Kumans. This is also widely reflected in the architecture, of which some of the most impressive buildings include Byzantine churches and Ottoman mosques.

The capital, Skopje, effectively integrates the old and new world elements to create a fascinating and fast paced city. There is a great combination of living styles here – from the Ottoman influenced to cutting edge architecture, there is something to impress everyone. The Botanical Garden in the city, which is the only one in the whole of Macedonia, is also particularly impressive and home to some exciting varieties of plants. Another must see is the Monastery for St Andrei, which gives an insight into life in the medieval times. Along the north eastern part of the country, a drive will take you to Ohrid which is another town. Ohrid offers tremendous tranquillity and simply stunning views of the coastline. By contrast, Bitola – which is situated in the South Eastern part of the country – is one of the style centres of the country.

Given the long traditions of great wine, it is certainly worth taking a trip up to one of the many vineyards around the country. You can also sample some of the local cuisine – which makes the drive out to these more obscure destinations all the more worthwhile.

Cities in Macedonia