Macedonia- The unexplored beauty of an unknown country (TUI)

The first reaction of people when you tell them that you are traveling to macedonia is generally surprise with a bit of confusion. “Why would you go there?” Actually we didn’t know either. 
However the minute we arrived at our villa we knew why. People are so welcoming that you feel like home. And on top of this openness and friendly attitude there was this unbelievable nature to discover. 

I will guide you through our adventure of 7 days. A time mainly spend in harmony with nature… Trying to enjoy and capture every tiny bit of natural beauty.

1. Accomodation 

Villa Mimi in Pestani a village in the south of Ohrid city. Most friendly and welcoming host there is. Lovely rooms, great breakfast and perfect location for really little money. Mimi the owner is just lovely… Prepared fresh fruit lunch for us to take on our day trips and made special cold coffee for us. The only negative point I could find was that there was no pool.

We booked via TUI… So flight and accomodation were included.

2. Lake Ohrid

A lake which separates 2 countries. 2/3 of the land around the lake is from Macedonia and 1/3 is from Albania. The lake is the oldest and deepest lake in Europe with around 300m depth. If you want to drive around the lake take your time because it is 100km long.

3. Mavrovo National Park

Hike hike hike!!! It might be exhausting in 30 degrees but it is definitely worth it. We got up to 1800m and got amazing views over the national park and the lake in the park. We saw sheeps and many other animals. Many plants and a lot of great views. A visit to the underwater church is definitely worth it. However it is not underwater all the time, but only in rainy season.

How to get here? Book a guided tour for the whole day with lunch and a lot of stories included. It is a 2 hour bus ride from Ohrid. 

3. Sint Naum

Not worth the hype is my summary of this place. The only things worth seeing are the beautiful views from the boat which goes from Ohrid to Sint Naum, and the little cold lake which collects cold water from the mountains (10degrees) and connects to the lake. However, the church was not as special as I had expected and the area was unfortunately very touristic. My advise do not book this trip with any tour agency, but simply buy tickets for the boat and do it yourself for way less money.

4. The macedonian St Tropez

Definitely a lovely beach which is worth visiting! BUT do not trust busses which should run there… You might wait for hours…because there are barely taxis going from there to Ohrid. If you want to be sure that you ll get home make sure to get a number for taxis.

How to get there alternatively: rent a kayak from “my way” in Pestani! The owners are extremely helpful and lovely people! The kayaks are very new and fancy!! On fhe way back check out some beaches which cannot be reaches by land so you ll have all the privacy and silence you want but make sure it is goos weather and you can handle the waves in a storm.

5. Do not book any jeep safari (with TUI) 

It’s the most boring thing I have done in years. You sit in a jeep for yours and inhale a lot of bad petrol gases. The view is sometimes very pretty but I do not think it’s worth the 40 euros you pay per person! 

6. Ohrid city tour (walking)

There ia definitely no need for a guide to walk you around. Just get a good Macedonia travel guide book and you ll be fine.

To see:

– papermaking 

– restaurants at the lake

– way too many churches (one is more than enough)

So overall Macedonia was a great country to visit. Do not expect too much from the food… It is actually really bad. But the people are so friendly that it balances out.

Be prepared to see a loooot of Dutch tourists and even more Turkish tourists.

Some people speak some German or English but in general I think it might be helpful to learn some local sentences.

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