MACEDONIA


The main features Macedonia as a touristic area are the transit tourism, the especially favorable conditions for mountain winter sports, the old age villages with their own specifics, and the magnificent lakes which provide exceptional conditions for summer stationary tourism.

Are you fed up with overcrowded beaches, overrated world-renowned sights, and hordes of tourists getting in your way? Then, perhaps it is time you took a journey to Macedonia.

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Tucked away in a corner of Southeast Europe, Macedonia is a country with idyllic natural surroundings and a somewhat less idyllic history. It has seen much turmoil, conquest, famine, and subsequent immigration in the distant and more recent past. Alexander the Great, the Romans, Byzantines, the Ottomans, Nazis, and the Communists have all been here and left a mark on the land and its people, leaving behind rich historical attractions. The capital, Skopje, a city that has been scourged and flattened by invaders over the centuries, burned to ground and built up, and, finally suffered a terrible earthquake in 1960s., today is a bubbling city, rapidly catching up with other European capitals. Due to the latest government project “Skopje 2014” now the capital’s look is completely facelifted, with the memorial house of Mother Teresa, a Triumphal Gate leading to the main city square with numerous monuments, museums, and grand buildings. And, if you have the slightest interest in history, Skopje is a good place to start your journey as there are rich layers of it on offer.Cross the River Vardar via the 15th century Stone Bridge to an area dominated by a massive fortress. Stretching underneath is the old Turkish bazaar. In its bustling cobblestone alleys, you will find ancient mosques, former baths that have been converted into art galleries and tiny shops selling intricate silver filigree jewelry made by local craftsmen. A short drive from Skopje is the Matka lake and canyon, home to the Vrelo cave, which is considered to be the deepest underwater cave in Europe.As soon as you leave the hustle and bustle of Skopje, you are in the middle of largely unspoiled nature. The countryside is a sheer heaven for those who enjoy the great outdoors. There are opportunities for hiking, climbing, and biking in the mountains scattered across the country. There, you will see colorful forests, spectacular cliffs and thundering waterfalls, and if you are lucky, spot a hare, fox, lynx or other common or endemic form of wildlife. For those interested in skiing, there are slopes of varying difficulty on Shara, Bistra, Kozuf, and Pelister Mountains. To get a taste of country life, try staying with the locals in one of the slow-paced villages, where you can eat traditional homemade dishes and pick your own organic fruit and vegetables.In some of the most stunning and often remote locations, you will find Orthodox monasteries and churches, many dating back for over a thousand years. With their well-preserved mosaics, frescoes and woodcarvings they are well worth a visit. Another site of interest is the Kokino megalithic observatory, dating from 1815 BC, which NASA has ranked among the world’s oldest observatories. Ohrid is one of Macedonia’s highlights and both the lake and the town have been put under UNESCO protection. The lake is among the oldest in the world, with unique flora and fauna, and is a popular tourist destination in summer. However, Ohrid is much more than just a resort to the Macedonians. It carries special spiritual significance as the center of Slavic literacy and home of as many as 365 churches, a Roman amphitheater and Tsar Samoil’s fortress. A recent addition to the town’s tourist attractions is the Bay of Bones museum on water, which is an authentic reconstruction of a pile-dwelling settlement from pre-historic times.Macedonia has a rich cultural tradition and while you explore the cultural heritage in the country make sure that you also enjoy one of the many annual cultural and art events held all around the country especially the big music festivals like Taksirat festival in Skopje (the biggest music festival with 16 years tradition, held each year in December), D Festival in Dojran (held in july at a beautiful location by the Dojran lake), Green Beach festival in Ohrid (EDM festival held in August) etc.One of Macedonia’s top draws is its cuisine, which is a combination of Turkish-influenced and Mediterranean mouthwatering dishes. And, when it comes to drinks, it is a rising star in the wine world and many of its wines have won international medals and critical acclaim in recent years. Macedonia has much to offer and is a safe and welcoming place to visit. At the same time, it is unknown enough to make you feel like you are trying something new and one thing you are guaranteed to get from people on your return from Macedonia is looks of incredulity and curious questions.


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About Event
D Festival

Established in 2011 and raised by the idea to have a unique open-air music event, which will offer an alternative for satisfying the need for a summer festival at the authentic and outstanding Dojran coast – “D FESTIVAL” has already confirmed and justified its initiative in a best way.

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It is a young festival which is always held in a perfect atmosphere that constantly leads to euphoria and evening drive on positive energy, contributed by the thousands of fans and the finest artists of the local, regional and world music scene. D Festival continues as a tradition but with even greater expectations each year, certainly achieving the goal to become a symbol of an unforgettable concert experience and traditional destination for the fans of the authentic summer festival spirit.

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Moreover, the importance of the festival is even bigger by the festivals initiative and activism for supporting the development of touristic potential of the city of Dojran and the Dojran Lake. It is a beautiful location in the southern part of Macedonia which is still undiscovered by the young tourists from the region and a location that offers great possibilities for becoming one of the top touristic destinations in Macedonia.

Facebook Page:

www.facebook.com/dfestival.dojran

Location – The Dojran lake:

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D FESTIVAL is a unique experience not only for the festival music program and the fun it brings, but also because it is held in the beautiful surroundings of the city of Dojran and the extraordinary Dojran Lake. Dojran lake covers an area of 43.1 km2 of which 27.3 km2 belong to Macedonia and 15.8 km2 Greece. It is the smallest of the valley lakes in Macedonia, with a maximum depth of 10 meters. This is the warmest lake. Water temperatures are influenced by the proximity of the Aegean Sea. Dojran water temperature reaches up to 27 C, and there is transparency from 1 to 3.6 m. Water in the lake comes from underground springs and rivers: Golema River, Toplec etc.. The lake flows through the river Golaja, which is located on the Greek territory.

Blue-green algae are most prevalent with the phytoplankton in the lake. In August and September of their mass is so high that the entire surface of the lake is covered with water flower. Dojran abounds in fish and largest fresh water production in Europe. Fish fauna in Dojran is represented by 15 types, one of which is endemic.

Beside the western coast Dojran, there are two fishing settlements Old and New Dojran that today all spill over into an urban whole.

Legend of the existence of the lake says that the space where it is today, in ancient times, there was a well from which people from fill some water. After taking some water, they closed the well with nine locks. One day, most beautiful young girl from that region came for water, the girl named Dojrana. Near the well was the man she was in loved with. She filled water, but elated by caressing the boy forgot to close the ninth padlock. Water from the well began to flow through the whole valley. That is how the formation of the lake begins and got its name after girl Dojrana.

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10 Must See
Destinations
Discover, arrive and enjoy!

1. Paragliding – See Macedonia from the top

Macedonia is truly an amazing country for adventure sports. The mountaneous region in Skopje and Mavrovo, the beautiful view upon Ohrid Lake and the rocky region in Prilep will for sure take your breath away. Macedonia has several professional paragliding clubs where you can get full equipment and professional guides for this sport. Don’t miss the chance to fly over Macedonia, with or without experience, we can take you to your paragliding ride for ultimate enjoyment. Paragliding as a recreational and competitive adventure sport of flying paragliders is widespread all over the country. These regions have amazing landscapes that are certainly worth to be seen. No experience is necessary.

Easiest, fastest and safest experience.

paragliding

Tandem flights are the easiest, fastest and safest way to experience paragliding for the first time. If you can run 2-3 meters, you can fly with us! After a ten minute briefing our professional tandem pilot will take you into the air for a flight that lasts from 20 – 40 minutes depending on flying conditions.The passenger (you) and the flight instructor each have their own comfortable harness. You are then connected together and finally connected to the glider. Two minutes later, you’re airborne! Once in the air your flight instructor will explain to you what he is doing and how paragliders fly. If conditions permit, you may be offered hands on control of the glider.

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2. Horse Riding

In Macedonia it would not be extraordinarily to see horse being used as a mean of transportation, however, only in the mountainous villages. Besides that, mostly, the horses are being used as a tourist attraction. Horse riding offers benefits beyond simple enjoyment; physically, mentally and emotionally and in our country this will certainly be a very different way to experience the nature and the irreplaceable beauties that have disappeared under the conquest of “civilization” of our time. KK (Konjacki klub) / Horse club Bistra-Galicnik

KK Bistra dates back since May 2010. It is a previous reconstruction of KK Medenica which was also governing the district of Bistra Galicnik. With the new structure, ideas and members KK Bistra- Galicnik has really broad spectrum of goals and tasks. The main and most important goal is the development of one type of active tourism in the country of Macedonia. Because of that KK Bistra Galicnik has prepared competent tourist offer which is very interesting for the ones that have certain knowledge of this sport as well as for the beginners, or the ones that come across with this kind of sport for the first time in their lives. However, in this area of active tourism the purpose is having an experience which is actually impossible to feel unless we are not on horse back riding among beautiful nature.

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Holiday on a horseback offers a firsthand experience of the riches of Mavrovo National Park. This particular holiday is a great way to discover the beautiful countryside far from the clutter of the urban life. Join us and visit places with beautiful scenery, mighty mountains, crystal clear rivers and waterfalls, smooth and vast green highlands. Lodging in old villages, enjoy the taste of domestic food products offered in the local sheepfolds, sometimes by the fire or sometimes simply in the nature, sitting on a rock in the middle of a pasture taking pleasure in the splendors of life and nature.

3. Visit the city of Ohrid – The Pearl of the Balkan

Ohrid, an eternal town, a magical hill whose primordial pulsation links ancient and modern times forever because: Ohrid has been a living town for two thousand and four hundred years. It is the legitimate descendant of the shining Lychnidos, a town whose achievements were woven into the tapestry of a powerful ancient civilization; the town of Ohrid is indeed the cultural history of the Republic of Macedonia in miniature. The town of 365 churches, one for each day.

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St. Naum, St. Pantelejmon, St. Sofija and St. Kaneo must be part of your agenda, for your ultimate spiritual uplift.

The making of Ohrid pearl, filigree and paper will enrich you with new knowledge and interesting facts about one of the oldest artisans in the country. We will make sure you have no unanswered questions.

This spiritual tour can be followed by exquisite taste of the traditional Macedonian cuisine and wine. Thanks to an abundance of sunshine, Mediterranean and continental breezes and rich rocky soil, wine grapes thrive in Macedonia. You will be amazed by the food for stomach and soul, Macedonia can offer.

As The New York Times wrote, “Macedonia’s best face is outside its cities, where snowcapped mountains, picturesque lakes and villages hidden in steep valleys evoke a lost kingdom.”

4. A Day In Mavrovo
mavrovo

One of the most beautiful mountain valleys, Mavrovo, together with the lake and mountain Bistra, is placed in the western part of Macedonia, mysterious and romantic, sheltered by the high hills of mountain Korab, Mavrovo region was famous during centuries, by the hospitality of its well-known inns in the past, and by its ski center Zare Lazarevski today.

Visit the Monastery Sv. Jovan Bigorski (St. John Bigorski) – monastery is dedicated to Sv. Jovan Krstitel (Saint John the Baptist). It is located on the road between Gostivar and Debar, in the beautiful valley of the river Radika. The monastery complex is comprised of the monastery church, the ossuary located next to the church, the seymen defense tower, the monastery mansions complex, as well as the newly built guest mansion. Excellent spiritual refreshment.

5. Visit the islands of Prespa Lake

The biggest island in the Prespa Lake, on Macedonia’s side, is called Golem Grad (“Large Town”), and Snake Island (Zmiski Ostrov). The other island Mal Grad (Small Town, in Albania) is the site of a ruined 14th century monastery dedicated to St. Peter. Today, both islands are uninhabited.

prespa lake

Prespa lake, as part of Galicica National Park, and its rare plant and animal life that have been preserved through the centuries, are strictly protected. Boat trips may be taken around the island, and escorted land trips are available under the auspices of the park authorities. The white pelican, black raven, heron and gull all congregate near the lake so abundant with fish which include varieties such as trout, carp, red finned carp, chub, barbell, and others. The secluded nature reserve of Golem grad is an unpopulated island but still accessible to tourists. The island is characterized by its century-old juniper trees as well as by the abundance of endemic animal life. When the level of the water falls, old settlements from the 11th and 12th centuries become visible.

6. The Caves of Macedonia – Vrelo Cave

Macedonia is probably most well known outside the country for its speleological or caving. The karsts formations of so much of Macedonian’s ground structure make it ideal for caves. There are 346 registered caves in the country, although the total of actual caves is probably somewhere between 400 and 500. Only four are protected: Peshna, Ubavica, Mlechnik and Gorna Slatinska. This number does not, however, reflect the number of spectacular caves.

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Some of the caves have underwater rivers, lakes, multiple caverns and of course stalagmites and stalactites. Many are home to rare underground life forms as well as prehistoric fossils. Most caves have not been made tourist friendly yet and so most are really accessible only with the correct equipment, experience and preferably a guide. The only cave open to tourist is Vrelo at Lake Matka, which is Macedonia’s nomination for the New Seven Wonders of Nature. Vrelo Cave is located in the Canyon of Matka on the right bank of Treska River near the Macedonian capital of Skopje. Vrelo is a system of two caves, one above and one underneath the water, and a lake. Highlight of the top cave is a three meter high stalagmite, called the „Pine Cone”. The actual depth of the submerged cave has not yet been determined, it seems to lie well over 500 m, and therefore some consider Vrelo Cave to be Europe’s deepest underwater cave.

7. Mountain hiking

Republic of Macedonia is a predominantly mountainous country. Approximately 50% of the territory of Macedonia represents a typical mountainous area, which consist of hills and mountains. Mountains are divided into two basic groups: Shar Mountains mountain range that continues to West Vardar/Pelagonia mountain range (also known as Dinaric range) and Osogovo-Belasica mountain chain (also known as Rhodope range). Shar Mountains and West Vardar/Pelagonia mountain range is a continuation between the Dinaric Alps and Pindus mountain ranges, whereas Osogovo-Belasica mountain chain is a continuation of the Rila-Rhodopes mountain massif. By their shape, mountains in Republic of Macedonia are very different, ranging from mild round shape in the eastern part, to fully Alpine in the western. Such diversity offers great possibilities for developing sports as alpinism, sport climbing, speleological, cannoning, paragliding, skiing, ski-climbing etc.

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List of the most important Macedonian mountains: Mount Korab (2764 m), Shar Mountains (2747 m), Baba Mountain(2601 m), Jakupica (2540 m), Nidze (2521 m), Deshat (2373 m), Galichica (2288 m), Stogovo (2273 m), Jablanica (2257 m), Osogovo (2252 m), Kozuf (2166 m), Bistra (2163 m), Celoica (2062 m), Belasica (2029 m), Kozjak (1284 m) and many more.

Mountains are suitable for Mountain walking, climbing, Mountain biking, off roads etc.

8. Spend a summer at the beautiful beaches by the Ohrid Lake

Lake Ohrid, came into being four to ten million years ago, it is Europe’s oldest lake and is amongst the oldest in the world. Research on the living world of the Lake Ohrid has shown the existence of an exquisit flora and fauna, prolific in endemic, as well as relic fauna forms. Thus, the Lake is thought to be unique in Europe. Lake Ohrid spreads in the valley between Ohrid and Struga, in the border region between Macedonia and Albania and its altitude is 695 metres above sea level. It covers an area of 358.2 square kilometres. The shoreline is 87.5 kilometres long, the average depth is 164 metres and the maximum depth 289 metres. The Lake is sorrounded by mountain ranges of Mount Mokra (Mokra Planina – 1589 m.) and Jablanica (1945 m) on the Albanian side and by the limestone ridge of Mount Galicica (2255m) on the eastern side.

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Lake Ohrid is the seventh deepest lake in Europe.

Most of the Lake’s water bulk comes from numerous surface and underground springs. That is the reason certain researchers consider it unique in the world. Most of the surface springs lie along the southern shore, near the monastery of St. Naum on the Macedonian side, and near the villages of Tusemiste and Starovo. There are about 40 rivers and springs that flow into the Lake. During summer, most of them dry out, whereas the rivers Sateska, Koselska, and Corava are the only waters with sighificant waterflow that feed up the Lake.

9. Galichnik Wedding Festival – Travel through tradition

The Galichnik Wedding Festival is an annual festival held in the Macedonian village of Galičnik near the city of Debar in which a selected couple gets married in the traditional “Galichka” style wedding. Traditionally the wedding lasted for 5 days with the main activities on St. Peter’s Day (12 July) every year. It was the only period of the year when couples got married. Today it is part of the festival “Galichko Leto” (Galicnik Summer) and it is a two-day event held on the weekend nearest to 12 July and it serves as a cultural and tourist attraction. During the wedding, men dance the Teškoto, symbolizing the suffering of the Macedonian people through the centuries. Each year, couples from all over Macedonia enter a competition run by the organisers to be the couple that gets to have a “Galichka” style wedding. Every year, a new couple gets the opportunity.

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10. Be part of TAKSIRAT –the biggest winter music festival in South East Europe

Taksirat is an annual music festival in Macedonia with a 16 year tradition, dedicated to alternative rock, pop, electronic, and in particular, it has always strongly supported reggae and ska. This is not an everyday music event. On this event Skopje gets out of the grayness of everyday life, to stand on behalf of what makes people happy. The whole festival lasts for one week, usually from 27th of November – 5th of December and it is located on different cultural locations in Skopje, presenting the stars and the new talents from the world and local music scene. Through the years “Taksirat” grew up in a very successful event which was 4 years in a row nominated for best festival in different categories on “Europe Festival Awards” and “UK Festival Awards”. Also it is famous for its very cheap tickets in comparison with the importance of the event. Taksirat is the first and only festival from Macedonia which became a member of The European festival association – YOUROPE.

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about_partner

About Partner

Art and culture
association of TAKSIRAT

The existence and the core idea of the art and culture association of TAKSIRAT is strongly related with the emerging of the TAKSIRAT Festival. Taksirat started when a group of young enthusiasts disappointed from the current situation in the cultural life in Macedonia, in the 90’s, decided not to be passive and lethargic, and to do something about it. Carried by their enthusiasm and the DIY ideology, in 1998 they founded TAKSIRAT festival. Taksirat is an old Turkish word meaning destiny, usually bad luck, un-fortune… TAKSIRAT Festival supposed to express revolt because of the current bad conditions for music and culture in Macedonia – at that time the idea for the festival was born. It started as a smaller festival promoting only popular bands from the region. And today, it is a highly professional event that promotes world famous artists and gathers more than 15.000 people. We have learned that bad experiences (taksirat) have good side too – they make us think about what can be done to improve things and stimulate our creativity. They teach us and motivate us to fight and try to improve things, to learn, to work and to share, because only through growing and sharing (ideas, experiences, achievements and goods) life has a meaning and purpose.

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Main objective of the events organized by Taksirat is development of culture and art with contribution for popularization and promoting of culture and art. Taksirat festival is one of the oldest winter festivals in south east Europe and gathers 15.000 people of deferent parts of the region and different age. Beside the Taksirat Festival the association is well known for organizing many other international events and projects devoted to popularization and promoting of culture and art, protecting of environment, supporting for cultural heritage, peace building and development of cooperation between multi-ethnic communities, supporting the EU-integration process etc.

Established in 2011 and raised by the idea to have a unique open-air music event, which will offer an alternative for satisfying the need for a summer festival at the authentic and outstanding Dojran coast – “D FESTIVAL” has already confirmed and justified its initiative in a best way.

It is a young festival which is always held in a perfect atmosphere that constantly leads to euphoria and evening drive on positive energy, contributed by the thousands of fans and the finest artists of the local, regional and world music scene. D Festival continues as a tradition but with even greater expectations each year, certainly achieving the goal to become a symbol of an unforgettable concert experience and traditional destination for the fans of the authentic summer festival spirit.

Each year in July, D FESTIVAL is the party destination for more than 4.000 visitors who enjoy this festival with the remarkable concert performances of the music artists like Sonique, Djaikovski, Dubioza Kolektiv, Superhiks, S.A.R.S., Conquering Lion, Baildsa, Zijan, Antenna 5 DJ’S and more…

With this years program, the festival is aiming to have it’s biggest edition so far and promises to be one of the best music events in Macedonia in the summer of 2014.

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Facebook Page:

www.facebook.com/dfestival.dojran