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    Day 1: SKOPJE

    Arrival at Skopje Airport. Meeting with our guide and continue to Skopje by bus. Check in the hotel. Skopje: Guided walking tour, visiting the old bazaar with fortress from 6thAD; Church of Sv. Spas with museum and several monuments from Ottoman period: like mosques, hammams, hans, caravan saray, stone bridge, etc… Dinner at an oriental inn. Overnight at the hotel in Skopje.


    Breakfast. Check out the hotel and depart towards Ohrid. Drive through the western part of Macedonia, Gorge Matka: On the way stop at Gorge Matka. Visit of the church of St. Andrea. Optional boat ride at lake Matka and visit of the Vrelo Cave. Continue to Tetovo and visit of the unique Painted Mosque. After a short drive through the National park Mavrovo and arrival at lake Mavrovo. Mavrovo: Coffee break at a restaurant overlooking the lake. Optional lunch with local specialties. Continue to Ohrid, driving 32 km through the longest auto-passable canyon in Europe, on the wild river Radika. And somewhere in the middle…a monastery. Visit of the Bigorski monastery, the oldest and most important one in Macedonia. St. Jovan Bigorski: Founded almost a millennium ago, the monastery keeps unique relics: The Miraculous Icon of St. John The Baptist, more than 12 centuries old, and the priceless iconostasis in wooden carving. We continue to Debar and around the lakes of Shpilje and Globochica. Through the canyon of the river Black Drim we will reach Ohrid valley. On the way we’ll learn about a natural phenomenon: The eel’s unique life journey from Ohrid Lake. Arrival at Ohrid in the late afternoon. Check in the hotel. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Ohrid.


    Breakfast. A day for history, culture and art in the city of UNESCO. Ohrid: Optional one-hour boat cruise with a panoramic view of the town. 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. Optional lunch: endemic wild Ohrid trout. 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. 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 tavern with home made food and live folk music. Overnight at the hotel in Ohrid.


    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. Drive around lake Prespa to the picturesque village of Brajcino. Brajcino: Sightseeing the village and the monastery of St. Petka. Chance to chat with the locals and learn about the rural life and tradition. Optional lunch at the village tavern with local home made meals. In the afternoon continue to Bitola. On the way visit of the private Folk dresses museum at Podmocani and the small church of St. George at Curbinovo, with very valuable Byzantine frescoes. Bitola: Check in the hotel. Evening walk down the main pedestrian street Sirok Sokak evoking romantic reflex ions of past times: the Consuls, the bohemians and serenades. Dinner at a typical restaurant with local specialties and traditional serving. Overnight at the hotel in Bitola.


    Breakfast. Bitola-the city of Consuls was in the past one of the major culture and political centers in the Balkans..Bitola: Guided city tour. 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 sightseeing of Bitola, the Museum, Sirok Sokak street with the most beautiful Neoclassical styled buildings, the church of St. Dimitri, the Clock tower, the Bezisten and the Old bazaar. Optional lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon visit of the National park Pelister and walk along the interpreted History trail from the 1st World War. Descending the mountain visit of the rural village of Dihovo. Dinner at a local family runned inn with locally grown vegetables and meat, home made rakija, wine and beer. Overnight at the hotel in Bitola.


    Breakfast. Check out of the hotel. Depart to Krushevo, picturesque mountain town nested high above Pelagonia valley. Krushevo: Built in traditional Balkan 18th-19th century style, it is also a significant monument of the Macedonian struggle for independence. Sightseeing: the Museum of History, Martinoski Gallery, church of St. Nikola and (optional), the memorial house of Toshe Proeski, one of the most popular pop singers in the Balkans. After descending to Pelagonia valley, continue to Prilep-center of tobacco and marble production. Prilep: Visit of the Tobacco museum. Possible coffee / lunch break at the central square and continue driving to Tikvesh, the largest wine region in Macedonia. Wine tour: In the heart of Macedonia… A visit to a local vinery, wine degustation, possibility to buy wine and rakija (local brandy) at gross prices. Optional light lunch: a selection of Macedonian cheese and ham, served during the tasting. We drive across the wine region and continue to Strumica, on the south-east end of Macedonia. Strumica: Check in the hotel. Time for individual activities, relaxation or an evening entertainment in the city center… Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Strumica.


    Breakfast. Check out of the hotel. A tour around one of the most important agricultural regions in Macedonia. Strumica: Visit of the monasteries of Vodoca and Veljusa, chance to learn more about the life at the nunnery. Continue through the fertile valley and visit of an orangery-farm for tomato and pepper production, the most common vegetables of the region. Learn the secret receipt to make Ajvar, the most popular Macedonian “multi-purpose” food. Continue driving to Dojran and arrival around noon. Dojran: Walk along the shore of lake Dojran, the smallest natural lake in Macedonia. Local fishermen will explain about the archaic fishing ways. Coffee break or optional lunch with local fish prepared the traditional way. In the afternoon continue towards Skopje with on the way stop at Stobi, once the most important Roman town in the wider region. Stobi: Guided walking tour at the archaeology site. Exploring the extensive excavations of Roman and early Christian town, theatre, cathedral church, elegant 4th-5th century houses paved with nice mosaics. Arrival at Skopje in the evening hours. Skopje: Check in the hotel. Dinner at traditional restaurant with life music entertainment. Overnight at the hotel in Skopje.

    Day 8: SKOPJE

    Skopje: Continue sightseeing, visiting the Memorial house of Mother Theresa and the monastery complex of St. Panteleimon at Nerezi. Transfer to the airport. Check in and farewell. End of the program.

    The tour includes:

    • Air-conditioned motor coach throughout
    • Accommodation in 3-star, 4* or 5* hotels with half board on tour
    • Entrance fees
    • Tour Escort