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Countries Information & Lifestyle
 Macedonia Macedonia

Country Information & Lifestyle

 Sacred mysteries & unique beauties

Sacred mysteries & unique beauties

Macedonia is a small, landlocked country in the southern part of the Balkan Peninsula in south-east Europe between Serbia, Kosovo, Albania, Greece and Bulgaria. Macedonia often feels like a forgotten place for centuries and has a little bit of everything. Between its ancient cities, Macedonia is graced with vineyards and farmland, not to mention large tracts of wilderness and mountains and remains one of Europe's last great undiscovered countries.

Macedonia is a country of sacred mysteries & unique beauties, wonderful picturesque lakes, untouched snow-capped mountains and villages hidden in steep valleys evoking a lost kingdom. Eastern Macedonia is a tobacco-growing region and produces first quality tobacco, well known all over the world.

Macedonia can have very hot summers when temperatures can reach 40 degrees Celsius. The winters are very cold with snow in the mountains and the temperature can drop to 30 below. The best time to enjoy Macedonia is between May and September.

Quite apart from Macedonia's spectacular peaks, lakes and rivers, it's the hospitality of the people of this most southern of Slavic nations that will make your visit truly memorable.

Come visit Macedonia - the undiscovered beauty of Europe.

The capital Skopje offers a great variety of things to see and do, constantly reminding the public of the city's storied past. Delicate minarets rise above the cobbled lanes of the Carsija(Turkish bazaar), Orthodox churches sitting alongside copper-domed bathhouses and historic Ottoman trading inns.

Here you can find sleek modern hotels above the cobble stoned Ottoman streets, outstanding neo classical homes right around the corner from grand old Yugoslav-era buildings, red-bricked Byzantine churches and rounded Turkish mosques, chic cafes, shopping malls and brightly-coloured new offices.

In the sloping narrow streets of Stara Charshija one feels the spirit of the old city with its small shops, mosques, the outdoor bazaar and hamam that exists from Turkish times. A short climb up to the Kale Fortress is well rewarded; from this hilltop where Skopje's masters ruled for centuries one enjoys a commanding view of the city and its surroundings.

Macedonia's second largest city Bitola is a grand old town that still bears the marks of its turn-of-the-century importance being a centre for diplomacy. Bitola is easily the most handsome and quite possibly the friendliest city in Macedonia and is just north of the Greek border.

The little town of Resen is located in the verdant southwest of Macedonia, equidistant between Bitola and Ohrid. A town noted for its moderate climate and clean air, Resen is located in the valley of Lake Prespa to the west and in the shadow of the Pelister Mountains to the south. The area is known for its delicious apples, honey and wild herbs

Ohrid is the highlight of any trip to Macedonia. A place of dramatic beauty, steeped in history and culture the town has cobbled lane ways peppered comes alive with visitors in the summer. Ohrid's major attractions are all located within a remarkably concentrated and eminently walk-able area, among and above the narrow streets of the Old Town lined with restaurants and cafes perfectly suited for relaxing in the cool summer evenings. Ohrid's many cafe bars and nightclubs also make for a vibrant nightlife.

The tectonic lake is one of the oldest in the world and is the deepest in the Balkans. The lake's mountainous fringes include the Galicica National Park, on the way to the marvellous monastery of Sveti Naum, 29km south towards the Albanian border.

The magnificent grounds of the Sveti Naum monastery are patrolled by peacocks and contain the source of Lake Ohrid's water. The beautiful 17th-century Church of Sveti Naum rises on a hill above the lake, surrounded by the buildings of the Hotel Sveti Naum, which has taken over the historic monastery complex.

The original church of the Holy Archangels was built in 900 by St Naum, and the saint himself is buried here. They say that you can still hear his heartbeat if you put your ear on his tomb inside the chapel. The monastery grounds also offer a view of the Albanian town of Pogradec across the lake. In the summer months you can take a half-hour boat trip from the monastery to the bubbling springs that feed Lake Ohrid.

Kumanovo is a modern city well equipped with sports grounds, theatres, restaurants and is especially famous throughout the country for its nightlife. Some 19th century stone houses remain and the centre of the town is filled with labyrinthine alleyways bringing little homes together. Kumanovo is located in the middle of a long valley 35 km northeast of Skopje and is well known for its unique blend of Serbian and Macedonian culture.

Sun-drenched Gevgelija, located only a few kilometres above the Greek border, offers a wide variety of outdoor activities, excellent cooking, cultural events, nightlife and more. Mountain Kozuf provides a natural and easily detectable boundary between the Mediterranean climate, marked by arid, rocky hills, and the Continental climate, marked by grassy fields and deciduous and pine forests.

Situated in western Macedonia near the Albanian border, the town of Debar was literally set on the map by Ptolemy in the middle of the 2nd century B.C. Surrounded by high mountains near the convergence of two rivers, presiding over the largest artificial lake in Macedonia, Debar is one of the most beautiful places in Macedonia and offers excellent opportunities for boating and fishing.

Located in the heart of Macedonia's wine paradise, the farming town of Kavadarci is famous for its high quality grapes producing excellent wines and brandy. Cultural monuments such as the 14th century Poloshki Monastery and the ruins of the medieval cities of Tikvesh and Devol are located near the town. Lake Tikvesh is one of the largest man made in Macedonia and in summer is one of the most favourable lakes for water sports.

The Kocani area is known especially for its rice paddies and thermal baths. The frogs that lurk in the rice fields are also considered a delicacy by Macedonian gourmets.

Located in the core of Macedonia, Veles is a predominantly industrial town where the production of porcelain, silk and lead flourishes. Veles old town with its steep and winding lanes flanked by traditional wooden houses is perfect for enjoyable afternoon outings. The city of Veles is surrounded by forested mountains to the west, ideal for hiking or camping.

The National Park of Mavrovo dominates Western Macedonia and offers the highest mountain peaks in Macedonia. Some of the best skiing in the Balkans is here and Lake Mavrovo just beneath the ski center makes the National Park popular weekend resort all year round. But the park has much more on offer, including fully working monasteries, wedding festivals in August, mountain villages and spectacular alpine vistas.

Along with the country's best skiing facilities, Mavrovo National Park offers waterfalls, alpine plain and Lake Mavrovo, the largest artificial lake in Macedonia. Due to its elevation this mountain lake sometimes freezes over in winter. Abundant with the famous trout, Lake Mavrovo also makes an excellent swimming and boating spot in the summer months. In the middle of the lake is a half-submerged church. Quite a few mountain villages including Galicnik with its famous July wedding festival.

Located in the Pelagonia Valley of South-Central Macedonia, Prilep has been inhabited since Neolithic times. In the later 14th century, Macedonia's most famous medieval king, Kral Marko, a legendary warrior who became an important figure in Macedonian epic poetry, resided here. His impregnable fortress still stands high above the town.

Another big major attraction of Prilep and its surrounding area is the cliff top monastery of St. Archangel Mihail. This and the monasteries of Treskavec and Zrze are situated in close proximity to the town. Today, Prilep is one of Macedonia'stobacco.

Situated in the southeastern part of Macedonia beneath the mountain Plackovica, Radovis enjoys a Mediterranean climate suitable for the cultivation of tomatoes, peppers and tobacco. The region is also known for its copper and iron mines.

Shtip in Eastern Macedonia has a well-developed textile and fashion industry and has many important testaments to offer regarding Macedonia's past. Numerous small shops and manufacturing centres add to the picturesque radiance of the town today, while the old fortress on the Isar Hill kept a watchful eye for any advancing enemies back in the days. Some of Shtip's churches date back to the 14th century, while the Ottoman past is captured in the Bezisten and Husa Medin-Pasha Mosques - all reminders of Macedonia's culturally diverse heritage.

The capital of the southeast is a remarkably fun place for one to be in. Strumica is quite renowned for its vibrant nightlife attracting visitors from the entire country who come to Strumica solely to party. A very eminent event is the Strumica Carnival which happens each year by the end of the winter. The Carnival has its International status of occurrence. So, if ever in Strumica do attend this happening.

Strumica is full of sights. If one feels like hiking then they should visit the nearby Mountain Belasica and the dazzling waterfalls of Smolare and Koleshino. Visitors shouldn't leave without experiencing the exquisite solitude of Vodocha and Veljusa, two nearby Byzantine monasteries where monks and nuns still live, and are quite known for their fresco paintings, mosaics and tranquillity in general.

Strumica is most famous for producing high quality vegetables including peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers, in addition to watermelons, cotton, sunflowers and other agricultural products. A leisure drive-through round the many villages in this area is sure to be rewarded by sights of farmers on horse-drawn carts and women hanging peppers and tobacco leaves left out to be dried on the sides of their traditional homes.

Just a few kilometres from the borderline of Bulgaria, in Eastern Macedonia, the spirited town of Delcevo is nestled. A modern town with vibrant downtown filled in the summer with carnival rides, cafes and music.

Kratovo lies between cleft hills in the crater of the dead volcano in the Osgovo Mountains. The town's six towers and its bridges are just some of the remaining historical cultural monuments, whilst its unique 19th century architecture adds up to the town's grand and magnificent beauty and wealth.

Krusevo is a living museum famous for its traditional architecture and cultural sites. Owing to its high elevation it is one of Macedonia's prime winter sports destinations. Yet this same quality also makes this pine-forested getaway a comfortable destination in summer when the air stays cooler and more pure than in the arid lowlands.

Macedonia has a long and praised tradition of culinary delights. Few countries as small as Macedonia can offer such diversity of products like citrus fruits, grapes and hazelnuts, tobacco, rice and mountain teas. Macedonian cuisine uses many spices but usually in very small quantity.

Traditional dishes include Tavche Gravche(beans in a skillet), Kacamak made of corn flour, potato and sometimes feta cheese, Burek is a type of pie made from layers of thick dough alternating with layers of other fillings and topped with a layer of dough. Fillings are stewed ground mine, white cheese, spinach and chicken. Sarma is minced meat, onions, various spices and herbs mixed together and then rolled into large plant leaves of grape or cabbage.

Ajvar (ayvar) is a relish made principally from red bell peppers, with eggplant, garlic and chilli pepper. It's traditionally homemade all over the country at the beginning of the fall. Food from the grill is very popular and with the many lakes producing freshwater fish, especially Lake Ohrid trout, you will find lots of various tasty local dishes.

Quite apart from Macedonia's spectacular peaks, lakes and rivers, it's the hospitality of the people of this most southern of Slavic nations that will make your visit truly memorable.

Purchasing a Property

Foreign nationals are not permitted to purchase land in Macedonia, but are permitted to freely purchase property (i.e. apartments and other property) subject to the reciprocity rule and the approval from the Macedonia Ministry of Justice.

The purchaser must first secure a non-encumbrance certificate for the property they wish to purchase from the Macedonia First Instance Court. The seller on his part should secure a copy of the Properties Title Deed, as well as the registration of real property from the Macedonia Department of Cadastre.

Macedonian law stipulates that a lawyer is the only person enabled to prepare the "contract of sale" which is signed by both parties, both parties agreeing on the terms and conditions.

The contract of sale is then presented to the public Revenue Authority for payment of the sales tax on the property in question.

When the required taxes have been paid, the sale agreement is verified by a Notary Public who in turn will notify the Department of Cadastre about the change of ownership.

Your Lawyer in Macedonia will then apply for registration into the Cadastral Office for the new title deed, this can take up to 60 days to achieve.

It will take an average of 12 weeks to complete the procedure of registering a property in a new name in Macedonia.

Fees & Taxes

The purchaser is responsible for the following costs
1 Agents Commission 2%
2 Notary Fee 1%
3 Non-encumbrance Certificate fee 0.3%
4 Registration fee 0.1%

The seller pays the Sales Tax 3%

Visas

To enter Macedonia, a passport must be valid for three months from date of entry to the country.

Visas are not required by nationals of the US, EU countries and UK for tourist and business stays of up to three months.
Citizens of Australia and Canada do require visas.

All other nationalities are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements for Macedonia.

For those who do require a visa for Macedonia, a single-entry visa fee is US$29, a double-entry visa fee is US$37, and a multiple-entry visa fee is US$50.

Application to: Nearest diplomatic or consular mission.
Working days: Usually one to three. The embassy in the UK can process within the same day.

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