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Macedonia travel guide

Off-the-beaten track Macedonia offers an enticing mix of lakes, mountains and monasteries


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1. Marvel at the huge but controversial new statues of Skopje.Were they worth the vast expense or could the money have been better spent? Every Macedonian will have a view.

2. Chill-out in lovely lakeside Ohrid, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Take a boat trip, bathe in the clear waters of the lake, before watching the sun go down as you dine on freshly-caught trout.

3. Hike or horse ride in magnificent Mavrovo National Park, home to bears, wolves and lynx. Visit a sheep farm to see traditional cheeses being made. If visiting in July, try to catch the famous Orthodox wedding ceremony in Galicnik

4. Make a pilgrimage to the mountaintop Treskavec Monastery. Former accountant turned monk Brother Kalist lives here alone, and makes a captivating host as he reveals the history of the site.

5. Get an insight into Macedonia's ever-improving wines at Popova Kula. This winery has saved and preserved some of Macedonia's traditional grapes, as well as producing some award-winning wines from more familiar grapes. As well as a restaurant, it has a very good hotel, so no need to drink and drive!

6.Explore the ruins of ancient Stobi, a Roman city that is only partly excavated. The ampitheatre, dating back to the 2nd century, has entrances where the gladiators would have entered, while the names of the 'season-ticket holders' are inscribed on the marble seats. Post holes on the podium are believed to be where a net barrier was placed to protect the crowd.

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