Macedonia is a country rich in natural and cultural attractions, but some of its most charming gems are hidden in its rural areas.
If you want to experience the authentic Macedonian lifestyle, taste the delicious local cuisine, and enjoy the stunning scenery of mountains and lakes, you should visit some of the villages that dot the country. Here are five beautiful villages in Macedonia that you must visit:
1. Trpejca – The Macedonian Saint-Tropez
Trpejca is a village at the foot of the Galičica Mountain and along the shore of the Lake Ohrid, the oldest and deepest lake in Europe.
Trpejca is more than ten centuries old and has a rich history and a fishing tradition.
What you can do in Trpejca
You can visit the Church of St. John the Baptist, built in the 19th century, and admire its frescoes and icons.
You can also enjoy the view of the lake from the amphitheater in the village square or take a boat ride to explore the nearby bays and caves.
Trpejca is also a great place to taste the local cuisine, especially the famous Ohrid trout, served as a specialty in several small restaurants along the lake. You can also try other dishes made with fresh fish, cheese, vegetables, and herbs from the region.
How to get to Trpejca from Ohrid
To get to Trpejca, you can take a bus or a taxi from Ohrid, which is about 20 km away.You can also rent a car or a bike and drive along the scenic road that follows the lake shore.
You can find accommodation in one of the many guesthouses or apartments that offer cozy rooms and balconies with lake views.
Read more more about: How to get to Ohrid from different places
2. Lazaropole – A Mountain Paradise
Lazaropole is a mountain village in the Mavrovo National Park, one of the two biggest and oldest Mijak villages in the region.
Lazaropole is situated at an altitude of 1,350 meters above sea level and has a breathtaking view of the Bistra Mountain and the Radika River valley.
Things to do in Lazaropole
Lazaropole is a village with a rich cultural heritage and a unique architecture. You can visit the Church of St. Gjorgji, built in 1838, and see its impressive wood-carved iconostasis and frescoes.
You can also explore the old stone houses with wooden balconies and roofs, some of which are turned into museums or ethnographic collections.
Lazaropole is also a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers. You can hike or bike on the numerous trails that lead to waterfalls, springs, caves, and peaks. You can also enjoy skiing, snowshoeing, or sledding in the winter months.
You can also try some of the local specialties, such as cheese pie, lamb stew, or honey cake, made with organic ingredients from the village farms.
How to get to Lazaropole
To get to Lazaropole, you can take a bus or a taxi from Debar or Gostivar, which are about 40 km away. You can also rent a car or a bike and drive on the winding road that crosses the national park.
You can find accommodation in one of the several hotels or guesthouses that offer comfortable rooms and traditional hospitality.
3. Papradishte – A Healing Oasis
Papradishte is a village in the Eastern region of Macedonia, near the town of Berovo. Papradishte is located on the slopes of Plačkovica Mountain and surrounded by pine forests and meadows.
What to do in Papradishte
Papradishte is a village with a long history and a strong spirit. You can visit the Monastery of St. Archangel Michael, built in 1870, and see its beautiful icons and paintings.
You can also see the old school building where Goce Delčev, one of the leaders of the Macedonian liberation movement, taught in 1896.
You can also admire the old stone bridge that spans the Bregalnica River.
Papradishte is also a place where you can relax and rejuvenate. You can drink the mineral water from the springs or the herbal tea from the local plants.
You can also enjoy the spa treatments and massages offered by the nearby hotel.
You can also taste the delicious food prepared with fresh ingredients from the village gardens and orchards, such as cheese, eggs, honey, and fruits.
How to get to Papradishte
To get to Papradishte, you can take a bus or a taxi from Berovo, which is about 10 km away. You can also rent a car or a bike and drive on the paved road that connects the village with the town.
You can find accommodation in the hotel that offers modern rooms and amenities, or in one of the guesthouses that offer rustic rooms and a homely atmosphere.
4. Galichnik – A Wedding Destination
Galichnik is a mountain village in the Polog region of Macedonia, and one of the two biggest and oldest Mijak villages in the region. Galichnik is situated at an elevation of 1,500 meters above sea level and has a stunning view of the Mavrovo Lake and the Korab Mountain.
What you can visit in Galichnik
Galichnik is a village with a well-preserved traditional architecture, culture, and art. You can visit the Church of St. Peter and Paul, built in 1924, and see its remarkable iconostasis and frescoes.
You can also explore the old stone houses with wooden beams and roofs, some of which are used as museums or galleries. You can also admire the amphitheater in the village square, where cultural events are held.
During the wedding, local men will dance the “Teškoto”, a dance that symbolizes the overcoming of difficulties in life.
The wedding attracts thousands of visitors who want to witness this unique celebration of love and tradition.
If you want to know more about this event, read: The Galicnik Wedding – A Celebration of Love and Tradition
You can also try some of the local specialties, such as cheese, kashkaval, lamb, and pie.
How to get to Galichnik
To get to Galichnik, you can take a bus or a taxi from Debar or Gostivar, which are about 50 km away. You can also rent a car or a bike and drive on the dirt road that leads to the village.
You can find accommodation in one of the hotels or guesthouses that offer cozy rooms and authentic cuisine.
5. Radozda – A Coastal Jewel
Radozda is a village on the western shore of Lake Ohrid, in the Struga municipality of Macedonia. Radozda is a place that leaves people breathless with its natural beauty and tranquility.
Radozda is also known for its hospitality and friendliness of its inhabitants.
What to visit and try in Radozda
Radozda is more than ten centuries old and has a rich spiritual life and history. You can visit the Church of St. Archangel Michael, built in the 13th century by the monks who lived in a natural cave and dedicated it to the patron of warriors, Archangel Michael.
- The church is famous for its fresco painting, which dates from different periods and reveals various artistic influences.
- The oldest layer of frescoes, mostly found on the south wall of the narthex, depicts the Miracle at Chonae, a scene from the legends of Archangel Michael’s feats.
- Other frescoes include saints, prophets, and scenes from the Great Feasts. The church also has a wooden iconostasis with icons from the 19th century
You can also see the remains of Via Egnatia, an ancient Roman road that passed through the village.
Radozda is also a place where you can enjoy the lake and its delicacies. You can swim, fish, or boat on the clear water of Lake Ohrid, or sunbathe on its sandy beaches.
You can also taste some of the local dishes made with fresh fish, cheese, salad, and gjomleze, a thin pastry baked on hot coals.
It is a thin pastry made of flour, water and salt, baked on hot coals in a special iron pan called a “sach” (сач). The pastry is layered with oil and cut into squares, forming a soft white pie with a crispy crust.
You can also try some of the local wine or rakija, a strong alcoholic drink made from grapes or plums.
How to get to Radozda
To get to Radozda, you can take a bus or a taxi from Struga, which is about 10 km away. You can also rent a car or a bike and drive along the lake shore road that offers scenic views of Ohrid and Galicica.
You can find accommodation in one of the many guesthouses, camping places or apartments that offer comfortable rooms and balconies with lake views.
Macedonia is a country that offers many attractions for travelers who want to discover its natural and cultural treasures. But some of its most charming places are hidden in its rural areas, where you can experience the authentic Macedonian lifestyle.
So, step off the beaten path, immerse yourself in the warm hospitality of the locals, and let these beautiful Macedonian villages weave their magic, leaving you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.