Discover Macedonia's centuries old monasteries and churches, evidence of our Christian identity and heritage tracing back to ancient times..

 

Overview

Macedonia is a biblical country. The first Christian in Europe was a Macedonian girl – Lydia, baptized by Apostle Paul. Today in Macedonia exist 992 churches and monasteries, 50 000 m2 fresco painting, 23 000 icons (4-th most valuable collection in the world), 240 iconostasis, baldachins and bishop’s thrones carved in stone of wood.

Great value has 20 iconostases in church items carved in wood. Ohrid is known as the “Macedonia Jerusalem”, 365 churches, one church for every day in the year and for this reason is protected by UNESCO. Today we will find monasteries from XI century which was really sanctuary with centuries for Macedonians and give them strength all this period. Parts of cross of Jesus are in the basis of three Macedonians monasteries. Macedonians are proud with their monasteries and churches. The tour we offer offers glimpse in the hidden world of this long kept secret - Macedonia's most important sanctuaries.

Itinerary

Tour itinerary

Day 1: Skopje

Arrival at the Skopje’s airport. Transfer to your hotel. Short introductory tour of the area around your hotel - getting useful hints from your tour guide. Dinner at a local restaurant with live acoustic music. Overnight in Skopje.

Day 2: Skopje - Old Bazaar

Morning sightseeing tour; A visit to the Church of Sveti Spas (Holy Salvation) built in the late 17th and early 18th centuries and famous for its iconastry dating from the early 19th century and also for housing the remains of the revolutionary Goce Delchev. The iconostasis was cut from walnut wood and created from 1819 to 1824 by three of the most famous wood carvers of the time. Afterwards what follows is a visit to the Cathedral of St Clement of Ohrid in the center of Skopje and then the Monastery of St Pantelejmon (in the village of Gorno Nerezi), which was built in the 12th century and represents an important monument from the Byzantine period. Lunch in the restaurant next to the church of St Pantelejmon. After lunch a visit to the Marko’s Monastery. Overnight in Skopje.

Day 3: Monasteries of Debar - Ohrid

After a relaxed breakfast – a drive west to Mavrovo (1 hr). A walking tour of Mavrovo, which represents one of the most attractive tourist centers in Macedonia. After that a visit to the Monasteries of St.George in Rajchica (est. 19th cent.) and St. John the Baptist Bigorski (est. 10th cent.). It is the most beautiful monastery in this region. Some free time for a snack - before leaving for Ohrid (1½ hrs). Dinner and overnight stay in Ohrid. 

Day 4: Ohrid - St.Naum monastery

Day spent in the area of St.Naum, with boat trip from Ohrid to St.Naum (one-way). Overnight in Ohrid.

Day 5: Ohrid - UNESCO protected old town

Morning sightseeing tour - The tour starts in front of the statue of Ss. Cyril and Methodius, and it continues to the Lower gate, the National Museum of Ohrid, the Church of St Sophia, the Roman amphitheater, the Upper gate, St Clement’s Church of the Holy Mother of God Most Glorious (Sveta Bogorodica Perivleptos), The Icon Gallery, Tsar Samoil’s fortress, Plaoshnik, and it ends in a walk through Ohrid’s marketplace. Free time for a walk or shopping in the Old Ohrid Bazaar. Overnight stay in Ohrid.

Day 6: Temples of Pelagonia - Bitola

Checkout after breakfast, followed by transfer to Bitola. Visit of the early christian basilica of Heraclea Lyncestis, followed by walking city tour in the center of Bitola (Shirok Sokak street) and the St. Demetrius church. Free afternoon. Dinner and overnight stay in Bitola.

Day 7: Temples of Pelagonia - Prilep

After breakfast – checkout and transfer to the Prilep area, with visits of the monasteries of Treskavec and Zrze in the area of Prilep, as well as the female monastery in the Varosh district. Afternoon transfer to the Tikvesh wine district for overnight at local winery. 

Day 8: Tikvesh – Strumica - Berovo

After a relaxed breakfast – a drive west to Berovo and a sightseeing tour of Strumica; A visit to the cultural and historic places of interest in the town of Strumica and its surroundings. A visit to the the monastery complex Vodocha which is located in the village of Vodocha. The legend about the etymology of the name of this place is linked to the day when in 1014 AD Tsar Samoil’s army was defeated by the army of the Byzantine Emperor Vasilij II and 15,000 Macedonian soldiers had their eyes gouged out afterwards. Because of this, the village got the name Vodocha (ochi = eyes). What follows next is a visit to the Monastery of the Holy Mother of God – Eleusa which is a convent now and is situated in the next village of Veljusa. The monastery church is significant because of its architectural layout, the 11th century frescoes, the preserved fragments of the mosaic floor, and the authentic marble iconostasis. After that, a drive to Berovo. Dinner and overnight stay in Berovo. 

Day 9: Berovo – Probishtip - Kriva Palanka - Skopje

In the morning – a drive to Probishtip and a visit to the Lesnovo Monastery - St Gavril Lesnovski; The Monastery is dedicated to the holy hermit Gavril of Lesnovo. The present day church was erected in 1340/41 by the feudal lord Tyrant Oliver. Most of the fresco painting was done by several artists in 1346-1347 and in 1349. After that a drive to Kriva Palanka, lunch at a local restaurant in Ginovci. After lunch a visit to the Monastery of St Joakim Osogovski in Kriva Palanka founded by Joakim the monk, a disciple of Ivan Rilski who lived in the 11th-12th century. The present-day monastery complex consists of two monastery churches, the older one dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Sveta Bogorodica), and the new church of the mid-19th century is dedicated to St Joakim Osogovski himself. After that, a drive to Skopje. Dinner and overnight stay in Skopje.

Day 10: Skopje

After breakfast, an all-day tour of Matka (the Canyon Matka covers an area of around 5.000 ha and is located 15 km south-west of Skopje) and a visit to the Monastery Church of St. Andreja. Andreja, the younger son of King Volkashin, erected the monastery in 1388/89, with later additions in the 16th century. The fresco paintings are the work of the well-known painter Metropolitan Jovan and the Monk Gregory. From the rich iconographic program, with its voluminous figures, the most distinct are the portrayals of the Holy Warrios and the scenes from Christ’s Passion. Lunch in the restaurant at Matka. After lunch, a drive to your hotel in Skopje. Free afternoon. Dinner at a local restaurant. 

Day 11: Skopje

Checkout after breakfast. Transfer to the airport.

Gallery

What's Included

Included:

- Transportation

- Accommodation in hotels (hotel category and meals can be chosen in accordance with Your request)

- Tour guide (English or other major European languages) 

- Taxes

Not included:

- Transfers to Macedonia

- Single room supplement

- Optional excursions and visits

- Insurance

Dates & Prices

Scheduled dates:

* This is non scheduled tour with flexible dates. 

Number of Participants:

2 - 50

Tour grade:

//

Prices: 

Confidential prices for TOs available upon request. Price depends on the number of participants.

Additional information: 

- Season: Year round