Macedonia

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Ohrid was briefly the capital of the Bulgarian Empire during the Middle Ages and boasted 365 churches and monasteries (one for each day of the year) earning it the nickname “Jerusalem of the east.”

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The majority of Ohrid’s churches were destroyed during the Ottoman period, though plenty of well-preserved examples of Byzantine ecclesiastic architecture remain to this day.

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Desginated a UNESCO World Heriage Site in 1979, Ohrid is Macedonia’s most charming and well-preserved city.

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Ohrid has a kale of its own. King Samuel’s Fortress was constructed in the 10th century by Tsar Samuel of Bulgaria to serve as the capital of the first Bulgarian Empire.

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Visit Macedonia

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Macedonia may be one of the least-visited countries of Europe but not for good reason. The country boasts all the history, culture, and nature people look for in a European holiday but for a small fraction of the price. Macedonia, in fact, ranks among the cheapest countries on earth.

Most nationalities can visit Macedonia visa-free for up to 90 days, though I’d recommend spending a solid 3 – 4 days there. You can easily reach Macedonia from Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, or any other Balkan state with a fairly short bus ride. You can also fly into Macedonia from major European hubs, such as London and Paris, for less than $20.

Sadly, the window of opportunity to visit Macedonia may be coming to a close; voters will decide in an upcoming referendum whether to resolve the ongoing conflict with Greece by changing the country’s name to “Northern Macedonia.” That doesn’t sound nearly as cool as Macedonia, does it? Visit Macedonia while its still Macedonia.

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