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Prespa (North Macedonia)

Prespa (Macedonian: Преспа) is a region surrounding the Great Prespa Lake and Small Prespa Lake. This international region is shared by Albania, Greece, and North Macedonia, which contains a majority of the Great Prespa Lake. North Macedonia's share of the region is completely within Resen Municipality, bound by Galičica National Park to the west, Pelister National Park to the east, the borders with Albania and Greece to the south, and northern parts of Resen Municipality to the north.

12km

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Elšani

Elšani is a beautiful village located on Lake Ohrid. It is located 10 km south of Ohrid and inside of Galičica National Park.

22km

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Pustec

contains Albania's share of Lake Prespa, which forms Prespa National Park. This is also an area of much history, evidenced by the multiple cave churches found near its villages as well as on the island of Maligrad.

23km

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Ohrid

city in North Macedonia

23km

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Galičica National Park

national park in Macedonia

26km

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Pelister National Park

separates Bitola from Prespa. It covers the Baba Mountain area and features two glacial lakes known as "Mountain Eyes" that feed multiple rivers.

26km

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Kruševo

town in North Macedonia

33km

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Bitola

city in North Macedonia

34km

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Pogradec

Pogradec is a town in the east of Albania on the shores of Lake Ohrid.

43km

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Korca

Korçë (Korça) is the principal city in the district of Korçë in Southeastern Albania.

48km

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Korçë

(Korça) — Located in southeast Albania, several miles from the Greek border, this city is full of life during the summer when you can find couples and families strolling through the city's main park, Parku Rinia. You can hike to the top of the beautiful mountain Moravia and view the city and its surrounding landscape. Don't miss the Korça Brewery (famous throughout Albania) which sponsors a week long Beer Festival every August!

48km

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Vevčani

village in North Macedonia

48km

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Prilep

city in North Macedonia

63km

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Mavrovo National Park

national park in North Macedonia

64km

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Brod

village in Kosovo

82km

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Skopje

capital city of North Macedonia

89km

4221.4333

Veles

city in North Macedonia

99km

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Prizren

City in Kosovo

99km

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Elbasan

A large, poor, intriguing industrial city that is full of life. The market is fascinating, and the breakfast "Bugace" legendary. The Via Ignatia, an old Roman road to Istanbul, runs through the city.

103km

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Ferizaj

City in Kosovo

107km

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Berat

Thought to be one of the oldest towns in Albania, it is a new member of the UNESCO world heritage list. Berat has long been known as the "city of 1001 windows" because of its unique Ottoman/Albanian architecture. It has a well preserved castle with residents still living inside its protective walls.

122km

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Northeastern Albania

Northeastern Albania is a region of Albania.

123km

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Gjilani

City in Kosovo

124km

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Gjakova

city in Kosovo

125km

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Gračanica (Kosovo)

town in Kosovo

126km

42.621.2

Gjirokastër

another UNESCO city, located in the south is known for its unique Ottoman period architecture. There is a large castle on the hill in the middle of the city which served as a jail for many generations. A Military Museum and Art Gallery are now located inside. Gjirokastër is also the birthplace of former communist Leader, Enver Hoxha, as well as Albania's most internationally famous author, Ismail Kadare, their homes now serve as museums.

129km

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Pristina

capital of Kosovo

131km

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Tirana

(Tiranë) — the capital. Trees and mountains surround the city. Mt. Dajt is a popular tourist site for a great view of the city.

133km

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Meteora

Greek Orthodox monasteries

135km

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Kruje

(Krujë) — ancient city of the national hero Skanderbeg. It consists of beautiful mountains; Skanderbeg's castle is now a museum. Kruje also contains an old style bazaar with shops selling traditional goods amid cobblestone streets. Kruje is known for it's carpet craftworks.

139km

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Mitrovica

city in Kosovo

149km

42.88320.867

Peja

City in Kosovo

152km

42.66720.3

Kratovo

town in North Macedonia

153km

42.0666666722.18333333
Sights

Church of St. George, Kurbinovo

The Church of St. George is a 12th-century Macedonian Orthodox monastery located 2 km away from the village of Kurbinovo in North Macedonia. Excavations have shown that the building has once belonged to a settlement, which was abandoned at the end of the 18th century for the present-day village of Kurbinovo. According to the research made on the church's frescoes, it is supposed that the church was built in the year 1191 by the Byzantines. The church is a "monument of culture" in the Republic of Macedonia and protected by law. It is also a part of the Prespa - Pelagonia diocese of the Macedonian Orthodox Church - Ohrid Archbishopric.

10km

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Lake Prespa

16km

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Ishak Çelebi Mosque

Located just west of the bezisten, Ishak Çelebi Mosque was built in 1508, commissioned by local judge Isak Çelebi Ibni Asa. With its 50 m (164 ft) minaret, it is prominent in the city skyline. It is also Bitola's largest mosque.

22km

41.00105521.200005

Church of St. Sophia, Ohrid

Dating to the 9th century, St Sofia is a cathedral church of the Ohrid Archbishopric. The present church was built during the period from 1035 to 1056. The front façade with the towers and the open galleries was built in 1317 under Archbishop Gregory. The side porch was added when the church was turned into a mosque by the Turks. The interior contains a significant collection of preserved 11th century frescoes. The main altar has scenes from the Old Testament and an emotional procession of angels bowing to the Virgin Mary. The side altars have frescoes of the 40 martyrs and portraits of Patriarchs from Constantinople, Jerusalem and Antioch, archbishops from Ohrid and Roman Popes. The small square in front of it was the main forum in ancient times and is still used for various cultural performances today.

24km

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Ancient Theatre of Ohrid

This is the only Hellenistic theatre remaining in North Macedonia, with the three others being from Roman times. Built in 200 BC, it was discovered by accident in the 1980s. It originally had an upper portion but only the lower portion is preserved. Today, it once again functions as a theatre, frequently used during Ohrid's Summer Festival. The theatre has a great open view of Lake Ohrid.

24km

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Church of Saints Clement and Panteleimon

Situated on the wider archaeological site of Plaošnik, the site has been an important religious center since early Christian times, if not before. It is the site of the first university in Europe, opened in the 10th century and is the place where the Cyrillic alphabet was created. The church you see is largely a reconstruction of the church St Clement built when he came here and opened the university. The original portions are the church are easily distinguished from the reconstructed portions. Inside, some original tunnels are visible via plexi-glass. When St Clement established the church, just the small round chapel that today serves as the altar existed. Because of the large influx of worshipers that followed him, he enlarged the church by building the central part of the church and turning the existing church into an altar chapel. He dedicated the church to St Pantaleon (also spelled Panteleimon), the protector of health. The closed porch and the bell tower were added later in the 13th century. Before St. Clement died, he dug his own grave inside the church. During early Ottoman rule, the Turks tore the church down after a rebellion. It still attracted a large number of worshipers and pilgrims, so they built a mosque above it which stands only in ruins today.

24km

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Church of St. John at Kaneo

This 14th century church is best known for its scenic location, standing on a cliff above Lake Ohrid, likely making it the most photographed of the town's churches. Notable about its architecture is the Armenian influence with the zig-zag line of the roof of the dome. There are only few original frescoes left inside the small church. A popular beach is situated just below the church.

24km

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Lake Ohrid

lake

32km

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Monastery of Saint Naum

One of the most beautiful monasteries in Macedonia and an important pilgrimage place, this monastery is a must-see when visiting Ohrid. Most visitors make this a half-day or full-day trip. With a breathtaking setting on a plateau over Ohrid Lake and Galičica mountain towering from behind, it was founded in the 905 by St. Naum, but most of the present-day church was built in the 16th century. Of the original church, just the side chapel with the grave of St. Naum still stands. In the side chamber, visitors typically get down on their knees and try to listen for the heartbeat of St. Naum on his resting place. The frescoes were painted in 1806 (the side chapel frescoes depict the life and miracles of St. Naum); in the first chamber of the church look for the fresco of Sts. Cyril and Methodius and their students including St. Clement and St. Naum. The icon screen was made in 1711 and it is the oldest completely preserved wooden high icon screen in the country. Around the monastery grounds look for the peacocks, including rare albino ones. Parts of the dormitories of the monastery have been turned into a guest lodging. Near the monastery is a chapel dedicated to St Petka with holy water and beside it are the springs of the Black Drim River. Next to the monastery, the river enters the lake. On both sides of the monastery there are pleasant sandy beaches, packed in summertime. At the entrance from the parking lot to the sprawling monastery grounds is a promenade with souvenir shops and restaurants.

33km

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Ilinden (memorial)

monument complex in Kruševo, Macedonia, dedicated to Ilinden–Preobrazhenie Uprising

35km

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Clock Tower (Bitola)

The clock tower is the pride of the people of Bitola and a main symbol of the city. It was built in 1664 but got its present appearance in the 19th century. Standing 33 m (108 ft) tall, it is south of the Dragor River, between the old bazaar and Magnolia Square, on Širok Sokak. The square tower is capped with a small dome, on which a cross stands.

36km

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Kičevo

city in North Macedonia

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New Mosque, Bitola

Located in the centre of Bitola and one of the city skyline's most prominent features, the Yeni Mosque was built in 1558. It has a square base with a dome-capped roof and one minaret. "Yeni" in Turkish means "New", suggesting that the mosque was built atop an older mosque or church. Today, the mosque is used as an exhibition space.

36km

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Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Bitola

This Catholic church is the co-cathedral of the Diocese of Skopje. It was established in the 19th century but the current church was built in 1909 in the neo-Gothic style. It stands in one of the more historic sections of the pedestrian street Širok Sokak.

36km

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Gazi Hajdar Kadi Mosque

This mosque was built in the 1560s, designed by noted Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan. After falling into disrepair years ago, it was renovated with the help of the Turkish government in 2016. Due to the decrease in size of the old bazaar, it is now at the northern edge of the district. It has a single dome with three additional domes above the portico. It also has a single minaret. Following restoration, the mosque is once again an active religious building and is now fully illuminated at night.

36km

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Bitola Zoo

Opened in 1950, Bitola is home to North Macedonia's second zoo. It houses about 200 animals from about 40 species. Efforts have been made to bring the facilities up to European standards. Covering 2 hectares (5 acres), it is a relatively small zoo.

37km

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Heraclea Lyncestis

archaeological site in Macedonia, ancient city

37km

41.0108333321.3425

Struga

city in North Macedonia

37km

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Zrze Monastery

This monastery, dedicated to the Holy Transfiguration, is 34 km (20.5 mi) northwest of Prilep on the mountainside of Dautica. There are two main churches in the complex. The older one was built in the middle of the 14th century and the one beside it was built in the 17th century. Excellent frescoes are painted on the main façade of the church under the charming porch. The monastery stands on a plateau with a breathtaking view over the Pelagonia plain and the surrounding mountains. The monks are very friendly and might prepare tea and coffee for you. They will also tell you the history of the monastery and show you around. Look for the water spring behind the monastery for a tasty sip of natural water. The monastery is open to everyone only for day visits.

51km

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Mavrovo Lake

Until 1947, this was the site of the Mavrovo Basin through which the Mavrovo River flowed. The river was dammed and then it became the artificial lake it is today, a major attraction of the national park. It has excellent swimming, boating, and fishing in the summer months and freezes over in winter. An additional point of interest is the half-submerged church in the lake. Multiple villages sit at the lake's shore, including Leunovo, Mavrovi Anovi, Mavrovo, and Nikiforovo.

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Galičnik

On the slopes Mount Bistra, noted for its historic architecture, rich culture, and interesting landscape, is Galičnik. A bustling town of sheepherders as recently as a century ago, the village is now virtually deserted, its population having fled for work opportunities abroad decades ago. Notable Macedonians such as Gjorgji Pulevski, one of the first authors to argue the existence of a Macedonian ethnicity, and Aleksandar Sarievski, a singer-songwriter who wrote countless songs that are now treasured by Macedonians, were born in this village. The families originating from here, however, generally maintain their ancestral households and return frequently, mostly in summer. It is during July when the Galičnik Wedding occurs (described in "Do"). The village has more buildings under protection than any other in the country. Its main church, dedicated to Sts Peter and Paul, was built in 1931, but it also has two older but smaller churches.

58km

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Gostivar

city in North Macedonia

60km

41.820.91666667

Markovi Kuli

Truly a Macedonian gem. While the towers themselves are quite interesting, it's the location and rock formations that make this hike well worth it. The trail begins above a residential area, at the "Stone Elephant" rock formation. The trail then steadily gets steeper and steeper. There is not a single tree to be found on the entire hike; bring water and avoid hiking during peak summer heat. With the lack of trees, it is easy to stay on the trail and not get lost. Enjoy the vistas from the trail that only get better as you climb further. The remains that can be seen are from the 10th to the 14th centuries, built under King Marko who was the last ruler in the region prior to Ottoman takeover. They exist at varying heights on the hill and are in varying conditions. Upon exploring the area, you'll likely find that you are alone in your exploration - no staff, no signs, no rules. Just yourself wandering ruins used to defend a medieval kingdom. This is a rare situation and may not always be the case, so be sure to visit Prilep soon. The fortress can also be reached by a more scenic but rough path from Varoš Monastery. You have the option of continuing on the original dirt road (before the fork) for another 5km/3.2miles towards Treskavec Monastery.

62km

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Saint Jovan Bigorski Monastery

The most important cultural attraction of Mavrovo and one of the most important spiritual places for the Macedonians, St Jovan Bigorski Monastery was established in 1020. It was destroyed following Ottoman takeover and rebuilt beginning in 1743. Situated on a mountainside near the road connecting Debar and Gostivar, the monastery is noted for its wood-carved iconostasis, done by Petre Filipov-Garkata from 1829 to 1835, as well as its icon collection which contains icons dating from the 11th century. In addition to the main church dedicated to St John the Baptist, the monastery contains many other structures in its perched location. Visitors are required to dress modestly; skirts and shawls are provided for women at the entrance, as well as loose pants for men.

62km

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Mound of the Unbeaten

A World War II memorial built in 1961 to honor the Prilep area's fallen in the Struggle for the Liberation of Macedonia. It consists of memorial urns made of marble, almost resembling life-sized chess pieces. The site also contains a crypt housing the remains of 462 soldiers whose names are inscribed on the marble slabs. It is part of the larger Park of the Revolution which features busts of prominent local heroes. The site is in area of greenery with scenic views of the surrounding mountains. A memorial service occurs here every 11th of October.

63km

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Debar

city in North Macedonia

64km

41.5166666720.53333333

Treskavec Monastery

Built in the 12th century and set atop an outcropping of rock on Zlato Mountain, this monastery dedicated to the Holy Mother of God is renowned as a place with an incredibly beautiful Macedonian sunset. Prior to the construction of a paved road in the 2010s, Treskavec was known for being largely inaccessible but nonetheless still being home to one monk. A fire in 2013 did a lot of damage to the monastery grounds, destroying almost everything but the church. The surviving frescoes inside are from different periods in the 14th, 15th, 16th and 19th century. It is no longer possible to spend the night here as the monks' and visitors' quarters were destroyed in the fire. If you hike in summer start early, if you want to take the hike in winter, early spring or late fall, ask around to make sure the path is passable. The position of the monastery offers views below of Prilep and above of the higher distant surrounding mountains.

64km

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Tetovo

city in North Macedonia

75km

4220.96666667

Korab Falls

The highest waterfall in the Balkans is located on the upper course of the Dlaboka River. Its water flow is greatest in springtime when snow is melting. There are paths to reach the falls from the three nearest villages, however they aren't well-marked and involve challenges such as crossing the river on unsecured crossings. The exact height of the falls isn't agreed upon, with high estimates at 138 m (453 ft) and low estimates at 100 m (328 ft).

77km

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Korab (mountain)

78km

41.7911111120.54777778

Korab

mountain range

78km

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Kavadarci

town in North Macedonia

113km

41.4333333322

Stobi

archaeological site in Macedonia, ancient town of Paeonia

113km

41.5516666721.975

Cocev Kamen

Cocev Kamen is within Kratovo Municipality but, because of some mountains, is a shorter drive from Kumanovo than from Kratovo. The hilltop cave site of volcanic origin may have been inhabited as early as Paleolithic times. Some of the walls are painted, similar to such caves found in Bulgaria and Italy. It may have also been used as an astronomical observatory. It is on Macedonia's tentative World Heritage Sites list.

136km

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Kuklica

village in Macedonia

142km

42.1166666722.03333333

Stone town of Kuklica

This natural wonder, consisting of 15 larger (10 m / 32 ft tall) and 120 smaller stone pillars, was probably created by erosion and other climate influence. However, the legend connected to this phenomenon says that the figures are in fact wedding guests who were turned into rocks.

143km

42.1244444422.05027778

we will see

Resen

North Macedonia
Resen is a city in southwestern North Macedonia. It has just under 9,000 residents within city limits and is the seat of Resen Municipality which includes the town as well as 43 surrounding villages with a total population of nearly 17,000. It sits north of the Great Prespa Lake, roughly equidistant between Ohrid to the west and Bitola to the east.

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