Ohrid – Elshani – Ohrid28/04/2020
Skopje – Matka – Skopje29/04/2020
Day 1City tour Skopje (D)
Welcoming you in Skopje, and after the accommodation we start walking tour from the centuries old Kale – Skopje fortress. We will continue to the Old Turkish Bazaar, mingling with the locals, meeting different cultures and religions, old forgotten crafts, as well. After that we go to the Museum of Macedonian struggle, with possibilities to visit the Archaeological museum of Macedonia with one of the biggest ancient coins collection in the world exclusively from the Macedonian territory. We walk across the Stone Bridge, the land mark of the city, and stop in front of the biggest monument and fountain of Alexander the Great. The next stop will be the memorial house of Mother Teresa. She was born in Skopje in 1910. In the afternoon, just few kilometers away from the capital, we visit Kamnik Winery. The winery and its vineyards stretch out across 13 hectares of hills, and with excellent microclimatic conditions all year round. We will taste some wine varieties both local and international, like Golden Temjanika, Vranec, Pinot Noar, Pinot Grigio, or Rose wine, accompanied with delicious Macedonian national food. Overnight in Skopje.
Day 2Skopje – Kratovo – Kriva Palanka (160 km) (B, L, D)
This morning we are heading to the Valley of Stone Dolls first, an area consisting of over 120 naturally formed stone pillars, related to many legends of their creation. After we explore this natural phenomenon, we drive to Kratovo, a little medieval town founded in the middle of a once-volcano crater. Have a guided walking tour around the town, crossing many medieval bridges and towers. See a unique small museum with artifacts from 20th century B.C. until nowadays. Then have a chance to taste slowly-cooked food by the locals and taste the local homemade wine and rakija (Macedonian brandy). Today’s meal consist of round bread, baked in wood, typical of Kratovo region, hard-boiled eggs, sheep cheese, shopska salad (a classic Balkan dish with tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions, covered by a blanket of grated cheese), freshly fried peppers, and baked beans. But the host is mostly proud of unique so called homemade crushed salt made of salt, peppers, rosemary, basil, peppermint, wild mint, and thyme and you must taste it. At the end, the host will say goodbye to us with Macedonian coffee and wild fig jam. Our next stop is the city of Kriva Palanka where we will be accommodated and have a dinner in the monastery St. Joakim Osogovski. Excellent chance to see how people live in the rural areas, and to meet Macedonian Orthodox Church and some of the rituals.
Day 3Kriva Palanka – Demir Kapija (180 km) (B, D)
After breakfast, we drive and visit the next active Monastery of St. Gavril Lesnovski, with a chance to communicate with the monks in this monastery. Our road heads to the city of Shtip where we will have a small break. Our tour heads to the Archaeological Site of "Stobi" (known as antique and early Byzantine City) where we will have guided sightseeing of the biggest Archaeological site in Macedonia. Our next stop is the Popova Kula Winery where we have a tour around the winery with an explanation about the wine-producing process and the varieties of wine. Then, we have organized dinner that includes few varieties of its own wine, cheese and meat. You must taste Stanushina red and rose, an indigenous ancient Macedonian wine variety. The oldest archeological findings proving that people in this area have grown vineyards and have made wine date 13 century B.C. Overnight in the beautiful Popova Kula Winery.
Day 4 Demir Kapija – Strumica (95 km) (B, L, D)
After the breakfast in Popova Kula Winery, we continue to the city of Strumica where we will visit the nearby waterfalls of Smolare and Koleshino. On the way to the waterfalls, we stop at medieval monasteries of Vodocha and Veljusa. In the afternoon, we are in the village of Gabrovo, a traditional Macedonian village on the eastern part of the country. The host farmers will be waiting for us there, willing to take us around the Strumica plain, one of the most important plains in the country well-known of peppers production. We will pick up some fruits and vegetables from the fields and start cooking together with the hosts – fresh salads, fresh baked bread and meat, home-made wine and natural fruit juices will be on our menu for the home-hosted lunch. Free time to explore the area on own. Then we drive back to Strumica. Tonight we have dinner in one of Strumica’s national restaurants. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 5Strumica - Berovo (79 km) (B, L, D)
In the morning, we start driving further on to South-East Macedonia, to the town of Berovo. In this mountainous town, our hosts will be waiting for us in the place called Bachilo (sheepfold), and we have an option to walk to Bachilo about 800 m on a steep terrain or use a tractor from the main road to the sheephold. It is a private property in the middle of the mountain, where they grow their own fruits and vegetables around the hut and also have their own cattle. The host will take us around the property and serve us some of their home-made food specialties - spinach pie baked in traditional furnace, buttermilk, cottage cheese, other cheese types, juices from blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, black currant and many other forest fruits, mountain potato, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, cucumbers. This small mountainous town and its healthy environment are well known for bee farms and honey production, so next we taste some of it. After the lunch, we take a relaxing walk around Berovo Lake. Accommodation, dinner and overnight in a hotel in Berovo.
Day 6 Berovo - Vinica - Skopje (B, L) (155 km)
We leave Berovo and start driving back to the capital. Enjoying the scenery, on the way, we will be observing Kochani rice fields, the only place in the country where rice is being cultivated. The typical architecture of this area is something that will also remain in your memories. We make a stop in another small town, Vinica, to visit the Museum of Vinica where we can see terracotta icons made from IV till VII century, making them one of the oldest terracotta icons in the world. Driving on we reach the winery Chateau Sopot to taste wines from Povardarie region and to enjoy perfect cuisine in its restaurant. The hosts will give us explanation about different varieties of their wine. The winery Chateau Sopot is located in the surroundings of the Veles Lake, between the valleys and the fertile uplands of the wine region of Veles. The winery has its first harvest as early as the following year. It disposes of 100 hectares own wine plantation and the selection of sorts includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Chardonnay and Temjanika. In the afternoon we drive back to Skopje. Free evening and overnight
Day 7 Skopje (B)
Breakfast in the hotel and farewell.