Macedonia has a myriad of mountains, mosques and monasteries. This former Yugoslav Republic chose its current Hellenic moniker much to the dismay of its neighbor to the south, Greece, which felt the new republic was appropriating its culture. But the Greeks seem to have gotten over it, and many of them now journey north to visit Macedonia’s ancient sites and museums, which house antiquities associated with Philip II of Macedon, and his son, Alexander the Great. Pella, where both of those historical giants were born, has an archeological site and a museum displaying pebble mosaics from the 4th century BC.
In the shadow of Mount Olympus, the ancient city of Dion is rising from the earth as archeologists continue excavations. Picnic tables at the site entice visitors to linger and dine in the shade. In Skopje, Macedonia’s capital, one can visit the 15th Mustafa Pasha Mosque, or the Nerezi Monastery. The city of Ohrid draws visitors to its quaint cobblestone streets, beaches and impressive churches. Its Summer Festival hosts 6 weeks of theater and music, housed in an ancient fortress. Macedonia’s Lake Matka offers the opportunity to boat on calm water, or jolt one’s metabolism with a bout of rock climbing, caving or hiking.