(Picture from St. John’s Church in Kaneo, Macedonia)

Last summer, I met a mother & her daughter coming home after a summer spent in Skopje, Macedonia visiting relatives. They were tan, told stories of hiking mountains, and eating amazing food so, of course, ever since then I have wanted to go. So this week’s Destination is for them!

Skopje, Macedonia…

Learn: Skopje, Macedonia is a small, landlocked country in Eastern Europe, wedged between Serbia, Albania, Bulgaria, and Greece. (A perfect trip is basically just laid out for you here…). It is a very mountainous country, broken up by deep basins & lakes. A manifestation of Islamic & Christian culture and settlements dating back to some of the earliest human civilizations, Macedonia is a vibrant, eclectic, and beautiful place to visit. And hey, Americans don’t need a visa!

Fun Fact: Okay, not so fun fact, but on July 26, 1963, a massive earthquake shook Skopje and 75% of the city’s buildings immediately vanished. With a major rebuilding canceled, Skopje is still under reconstruction, but is more alive than ever.

Activities: Take a boat trip on one of the country’s major lakes; hike Matka Canyon; visit the lake town of Ohrid in the Southwest; explore orthodox churches, mosques, and ottoman relics; share a delicious meal with locals (Middle Eastern & Mediterranean influence – what could be better?); and try the local brandy, Rakija.