Explore the national parks and Ottoman treasures of North Macedonia at your own pace on a 10-day fly drive starting in the historic capital. Drive through the Vardar River Canyon to the ancient city of Stobi, an archaeological site from the second century offering sweeping views of the central North Macedonian plain. Park up the hire car and enjoy an overnight stay at the Popova Kula Winery and perhaps try one of over twenty different varieties on offer. Drive to Ohrid and spend time exploring the lakeside churches before finishing the holiday in stunning Galicica National Park where mountain peaks frame picturesque rural villages.
Visit the Canyon Matka and the 14th century church of St Andrew near Skopje. Here, it is possible to take a boat ride through the canyon and visit Nad Vrelo Cave. Drive through the Canyon of the Vardar River and town of Veles to reach the ancient city of Stobi. This archaeological site offers sweeping views of the central North Macedonian plain and contains buildings such as the 2nd-century amphitheatre. Continue to Demir Kapija (110 kilometres) and check into the Popova Kula Winery for one night. (B)
Drive on to Prilep and enjoy a short walk through the bazaar before continuing to Bitola, North Macedonia's second largest town. Bitola is an extraordinary mixture of old and new and a meeting point of different cultures and civilisations. In the afternoon, visit the Roman ruins of Heraclea, famous for its mosaics, ancient theatre and Roman baths. Check in to the hotel in Bitola for an overnight stay. (B)
Drive to Ohrid (70 kilometres) via the village of Kurbinovo, where the 12th century church of St. George can be found. Whilst the church itself is a modest building, it is famed for its rare yet magnificent frescoes, painted in 1191. Or perhaps visit Pelister National Park – there are a couple of easy hikes from the Hotel Molika (there is a good information centre here) but of course one of the biggest draws here are the two mountain lakes - Big and Small one, also known as Pelister's Eyes. (B)
Drive back to Skopje (256 kilometres) with stops in Struga and the Mavrovo National Park. Struga is famous for its wall of water, where the Black Drim River flows out of Lake Ohrid on its way to the Adriatic. Continue to the canyon of the River Radika and visit the monastery of St John Bigorski. Drive through the Mavrovo National Park, where the highest peaks in North Macedonia can be found. Arrive Skopje and check in for one night. (B)
Return the car to the airport and fly back to the UK. (B)