North Macedonia

North Macedonia — located in the heart of Southeastern Europe’s Balkan Peninsula and tucked between Greece, Albania, Serbia, and Bulgaria — is a melting pot of rich cultures, heritage, dramatic nature, and a legacy complex enough to be a part of civilization’s origin story. The entire region is a rare, fragile confluence of traditions, architecture, and natural wonder.

From north to south, North Macedonia is waiting to be discovered by worthy travelers. Its capital, Skopje, with a population of around half a million, is a combination of ancient history and cutting-edge modernity. Lake Ohrid and the town that shares its name, the country’s postcard symbols in the far south, are listed as a UNESCO site for both natural and cultural significance. The country’s multiple ranges, dominated by the country’s iconic Šar Mountains, are riddled with giant peaks and hidden, yet welcoming, villages.

But, as any Macedonian will tell you, you haven’t really been here until you’ve enjoyed the country’s cuisine, which is a blend of Turkish, Mediterranean, and Balkan themes. After you’ve enjoyed your meal, and while you’re thinking about all the places you still have to go here, sit back and enjoy a sip of the national drink, rakija, preferably in the company of your new, charming, and welcoming Macedonian friends.