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Macedonia Top destination for 2014

Top destinations for 2014 named by Lonely Planet

Back to the future, Balkan-style

Church on the shores of Lake Ohrid, Macedonia. Image by Keren Su / Photodisc / Getty Images.
The year 2014 marks the completion of the government’s love-it-or-hate-it makeover of the capital, Skopje. The Macedonian capital has at the same time quietly become more visitor-friendly, with a bevy of cool new hostels, upscale wine bars and bistros, and one of southeastern Europe’s best club scenes. Beyond work-in-progress Skopje and the more established tourist sites such as Lake Ohrid, Mavrovo ski area and ancient Stobi, new things are happening elsewhere. Quiet Berovo, on the border with Bulgaria, is an up-and-coming contender on the spa-hotel scene. Also in Macedonia’s idyllic eastern half, sturdy old Kratovo – with Ottoman-era stone bridges and cobblestone lanes – is revitalising previously derelict Turkish mansions, attesting the bygone wealth of this old mining town. And in the arid central vineyard region of Tikveš, new quality wineries are catering to thirsty visitors.

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