Where is Macedonia located in Europe? Where is Macedonia located on the world? Where is Macedonia situated? Here is the answers and more…
Northern Macedonia, in long form the Republic of Northern Macedonia, is a Southern European country located on the Balkan Peninsula. Formerly known as “Republic of Macedonia” or “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” (or by the acronym FYROM), it is one of the successor states of Yugoslavia and declared its independence in 1991.
Without access to the sea, Northern Macedonia shares borders with Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Kosovo and Albania. The country, with two million inhabitants, occupies approximately the northern half of Macedonia, which also extends to Bulgaria and Greece. Its capital and largest city is Skopje, followed by Kumanovo, Bitola, Prilep and Tetovo. The country is mainly mountainous and has about fifty lakes.
By its position in Europe, the territory of the republic has experienced many occupations and migrations, the most prominent being the Byzantine age, the arrival of the Slavs in the sixth century, and an Ottoman domination of five centuries. These presences have shaped a culture rich in influences and a heterogeneous population, since in addition to citizens belonging to the Slavic Macedonian people, the country has large Albanian, Turkish and Roma minorities. North Macedonia has a majority of Slavic and Orthodox inhabitants, but also a strong Muslim community.
Northern Macedonia has a democratic and parliamentary political system. Isolated for a long time, it does not have an old industrial tradition and, after independence, it had a very difficult transition to the market economy. It ranks among the poorest European states, because of its geopolitical isolation, lack of external investment and the fragility of its economy. The country’s accession to the European Union has been defined as the main strategic priority by the Macedonian government.
Tourism in North Macedonia is still relatively confidential, although developing and contributing 1.8% of GDP in 2008. Between 1997 and 2008, the turnover of hotels and restaurants increased on average by 4.64% per year. The number of foreign visitors is also increasing constantly, for example by 14.6% in 2011. That year, the country welcomed almost 262 000 foreign tourists, especially from neighboring countries such as Greece, Serbia and Albania. but also countries in Western Europe and the United States. The number of foreign visitors in 2011, however, is very far from the averages of the 1980s, when the country was part of Yugoslavia. In fact, Macedonia hosted about 600,000 tourists a year, and reached 689,000 foreign visitors in 1987.
Northern Macedonia, although landlocked, has some tourism potential, thanks to its mountains and unspoiled nature, highlighted in the country’s three national parks. The tourist capital of the country is Ohrid, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is famous for its lake, bordered by several beaches, and for its many historical monuments. Skopje, the political and economic capital, lost most of its heritage in the 1963 earthquake, but still maintains an Ottoman district with hammams and mosques, as well as a fortress and museums of national stature. The city of Bitola is famous for its nineteenth-century architecture and numerous consulates, open when the city was Ottoman. Small towns such as Chtip, Veles, Kratovo or Krushvo are other small tourist attractions for their picturesque character, as are countless orthodox monasteries. Ecotourism is being developed in some villages, such as Galitchnik or Braytchino, as well as spa tourism, for example in Katlanovo, the main resort in the country. The few ski resorts are also experiencing some development, with attendance increasing by 35% between 2011 and 2012.