A Macedonian legacy of winemaking goes back to the 13th Century BC, and today the southeast European nation’s industry is witnessing a rebirth. While in the country’s capital, Skopje, we attended a wine tasting and lecture at a sleek club, along with Ivana, one of the country's foremost wine experts. We were introduced to Ivana by a small tourism company called Macedonia Experience that organizes active, cultural, foodie and wine tours throughout the country.
Our enjoyable evening consisted of wine lectures, sampling a flight of six wines, and lighthearted conversation with our hosts. The evening left us wanting to visit the Macedonian countryside and vineyards - something we'll do on our next trip there!
My post: http://triciaannemitchell.com/2013/06/17/macedonian-wine-tasting-macedonia-skopje-tours/
Our video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uZkjoE75XU
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Escape Skopje for a Matka Canyon Daytrip
During our Macedonian travels, I was eager to escape the nation's hectic capital city of Skopje to visit the serene Matka Canyon, which is 30 minutes’ away by car. To get there, we traversed a countryside composed of rolling verdant hills and dotted with cherry-red poppy flowers and the minarets of mosques.
Given our short time in Skopje, we wouldn’t be able to go on some of Macedonia Experience’s signature excursions – namely a 14-km. hiking trip from Skopje’s Millennium Cross to the Matka Canyon, a butterfly-spotting walk, their active tours, or their ethnological excursions to meet villagers. Nevertheless, we were eager to visit the Matka Canyon, a natural escape that’s so popular with Skopje residents, especially on weekends.
Swapping honking horns for a symphony of chirping birds, we arrived to our wooded retreat. We made a short stop into a tiny, centuries’ old Eastern Orthodox church. Then, hopping into a small boat near the church, we headed off to the Vrelo Cave, 3 km. away. On the way, we passed a canoeing couple, rugged rocks, and lush, spring foliage.
An underwater portion of the cave is attracting interest from scientists, some of whom think it’s the deepest in the world. So far, it only holds the title of being the deepest in the Balkans, and the second deepest in Europe.
My post: http://triciaannemitchell.com/2013/06/05/the-perfect-skopje-excursion-exploring-macedonias-matka-canyon/
Our video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKEgXb84H5U