Macedonia, or the Republic of Macedonia, is a young European country with a rich history. It is located on the Balkan Peninsula, north of Greece. Macedonia is a landlocked country and has no access to the sea, but there are some impressive lakes to dive in.
Divers come here for Lake Ohrid. This is one of the oldest and deepest lakes in Europe, sometimes called the freshwater sea. Its average depth is 155 meters, with a maximum depth of 288 meters. The lake emerged 5 million years ago as a result of a tectonic fall. Now, it is a place where divers can find thrilling adventures. For instance, explore an early human settlement at the bottom of the lake. Or meet around two hundred unique fish species, including Ohrid trouts and eels. The city of Ohrid and the lake are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Macedonia's main attractions are natural and artificial lakes. They are known for fresh waters and excellent underwater visibility, with lake Ohrid being the main diving site. It's famous for to its legendary underwater settlement, where many everyday items were found. Mavrovo Lake, with its submerged church and dam with the country's deepest place, is of equally great interest. The lake is part of Mavrovo National Park.
The most popular dive shops of Macedonia, such as Amfora and Akvatek, are located in the city of Ohrid. They offer equipment rental and organise diving to interesting sites.
The spring in Macedonia is warm. The air warms up to +13-22 ˚С and reaches +25 ˚С in May. Sometimes it storms with thunderbolts. The water temperature in lakes fluctuates between +8 and +15 ˚С.
Rains become less frequent in summer, and air temperature reaches +27-31 ˚С. The water temperature climbs up to +24-26 ˚С. August is the calmest month.
September in Macedonia is windless, just like the summer. The air temperature is around +23-25 ˚С. It goes down to +11-12 ˚С in November. The water temperature in lakes falls to +10 ˚С from +20 ˚С.
First frosts come in December. The air warms up to just +4 ° C in January and up to +6 ° C in February. The water temperature in the lakes is +3-4 °C.
One of the most popular dive sites of Macedonia is Bay of Bones, which has become an excellent place for archaeology diving. Remnants of an ancient settlement were found here underwater. And Plocha Michov Grad attracts divers with ongoing underwater excavations.
Even though Macedonia is the second most impoverished European country, the healthcare level here is rather high. Local hospitals offer a wide range of services, and you won't have any problems calling an ambulance. Visitors to the country don't need any particular vaccination, but it is recommended to obtain travel insurance. The situation with safety is questionable. Tourists are advised to avoid the northwestern part of the country but are rather safe in other areas. Crimes are rare here. The police patrols the streets.
Macedonian cuisine is a mix of gastronomic traditions of neighbouring countries. National dishes are simple, hearty and tasty. You should try Ajvar, a salad made of beans, sweet peppers, tomatoes, garlic and dressed with sunflower oil. In summer, tourists are offered Tarator, a cold soup with soured milk, fennel, walnuts, cucumbers, garlic and spices.
As for drinks, there are plenty of teas, from honey tea to tea with herbs and fruit leaves. Also, Macedonians love coffee and various fruit juices. Tap water in the country is suitable for drinking.