Despite the overshadowing of tenacious relationships between Greece and itself, the Republic of Macedonia is a former Yugoslavian country known most commonly simply as Macedonia, the very same name which causes issues with Greece due to their provincial territory of the same name. It is a major transportation corridor between Western and Central Europe, and although not yet part of the European Union, the country has been making significant strides forward as it develops up to modern standards. There is a range of ethnic diversity and tensions, from the relationship between Albanians and Macedonians, as well as between Bulgarians and Macedonians. As a result, it is usually best to avoid discussing topics dealing with Bulgaria, Albania, or Greece when in Macedonia.
Despite the political climate, the country is far from dangerous. In fact, Macedonia is a destination that is agreeable to all levels of travelers. It is a mountainous country with a variety of valleys, lakes, rivers, and several mountain ranges. With over 500 years beneath the Ottoman Empire, and the Romans before that, Macedonia is packed full of historical buildings, churches, monasteries, mosques, and other historically relevant sights and sounds.
For such a tiny country there is absolutely a massive amount of activities for travelers. The best choice for first-timers is to hit the capital city of Skopje, where modern amenities and accommodations go hand-in-hand with Eastern European lifestyles, making for an ethnic and cultural melting pot that simply cannot be missed. Beyond that, visitors should head out to the Mavrovo National Park for the views or the skiing, or visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Ohrid, which is considered to be one of the greatest treasures of Macedonia. Regardless of whether you choose to stay in the cities such as Skopje, Bitola, or Kumanovo, or head out into the back country for archaeological treasures in places like Struga, Stip, or Krusevo, you will find yourself hard-pressed to take it all in during just one trip.