Republic. Gained independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.
Head of state:
President Gjorge Ivanov since 2009.
Head of government:
Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski since 2006.
220 volts AC, 50Hz. European round two-pin plugs are used.
Macedonia is a mountainous land in the heart of the Balkans, sprinkled with beautiful valleys and lakes. It has a rich Hellenic heritage.
The capital, Skopje, has many delights, including Kale Fortress, dating from the 10th century with its views over the capital, and the sixth-century Stone Bridge. Shop in the Old Bazaar (the largest in the Balkans), or revel in one of the many lively bars. Macedonia’s many churches and mosques, contain fine examples of art and architecture from the Byzantine and Ottoman periods.
Macedonia is blessed with outstanding natural beauty. Do not miss a trip to one of the large lakes, Pelister Mountains, Shar Planina in the West, and the fascinating rolling hills and mountains of the East with its rice fields. Ohrid, one of the oldest towns in Europe (and a UNESCO World Heritage Site), nestles serenely on the shores of the lake of the same name and is the perfect place for a quiet retreat.
Last updated: 20 April 2014
The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Elections are scheduled to take place on 13 April. In this pre-election period, protests are likely to take place; one is scheduled for 1 March in central Skopje. You should check for information on the local media and avoid demonstrations and large gatherings.
Mosquito-borne diseases, including West Nile virus are present.
Occasional acts of violence occur, particularly in the north, but also in Skopje.
Most visits to Macedonia are trouble-free.
Take particular care if you travel to the northern and western border regions of Macedonia.