DOWN IN THE CORNER where the country meets Albania and Greece are two big drawcards. Seekers of sun will head for Lake Ohrid, where there are also forts and monasteries and 21st century thrills like parasailing.
An hour away, Bitola, the City of Consuls, is full of glorious old buildings, bustling cafe streets, some first-rate mosaics, and a colourful bazaar.
Why not both?
The first or last stop when moving through Greece and Macedonia is Bitola.
Its strategic position has bequeathed it a legacy of fine buildings, many consulates, other just homes and businesses of the wealthy.
Time, and the fall of communism, has not been kind to many of them, sitting, decaying, too expensive to repair.
More modest and older Ottoman era family homes have often fared better, with families remaining generations.
The main commercial centre is pimped to the nines, with phone shops, ice-cream and poker machine dungeons.
Some religious buildings are dutifully cared for. Others not.
The old bazaar is a fascinating hodge-podge maze of run-down, revamped and more.
Broom-makers and bakers, tinkers and tailors eke out of livings from tiny shopfronts.
The produce section stocks the usual Mediterranian delights, and leads to the desperate home of second hand tea cup and phone charger stalls.
Those mountains of fresh offerings end up as some of Macedonia's best dining.
Bacon mezze with 4 different cheeses. (Don't know where all those vegetables went....)
Despite Ohrid being the holiday capital of Macedonia, we definitely ate better here than Ohrid.
Cities have stood here for a long, long time.
Heraclea Lyncestis was founded by King Phillip II in the 4th century BC.
Even the most jaded of sight-seer should make the short trip to the edge of town.
The extensive mosaics are pretty awesome, as are the surrounding views.
The 3000 seat theatre, basilica, forums etc are just a fraction of what lies still buried undergound.
With a long, rich history, and a vibrant present, Bitola deserves its reputation as Macedonia's most pleasant city.
Ohrid, the town and lake of the same name, is packed in summer.
It's packed with churches.
A big, old fort commands views of the lake, town and hills.
Not without good reason, Ohrid is the number one tourist destination in Macedonia.
A day is probably enough for most to cover the main sites of interest in the town.
Ohrid does have some of the oldest and holiest churches and monasteries in the country.
The super-keen and pious could spend days visiting them all.
Or you could just have a quick look. Lots of the buildings are between 3~ and 500 years old.
It's definitey worth jumping on a bus to the southern shore to see the monastery of St Naum.
While there, wander around the forest tracks where wild berries grow and small churches pop up here and there.
But a lot of time at Ohrid is spent just kicking back and enjoying the lake.
The beaches at nearby Struga are, well, you can see, popular.
Struga is a short hop from Albania, and the interesting town feels quite distinct from Ohrid.
Discovered by chance on google maps, this downed plane was the last site we visited on our Balkan trip. Appropriate for a trip where so much went belly-up.