Macedonia's History

Alexander the Great’s father King Philip II of Macedon conquered modern day Macedonia in 336BC which completed the Hellenisation of the Illyrian tribes who had lived in the region for centuries. Later came the Romans and when their empire collapsed, Byzantine rule remained. In 580 Slavic tribes began raiding with Bulgar assistance. The area was then ruled by the Bulgarians for many centuries although contested by Serbians and even crusader Normans briefly in the 11th Century. The powerful Serbian Tsar Stefan the Mighty chose Skopje as his capital during his reign of 1331-55 but Bulgarian rule returned soon after. Macedonia fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1389 where it remained until the Balkan Wars of 1912-13 which saw it contested between Bulgaria and Serbia, the Serbs prevailing. In WWII Macedonia was carved up between Bulgaria and Albania but restored to Yugoslavia once Tito’s Communist partisans took over from Axis occupiers in 1944.

Our Pick


The Lake Ohrid region straddling the border with Albania is Macedonia’s recreational playground – water sports, fishing, hiking, relaxation and partying with other holiday makers all awaits. European Country more info

Right Now

Macedonia’s exit from Yugoslavia in 1991 was peaceful but the country came to the brink during the Kosovo War when Serbia attempted to ethnically cleanse Kosovo of Albanians. In 2001 Macedonia’s sizable Albanian minority’s call for autonomy turned violent but a NATO sponsored peace prevailed and the country has been developing ever since. Macedonia has applied for both NATO and European Union membership. With 50 lakes, 16 sizable mountain peaks, breathtaking natural scenery, friendly people, delicious cuisine and wines at cheap prices, Macedonia’s tourism industry is developing but hasn’t yet started to attract the numbers these attractions deserve.

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player