1. From Sofia: Skopje and Matka Canyon Day Trip
Cross the border from Bulgaria and enjoy a day trip in Macedonia. Dive into the past as you explore Skopje's historic neighborhoods and see its attractions. Learn about the history of the Macedonians as you walk through the new part of the city, rebuilt during the Skopje 2013 project. After your visit to Skopje, head to Matka Canyon to take a break in nature. Your day trip begins with an 8:00 AM pickup from your accommodation in Sofia. Drive for approximately 3.5 hours and reach Skopje. During your drive learn about the history of the region from the Bulgarian point of view. Arrive in Skopje and have a 2-hour guided tour of the city from a local Macedonian guide. Learn about Yugoslavia and have the chance to compare the two historic perspectives of the region provided to you on this trip. During your guided tour of Skopje visit Skopje Fortress, Sultan Murat Mosque, and the Old Bazaar. Have the chance to see the caravanserais from the Ottoman period when Skopje was one of the main trade centers in the Balkans. Visit the new neo-classical Macedonia Square and be impressed by the statue of Alexander the Great and his father Phillip II. Continue on to the Mother Teresa Memorial House. In the house museum, learn about Mother Teresa's life story. Afterward, conclude your walking tour of Skopje at Macedonia Gate. Head to Matka Canyon where you will have approximately 1.5-hours to admire the beauty of nature. Have the chance to enjoy a boat trip inside the canyon and pass by one of the deepest underwater caves in the world. At about 4:00 PM, meet with the rest of the group and depart back to Sofia. On the drive back, discuss your day's impressions and ask your guide any remaining questions you may have. Unfortunately, the day trip's itinerary will not allow you to have free time for lunch in Skopje. It is recommended to take some fast food during the walking tour or bring some sandwiches with you. You can buy food from a petrol station before arriving in the city.