Recently, there have been several stories about people who wanted to take a drone into Macedonia and got their drone confiscated at the border.
They had to pay a high fine (500-600 euros) and did not get their drones back. One person even was detained and had to stand trial in Skopje, after passing the border near Bitola with a drone.
At the moment it is not clear what the legal grounds are for this confiscation. The official Macedonian customs site does not mention that it is illegal to carry a drone as personal luggage. It mentions that goods with a value above 350 euros have to be declared, but this seems only to apply to residents of Macedonia.
There are also rumors that the drones are confiscated by corrupt customs officers. A video about this issue is currently going viral in the Balkan.
For now, the smart thing to do seems to leave your drone at home. Or at least make sure you declare it at the border. I do not know what you will have to pay to be allowed to take it into Macedonia.
My questions are:
1) what are the exact laws regarding taking a drone as personal luggage into Macedonia?
2) Why would you have to declare a drone but not a camera, since a drone is nothing but a flying camera? Or are other expensive items in your personal luggage such as cameras, laptops, phones also at risk when entering Macedonia?
3) To whom does the relief from import duties on goods of non-commercial nature under the value of 350 euro apply? The customs website itself says that this applies to Macedonian residents. How can this be used against tourists?
How widespread is the Latin alphabet in Macedonia?
I want to visit Skopje and go there for a 2 day trip to Przren in Kosovo.
Are there buses, from where do they depart and how long will the tour take?
Also, is the border control in Kosovo strict for EU citizens and will I have to wait long?
I would like to do a meditation retreat near Lake Ohud for 3 months starting december and I would like to know what is best to do ?
I need somewhere quiet and natural, and not very expensive, my budget maybe 15EUR/day ish.
Can anyone recommend where I can go ?
Is there a monastery there ?
And can you swim in the lake ?
And how cold is it in winter ?
Does anyone know how difficult it is to get a taxi from Thessaloniki to Bitola and how much it would cost?? Or any other recommendations on how to get to Bitola from there? Thanks so much for any info!!
Would anyone mind helping me, please?
I had looked for buses from Ohrid to Kotor when I found Galeb buses. On its website is told there is a bus departuring from Skopje, getting Ohrid, Kotor and the final destination is Xerceg Novi.
I have emailed them, but noboby have answered me yet. Therefore, I want to know if all those informations are correct and if it is possible to purchase a ticket online.
Does anyone here know another opition to go from Ohrid to Kotor?
It seems there is an hourly bus but I can't find a website to confirm this and determine what times the buses leave and how I might buy two tickets.
Can anyone help please?
I wonder if I can see any colourful processions, e.g. around a cathedral, on Sts. Cyril and Methodius Day. I could probably be in Skopje then, or another town if it honours these saints more elaborately than the capital.
Can anybody help me - I look for a bus from Thessaloniki to Skopje that should depart at noon (around 12 or 1 pm.) because I am coming from Kassandra to Thessaloniki (that will also take me about 2 hours to get to the center in the morning).
Is there a company that offers flexible travel times to FYR Macedonia? And where is the bus stop for this route in Thessaloniki?
Thank you for your help and information.
I asked this same question in the Greece forum as well, though my main interest regards Macedonia.
If I rented a car in Istanbul, could I drive directly to the Republic of Macedonia via Greece? If not, how about if I routed via Bulgaria and avoided Greece?
My past experiences have told me that I cannot take a rented car into or out of Greece but the last time I investigated this was in 2012 and I wonder if this has changed.
Hi, does anyone know if the boat services running along the natural springs in Ohrid (Near St Naum, not on the lake) work on 2 April. If so does anyone have contact details?
Further description of the location in the link below;
Hi, I'm coming to Macedonia for work (teaching). I will be based in Ohrid and will have two free weekends. I'm a very enthusiastic independent hiker. Ideally, I'd hire a car, drive to a trailhead and hike all day... I wonder what is a good resource for maps / trail descriptions? Are there any special safety issues I should know about? And what is hiking like in late March? I guess higher altitudes are still under heavy snow cover?
My wife and I enjoyed one of the greatest trips of our lives in the summer of 2012 that included every country in the former Yugoslavia, excluding Slovakia, over six weeks. This summer we are bringing ten of our friends back. Since they are Americans, they are all limited to only two weeks so we've decided to focus only on one country at a time for 14-day tours.
Macedonia was our choice for the most exotic and interesting (with Montenegro, Bosnia, Serbia and then Croatia following, in order) and most likely to provide an unexpected thrill for our friends. I would like to ask for a little help on an itinerary, though.
They'll all have to enter and exit from Skopje so we'll start there. Right now, I've allotted two nights to Skopje, two for Bitola, and four for Ohrid. That's eight nights with five more to fill. The only other places that I've been to are Tetovo and Stobi ruins and while I really like both those places am wondering what other places you might recommend, keeping in mind that since we're a group we're going to want to spend minimally two nights at any stop.
I would love to learn of a pristine natural environment or other historic town and would consider adding a night to either Bitola or Ohrid since they're so rich.
Thanks for your consideration.
My parents are North Indian but I am born in Canada making me Indo-Canadian. Me and my friends are visiting Europe and Macedonia in a few months. Do I need to worry about racism and assault?
Heading to Western Macedonia next year and now find there's no bus from Mavrovo to Galicnik. It's about 11 miles and I don't fancy dragging a suitcase that far. Presumably there are taxis available in Mavrovo? If so, any idea what a reasonable fare would be?
Can anyone recommend a good wedding planner and venue for a May wedding in Ohrid?
Hello, can somebody tell me something more about an excavation I have not seen before in Ohrid, so I think it must be a recent one?
It is located between St Sofia and the old theater, close to the crossing of Grigor Prlitsev and Ilindenska.
I know that this service recently restarted as Greece had suspended all international trains at one point. VTers have told me this service is currently running. I am going to be making this trip in September. When I try to book the ticket here: it says that 'You cannot buy an e-ticket for this trip.' I have tried for earlier dates and got the same message.
I'm just a little worried as this route was only recently restarted. I will ask my accommodations in Skopje to try to book the ticket for me after July 1 when September becomes open for booking. Failing that, do you think we'll be able to book seats when we first get to Skopje, which is four days prior to when we leave for Thessaloniki?
I've been doing some research on my upcoming Balkans trip in September, and I'm trying to figure out the best way to see the cities and towns I'm interested in. My wife and I fly into Budapest then will be heading to Belgrade for a few days. After that, I would like to go to Ohrid, maybe Skopje (but it is skippable for me), Thessaloniki, then on to Sofia to meet a friend.
I'm trying to figure out the most logical/direct way of going to these cities without spending the entire time in trains/buses/cars. I've done a lot of research and figured out several different ways to do it, but before I list them all, I'd like to hear what you knowledgeable VTers have to say. I don't mind driving if renting cars and crossing borders in them is a possibility and not incredibly expensive.
Thanks very much in advance for all your help!
Is there a shop in Ohrid where they sell quality art necessities ? oil paint, acrylic paint....
at the beginning of July I was travelling by bus from Poland to Greece (Thessaloniki to be specific) via Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia and Macedonia. And when we were in Macedonia I spotted a small ancient amphiteatre on the left side of the main road we were travelling to Greek border. Unfortunately I was too slow to be able to take a photo of it out of the window of the quickly moving bus. Is anybody able to help me to find a photos of this amphiteatre and it's name? It is a small site, visible quite well from the main road and there is a Macedonian flag standing close to it.
I am planning a trip to Macedonia and i have a question:
Can you easy change euro's at the Skopje aerport? Or is it not recommended because of the exchange rates?
Is it true that trash and garbage strewn all over public areas seriously mars the beauty of the country?
After the bad news that the Kopanki Mountain hut burned down in January 2013, now also the lodging houses of the famous Treskavec Monastery near Prilep burned down.
The old church and dining room were luckily spared...
See here for some pictures:
Apparently, also the post-office in Skopje, a remarkable communist-style concrete building suffered from a fire..
Not a good year for Macedonia...
Does anybody have some additional information about the Treskavec Monastery?
The Kopanki mountain hut in Pelister National Park (near Bitola) burned down earlier this week...
This information is in Macedonian only unfortunately:
Does somebody know when/if it will be restored in the future?
I was just curious which area of Macedonia near a regional metropole (for example, the region near Strumica or region near Bitola) offers the the scenic beauty (countryside, lakes, rolling hills, mountains, rivers, etc)?
I'm trying to avoid areas with "ugly" modern development (concrete buildings, big highways, industrial buildings, urban/suburban sprawl) and get more of the feel one would find in Croatia or even Tuscany.
One factor that's of overriding interest is the area with the widest variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and foods (e.g. supermarkets, farmers' markets, etc).
Does anybody know what is the cheapest (and fastest) way to get from Belgrad to Ohrid?
I saw Galeb Ohrid bus is 1800 MKD/one way.
And what about Belgrad-Skopje by train (and than by bus to Ohrid)? Do you know, how much is it?
/We want to start fom Hungary, Szeged, via Subotica./
Thanks so much.
UPDATE FOR LAND BORDER CROSSINGS Macedonia/Greece
Border will be closed from 6 am this morning til 18:00 on Saturday. All 3 crossings at Bogorodica, Star Dojran and Bitola are affected.
Only emergency repatriation will be allowed
Please if you travel to Greece from neighbouring countries by lend make adjustments accordingly.
Any VT member that lives in Bitola. ? How is the road to Thessaloniki (GR). How quick can the drive be made from Bitola. ?
Ciao, I'm simply trying to understand if the trains from Thessaloniki to Skopje are still not operating (but i presume that the answer is no, such a pity). I'll be in Thessaloniki at the end of the month and i would like to spend the first part of my trip in Macedonia (so just the south of it, i guess).
I've read all your precious information (in your personal pages, as Valentina and Dennis, great work guys!) and even some of the previous threads, so this should be the easy way to get to Macedonia :
- (10:50) Thessaloniki airport
- then bus n°78 to the city
- (15:30) Ktel bus station --> Florina (18:00)
- then taxi driver to Bitola (first night here)
How much it would cost (more or less) this taxi? Still around 30€ as i've read before? And do i have to reserve it before? How?
Next step will be hiring a car for the following two-three days, 'cause i intend to stay in Orhid and in the meanwhile i'd like to move to Mavrovo, Pelister and Galicica parks for some hiking, not depending from bus or taxi. Am i doing the right thing? Should not be that expensive, i hope.
Sorry for all the answers, but it's the first time i'm scheduling a trip without my own car! so thanks in advance,
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