To really get under the skin of North Macedonia it’s essential to visit the country’s many small villages, all of them very different depending on who lives in them and what drives the local economy. Whereas some have embraced and exploited tourism, most remain fascinating rural backwaters complete with gorgeous historical buildings, friendly and welcoming locals and a way of life that’s barely changed in the last 100 years. Recommended is the village of Furka some 10km from Dojran, a Macedonian stronghold with a rich tradition in agriculture. If you’re in or passing through Gevgelija on the other hand, be sure to visit Mrzenci, more developed than the former settlement and famous for its traditional restaurants.

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