Covering an area of approximately 1,370 hectares and situated at over 1,000 metres above sea level, North Macedonia’s largest artificial lake was created at the cost of several small villages soon after the end of the Second World War for the production of much-needed electricity for the modernisation of the newly established communist Yugoslavia. Brimming with trout and hugely popular during the summer as a location for swimming, boat trips and fishing for the aformentioned aquatic delicacy, of special interest is the sunken remains of the abandoned 19th-century St. Nikola Church, one of the most surreal sites in the country when the lake’s full of water and only its spire and caved-in roof are visible above the water. Along with the neighbouring mountains, Lake Mavrovo is the main reason to visit the area, and subsequently there’s an excellent choice of places to stay either right on the water’s edge or very close by.

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