Best time to visit North Macedonia

I didn't associate North Macedonia with heat. I was thinking mountains and medieval meanderings. Wrong. August was sizzling. Luckily chilled, local white wine is always on tap
Summer temps can hit 30°C – or higher – particularly in Skopje, although the mountainous national parks, such as Mavrovo, drop by at least 10°C. A relatively dry climate, snow hits the mountains in winter, with their handful of ski resorts between 1,240m-2,525m. For hiking and biking, spring and autumn are the best time to visit North Macedonia, with a fest of alpine flora in the former and grape harvest and stunning leaf colour in the likes of Matka Canyon in the latter. They also like their summer festivals, with six weeks of concerts, crafts and traditional dancing in Ohrid and Skopje.

Ohrid Weather Chart

 
MIN °C
MAX °C
RAIN (mm)
JAN
-2
5
78
FEB
-1
7
73
MAR
1
11
68
APR
5
15
56
MAY
9
21
64
JUN
12
24
40
JUL
14
27
28
AUG
14
27
33
SEP
11
24
44
OCT
7
18
73
NOV
3
12
104
DEC
0
7
95

Our top North Macedonia Vacation

Ancient Macedonia tour

Ancient Macedonia tour

Explore eastern Bulgaria, northern Greece and Macedonia.

From US $2020 15 days ex flights
Small group travel:
2021: 2 May, 9 May, 6 Jun, 25 Jul, 5 Sep, 12 Sep, 19 Sep, 26 Sep
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about North Macedonia or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

North Macedonia, month by month

November, December, January and February sees smog settle over Skopje. Pollution from communist-era factories, furnaces, exhaust fumes and domestic heating – firewood, petrol and anything else that will light – is trapped by a mild layer of warmer air sitting above cooler conditions on the ground. Elsewhere, snow settles on the mountains of Mavrovo National Park, providing respite for skiers and alpine explorers escaping the capital. Down south, around the lakes of Ohrid and Prespa, it's a much different story in the winter. A mild Mediterranean climate makes for misty mornings and rain soaked cobbled streets. Our small group trips don't run at this time of year, although it's an atmospheric time to visit churches and monasteries without the tourists associated with summer. March and April see a welcome, albeit sporadic, return to blue sky days as smog clears and temperatures creep up to the teens. Down south, especially, conditions are ideal for getting out and about with self guided walks in the rugged Galicica National Park, making steaming bowls of turli tava (meat and veg stew) all the more inviting upon your return to base. Easter in North Macedonia is one of the country's most important calendar events with Orthodox Christian ceremonies observed amongst the country's faithful. May and June find meltwater rivers in full flow in North Macedonia's national parks. Spring rain feeds lush green mountain meadows carpeted in blood red poppies and indigo irises adorned with several species of butterfly. Our small group specialists often cite the spring as the best time to tour in the Balkans, as long drives in summer can be somewhat stifling. Temperatures really start to rise in July and August as crowds congregate around the lakeside beaches of Ohrid. In the capital, locals search for shade in Gradski Park or head to cooler climes on top of Mount Vodno (1,066m), which can be reached by cable car from Skopje city center. Ohrid summer festival runs from mid-July to mid-August and features lots of live music concerts, traditional dancing and plenty of food and craft stalls around the city and along the waterfront. September and October are the best months to go to North Macedonia. Grape harvesting around the Vardar Valley and an explosion of autumnal colour in the Matka Canyon make country strolls all the more enticing; whilst, in the city's outdoor spaces, the spicy smell of grilled red peppers announces avjar (hot paprika pate) preparation is well under way. Mark Huggins from our North Macedonia tour specialists, Undiscovered Destinations: “My favourite time to go is May, June or September into early October when the weather is generally good but there are still few vacationmakers, both local and foreign.”
Written by Catherine Mack
Photo credits: [Page banner: Marjan Lazarevski] [Top box: Liridon]
Convert currencies