Formed in 1991 after the dissolution of the Republic of Yugoslavia, the Republic of Macedonia is a landlocked country in south-eastern Europe, located in the center of the Balkan Peninsula. Its 25,713 km² of land is filled with forests, national parks, and over 50 lakes.
In 2014 the estimated population was 2.1 million, out of which only 65% are native Macedonians. There are also large Albanian (25%) and Turkish (4%) communities, and a growing number of expatriates mainly concentrated in Skopje, the capital and largest city.
Macedonia's diverse makeup is also reflected in the languages spoken in the country, with Albanian, Turkish, Romani, Serbian, and Bosnian spoken widely alongside the official language, Macedonian.
Eastern Orthodoxy is the majority faith in Macedonia, but there are also groups of Muslims and Protestants, as well as a large Jewish community.
The particular geography and location of Macedonia means that it has a unique, transitional climate with three different climatic zones: Continental in the north and west; temperate Mediterranean in southern and eastern valleys, lakes, and low lying areas; and Mountainous in the Sar Mountains region.
This also means that each of the four seasons varies in length depending on location. The summer months have an average temperature of 22.2 °C and experience very little rainfall.
In the winter temperatures drop to around 0.3 °C on average, and in some regions snow is not uncommon. In the west and east of Macedonia rain is expected all year round, and falls mainly in the spring and autumn.
Moving to Macedonia is made easier by its two large international airports, Ohrid "St. Paul the Apostle" Airport, located in the southwest on Lake Ohrid, and Skopje "Alexander the Great" Airport, situated in Skopje, the capital city. Although both of these accommodate international and domestic flights and are the main points of entry for expatriates moving to Macedonia, Skopje "Alexander the Great" Airport is much larger and is considered the country's main airport.
If you need to continue your journey from either Ohrid or Skopje, you can do so by taking a domestic flight to one of Macedonia's other airports, or go by train or road.
Macedonia is a landlocked country, so you will not be able to ship your belongings there directly. Instead, many expatriates moving to Macedonia have their furniture and other large items transported to the country by road through Europe.
We have also summed up the visa regulations for Macedonia in our article on Moving to Skopje, so feel free to take a look!