Polog Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit, top things to do, local culture, and more in Polog with this ultimate travel guide.

Polog is an enchanting region located in Western North Macedonia, nestled in the heart of the Balkans, Europe. This destination boasts a wealth of beautiful natural landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality. Whether you’re interested in exploring historical sites, outdoor adventures, or the local food and wine scene, Polog is a must-visit destination.

Introduction to Polog

Polog is a region in North Macedonia known for its stunning natural beauty and unique cultural traditions. The region is filled with mountains, valleys, and lakes, making it a great place for adventure seekers. Polog is also home to many historical and cultural landmarks, including monasteries, churches, and museums.

List of Places to Visit in Polog

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Sveti Jovan Bigorski Monastery
  • Treskavec Monastery
  • Stobi Archaeological Site
  • Painted Mosque in Tetovo
  • Museum of National Liberation

Natural Attractions of Polog: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Lake Mavrovo
  • Shar Mountain National Park
  • Galichica National Park
  • Canyon Matka
  • Vodno Mountain

Hiking/Biking Routes of Polog

Polog offers some of the most spectacular hiking and cycling trails in North Macedonia. From the Shar Mountain range to the lush forests of Mavrovo National Park, there are a variety of trails for all levels of adventurers. Here are some of the best hiking/biking routes in Polog:

  • Shar Planina Trekking Trail
  • Galichica Traverse
  • Mavrovo National Park Trails
  • Lake Matka Path
  • Vodno Mountain Trail

Best Things to Do in Polog: Activities and Tours

  • Skiing in Mavrovo Ski Centre
  • Kayaking on Lake Mavrovo
  • Wine tasting in Tikves Winery
  • Whitewater rafting on Radika River
  • Paragliding over Skopje

Week-Long Itinerary for Polog

Day 1: Explore the historical sites of the city of Tetovo Day 2: Hike in Shar Mountain National Park Day 3: Visit the Sveti Jovan Bigorski Monastery and spend the evening in the Mavrovo Lake area. Day 4: Explore Galichica National Park and enjoy the panoramic view Day 5: Take a wine tour to the Tikves Winery Day 6: Take part in water sports on Lake Matka
Day 7: Explore Skopje’s iconic city sights before departing

Food and Drink Scene of Polog

Polog’s cuisine is influenced by Turkish, Serbian, Albanian, and Bulgarian cooking. Visitors can sample traditional Macedonian dishes and regional specialties, such as “pastrmajlija” (a type of meat pie), “tavce gravce” (a bean stew), and “ajvar” (a red pepper and eggplant spread). Local beverages to try include “rakija” (a strong fruit brandy), Macedonian wine, and coffee.

Where to Stay in Polog: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  • Hotel Tutto
  • Hotel Radika
  • Hotel Bellevue
  • Hotel Korab Trnica
  • Green Center Hilton Hostel

What to Buy in Polog: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Handmade woolen rugs and carpets
  • Handicrafts made from vine or pottery
  • Wines from Tikves Winery
  • Honey from Shar Mountain

Local Culture and Customs of Polog

North Macedonia is a country with a rich cultural heritage, and Polog is no exception. Visitors can experience traditional Macedonian music, dance, and religious festivals, such as the Bigorski Monastery Feast or the Stobi Wine Festival. Macedonian hospitality is warm and welcoming, so expect to be offered homemade food or drinks by locals.

Best Time to Visit Polog

The best time to visit Polog is from April to October when the weather is mild and dry, and the landscape is full of greenery. The peak of the tourist season is from July to August. However, visiting Polog in winter for winter activities can be an amazing experience with the winter wonderland scenery

Do’s and Don’ts of Polog


  • Respect local customs and traditions
  • Try the local food and wine
  • Take your shoes off before entering a mosque
  • Bargain at local markets


  • Visit religious sites in inappropriate clothing
  • Disrespect the flag or national symbols
  • Touch anyone’s head
  • Smoke in public places

Safety and Health

Safety in Polog

Polog is generally a safe region to explore. However, visitors are advised to take precautions to avoid petty theft and scams. Avoid showing any signs of wealth and keep your travel documents safe at all times.

Health in Polog

North Macedonia’s healthcare system is good, but visitors are advised to have comprehensive travel insurance before arriving. The water is generally safe to drink, but it is recommended to drink bottled water instead.

Getting to Polog: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Polog

The nearest airport to Polog is Skopje Alexander the Great Airport, which is around two hours away by car.

Bus Stations Near Polog

Skopje Bus Station is the main bus station in North Macedonia, providing frequent bus services to various destinations within the country, including Polog.

Other Options

Car rental and private transfer are also available from major cities in the region, such as Skopje.

How to Get Around in Polog

Polog’s public transportation is not very reliable, so renting a car or using a taxi service is the best way to get around.

Where to Go Next from Polog: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Skopje, the capital city of North Macedonia
  • Ohrid, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Pristina, the capital city of Kosovo
  • Thessaloniki, a vibrant Greek city with rich culture


Polog offers a unique blend of cultural heritage, beautiful landscapes, and exciting activities to explore. Whether you want to hike a mountain path, sample local cuisine, or learn about the region’s history, Polog is an excellent destination that caters to all travelers. With this comprehensive guide to Polog, you’ll have an unforgettable travel experience in a truly remarkable part of Europe.