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Gostivar Travel Guide, Macedonia

Gostivar Travel guide – Location

The picturesque city of Gostivar is located in northwestern Macedonia, surrounded by the high peaks of the imposing Šar and Bistra Mountains.

The closest cities are Ohrid and Skopie.

Gostivar Travel guide – Geography

The city’s landscape is dominated by the nearby snowcapped mountain range which surrounds the city like a fortress, and by the beautiful Vardar River. Gostivar is set in a valley called Polog, has an average elevation of 683m and an undulating topography which makes it even more picturesque and attractive for tourists.

As a consequence of its location Gostivar has a continental climate with some mountainous influences and four distinct seasons. Summers here are mild and wet, while winters are cold and snowy, perfect for tourists eager to spend their time in one of the nearby ski resorts.

The main freshwater source in the area is the Vardar River which crosses the city and finally meets the Aegean Sea far south.

Gostivar Travel guide – Flora and Fauna

Gostivar is a city where one can find numerous parks and gardens which offer a unique landscape in every season, where people can admire characteristic tree species found especially here, on the banks of Vardar. Autumn is the most spectacular season when trees are changing colors and every alley is covered with rusty leafs. The local fauna is also representative for the Polog Valley with species of rodents, squirrels, beavers and more, lasting here in spite of the developing city and its intrusive activities. The waters of the Vardar River abounding in trout and other aquatic species are a real attraction for fishermen and also for birdwatchers who appreciate this valley for the beautiful bird species both local and migratory.

Gostivar Travel guide – Transport

Gostivar travel guide can present real advantages regarding transport. Gostivar has a real advantage because of its location in a valley where nature has offered all necessary ingredients for building an efficient transport infrastructure. The city is linked with other important cities in Macedonia by modern motorways, railways and regular bus routes making access as easy as possible. You must take into account the fact that if you decide to travel by car and use the motorway that leads to the city you must pay a tax in order to access this route. If instead you decide to travel by air then the nearest international airport serving Gostivar is the Skopje International Airport located at about 62km away and transfer to the city is made by bus, train or you can rent a car.

Within the city tourists can travel by bus, taxi or they can rent a car from one of the many local companies.

Gostivar Travel guide – Population and Economy

Gostivar is one of the most important cities in Macedonia with a rich history going back to ancient times. Nowadays the city numbers about 50.000 inhabitants, less than it used to a decade ago. Among locals Albanians dominate being followed by Macedonians and Turks and as a consequence the main religion is Muslim followed by Christian Orthodox and Roman Catholics.

The city is not an industrial one and the representative economic activities that offer jobs for the locals are commerce, crafts, agriculture, fishing and connected activities, tourism and light industry. Still, the city has one of the highest unemployment rates in Macedonia and a small number of trained personnel, most of the locals having only primary education.

Gostivar Travel guide – Cuisine

Most of the traditional dishes here in Gostivar are also characteristic for Macedonia, and based on veal, chicken and lamb meat, diary products, vegetables and fruits, many spices and herbs. One of the most common dishes here are the Kachamak, a cornmeal based dished, served with sour cream and bacon, Tavche Gravche, which is a beans based stew, Turli Tava which is a mixture of different types of meat, vegetables and spices baked in the oven, Pastrmka, which is fried trout fish and many other more delicious meals.

Usually after enjoying a tasty meal with a friend or with family, Macedonians drink Turkish coffee and serve a last treat, a sweet dessert, usually baklava, zelnik or pogacha.

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