In the center of the Balkans, on the way to Greece from Europe, there’s the tiny country of Macedonia, filled with high mountains and extraordinary nature. This spectacular piece of land may not have enormous infrastructure and wide freeways, but it has lots of wildlife to enjoy.
Traveling around it in a trailer caravan means you need to be prepared for the challenge. You need to know what you can expect because it’s different from what you may be used to in other European countries.
Being blocked for decades for its EU entry, it is underdeveloped but still beautiful. In this post, we’re sharing five essential things you need to know about it, and if you’re prepared, you may have a great time exploring it. Keep reading to learn more about Macedonia.
1. You get National Internet Data Coverage
Macedonia is one of the world’s rare countries with 100% internet data coverage. Wherever you go, you’ll never be offline. Of course, you’ll need to either turn on the roaming data or get yourself a card from some of the three mobile operators.
Telekom has the strongest network, while A1 is just behind them, providing nearly the same service. The trick with the country almost entirely being covered is that it is filled with mountains on which these operators have enough antennas providing at least a 3G network. In the bigger cities, there’s 5G, but in most of the country, you’ll have a 4G connection.
2. Travel in Spring or Autumn
Winters and summers in this country are harsh. Although being close to the Mediterranean, you’d expect a suitable climate. Still, this part of the world actually has continental influence during the winter and experiences the heat waves coming from the south during the summer.
You may say it has the worst of both worlds, but that’s why springs and autumns are simply amazing. The temperatures range between 15 and 25 degrees in spring and autumn, so visiting Macedonia is best in April, May, September, and November.
You may experience some rain during this time, especially in the spring, so make sure you’re prepared for the challenge. Serious rain showers are frequent, but they don’t last long. Still, occasional rain is better than hiking through mountains in a meter of snow or when the sun makes 30+ degrees Celsius.
3. Carry a Power Generator with you
Unlike most countries where it is easy to find designated spots for trailers and campers, you won’t find this here. The laws and regulations are hard to find, and even the police officers you stop by won’t be able to tell you where you can camp.
Existing camps are few and are mainly ruined by time as no one takes care of them. That is why going into the wilderness gives you a chance to camp just about anywhere, but don’t expect too much infrastructure to help you. Install a trailer drawbar toolbox with a generator box, and place a generator inside that you’ll use when needed.
4. Drive Carefully and Below the Speed Limit
Macedonian roads are poor. The main freeway going from north to south is E-75, and although some parts suggest a maximum speed of 130 kmh, you will find many holes and uneven road parts that may cause discomfort while driving.
The rest of the roads are often in an even worse condition, so be careful when you see a sign of a top speed of such high speeds because you often won’t get warned if there’s an issue on the road. It’s best to be more cautious than in other countries and pay more attention on the road because you don’t want everything inside the trailer falling off because of the poor roads.
5. Ask the Locals for Advice rather than Following Apps
Whether you’re looking for a restaurant to eat, the road to a particular place, or looking for a place to spend the night, it’s best to ask the locals for information rather than trusting the apps. Many apps do not have their information updated, and you may have a road in places where the app thinks it’s empty fields.
The people there, regardless of ethnicity or religion, are warm and welcoming. They’ll help you with anything, especially in the rural parts of the country. Be careful about where you are at the moment and how you address people, though. Learn about locals online before talking to them, and they’ll be helpful.
This is your short guide for traveling through Macedonia with a camper or trailer. It has some positive and negative aspects, but one thing is certain – you’ll experience some staggering nature and wildlife.
Always carry the power generator with you, and trust your guts more than you’ll trust technology here. Enjoy the amazing people, food, and weather if you go in spring or autumn.