Is wild camping allowed in Northern Macedonia?

No, wild camping and free standing is not officially allowed in Northern Macedonia but is tolerated by most residents and authorities.

Last researched: Spring 2020

Even though camping in the wild and standing free with a camper van is not officially allowed in Macedonia, it is still tolerated in most cases. However, there are a few points you should keep in mind to avoid possible trouble.

  • In the vicinity of government buildings, wild camping is prohibited and can be relatively expensive if violated.
  • Stay away from tourist areas and beaches, as the police sometimes impose penalties here.
  • If you are setting up your camp on private property, you should ask the owner for permission in advance.

The inhabitants of northern Macedonia are very hospitable and helpful, so you should have no problem finding a place to camp.

Wild camping in Northern Macedonia
Wild camping in Northern Macedonia
Mountains in Northern Macedonia
Mountains in Northern Macedonia

Tips and tricks for wild camping in Northern Macedonia

The small mountainous inland on the Balkan Peninsula has a lot to offer. Although the country has no connection to the sea, the numerous lakes and rivers offer enough possibilities to cool down. Since wild camping and free standing is tolerated here, you have the chance to enjoy a country that is not yet as heavily visited by tourists as some of its neighboring countries. To help you with your travel preparations, we have provided a few tips here.

Excerpt traffic rules
Winter tires are compulsory from 15 November to 15 March. Driving with daytime running lights is also compulsory in northern Macedonia. If you do not comply with these traffic rules and are checked by the police, make sure that fines are never paid on the spot. Fines can be paid at the nearest bank or post office. By the way, if you have an accident, you are obliged to call the police.

 

Beginners
New drivers who have held their driving license for less than two years may not drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless accompanied by a person over 25 with a valid driving license.

Infrastructure
North Macedonia has much better roads than its neighboring countries, but there are also roads with deep potholes and ruts. A night drive should, therefore, be avoided if possible.

10 interesting, bizarre and funny facts about Northern Macedonia

North Macedonia was still called Macedonia until 11 February 2019. It lies on the Balkan peninsula and has no access to the sea. But what else do you know about Northern Macedonia? What is the Millennium Cross? What does North Macedonia have to do with opium? You can find the answers and other interesting questions here.

Fact #1 - Warrior on horseback
This is the name of a statue inaugurated in 2011 in the capital Skopje. It is Alexander the Great, but out of respect for Greece, it is not called so.

Fact #2 - Opium
Northern Macedonia's opium is the best in the world. It has a morphine value of 14 and is therefore ahead of China (8), India (7) and Turkey (6).

Fact #3 - Mountainous
About 85% of North Macedonia consists of mountains. The small country has 34 mountain peaks with a height of over 2.000 m. A Mecca for mountaineers and hikers.

Fact #4 - Pearls
Ohrid pearls (from Lake Ohrid) are refined by a process known only to two families worldwide. Queen Elizabeth II is a well-known wearer of Ohrid pearls.

Fact #5 - Trouble with Greece
North Macedonians are the descendants of the Macedonians? Not if it goes to Greece, they contradict this statement, because Macedonians lived in Greece.

 

Fact #6 - Churches
In northern Macedonia, three churches have a piece of the Holy Cross embedded in their foundations: St. Bogodorica Prechist in Kichevo, St. Jovan Bigorski near Gostivar and St. Georgji Pobedonosec in Debar.

Fact #7 - Churches, Part 2
The small town of Ohrid with about 39,000 inhabitants has 365 churches, one for every day. However, some of the churches are now only ruins.

Fact #8 - Lake Ohrid
When we are at Ohrid, Lake Ohrid is one of the oldest lakes in the world and the second-largest lake in the Balkan Peninsula. It is only trumped by Lake Skadar.

Fact #9 - Vrelo Cave
The Vrelo Cave is (probably) the deepest underwater cave in the world. One of the last expeditions reached a depth of 77 meters, but this was not the end of the cave.

Fact #10 - The Millennium Cross
The Millennium Cross is a 66 m high cross erected on the Vodno mountain near the town of Skopje. It was opened in 2002 and is illuminated at night so that it can be seen from the city.

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