Sunshine state

Is this a trip to the tourist haven of Florida? No. It’s a nod to this nation’s vibrant flag – a yellow, beaming sun rising on a bright red background. It’s one of Europe’s lesser visited countries but is worth a glance.

This landlocked Balkan state has been known as North Macedonia since February, resolving a long dispute with neighbours Greece. It was the southern flank of Yugoslavia until that country began to fragment in 1991.

A short tour through North Macedonia took in the capital city Skopje, which is littered with grand buildings and countless statues, some of them peculiarly oversized. You have the sense this country is grasping for an identity.

Travel to the south-west of the country and you’ll find the tranquil shores of Lake Ohrid where North Macedonians take their holidays. The small city of Ohrid is laced with old architecture, churches and magnificent ramparts.

North Macedonia isn’t yet a tourist hotspot – surely the best time to visit?

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