The best day trips and day tours from Skopje, North Macedonia

When planning my Skopje itinerary, I was pleasantly surprised to discover the choice of day tours from Skopje which were great options for day trips from Skopje as our time in North Macedonia was short and I wanted to maximise what we saw.

I originally planned Skopje day trips to Lake Ohrid and a trip to Matka Canyon, as well as our onward trip to Tirana, Albania which I discovered is also a great option for a day trip from Skopje.

So I wanted to share the tours from Skopje that we did, as well as the other amazing options that we considered and would definitely go back and do in the future!

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Girl in a blue dress standing on the edge of a ridge looking down at an old stone church with the blue water of Lake Ohrid in the distance

Lake Ohrid


The best day tours and day trips from Skopje

Skopje to Matka Canyon day trip

Pretty much immediately after arriving at our accommodation in Skopje we were told that the Matka Canyon day trip from Skopje was a must-do while we were staying in the city.

There’s plenty of tour options available, or if you have your own vehicle you can make your way there independently.

This Matka Canyon and Vodno Mountain day trip from from Skopje gives you the opportunity to visit the stunning turquoise waters and towering cliffs of Matka Canyon where you can take a river cruise through the canyon. The trip also includes the cable car ride up Vodno Mountain for spectacular panoramic views of Skopje and beyond which honestly blew us away!

You’ll also visit the 12th-century Church of St. Panteleimon where you can see Byzantine art and explore the traditional village of Gorno Nerezi.

I liked this tour because it gives you the option to choose how you spend your time at Matka Canyon. The boat cruise is optional and gives you the opportunity to see the epic Vrelo Cave. If you’re not a fan of boats, you can use the free time to enjoy the hiking trails. You can also enjoy a lunch meal at the restaurant here.

I highly recommend taking the boat cruise, it’s magical to see the canyon from the water and the colour of the water is spectacular.


Day trip to Pristina from Skopje

A day trip from Skopje to Pristina is a great opportunity to do a Kosovo day trip from Skopje.

While the Balkan countries are rising in popularity, Kosovo’s recent and tumultuous history means that it’s still a very underrated travel destination in eastern Europe.

I also highly recommend doing this as an organised tour rather than trying to make your own way to Kosovo, driving in this area can be a bit challenging for some and being in an organised tour makes crossing the border a lot quicker and easier.

This is a long, very full-on one day tour from Skopje that visits two of the most popular cities in Kosovo - Pristina and Prizren. Skopje to Pristina is around 1.5-2 hours drive.

This is a small group tour, you’ll be picked up from your hotel in Skopje and travel by car to Pristina first, followed by Prizren. Visit the Kosovo National Library, the Kosovo Museum, Çarshi Mosque - the oldest building in Pristina and see the stunning historic Ottoman houses, the Hammam bathing complex and Ethnographic Museum.

Prizren has the highest number of preserved Ottoman buildings in Kosovo and the charming cobbled streets, markets, and neighbourhoods are magical to explore for the afternoon. Don’t miss the stunning old stone bridge which is reminiscent of the similar one in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

Don’t forget you’ll need to bring your passport for the border crossing!


Skopje to Kosovo day trip - private tour to Pristina and Prizren

A similar day trip to Kosovo from Skopje as the option above but this is a private tour of Kosovo’s two popular cities of Pristina and Prizren - a great way to have a local guide and a private sightseeing experience if you’d prefer a more personal tour experience.

As well as exploring Pristina and Prizren, you’ll also visit Byzantine Gračanica Monastery, the Cathedral of Saint Mother Teresa and Sinan Pasha Mosque and Bajrakli Mosque.

This is a true sightseeing tour that allows you to see as much as possible during your day trip from Skopje to Kosovo.


Skopje wine tasting tour and day trip

Girl in red walking toward a round stone building surrounded by black ornate lampposts


I never expected there to be such a significant wine culture in North Macedonia, but of course I was thrilled to discover how easy it was to book a day trip from Skopje to a winery or a half day trip for a tour and tasting at a vineyard.

There’s a few options you can look at if you’re interested in a wine tour and they will probably depend on your personal taste in wine (I’m not that cultured when it comes to wine!)

This half day Stobi winery tour is around 1 hour from Skopje and is a huge facility in a beautiful location where you’ll get a winery tour with an expert guide, a wine tasting with a cold plate pairing, followed by a traditional North Macedonian lunch before heading back to Skopje. This is a great value winery tour from Skopje.

Book here.

This is a similar winery day tour tour from Skopje, although slightly longer at 5-6 hours as a day trip from Skopje. You’ll visit one of the most famous Macedonian wineries, Chateau Sopot.

The location of this winery is absolutely stunning, covering 103 hectares around 45 minutes from Skopje city. They produce Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Muscat.

The tour includes an expert guided tour of the facility, wine tasting and lunch.

Book here.


Day trip to Ohrid from Skopje

Girl in a colourful strip shirt sitting on a rocky edge looking out onto a windy road snaking through green hills

Lake Ohrid

Of course this guide of day tours from Skopje wouldn’t be complete without including a day trip to Ohrid from Skopje!

Lake Ohrid is located around 2.5 hours south of Skopje, so a day tour here is LONG! Prepare for around 12 hours of travel in a day, although if you’re short on time, seeing Ohrid is definitely worth it.

Ohrid is the most popular tourist location in North Macedonia for a reason, the stunning lake, nature trails, beaches and town are worth visiting and spending some time if you can. The lake forms part of the border between North Macedonia and Albania.

The tour includes a guided tour of Ohrid where you’ll learn about the history of the town and region. You’ll see the main sights, have the option of a boat trip on the lake and have some free time to explore the town and shoreline on food.

Book here.

Alternatively you can book a more tailored experience with a private tour of Ohrid and Saint Naum Monastery - book here.

Or if you’d prefer more nature in your tour, book a private tour to Ohrid and Mavrovo National Park where you’ll see the famous Ohrid and Monastery as well as the forests of Bistra Mountain and the River Radika canyons and valleys - book here.


Skopje to Serbia day trip

A black sign in the midde of a pathway with many shops and building lining each side


If Serbia is on your bucket list to visit, then a day trip from Skopje to Serbia is a great opportunity to get a taste of what the country has to offer.

Located around 2.5 hours from Skopje, this is another very long day - so prepare yourself!

You’ll be visiting the town of Niš where you’ll learn about the local history, enjoy a tour with an expert guide as you go sightseeing and learn about the country’s history as well as visit the archeological site of Mediana.

You’ll also enjoy a lunch which is included in the price, as well as a wine tasting from a local winery nearby called Malca.

This is a value packed tour with a Skopje tour company that specialises in tours across borders, so don’t miss this opportunity and don’t forget to take your passport!


Day trip from Skopje to Sofia, Bulgaria

If you’re hoping to plan a day trip to Sofia from Skopje, I was slightly disappointed to discover that I couldn’t find many that existed, despite a day trip from Sofia to Skopje the other way around being quite popular.

However if you’re planning a longer Balkan trip, Plus Travel Skopje offers a transfer from Skopje to Sofia which includes a stop with a tour of Rila Monastery.

If you’re planning to travel from Skopje to Sofia, this transfer option is a great way to make the trip a bit more exciting and it will take you directly to your new hotel in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Book here.


Summary: the best day trips from Skopje and day tours from Skopje, North Macedonia

Whether you’re looking to visit hidden gems like Prizren on a day trip from Skopje to Kosovo, or visit some of North Macedonia’s best attractions such as Ohrid, Matka Canyon or vineyards, hopefully this guide has given you plenty of inspiration!

I was thrilled to discover how many day trip options were available from the city, particularly as I was worried about not having enough to do while we were there.

I’d definitely recommend Skopje as a great base for exploring the surrounding countries if you’ve got time, and day tours are a great way to do that by maximising your time as much as possible.

Pin this for later to plan your future trip!

Maximise your time in North Macedonia with these day tours from Skopje and Skopje day trips to some of the highlights in and around the country. From a Skopje to Kosovo day trip, to the best options for visiting Matka Canyon from Skopje, here are my