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Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of Macedonia

Geography

Macedonian Geography - Lake Ohrid
Lake Ohrid

Macedonia is a landlocked country in the southern part of the Balkan Peninsula. The country is bordered by Albania (west), Greece (south), Bulgaria (east), Serbia (north), and Kosovo (north).

Geographically, Macedonia is a mountainous country with a river valley running through the middle to the Aegean Sea. Although most of these mountains are more like large hills at elevation, the country is still fairly inaccessible except along the river valley and along tributary rivers stretching both east and west into the mountains.

Weather

Macedonian Geography - Mountains
Mountains

Macedonia's weather is affected by the Mediterranean currents from the south and the continental currents from the Balkan Peninsula's mountains. These variations make the weather somewhat unpredictable, but the mountainous landscape prevents most extremes.

Winters in Macedonia's capital of Skopje reach daily highs of about 40˚ F (4˚ C), but nights can fall to 25˚ F (-4˚ C), while at elevation temperatures can be even colder and can get snow. Summers can get very hot though, with daily highs typically reaching 86˚ F (30˚ C), but night temperatures generally falling to or below 60˚ F (16˚ C) in Skopje. The most noticeable extremes in temperatures come in contrasting the southeast, which tends to get more currents from the Mediterranean and the northwest, which tends to have a more continental climate from the mountains. Despite these differences, the country is still small enough that there is rarely an extreme from one part of the country to the next unless you compare the mountains to the valleys.

Wildlife

Macedonia's elevated, forested, and mountainous landscapes are home to a number of larger mammals, including wolves, bears, lynx, and pigs. Plus various smaller mammals exist in the region. There is little in the way of sea life as the country is landlocked so these animals are confined to the lakes and rivers.

Numerous birds stop in the country on their migratory routes, as the seasons also bring a number of reptiles and insects during the summer months.

This page was last updated: March, 2013