The Prespa lakes are two freshwater lakes, with the larger shared between N. Macedonia, Albania, and Greece, and the smaller shared between Greece and Albania. They are the highest tectonic lakes in the Balkans, standing at an elevation of 853 m. On the western shore of the lake, the island of Golem grad or Snake island as the locals call is the main attraction. It is uninhabited however archaeological research of the island shows it was habited from Hellenistic to mediaeval times and that settlements have existed from 4th century A.D. Today around 165 different bird species can be seen here, including wild geese, pelicans, and moorhens. On the east shores of Prespa Lake, the main attraction are the villages of Ljubojno and Brajchino that lie on the slopes of the mountain Baba – NP Pelister and have unique architecture of houses built from massive granite rocks. The best cultural sight in this part of the region is the church of St. George found at the village of Kurbinovo, visited by pilgrims interested in Byzantine art and frescoes.
The NP Pelister straddles Macedonia’s southern border with Greece, running along the Baba Mountain. The core of the mountain is made of granite that is some 465 million years old. The mountain has a large number of peaks higher than 2000 m separated by deep valleys, the highest of which is the peak Pelister2601m, the third highest peak in the Republic of N. Macedonia. The beauty of the landscape is enhanced by the diverse wildlife: bears, roe deer, wolves, chamois, deer, wild boars, rabbits, several species of eagles, partridges, red-billed choughs, and the endemic Macedonian Pelagonija trout. The unique Molika 5-needled pine (Pinus peuce) is typical for this National Park.
The city of Bitola lies at an elevation of 615 m, located between Pelister and the Pelagonija valley. Its old name was Manastir due to the dozen of monasteries located in the city which according to the legend and the historical data were destroyed by the Ottomans because the city did not surrender to them. Traditionally a strong trading center, Bitola is also known as the city of the consuls, since the Ottoman rule, Bitola had consulates from 12 countries. The main landmarks of the city are:
Saat Kula – The Clock Tower XVI c. – XIX c.
St. Dimitri Church– XIX c.
Catholic Church– XIX c.
Yeni mosque– XVI c.
Isak Mosque– XVI c.
The old bazaar
The Bezisten – covered market
Heraclea Lyncestis the archeological site can be found close to the city center of Bitola. Founded by Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, towards the middle of the fourth century BC. Among the most interesting ruins of the site you can see the hot springs, the colonnade, the theatre, the remains of two churches, both with wonderful and colorful mosaics (V century) depicting geometric figures, trees, birds, flowers and animals.