Inspired from the times of our grandmothers and their delicious meals prepared with love and smile, tasting as freedom and happiness, allow us to present you Macedonia thru our well known cuisine, together with the rich history, breathtaking nature, antique localities and of course, the inevitable Macedonian hospitality.
The tour “Culinary experience” will lead you to an adventure thru time. You will walk through the beautiful nature of the national parks Pelister and Galicica, in the divine temples and churches in the old Ohrid city and the St. Naum Monastery complex, you will experience the most beautiful Macedonian architecture walking along the most famous street in Macedonia – Shirok Sokak in Bitola and you will visit the largest island in Macedonia – Golem Grad located in the middle of Prespa Lake. With the help of a professional cook you will learn how the Macedonian traditional specialties are prepared according traditional recipes passed from generation to generation, and you will taste a mixture of different civilization served in unique portions.
“Culinary experience” includes per person:
Your adventure in Macedonia begins in Pelagonija region in the small village of Dihovo located in the foothill of Baba Mountain. The beauty of the natural wealth surrounding Villa Dihovo will capture the perfect atmosphere for relaxation and enjoyment in homemade wine and beer, accompanied with irresistible fresh traditional appetizers.
Day 1: LET THE COOKING BEGIN!
Your first cooking class will commence in traditional village surrounding, guided by a Macedonian food specialist, nutritionist with skillful hands that will introduce you to the art of the Macedonian cuisine.
First, you will learn how to prepare the most delicious Macedonian delicacy with unique taste and texture – Zelnik (Macedonian pie).
Zelnik is a longstanding tradition in the Balkans` cooking, prepared form homemade thin layers of pastry, filled with mixture of cheese, eggs, spinach or leek. In winter season, the filling can be prepared of sour cabbage or pumpkin. Zelnik is best eaten warm, with a supplement of yogurt or sour creamed milk, and it will be even more delicious if you prepare it together with our cook.
While your lunch is baking and most irresistible odor through the Vila Dihovo kitchen is spread, we will take you on a visit of a local family that produces milk and dairy products on a traditional manner. Of course, the degustation of the same is inevitable and will be delightful.
Following the lunch, you will enjoy an easy walk along the village river Sapundjica and the neighboring National Park Pelister mountain trails, guided by a professional mountain leader.
The evening is reserved for rest, relaxation and enjoyment.
And for the dinner, you will have the chance to pick up yourself the fresh ingredients for your meal – fresh vegetables, herbs, fruits, all of them from the Vila Dihovo diverse organic garden.
We will spice up the meal with homemade wine of extraordinary quality, and if you still have energy we will wrap up the day with a party in the city known since the Ottoman period as a City of Consuls – Bitola.
Day 2: EUROPEAN JERUSALEM –SEARCH FOR THE DIVINE!
We are starting the day with a trip to one of the most beautiful Macedonian cities, Ohrid. Macedonian culture and literacy are borne in this lakeside city, which had more than 300 churches and monasteries out of which 60 are still active.
Ohrid is a perfect combination from traditional and modern Macedonian living.
While walking thru the Old City alongside Ohrid Lake, the smell of Macedonian coffee is mixed with the gentle lake breeze, giving a unique odor of beauty. The slight smell of the cotton candy in preparation and the strong smell from freshly baked peanuts spreading thru the small old city streets will dance a sweet dance with your senses. The view to Kaneo and Plaoshnik makes harmony that you will long to experience at least once more. As a memory of this marvelous place, spoil yourselves with a gift for remembrance – jewel with the famous Ohrid pearl – a unique peace of beauty produced by Ohrid’s jewelers using traditional technique 700 years old.
From the city center to the most peaceful surrounding of Monastery St. Naum, the quest for the divine continues along the coastline of the oldest lake in Europe, Ohrid Lake. We will arrive there by sailing on the waters which have been holding the secrets of these lands for already 2 million years.
Like most Byzantine churches, the location of St. Naum was chosen primarily because of its environment and surroundings -high cliffs that offer unique view of the deep blue Ohrid Lake. Legend has it that in the church of St. Naum, if you lay your head on the grave of this Macedonian Saint, you can still hear his heartbeat.
Here, you will have the privilege to taste the world famous Ohrid Trout, prepared on a traditional manner served nearby the life-giving springs of Crn Drim river.
Even the end of this beautiful day has unforgettable experience to offer. The trip back to Bitola leads us thru National Park Galicica – mountain spreading between two natural lakes Ohrild Lake and Prespa Lake. Alluring with beautiful wild thyme smell and unforgettable view, the park is perfect for all nature enthusiasts.
Another truly specific taste follows in the dinner menu prepared by your own hands with the professional assistance of a chef – specialty of dried red peppers, garlic and homegrown potato, a traditional recipe from Macedonian kitchen, a delight even for the greatest gourmets. Accompanied with a glass of homemade brandy and the cozy atmosphere of Vila Dihovo, a relaxation and good rest is guaranteed in this little green heaven.
Day 3: UNTOUCHED NATURE “THE SNAKE ISLAND”
Coming closer to the end of this culinary adventure, you will already have gained knowledge for the food preparation in Macedonian kitchen and you will have a better understanding of the history of the most authentic Macedonian dishes and specialties. Your sense of taste will already be on a gourmet level. But, hold on – the fun and learning are not ended yet. On this day you’ll enjoy in one of the most picturesque regions in Macedonia – Prespa region and the beautiful Prespa Lake.
Nestled between two national parks Galicica and Pelister lays the beautiful Prespa Lake – miracle of nature you must see in Macedonia. Prespa villages will welcome you with warmth and hospitality. You will visit Ljubojno, where you will taste some of the oldest recipes of this region – Gjomleze.
Gjomleze is a soft pie with crispy cover composed of thin pastry layers. This traditional delight is still prepared on the same way as in the past in a traditional cooking tool called – “Sach”. The preparation process is long, but we assure you that when you taste its first bite, you will agree that it was totally worth it. This kind of delight must be served in a proper surrounding, so you will enjoy your Gjomleze on a picnic at the island of snakes known as “Golem Grad”, right in the middle of Prespa Lake.
Local fishermen will take you to the island with their boats and your guide will satisfy your curiosity for all information regarding the largest Macedonian island that abundance with archeology and unique biodiversity. Here, you will see the excavations of a Hellenic house dating from 2 century BC and early Christian basilica as well as the largest flock of cormorants and pelicans in Macedonia.
You will witness and enjoy the untouched Prespa nature while easy hiking on Prespa shore near Stenje village. Following the beauties of the entire day, dinner will be also a delight; local restaurants will serve you freshly caught Prespa carp with a supplement of tasty fresh ingredients salads.
As a good host, Vila Dihovo will organize a farewell party for you and your company and here your culinary adventure ends.
A homemade excellent brandy popular by the name “Chatty” will spice up your dinner. Charmed by this magic drink produced by homegrown grapevine, your hosts will prove that hospitality and positive energy are the two main characteristics that describe Macedonian people.
Day 4: DEPARTURE”
*Transportation for guests to and from the nearest airports to Dihovo can be additionally organized.