The summer in Macedonia is hot, that is a fact. Especially in July & Augustus you will find me inside, with the air conditioning on, doing absolutely nothing. There is a short period of the year when it is actually spring. All of a sudden it is above 30 degrees and that will not lower until September. Now I do have to admit, in the beginning I could not bare the heat of Skopje, but I’m getting used to it, or that’s what I’m hoping for.
The climate of Macedonia is both Mediterranean and Continental. Winters can be mild and rainy or cold and humid. The summers can be long, warm and dry. It all depends where you live. When you live in village or city situated on a mountain, you will have cold and humid winters, here in Skopje it is not that cold and more rainy.
The summers in Skopje are almost unbearable during the day (for me) it can easily go up to 40 degrees (or more) and you won’t see one single cloud in the sky. In the middle of the night it cools off, to 25-30 degrees. But when you get to stay somewhere in the mountains or at the lake, it’s perfect. It cools of in the evening more than it does in Skopje and during the day it is not that hot (still 35 degrees, but bearable).
It is amazing how it seems there is no actual winter in Skopje. In the beginning it is freezing, for a month or so. After it remains cold for a couple of months, but not freezing cold. After the mild winter, spring arrives. It is perfect weather, which unfortunately last for some weeks. And all of a sudden you are in the middle of a long lasting heat wave that will continue until the beginning of September.
When you live in the Netherlands you appreciate every sunny day, every single one of them! And you have the feeling you need to get out and do something, as long as you can enjoy the sun. As soon as the temperature rises above 15 degrees and it’s sunny you will see people wearing short pants and ‘t-shirts. Oh let me inform you that all terraces are full on sunny days and that there are some guys who think it is appropriate to sit shirtless on a terrace of a café… ugh.
That being said about the couple of days of summer in the Netherlands, it’s another story in Skopje. I moved here in the beginning of June, so it was sunny every single day. And every single day I had that feeling to enjoy it. But then July came and I noticed I couldn’t enjoy it anymore and I was actually a bit disappointed. Now I am even at that point that I started to resent those two months, unless I’m on a vacation of course.
In the months July and August you will discover an empty Skopje during the day. In the evening everyone comes out to enjoy the warm summer evenings, I simply love that about Skopje.
Best time for traveling to Macedonia
If you are planning to come to Macedonia and visit Skopje, try to avoid those two dreadful months. Go in Ohrid, it will be full with Dutch people in high season, or in Lazaropole (be aware in Lazaropole it is cold as soon as the sun goes down!). Or any other place that either has a lake or is high up in the mountains!
Visit Skopje in spring. Everything is green, a lot of sunny days, pleasant temperature for sightseeing and happy people. If you can’t make it in spring, try September or October. Last year it was still 25 degrees in October!
If you have any question about traveling to Macedonia, don’t hesitate to ask!