Mariovo – a forgotten gift from God

I have been going to Mariovo since my early years, maybe even when I was 5-6 years old. Every year during the summer vacation I spent a month in the countryside with my grandparents. When I was a child, I couldn’t really understand where I was and why everything was so old and neglected there, but I always felt the magic of the village and being in nature. When I was growing up in the village, there were several children who were born there, and some came for the weekend to visit their grandparents.

As the years passed, times changed, I grew up and had less and less time and opportunity to go to the countryside. But I always had a great desire to show the village to my closest relatives and friends who may have never been to a village where you still feel like stepping back in time 50 years.

This year I decided to invite my loved ones to my village, and my yard to celebrate the “Ilinden” holiday together. In the village of Vitolishte, a village celebration is organized every year for Ilinden and everyone is invited to come to the village for freshly prepared beef stew. The night before the holiday, the celebration begins in the “St. Ilia” monastery.

I gathered around 13 friends for the weekend around the holiday and we got to know the village and the surroundings together. We set aside one day to visit the neighboring village of Zivovo, which is abandoned, but still has houses that are used by hunters during the winter period. A few days after Ilinden, we decided to visit the villages of Beshishte and Polshishte, where we literally get back 100 years in time. There are 5-6 people living in both villages who, despite the difficult life and difficult conditions, did not hesitate for a moment to treat us or entertain us with what they have. We heard many different stories about the two villages and how people live there now. Before returning to the village of Vitolishte we decided to try something local in Mariovo and headed to Mariovo ethnic restaurant. The restaurant is located right after the black river bridge and is placed on an open width. The views from there are beautiful and only add beauty to the already relaxed ambience that the place offers.

Mariovo is divided into 3 parts: Prilepsko, Bitola and Kavadarechko. All the villages I mentioned in the text are located in the Prilep part of Mariovo.

I recommend Mariovo to anyone looking for adventure, exploration, history, food and tradition. The nature that you will see and witness in that region, you will not find anywhere else in Macedonia. Hills, rocks in different shapes, rivers, plateaus and forests, they all have their own charm, or as I like to say, “Mario’s flavor”. The road to the village of Vitolishte is new, renovated and well-marked. There is a villa in the village that rents out rooms for the night.

Don’t think too much of it, the next time you want an adventure in nature, go to Mariovo. No matter which village you end up in, you won’t go wrong. Love and protect Macedonia and its treasures and always behave responsibly in nature.

Petar Stevanovic

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