Macedonia is a country at the heart of the Balkans, with rich
archeology, art and culture. Its terrain is characterized with massive
mountains, intersected with wide valleys and lowlands. The capital is Skopje.
The country has an area of 25,713 km². It is bounded on the
north by Serbia, on the east by
Bulgaria, on the south by Greece and on the west by
Albania. Its terrain is punctuated by deep valleys and rugged mountains and
hills. Many of the mountain ranges rise to heights of 2,100 to 2,700 m. The
Rhodope Mountains dominate the republic’s eastern half. Mount Korab, on the
Albanian border, is the highest point in the republic at 2,764 m. The Babuna
Mountains are in the center of the country. They separate the fertile Bitola
Plain in the south from the Skopje Plain in the north and the fertile steppe of
Macedonia map ►
Lakes Ohrid & Prespa, Albania/Macedonia Winter/Spring 1997 (NASA). Located just
below the center of this image, Lake Ohrid is the deepest lake in the Balkans.
Just to the left of Lake Ohrid is Lake Prespa, the highest lake in the Balkans.
The smaller Mikri Prespa is just to the left (east) of Lake Prespa. Lake Ohrid
is 40 km long and covers and area of 340 km². Lake Prespa is 23 km long and
approximately 13 km wide and covers an area of 290 km². Lake Prespa drains into
Lake Ohrid through a series of underground channels. The terrain around the
lakes is hilly but not overly steep. The region around the lakes supports a
larger population than other inland areas in Albania, northern Greece, and
Macedonia. Most of Albania is visible in this view (right of the lakes). The
terrain, except for a narrow coastal plain, is mountainous and often
inaccessible. Soils are of a poor quality except in the intermontaine river
valleys, along Lakes Orhid and Prespa. The Vlores Gulf and Adriatic Sea are
visible in the top right corner of the image.