Flights to Gostivar
Situated on the foothills of the Sar Mountains is the city of Gostivar, in north western Macedonia. Built on the foundations of an ancient city, Gostivar enjoys a scenic setting in the Polog River Valley and the surrounding area has a variety of tourist attractions.
For international flights to Gostivar, you will want to plan your arrival at the Skopje Alexander the Great Airport (airport code: SKP) which is 62 kilometres from the city. There are good rail routes and motorways for transit by train or rental car. Travelling from South Africa, Turkish Airlines offer a flight to Gostivar that only stops in Istanbul, but South African Airways will make two connections in Cairo and then Istanbul. Lufthansa has a flight to Gostivar through Munich and Vienna instead.
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The Tourist Attractions of Gostivar:
Gostivar is an historic city that has retained a number of its older landmarks, making this an attractive city to visit. The surrounding Sar Mountains region and the Polog River Valley also make for attractive places to visit with a number of attractions particularly suited to those that like outdoor recreation.
Gostivar City Square
Gostivar’s city square is at the heart of the city and is a popular meeting place for locals. There are shops and a few restaurants and cafés along the perimeter of the square, though tourists who are used to the likes of cities such as Venice, may be disappointed by the lack of character here.
At one end of the square is the main church for Gostivar, Holy Mother of God Church. This is an attractive white washed church with orthodox architectural influences.
Gostivar Clock Tower
The other major landmark for the city centre is Gostivar Clock Tower. Now surrounded by far more modern buildings, the old clock tower looks somewhat out of place, but it has benefited from a recent restoration. Gostivar Clock Tower was built in 1683 by Ottoman ruler, Abu Qebir.
Close by to the clock tower, and also built in 1683, is the ‘Clock Mosque’ so called because of its proximity to the clock tower. The official name for this historic mosque is Bey Mahala Mosque.
Attractions Outside of Gostivar
On the outskirts of Gostivar, and in the surrounding region, there are many more things to see and do. Inside Mavrovo National Park is one of Macedonia’s top ski resorts. By winter you can enjoy some great, and more relaxed skiing here, and in the summer there’s beautiful scenery including Mavrovo’s artificial lake and the submerged St Nicholas Church.
St John the Baptist Monastery is also outside Gostivar. This is an historic monastery that was started in 1020, but largely destroyed by attacking Turks. Only a church remained standing and the rest of the complex was rebuilt, ending in 1743.
When Should You Visit?:
Summer or winter are the best times to visit Gostivar, depending on what you would like to do. In the summer you can enjoy fairly hot and dry weather here, great for sightseeing or hiking into the mountains. In the winter the weather is perfect for winter sports: cold and snowy.