Tetovo - A view from our expert author

View over Tetovo Macedonia by vesnickamarkoska Flickr© vesnickamarkoska, Flickr

Whilst the colourful exterior of the Šarena Mosque makes it look like a deck of playing cards, the Bektaši Teke is one of the prettiest sites in town with well-kept gardens, old-style inns and meditation platforms.

With a population of 70,000, Tetovo is the gateway to the Šar Mountains and to the popular Popova Šapka ski resort. Towering above the town, covered in snow until July and as early as September, is Macedonia’s second highest mountain, Titov Vrv (Tito’s Summit, 2,748m). This is in fact the highest mountain that lies completely in Macedonia (and was also the highest in the whole of Yugoslavia, thus earning it its name). The higher peak of Mount Korab (2,764m) lies further to the south above Lake Mavrovo on the border with Albania.

Nestled close to Kosovo and Albania, Tetovo is the de facto capital of Macedonia’s significantly sized Albanian minority. It is also the headquarters of the main Albanian-centred political parties, the Democratic Union of Integration and the Democratic Party of Albanians. Just outside Tetovo is the South East European University, Macedonia’s third largest university after Skopje and Bitola.

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