Berovo, Macedonia

Photo: Aurora Resort
Photo: Aurora Resort

The lake is still quiet and peaceful this early in the morning. The surrounding evergreen trees seem as though they’re looking into a mirror. A little boat is tied to a wooden dock on one side. Two birds, hidden among the greenery, call back and forth to one another on the other. While silver-colored fish swim in the cool, crystal-clear water.

Berovo Lake is a freshwater lake surrounded by a protected forest in the Maleševo Mountains. Two trails offer gorgeous views of the water. The longer one, which you follow, rings the shoreline. People come here to swim, fish, and sail. The stunning setting, with the mountains in the background, remind you of Switzerland. The area, along the Bulgarian border, is actually known as Little Switzerland.

Little Switzerland has changed hands many times. Since the 19th century alone, Berovo has been part of the Ottoman Empire, Serbia, and Yugoslavia. It’s now part of landlocked Macedonia, a beautiful—and largely undiscovered—country in Southeast Europe.

Photo: Aurora Resort
Photo: Aurora Resort

You hadn’t heard of Berovo Lake or the Little Switzerland nickname before you arrived in eastern Macedonia. You decided to visit the area after seeing pictures of the Aurora Resort & Spa and the jaw-dropping views from its hillside infinity pool. The property quickly surpassed all of your expectations.

The buildings are made of volcanic rocks and have traditional, red-tiled roofs. The cozy restaurant has wooden beams and a gas fireplace, local cuisine and Macedonian wine. Wooden bridges and hammocks dot the green lawn. While that infinity pool overlooks Berovo Lake, the Maleševo Mountains, and millions of pine trees.

You could have easily stayed put at the resort. Between the meditation space at the spa, the pillow-filled lounges, and the views from just about everywhere, you could have just relaxed in the tranquil space. But you couldn’t keep your eyes off the glassy lake that seemed to be calling your name. Soon, you were lacing up your running shoes and inquiring about the trailhead. The pool and a glass of Vranac wine will be awaiting your return.


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