Macedonia lies inland in the middle of the Balkan Peninsula. It shares borders with Kosovo and Serbia to the north, Bulgaria to the east, Greece to the south and Albania to the west. Macedonia has a total area of 25 411 km2.
Macedonia has a very distinctive relief, in which broad and flat valleys and fields are surrounded by great and high mountain ranges. Valleys are interconnected with low saddle or deep gorges (Derven, Taor, Veles, Demirkapija). Some of the valleys, however, are covered with lakes such as Ohrid, Prespa and Dojran Lake.
The relief of Macedonia is rich in diverse and very important minerals. Kratovo-Zletovo massif is rich in lead and zinc ores and Ljuboten massif harbours a chromium ore. Kicјevo and Demir Hisar Basјin contain iron ore; limestone from Baba Sacј Mountain (Kicјevo) is accompanied by the occurrence of manganese ore, while in Mariovo-Meglene area antimony and arsenic ores can be encountered, etc. Macedonia has sites of many nonmetals as well, such as talc, magnetite, asbestos, mica, diatomaceous earth, cement marl, quartz sand, quartzite, silex and others. After all, the rocks themselves which build the relief of Macedonia offer large amounts of granite, basalt, travertine and marble.
Almost the entire territory of Macedonia lies between 40 degreе and 42 degree north latitude and it represents a transitional area between the Mediterranean and Continental climate. Warm and dry summers are fully expressed in Macedonia, and in the culmination of vegetation there is a lot of heat and little humidity. Precipitation is very low. Average precipitation is highest in the western regions, around 700 mm, and lowest in middle Povardarie, in Tikvesј (only 450 mm). The disposition of precipitation is highly unfavourable, so that almost regularly there is lack of humidity in the culmination of vegetation.
In Macedonia there are crops typical of the continental area (wheat, corn, potatoes, fruit growing in Central Europe, etc.), and also typical of the Mediterranean area (cotton, poppy, etc.). Besides climate, diversity in agricultural production is dependent on soil, which in Macedonia is a real mosaic of types and subtypes.
Similar diversity can be seen in vegetation: the olive tree which, as a distinctively Mediterranean culture is suppressed far south, through deciduous forest (oak, chestnut, beech), to conifer plants that are partially kept in the high areas of Ograzјden and Pelister and scarcely elsewhere. Over 1600 m altitude high mountain pastures begin, which can also be found in the lowlands. Marsh vegetation is present among marshes, and the lower parts of the river currents are characterized by lowland vegetation.
Dr. Alexander Pavlov, Dr. Ivan Katardzjiev,
Dr. Danco Zografski Dr. Michael Apostolski
Makedonska kniga, Kultura, Misla, Nasјa kniga