Situated in the southwestern part of Macedonia, the town of Ohrid stretches along the beautiful lake with the same name. Covering the mountainous border between southwestern Macedonia and eastern Albania, Lake Ohrid is the largest lake in the country and also one of the oldest lakes in Europe.
It’s nearly three million years old. The beauty of the lake is the reason Ohrid has become more and more popular among tourists.
The beautiful mountain range which blends with the crystal blue water of the lake, creates wonderful landscapes which can be admired in the old Ohrid. According to a legend, Ohrid used to shelter 365 churches, one for each day of the year, and this is the reason why it is considered the Jerusalem of the Balkans. Despite the fact that a lot of them were destroyed over time, Ohrid is the settlement with the highest number of religious edifices I have seen so far.
Don’t let yourself deceived by Ohrid’s simple and common appearance because the Old Town hides a lot of beautiful places and landscapes. In case you decide to visit this lovely Macedonian town, these are a few of the things you could do there:
1.Visit the lovely Church of St. John the Theologian at Kaneo, which is the jewel of Ohrid. Situated on a high cliff caressed by the water of the lake, this small and rustic church stands in the middle of a perfect scenery. Spending a few moments of peace and relaxation in the courtyard of this church will make you feel amazing.
2.Not far away from this church, you can take a walk in a small fisherman settlement, called Kaneo. This is the place where you can admire a variety of boats floating on water and also enjoy the image of the shore which blends with the high and imposing cliffs.
3.Enjoying the panorama over the entire town from the walls of Czar Samuel’s Fortress is an experience you cannot miss. It is said that this old fortress, situated at the top of the hill, was built in the 4th century. The ruins of the fortress are only a small part of what this building used to be. The original territory of Czar Samuel’s Fortress is delimited by two old gates, the upper gate situated at the top of the hill and the lower gate situated near the port.
4.You should stop for a few moments in front of the Ancient Theatre and try to imagine how many events this place has witnessed over time. Built almost 2000 years ago, this outdoor amphitheater is still used for concerts, operas and ballet performances.
5.The port of Ohrid is another place which really deserves your attention. Beautiful landscapes, tiny cobblestone streets, rustic taverns and chic cafes situated on the shores of the lake, are just a few of the aspects which contribute to the lovely image of the port.
6.Built in a traditional Turkish architectural style, the House of Robevci is another important tourist attraction in Ohrid. Nowadays, this building shelters a museum where you will have the chance to admire a collection of historical and art objects.
7.As I have already told you, Ohrid is blessed with a lot of religious edifices and many of them have an impressive architecture. You can admire beautiful frescoes, icons and art objects in the Church of St. Sophia or you can feel an authentic spiritual energy in the Church of St. Clement and Panteleimon. The Church of the Virgin Mary Bolnichka, the Church of the Mother of God Peribleptos and the Church of the Virgin Mary Chelnica are simply perfect in case you want to enjoy a rustic architecture.
8.In case you love shopping, you can explore the local bazaar where you will find all kind of products at really good prices. Unfortunately, you will have to invest some time and energy in finding quality goods because there are many things of poor quality in this bazaar.
9.You should explore every street in the Old Town of Ohrid because the rustic architecture and the picturesque scenery are simply lovely. Tiny cobblestone streets, small ancient churches and wonderful sights will delight you at every step.
10.You should try the local cuisine because it is delicious. The local taverns serve a lot of seafood, fish and meat specialties which are a real culinary treat. For example, the trout cream soup and the Macedonian salad were my favorite dishes.
Even though Ohrid is not a very popular destination among tourists, I really believe that this town has a lot to offer and that it deserves to be visited.