Ohrid is a charming city, also known as the pearl of Macedonia, and beautiful Ohrid pearls are worn even by Queen Elisabeth II. Discover the most beautiful attractions of Ohrid, a city located on the shore of the picturesque Lake Ohrid at the foot of the Galicica Mountain Range.
The town is rich in history, culture and natural beauty. The uniqueness of this region is proven by the fact that it has been listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1979. Its treasures of architecture and diverse nature make it an ideal summer destination.
See why it is worth spending your holidays in North Macedonia. Here are some of the top attractions in Ohrid that you should not miss.
What is worth seeing in Ohrid?
Visit the Ohrid Old Town
The Ohrid Old Town is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets, stone houses, churches and monuments that date back to different periods of history.
You can wander around and admire the architecture, visit the museums and galleries, or shop for souvenirs at the local bazaar. Some of the highlights of the Old Town include:
The Church of St. Sophia
Is one of the oldest and most important churches in Ohrid, dating from the 11th century. It has impressive frescoes and icons, and hosts concerts and festivals throughout the year.
The Church of St. John at Kaneo
A picturesque church perched on a cliff overlooking the lake. It was built in the 13th century and has a distinctive Byzantine style. It offers stunning views of the lake and the mountains, especially at sunset.
The Ancient Theatre
It’s a Roman amphitheatre that was built in the 2nd century BC. It was used for gladiator fights and theatrical performances, and later for public executions during the Ottoman rule. Today, it is a venue for cultural events and festivals.
The Samuel’s Fortress
Is a fortress in the old town of Ohrid, that was built by King Samuel of Bulgaria in the 10th century. It was the capital of his empire until it was conquered by the Byzantines in 1018. It has 18 towers and four gates, and offers panoramic views of the town and the lake.
Enjoy the Lake Ohrid
Lake Ohrid is one of the main attractions in Ohrid, and for a good reason. It is one of the oldest and deepest lakes in Europe, with a depth of 288 meters and an age of over 4 million years.
It is also one of the most biodiverse lakes in the world, with over 200 endemic species of plants and animals. You can enjoy the lake in many ways, such as:
Swimming and sunbathing in Ohrid
Enjoy at one of the many beaches along the shore. Some of the popular beaches are Potpesh Beach, Ljubanishta Beach and Gradishte Beach.
Boating and kayaking
On the calm waters of the lake. You can rent a boat or a kayak from one of the many operators along the shore, or join a guided tour to explore the hidden coves and islands of the lake.
Fishing and diving
In the clearand deep waters of the lake. You can catch some of the local fish species, such as trout, carp and eel, or dive to see some of the underwater archaeological sites, such as an ancient basilica and a prehistoric settlement.
Hiking and biking
Tour around the lake. You can follow one of the many trails that surround the lake, or rent a bike from one of the many shops in town. You can enjoy the scenic views of the lake and the mountains, and visit some of the villages and monasteries along the way.
Explore the National Park Galicica
The National Park Galicica is a mountainous area that separates Lake Ohrid from Lake Prespa, another beautiful lake in Macedonia.
The park covers an area of 227 square kilometers and has a diverse flora and fauna. You can explore the park by:
Hiking on one of the many trails that crisscross the park. You can choose from different levels of difficulty and duration, depending on your preference and fitness level. Some of the popular trails are Magaro Peak Trail (10 km), Goga Peak Trail (8 km) and Velestovo Trail (6 km).
Biking on one of the many routes that run through the park. You can rent a bike from one of the shops in town or bring your own. Some of the popular routes are Ohrid-Peshtani-Galicica (25 km), Ohrid-Velestovo-Galicica (20 km) and Ohrid-Trpejca-Galicica (15 km).
Paragliding in Ohrid
Paragliding from one of the many launch sites in the park. You can experience an adrenaline rush as you soar over the lakes and mountains with an experienced instructor. Some of the popular launch sites are Magaro Peak (2255 m), Goga Peak (1668 m) and Velestovo (1420 m).
Experience The Local Macedonian Culture And Cuisine
Ohrid is not only a place to see but also a place to feel. You can experience the local culture and cuisine by:
Attending one of the many festivals that take place in Ohrid throughout the year. Some of them are Ohrid Summer Festival (July-August), which features classical music, opera, ballet and theatre performances; Ohrid Choir Festival (August), which showcases choral music from around the world; Ohrid Jazz Festival (September), which presents jazz musicians from various genres; Ohrid Calling(August), which has EDM music and worldwide known DJs, and Ohrid Autumn Music Festival (October), which celebrates contemporary music.
Visiting one of the many restaurants that serve traditional Macedonian food. Some of them are Kaneo Restaurant, which offers fish dishes with a view of the lake; Belvedere Restaurant, which serves grilled meat specialties with a view of the old town; Antico Restaurant, which prepares homemade pasta and pizza with local ingredients; and Dalga Restaurant, which specializes in seafood dishes with a view of the Samuel’s Fortress.
Learning about the local crafts and arts by visiting some of the workshops and studios that produce them. Some of them are Workshop for Paper Filigree, which makes delicate jewelry from thin strips of paper; Workshop for Woodcarving, which carves intricate patterns on wooden objects; Workshop for Icon Painting, which paints religious images on wood or canvas; and Studio for Pottery, which shapes clay into various forms.
Ohrid is a place that will captivate you with its beauty, history and culture. It’s a place where you can relax, learn and have fun. It is a place that you will want to visit again and again.
In Ohrid you can swim in one of the oldest lakes in the world, visit ancient churches and monuments, explore a national park and experience the local cuisine. It’s a place where you can make memories that will last a lifetime.
So what are you waiting for? Book your trip to Ohrid today. You won’t regret it.