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April 19, 2024

Discover Ohrid: 5 Must-Do Activities in Macedonia’s Lakeside Gem

Ohrid is not just one of North Macedonia’s most endearing destinations; it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage site that offers a stunning mix of natural beauty and centuries-old history. Nestled by the serene Lake Ohrid, the town is a treasure trove of cultural heritage with its ancient churches, quaint cobblestone streets, and vibrant local life. Here’s a curated list of five must-do activities that capture the essence of Ohrid:

1. Wander Through the Old Town

Start your visit by exploring Ohrid’s Old Town, a charming maze of narrow streets lined with beautiful traditional houses, some of which date back to the Ottoman era. As you wander, you’ll encounter numerous small shops offering handmade local crafts, including the famous Ohrid pearls. Don’t miss the Ancient Theatre of Ohrid, which was built by the Romans and is still used today for performances during the summer festival.

2. Visit the Historic Church of St. John at Kaneo

Perched on a cliff overlooking Lake Ohrid, the Church of St. John at Kaneo is perhaps the most photographed spot in North Macedonia. This Byzantine-style church dates back to the 13th century and offers breathtaking views of Lake Ohrid and the surrounding mountains. The peaceful ambiance makes it a perfect spot for reflection or simply enjoying the panoramic views at sunset.

3. Enjoy Lake Ohrid

Lake Ohrid is not only one of Europe’s deepest and oldest lakes, but it also boasts crystal-clear waters that are perfect for various water activities. Rent a boat or take a guided tour to explore the many hidden gems around the lake, including secluded beaches and picturesque villages. For those who prefer a more relaxed experience, there are many beaches along the lake where you can swim, sunbathe, or enjoy fresh fish at a lakeside restaurant.

4. Explore the Monastery of Saint Naum

Located about 29 kilometers south of Ohrid, the Monastery of Saint Naum is a worthwhile day trip. Founded in the 10th century by Saint Naum of Ohrid, the monastery is an active religious site and cultural monument set against a backdrop of lush forests and springs that feed into Lake Ohrid. The complex is known for its beautiful frescoes and the tomb of Saint Naum, which is said to still exhibit the saint’s miraculous powers.

5. Visit the Ohrid Archaeological Museum and the Icon Gallery

To truly appreciate Ohrid’s rich history, spend some time at the Ohrid Archaeological Museum, housed in the 15th-century Robevci House in the Old Town. The museum showcases artifacts from Ohrid’s prehistoric, classical, and medieval periods. Afterward, head to the Icon Gallery, which holds one of the most impressive collections of Byzantine icons in the world, some dating as far back as the 11th century.

Ohrid offers an enchanting blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, making it a must-visit destination in the Balkans. Whether you are delving into its ancient past, enjoying its vibrant present, or simply relaxing by the beautiful lake, Ohrid promises an unforgettable experience for every type of traveler. Enjoy exploring this majestic Macedonian city!

Category: Activities, Hospitality
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