Ohrid: The jewel in the crown of Macedonia

“Don’t let that powerful water mesmerize you with sleep.

It has such a power: it mesmerizes you to sleep, enchants you, and then attracts you to itself with its magic.

And you will stay in Ohrid for many days and years, and you will keep coming back.”

– Branislav Nušić, Writer (excerpt from travelogue “On the Shores of Lake Ohrid”)

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A breathtaking scenery of the bright blue lake surrounded by the snowy mountains,

with the sun bathing in crystal clearness of the lake fed by the spring water.

Ohrid, the town on the shore of Lake Ohrid.

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Ohrid, called the jewel of the crown of Macedonia.

 A scenic place with splendid landscapes: the lake, the mountains, the churches, the monasteries and the fortress.

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Church of St John of Kaneo (Sv. Jovan od Kaneo) on the cliff overlooking the Lake Ohrid

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Ohrid, one of the oldest settlements in Europe seated on the shore of one of the oldest lakes in Europe.

 The town, an ancient historic place with archeological sites dating from the Stone Age up to the Middle Ages.

The lake, a natural phenomena with few hundred endemic flora and fauna species.

Ohrid, a spiritual and educational center.

The spiritual center once called “Jerusalem of the Balkans” for 365 churches. 365 churches, one for each day of the year.

The educational center for the first Slavonic University in the Balkans and the Ohrid literally school where the Slav literature was created.

st-panteleimon-monastery-on-plaosnik-build-in-byzantine-style
St Panteleimon (9th century), the oldest Slav monastery. It is believed to be the first Slav university for teaching first students of the Slavonic scripts (the Glagolitic and Cyrillic alphabets)

Ohrid, a living historic, architectural, cultural and artistic museum

with the evident heritage dating back to the prehistoric Neolithic period, the Byzantine era and the Ottoman era.

Ohrid, a UNESCO’s World Heritage Cultural and Natural site,

where masterpieces of the art and nature are packed with a superb dreamy, romantic and calming atmosphere.

Wondering am I mesmerized by Ohrid?! Do I need to say I will be coming back to Ohrid!?!

church-of-st-john-of-kaneo_build-around-1447_dedicated-to-john-the-evangelist

And what about you, are you mesmerized by Ohrid?


What to do: Ohrid is a paradise for outdoors. So, take a guided boat tour or water taxi to see the lake from all lake’s perspectives or simply swim in the lake or enjoy walking the waterfront promenade.

What to see: Church of St. John at Kaneo, Church of St. Sophia, Holy Mother of God Peribleptos Church, St. Panteleimon monastery, The ancient theater of Ohrid, Samuel’s Fortress, Robevi family house .

Where is it: Ohrid is accessible by car, by 3.5 hour bus drive from Skopje Bus Station, or by plane. The Ohrid airport St Paul the Apostle”  connects Ohrid with Zurich, Basel, Ljubljana, Belgrade, Tel Aviv, Amsterdam, Brussels and London, although the majority of airlines fly only during summer.


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15 Comments

  1. I was so gutted to miss out on this place when I was in the FYR Macedonia many years ago. Your photos really want me to go back to the country and check it out. It looks so amazing.

    1. Yes, Brianna, the lake is really gorgeous and you can swim in it. Lake Ohrid is a popular Macedonian summer vacation destination.

  2. I never heard of Ohrid, but it looks and sounds lovely! Thanks for sharing your experience with us, we will be sure to put it on our ever growing travel wish list.

    1. Hey, Agness. Ohrid used to have hundreds of churches, but over time only several remained. But, needless to say, it is a wonderful place.

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