COUNTRY: north macedonia
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE: the antique theatre
Situated on the shores of the famous lake, the town of Ohrid captivates the hearts of all its visitors. Also known as the Balkan Jerusalem because of its 365 churches, this extraordinary UNESCO World Heritage site is a place of tranquility, history and culture. The archaeological sites, ancient Greek theater and Plaosnik, provide a historic experience that is complemented by the beautiful blue Ohrid Lake.
The city of Ohrid is located on Lake Ohrid, the largest and deepest lake in the region, known for its beauty and beaches. Lake Ohrid is on the UNESCO list both as a cultural and natural heritage site. The St. Paul the Apostle airport is located 9 km northwest of Ohrid.
The city is a very popular summer destination due to its position on the lake, rich history and magnificent views. Many people refer to Ohrid as the “city of 365 churches”, some of which represent unique cultural and historical attractions, like the churches of St. Naum, St Sophia, St John Kaneo, and St Clement and Panteleymon. A walk through the Old Town will reveal narrow streets and scenes of urban assembly created between the 7th and 19th centuries. The well preserved Greek theater with conversions to Roman use is attractively presented in the historical center of the medieval town. In any promotional photography of the past few decades, the Tzar Samuel medieval fortress is represented as a trademark of the city. Make sure you go there – it has an amazing panoramic view of the surrounding landscape’s beautiful nature!
For true gourmets, ask for Ohrid trout when dining in the city’s restaurants. For a complete culinary experience, pair it with a bottle of wine from the famous Tikveš vineyards, a synonym for North Macedonian winemaking.
Where to sleep and eat
Hotel MiIlenium Palace Ohrid ****
The Hotel Millenium Palace, Ohrid boasts a beautiful panoramic view of Lake Ohrid, the old town and Samoil Fortress. This deluxe hotel offers a large selection of elegantly decorated and fully appointed comfortable rooms and suites. The hotel’s two conference halls, each with a capacity of 120 seats, are an excellent place for organizing conferences and business meetings. The Hotel Millenium Palace also has a generously stocked wine bar with a traditional Macedonian ambience. Here you will find a rich selection of homemade wines, spicy cheeses and prosciutto. The restaurant, with a spacious terrace and a capacity of 200, offers a range of delicious specialties.
Hotel Aqualina ****
The Hotel Aqualina is located in the tourist settlement of St. Stefan, 6 km from the center of the city. This modern hotel, with its location on the shore of Lake Ohrid, overlooking the endless green forest of the Galičica National Park, offers the perfect place to spend a memorable vacation. The hotel is a place for enjoyment and relaxation, with saunas or jacuzzis an integral part of some apartments and double rooms. The restaurants’ chefs always select the freshest local produce and the menus are designed to satisfy all tastes, offering organic dishes as well as vegetarian choices.
Restaurant Biljana Springs
If you want to try superb local specialties, the restaurant BIljaninin Springs is a great choice. The restaurant is named after the legend of a girl who washed her clothes and forgot to turn off the water, and thus Lake Ohrid was created overnight. The specialties of this restaurant include a phenomenal appetizer on a platter of (sofra) ajvar, olives, monastery cheese, zucchini and eggplant, followed by Ohrid trout and carp, and succulent barbecue with Macedonian mixed salad and for dessert Ohrid cake or baklava. A unique feature of the restaurant’s décor is a large restored 80 year-old wooden boat. At 11 meters in length, it is the biggest model ship in Northern Macedonia.
HOW TO REACH OHRID
Skopje international airport (http://skp.airports.com.mk/default.aspx?ItemID=345); Ohrid St. Paul the Apostle airport (http://ohd.airports.com.mk/default.aspx?ItemID=345#; https://visitohrid.mk/get-to-skopje-via-airplane)
Bus station: +389 46 260 339; https://getbybus.com/en/bus-from-ohrid; https://visitohrid.mk/get-to-skopje-via-bus/