Macedonia’s Lake Ohrid is Europe’s oldest and deepst lake, around 288 metres deep and estimated to be 3 million years old. With over 80kms of shoreline, the lake itself is shared between Albania and Macedonia, with Macedonia ‘owning’ more than two thirds. Ohrid is Macedonia’s pride and joy and most popular tourist destination.
A day in the life.
Each morning the lake was completely still. The domain of the lake swans and a few early morning fisherman.
As the rest of the town started to wake up, so did the warm summer breezes and small waves started to appear on the surface, encouraged by the fishing boats and water taxis now cruising on the lake.
As the hot summer day picked up, it was time to hit the water. Locals and tourists alike taking a break in the cooling waters.
After so much beach time recently, we preferred to laze the days away at one of the local bars on the water, rather than go swimming.
We were also not so keen to join some of the other locals in the water.
On the days we felt a bit more energetic, we put on our walking shoes and wandered around Ohrid’s Unesco-listed old town streets. Admiring the castle overlooking the town and visiting the stunning churches we found along the way.
The highlight of any visit to Ohrid is the Church of St. John at Kaneo. A Macedonian orthodox church dating from the 14th century which sits in a stunning position, overlooking the lake.
High above town, there were some fantastic views back across this picturesque lake.
At dusk, the wind picked up and the waves started to lap against the walkways, the water splashing up onto unsuspecting holidaymakers trying to get the perfect sunset photo.
At the days end, we’d watch the sun set behind the mountains and the moon rise over the water. Albania sparkling at us from across the way.
We enjoyed our time at Lake Ohrid but it was missing a special something for us. Albania may have spoiled us for all future travel.
Perhaps our next stop in Europe’s newly crowned most-bizarre capital city, Skopje, would win us over.
When to visit: We visited early August 2014. We had read that Ohrid can be really busy during peak summertime, but to us it didn’t feel overcrowded. And we scored an amazing last minute hotel deal.
How to get to Lake Ohrid: We took a direct bus from Tirana to Ohrid. Taking the bus from Albania means you’re not dropped at the main bus station in town but one around 15 minutes outside of town. So you’ll need to take a taxi or local bus into the town itself.
Food & Drink recommendations: Cuba Libre Beach and Bar is the perfect spot to relax away an afternoon or enjoy an evening out. Relax in the sun eating tasty food, while enjoying a cocktail or three.
Where to stay in Lake Ohrid: We stayed at Villa Dea and highly recommend it. The highlight was definitely the lake front balcony, it’s the perfect place to enjoy the stunning landscapes. The room was also huge and very comfortable.