In this episode, David takes us with him as he checks out things to see and do in Ohrid, Macedonia – a city at the center of Lake Ohrid tourism.
Don’t forget to check out our full guide of Top Things to Do in Ohrid, Macedonia on the blog.
David begins in the Old Town, which is home to several beautiful buildings like the historic Robevci House. He then makes his way up the hill to see some of Ohrid’s historical monuments. First up is St. Jovan de Kaneo, a Byzantine-style church perched above the shore of Lake Ohrid. This is one of the most photographed places in Macedonia.
Another beautiful church to check out is St. Clement Church. David’s guide Zivka gives some background on St. Clement. Then it’s time to head to to Tsar Samuil’s Fortress for amazing views over Lake Ohrid. Samuil was Tsar of the First Bulgarian Empire and best known for defending Bulgaria against Byzantine domination. He eventually moved the capital of the Empire to Ohrid and built one of the greatest strongholds in the Balkans. Today the fortress is a great place for panoramic views of the Lake and the city of Ohrid. Admission is 30 Macedonian denar.
Up next: The Roman Theatre. It was built to accommodate 4,000 spectators and was used for gladiatorial battles. Recently it was uncovered and is free to enter. The acoustics here are wonderful!
Heading back down the hill David visits one of the most important monuments in Macedonia, the Church of St. Sophia. Again, Zivka chimes in with some more information about the Church. The surviving frescos dates back to the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries. David and the team walk back to the main square of Ohrid to shop for Ohrid’s famous pearls. He introduces us to a man whose family was the first to bring the tradition to Macedonia. The Talev family workshop has been here since 1924.
David reminds us that no visit to Ohrid is complete without first taking a boat ride on Lake Ohrid. From here, you’ll get magnificent views of the city and lakeshore. Hire a local captain from the Ohrid Marina for one-hour tour.
The next day, David embarks on his first day trip from Ohrid, bringing him south of the city to National Park Galicica. The park separates Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa. It’s a popular with hikers and nature lovers who want to enjoy the clean, fresh air and stunning views of the lakes and towns below. You can also take your own car like David did.
A visit to the Monastery of St. Naum and the Black Drim springs is also a fantastic day trip from Ohrid. The monastery is located on a rocky outcrop at the southernmost part of Lake Ohrid near the Albanian border. Inside this cross-shaped church is the tomb of St. Naum. David sees if the local legend is true – you can hear St. Naum’s heartbeat if you put your ear to his tomb… it’s up to you to judge!
Once finished seeing St. Naum, David heads down to the riverbank to hire a rowboat to take him to see the crystal clear springs of the Drim River. So that was David’s list of top things to see in Ohrid. Definitely one of the highlights of his Macedonia trip and a gorgeous destination to experience in the Balkans.
Do you have suggestions about what things to see and do in Ohrid, Macedonia? Leave us a question or comment below!