Located at the Southwest of Macedonia, Ohrid is a unique small resort city at the shores of Lake Ohrid. This city has a touch of both, the old and the new. Medieval houses, a historical fortress and the ruins of the once great city of Macedonia is evidently harmonizing with the rapid modernization of the city.
Ohrid City has a long coast to Lake Ohrid. The hills on which Car Simoil’s Fortress is located has the best view of the lake and the city. Nearby , there are plenty of inexpensive accommodation.
The photo above was taken from one of the apartment balconies near the lake. In spite modernization, the locals made sure that the environment is taken cared of. Fruits trees, bushes, flowers are around the surrounding area bringing more tranquility to the cool atmosphere of Ohrid.
The city offers excellent walkways for strolling. Before reaching a coast, you have to walk through this footpath shown above. From the Early Christian Basilica, you should walk towards east (not towards the Kaneo and follow the other branch of the path).
After around 10 minutes walk, you’ll find the placid lake. The path is not suitable for flip flops so put on trainers for your own safety.
When you reach the bottom of the path, the picture below will welcome you. The trees are literally growing in the lake water, providing shelter to animals, birds and visitors of the lake. Do not expect to find a sand bar or any facility to use for swimming.
When you had enough, pack your stuff for another walk, this time towards South to visit the Church of St. John at Kaneo. The view is captivating . Narrow dirt paths with trees next to it and bird chirping while you walk is one of the best feeling you can experience in Ohrid.
A beautifully constructed Orthodox church located on the cliff over Kaneo beach overlooking Lake Ohrid is the Church of Saint John at Kaneo. The church was believed to be built in 1447.
The church is in a perfect scenic location. You can see most of Ohrid bay along with the stony beaches of Kaneo. The church yard is surrounded by various trees such as mulberry and plum.
To walk down going to the beach, take the stairs on the right side of the church yard. At the bottom, keep walking towards the busy section of the beach. There is no footpath when you get down the cliff, so take off your shoes and walk bare foot in the lake.
There are few cafe-bars on the beach. With your swimsuits, you can sit and have a chilled drink. There are beach umbrellas and sunbeds for rent. The Church of St. John at Kaneo is on top of a hill over looking the swimming area.
You will see people walk in the lake with their plastic beach shoes on. It is a good idea to have one of those since the lake bed has stones and rocks so walking is not that pleasant on bare foot.
Want to discover more? Then hurry up. Pack your stuff and hit the road again. Before, there was no pathway that connected the city to the Kaneo area since some parts of the city were in the hilly side of the lake. For convenience, kind locals created a wooden bridge.
Another historical monument and a major tourist destination in Ohrid is the Samuel’s Fortress located at the old town. It was built around the 10th century during the era of the First Bulgarian Empire.
After a long day walking around the city, the best thing to do is to choose a bar near the lake, (there are several next to each other) chill with the music, and choose your preferred drink. Prices are reasonable and the view is relaxing. You can have your drink on the decks built in the lake as well.
At the port of Ohrid, a public park is available for the exhausted visitors and locals to enjoy. The park is pleasant and has lovely flowers around. There is a small pedestrian road that will lead you to the famous Old Bazaar. You can conveniently shop for souvenirs, clothes, groceries and etc.
A street located in the Old Bazaar called Saint Clement of Ohrid leads to a small square where you can find traditional restaurants and a 1000-year old Pale Tree (Cinar in Turkish as called by the locals). Halveti Hayati Tekke is also very near the square.
The city looks prettier when the sun goes down and hundreds of lights with different colours illuminate. To catch the best of it, you should take a walk through the Ohrid bay. The walk would take around 30 mins. (one way) but definitely worth it. During summer, beware of flies which are literally everywhere so using protective sprays is advisable.
Another must see event of Ohrid is watching the moon rise from the east. If you are lucky enough, you can catch the full moon. Full moon’s reflection on the lake water while you are having a drink is priceless. It’s so impressively bright that it can almost turn the night sky into early dawn.
3. Ohrid is best to discover on foot.