10 reasons why you should travel to Ohrid instead of Skopje

Yegana Veliyeva28 January 20213400 views9 min. read
10 reasons why you should travel to Ohrid instead of Skopje
capital of Macedonia is Skopje, a big number of tourists planning a vacation in this country tend to get to the city in Macedonia, the main income of which comes from tourism. Macedonians recognize Ohrid as the most beautiful place in Macedonia and advise you to visit it. Do you know where is Ohrid? The city is located on Lake Ohrid's eastern shore in the Northern part of the country, southwest of the capital and east of the Albanian capital Tirana. Undoubtedly, the city of Ohrid and the wonderful Lake Ohrid are considered the pearls of Macedonia. Travelling around the city, you may get the impression that development has not yet reached here – everything is preserved here as it was hundreds of years ago. The attention is attracted by the squat houses of the traditional style made of clay with bright orange tiled roofs, a large number of temples, food shops, and craft workshops, the ruins of an ancient theater. It is safe to say that Ohrid is the most beautiful place in the Balkan Peninsula, which should be preferred more than Skopje. It is best to come here between April and October when it is still warm. If you decide to go during the summer months, then combine sightseeing with relaxing on the beaches. The city is not very popular among tourists yet, so you will not see the ubiquitous crowds of tourists, queues, inflated prices, which you should take advantage. The local population is not tired of tourists, but, on the contrary, is happy with them and tries very hard to attract them. view of ohrid city The city consists of two parts. The first part is the "old" historical one, located on the hillside and is most popular among visitors. The second is the surrounding "old" part of the "new" part of the city with a relatively modern infrastructure. This part is distinguished by a big number of traditional Ohrid hotels, inns, and boarding houses. So, if you want to have a cheap vacation in a beautiful European country, then be sure to visit the city in Macedonia. Moreover, the answer to the question "how to get to Ohrid" is not so difficult. In turn, we will give 10 reasons why the first in Macedonia is still worth visiting Ohrid and not Skopje, capital of Macedonia.

1. The Lake Ohrid

sunset over the water of ohrid lake Are you wondering where is lake Ohrid? After you have answered the question "how to get to Ohrid" and arrived in this city, first of all, head to Lake Ohrid. Lake Ohrid is a magnificent blue lake with a charming and unique landscape, the main reason why European tourists are eager to get to Ohrid, and the main attraction that comes out when searching for "Ohrid attractions". It is the deepest and oldest lake in the region, located at 750 meters above sea level. On the opposite side of this unique lake, you can see Albania. The peak season on this lake in July and August. Lake Ohrid is very clean, extremely clear (about 20 meters), and so large and deep that it is mistaken for the sea. The lake is rich in endemic species of flora and fauna, making it even more attractive. The main "activities" on the lake, from which tourists get the most pleasure, are considered walks and tours on the lake on ships. You can also choose a general tour by boat or an individual boat tour with a resident. It is also possible to rent a yacht.

2. Museums

bay of bones museum Are you wondering what to visit in Ohrid? Well, there are several museums in the city, but the National Museum and the "Bay on the Bones" are among the most notable. The National Museum is located on Tsar Samuel Street, in a beautiful architectural building – the House of the Robevs, where the most beautiful collection of archeology and ethnography in the whole country is displayed. Another popular museum is the water museum "Bay on Bones", the oldest village and discovered at the bottom of Lake Ohrid. The remaining parts of the settlement can be seen if you go down to the bottom in scuba gear and the company of an experienced diver instructor.

3. The ancient amphitheater of Ohrid

ancient amphitheater Another celebrity in the search for "Ohrid attractions", located near the coast in the old center of Ohrid and made in the style of Hellenic (Greek) architecture. The amphitheater was discovered relatively recently and purely by chance, although it was built in 200 BC. To this day, the amphitheater has not reached its entirety. Still, only the lower tier, and today, thanks to its excellent acoustic characteristics, magical music evenings are held on its stage. World stars and even the famous tenor Jose Carreras performed here. Every year, the Ohrid Summer Festival is organized in the amphitheater. The amphitheater's location is particularly impressive: it is located between two hills that protect it from the winds, but at the same time do not block the view of the sea. After visiting here, you can enjoy a wonderful panorama of the city in Macedonia.

4. The fortress of King Samuel

ohrid view from fortress of king samuel The most wonderful and stunning landscape of the city opens from Samuel's fortress, so it is worth visiting here. Travelers who have passed the stages of "bathing" and "walking on the lake" usually go to this fortress. The attraction is located on the highest point of the city and demonstrates the magnificent urban landscapes. It is best to come here in the morning or the evening before sunset. The photos here are amazing. It is recommended to take a view of the fortress in the evening. It is then that numerous lanterns illuminate the stone walls. The fortress was built in the IX century by order of the Bulgarian tsar Samuel. Until our time, it has been preserved in excellent condition only thanks to repeated reconstructions. Recently, on the fortress's territory, precious jewelry that belongs to a more ancient period than the fortress itself was revealed. The fortress is a venue for summer festivals, parties, and creative events. Comfortable Ohrid hotels, bars, and restaurants are located nearby. In short, this area has a fairly well-established infrastructure for tourism. But it is not only the infrastructure that is significant but also the fascinating natural beauty that makes the holiday perfect and memorable. The next place that would be mentioned in the issue of "Heads and Tails of Ohrid".

5. Monasteries and churches

saint naum monastery The city has many different monasteries, small churches, and Orthodox churches, which are several centuries old, and they occupy one of the first places in the list of "Ohrid attractions". Once there were 365 of them and among the locals there was such a joke "One for a day in the year". Although their number has decreased, still even this number is a record. Naturally, you will not be able to see all of them in a few days in Ohrid, so we have identified the most significant ones for you, namely the Monastery of St. Naum, the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Caneo and St. Clement and Panteleimon and the Basilica of St. Sophia. The Monastery of St. Naum - It is not difficult to get here, since buses periodically go in this direction, but a trip by boat will be more unforgettable here. The sarcophagus with the relics of Saint Naum, who devoted his years of life to the sick's treatment, made the monastery famous. The townspeople believe that they can hear Naum's heartbeat by putting their left ear to the sarcophagus. Church of St. John the Evangelist in Cameo - A small church, which rises above a reservoir on a rocky mountain, is considered a symbol of Macedonia and a visiting card of Ohrid. Going down from the mountain, your attention will be attracted by the small Church of Theotokos Peribleptos which is a wonderful place. The Church of Saints Clement and Panteleimon - On the site of this church, Clement of Ohrid, a pupil of Cyril and Methodius, once carried out teaching work and popularized the Cyrillic alphabet. Also, the first Slavic university functioned here, where the first Slavic alphabet – Glagolitic-was taught. The Basilica of Hagia Sophia - The huge spiritual structure of the city is the Basilica of St. Sophia. It was a cathedral under the Bulgarian Empire, but today there is a museum in its place. The building's shape is built with two domes, which is unacceptable for a typical Christian church. A square with benches and plants surrounds the basilica.

6. Festivals

epiphany day in ohrid In the Orchid, festivals are held, which turn into real festivals. One of these is the summer Drama Festival – the most important music festival in the country. Artists from all over Europe gather in the city of Ohrid in Macedonia. The venue of the festival is the Church of Hagia Sophia, which is distinguished by special acoustics. Another outstanding festival is the Balkan Folklore Festival, sponsored by UNESCO. It is a great holiday that unites thousands of people and is all the best and is on the peninsula. The festival is very fun: people sing, dance, have fun, go to fairs.

7. Galichitsa National Park

galichitsa national park This park is located between Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa. The main attraction of the place is Magaro Peak, with a height of two kilometers. You can also get an unforgettable experience from the plants, which number here in thousands. Most of them are found only in this national park.

8. Stores

ohrid shopping street If you are a lover of pearl jewelry, you should go to Ohrid in Macedonia. There are shops of two famous families Talevi and Filevi, which became popular thanks to pearl products' production. Skills and knowledge in this craft have been passed on in families from generation to generation for many centuries. Pearls are made from shells that are covered with several layers of emulsion from the scales of fish that live only in Lake Ohrid. There are also shops with national musical instruments, wooden and copper products. Small shops with all sorts of old things, among which there are quite cute rare things, also seem tempting.

9. Unique dishes found only here

cake There are several dishes in Ohrid that can only be enjoyed here. One of them is "Ohridska torta" - a sweet and delicious cake with chocolate and nuts. Fierce is a fried, rather hot pepper, which should be tried by lovers of spicy food. And, of course, be sure to try Ohridsko makalo or White onion. The dish is a unique Ohrid sauce made of garlic and sour cream. Usually, it is dipped in bread or bread products made from unleavened dough "furnarinka".

10. Lake Ohrid beaches

view of the scenic On the coast of Lake Ohrid, there are many Lake Ohrid beaches with a total length of more than 30 kilometers, and they are completely free. Here you will enjoy your summer vacation with great pleasure: swim in the crystal clear waters of the lake, sunbathe on the clean sands and have fun. The most popular beaches among visitors are Cadmo and Cuba Libre, with bars operating there. The entrance, sunbeds, and umbrellas are completely free, but you give an order at the bar.

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