Ohrid

Overview

Introduction

Ohrid, Macedonia, is a charming and attractive city located on the shores of beautiful Lake Ohrid about 120 mi/195 km southwest of Skopje.

Ohrid is the highlight of any trip to Macedonia. Its uniqueness is endorsed by its UNESCO World Heritage status; there's a church for every day of the year (really), and in high summer they provide relief from the oppressive heat of Skopje. There are a number of special churches within the medieval city walls, including the Sveti Sofija, an Orthodox cathedral that was once used as a mosque. The churches Sveti Kliment and Sveti Bogorodica Bolnicka both have frescoes.

The city also has a fully uncovered Roman amphitheater, which dates from the days when Ohrid was a stop along the Via Egnatia. Also worth seeing are Czar Samuel's 11th-century castle and the attached museum.

Day-trip possibilities include Galicica National Park (on the border with Albania), where you can go hiking and camping, and the ninth-century monastery of St. Naum, which also has a small modern hotel attached. There are also guided rowing trips to the 45 springs that feed Lake Ohrid—a beautiful and peaceful interlude while at St. Naum. Summer boat trips are available from the pier in Ohrid to St. Naum. If you're in Ohrid on a Saturday, travel out to Struga, a quaint, touristy town. In August, the town hosts the annual Struga Poetry Evenings festival.

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