Oh My, Ohrid!

Everyone that I know who’s been to Macedonia or Albania has mentioned Lake Ohrid, which straddles the borders of the two countries nestled in a gorgeous park. So, I hopped on a bus from Skopje for the three-hour ride to Ohrid, Macedonia.


It’s a tiny little lakeside town nestled in the hills around the northeast side of the lake, which is one of Europe’s oldest and deepest lakes. The must-see (or must-do) activity is the ferry ride to the Saint Naum monastery on the Albanian border. So, I boarded the Aleksandrija and embarked on a 2.5-hour boat ride.


The water was spectacular, and it’s clear that boating is a way of life for Macedonians in the summer. The water was calm until about 11 a.m. Then everyone, it seemed, headed out to enjoy a beautiful summer day.


In Ohrid, the waterfront is lined with cafes and restaurants. Eating on the terraces is really quite lovely with the breeze.


And yes, Ohrid has a fortress too. But, I didn’t have time to explore it. I was here for the water, and it was totally worth it.


When we pulled close to St. Naum, you could see the springs feeding the lake. Oh, and that water … it’s VERY cold.


Looking out over Lake Ohrid from St. Naum, you can see just how gorgeous the scenery really is. The mountains plunge into the water around nearly the entire lakeshore.


The Saint Naum monastery was quite a sight, and the grounds were lovely for an afternoon picnic lunch.


My lunch view from the walls of the monastery.


And, my lunch date… who jumped up on the wall to join me while I was dining.


In addition to the monastery, there’s a small Orthodox church named St. Petka.


Much of Lake Ohrid is dedicated to watersports, and it is clear the Macedonians love their beach time.


In nearly every flat spot along the water, a resort has sprung up. Luckily, there aren’t many flat spots, so the lake is still pretty serene.


Coming back into Ohrid’s tiny port, you get a good view of the city spread out along the water, crawling up the hillside. It’s a very charming town. I highly recommend a day or two here if you get to Macedonia.


And, finally, proof… that I was on a boat!


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American expat. University professor. World traveller. Dog lover. Eating and drinking my way through the Balkans for 7 weeks.

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