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Lake Ohrid Macedonia

Fast Facts

  • Location: At the border of Macedonia and Albania
  • Best time to Visit: June to September, preferably during 'Summer Festival' from mid July to mid August
  • Preferred Timing: Daytime, and evenings during 'Summer Festival'
  • How to Reach:By bus from Skopje
  • Nearest international airport: St. Paul the Apostle International Airport, Ohrid
  • Time for sightseeing: 3 days
One summer event which you must not miss is the fascinating 'Ohrid Swimming Marathon' which takes place in June or July in Lake Ohrid. Swimmers from all over the world try out their stamina in this 30 km ordeal. Prizes are awarded to both men and women winners.

Lake Ohrid Macedonia is renowned for its amazingly clean water and serene mountains on the shores. The largest of the three tectonic lakes in Macedonia, Ohrid Lake has been a center of attraction for tourists from all parts of the world since .prehistoric times. Tourists are completely captivated by the tranquility of this immense lake and typical animal and plant life of this region. So exotic is the landscape that UNESCO has declared Lake Ohrid in Macedonia a World Heritage site in 1980.

This spectacular lake dating back 2 to 4 million years ago is fed by mountain springs like Ostrovo arising from Galicica Mountains. Prespa Lake at a higher elevation in the Galicica Mountains is another important source of water for Ohrid Lake. With a length of 18 miles and a width of approximately 9 miles it extends to an area of about 138 square miles. Its shoreline of almost 55 miles is shared by Macedonia and Albania. With an average depth of 508 feet and being almost 950 feet at its deepest point the volume of water is mammoth. This Balkan lake is fed by temporary tributaries numbering about 40. River Black Drim or Crni Drim flowing into the Adriatic Sea forms the main outlet of Macedonia Lake Orchid.

The flora and fauna of this lake region is amazing. Belvica and Letnica are two varieties of trouts found in the waters of Lake Ohrid. A couple of eel species and an endemic species of bleak flourish here. The scales of bleak are used for making the famous Ohrid pearl. The technique of processing this pearl has been passed down from one generation to the next and is a well guarded secret among the Macedonians of this region. You will be surprised to note that there are more than 450 million trouts in Lake Ohrid.

Spend an idle day in the stillness of Lake Ohrid. Go rowing along the shores or into the lake interiors as per your fascination. If you love fishing, then Lake Ohrid is the perfect destination for its calmness and safe waters. St. Bogorodica Perivlepta, St. Sophia and St. Jovan Kaneo churches are must be visited while touring Lake Ohrid. Do not miss on the fortress of King Samoli, the Antique Theater, the Kaneo and the Mesokastro settlements, and Ohrid fortifications.

Ohrid Summer Festival from July 2nd week to August 3rd week is fill of color and merriment. People from Macedonia and other adjoining countries flock to this picturesque location to participate in plays, concerts and performances. The churches and the Antique Theater all decked up in brilliant lights become venues of different cultural activities. The 2000 year old open air Antique Theater hosts plays in the evenings, while St. Sophia church serves as the main concert hall. Dolni Saraj close to Ohrid Lake and St. Kliment Ohridski Primary School are venues for performances. Plaosnik on a hilltop overlooking Lake Ohrid is a fascinating site for cultural events. Plan your Europe tour

The Balkan Folklore festival is another noteworthy event which begun in 1962 in Ohrid town square. Folk musicians, singers and dancers from all over Europe particularly the Balkan countries participate with zeal and enthusiasm. It is a showcase for the display of traditional costumes, musical instruments, and art and craft. This July beginning festival has hosted about 40,000 folk performers till date.

Related Links : To get a feel of the pristine beauty and tranquil grace of Lake Ohrid, watch this video! You will understand why this is one of the most popular attractions of the Balkan region. Check out the quaint grace of the Lake Ohrid region in this slideshow.


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