Recently myself and a friend hopped over to Ohrid (Macedonia) for a relaxing long weekend break. If you want somewhere budget-friendly, relaxing, full of history and culture, good weather (potentially!) and friendly faces galore, Ohrid is the place for you.
So, if you’re thinking about heading to Ohrid for a few days, here’s how you should spend them!
St Jovan Kaneo
You’ve all seen the pictures. This is probably THE most photographed area of Ohrid. Whilst the interior of the monastery wasn’t the most impressive, this is the perfect place to relax and get picture perfect shots. The view of the lake is second to none.
Tsar Samuel’s Fortress
If you know me, you will know that I love any kind of castle/fortification. So I was VERY excited to learn that Ohrid had it’s very own fortress and even more excited that we had a view of it from our bedroom window. This is the highest point of the city, so expect more incredible views!
Enjoy The Lake Views
As if I haven’t already spoken about “the view” enough already! Ohrid’s main selling point is the fact that it is so god damn beautiful. I uttered the words “it’s so pretty” probably once every 25 minutes for the entire trip. Everywhere you turn will be picturesque (even the drive from the airport to the city!). But of course, the most picturesque area is on the lake-front.
RELATED: Want to know a bit more about this beautiful lake? Take a read of my “Top Things You Should Know Before Visiting Ohrid”
Church of Saint Sofia
Saint Sofia is one of the larges churches in Ohrid and it was the first that we visited. This was our first experience of the Macedonian church frescoes. We were so impressed by how well the frescoes were preserved in places, little did we know that there were even more impressive frescoes in smaller churches around the city.
Boat Trip to Saint Naum
If you have a spare day, I would definitely recommend taking a boat trip over to Saint Naum. Make sure that you walk down to the pier the day before your trip to check what times the boats leave the next day. Everywhere on the internet told us that the boat left at 10am daily and when we turned up, the sign said the boat had departed at 9am and we had to wait until the 1.45pm departure – it’s safe to say that we were annoyed! The boat ride across would be amazing in sunny weather – we forced ourselves to sit on the top deck and watch the view even in the blistering wind.
Over at Saint Naum, you can visit the monastery, do a spot of shopping, grab a bite to eat and hire a rowing boat around the springs (pictured above). Oh… and try to avoid the peacocks, according to a sign, they “WILL HARM YOUR CHILDREN”.
Enjoy the Lake Walks
One of my favourite areas of Ohrid is the lake-front, particularly a little wooden walkway which follows the cliff edge. Such blue clear water! I kept saying to my friend that it would have been the perfect place for a wedding!
Plaošnik is an archelogical site and holy place in Ohrid which is currently undergoing some extensive restoration works. Our favourite part was an ancient ornate hole in the ground…. we thought it was a bath tub, turns out it was a baptistery… but anyway definite #BathTubGoals, maybe minus the swastikas though….
Ancient Theatre of Ohrid
Move over Rome, Ohrid’s amphitheatre is the place to be! The stage is still used for events throughout the year although I can’t imagine Justin Beiber playing there anytime soon… With a view of the stage and the lake, who can complain (apart from maybe about the stone hard seats…).
National Workshop For Handmade Paper
I shouldn’t be allowed into a cute little shop filled with handmade paper and prints. Especially when the lady working there is lovely and demonstrates how the paper is made and the prints are created. I was strong willed to not walk away with arms filled with prints.
The Icon Gallery of Ohrid
Time to get artsy! Head over to the Icon Gallery of Ohrid for a fascinating look into art throughout the centuries in Macedonia. I’d be lying if I said that art galleries normally hold my interest, I’d rather be exploring the real world, but this one was actually interesting, especially as I visited with an History of Art student (as you can imagine, I made much less intelligent comments about the paintings).
Church of Our Lady Perivlepta
Without a doubt, the Church of Our Lady Perivlepta is home to the most impressive frescoes I’ve ever laid eyes on. There’s a lot of construction work happening at the moment but around all of the scaffolding, you’ll be able to see plenty of incredibly well preserved frescoes – I don’t think there’s one tiny segment of the wall that’s not covered!
Walk the City Walls
Around the edge of the city there’s some impressive city walls. And if you’ve read my blog post about my day trip to York , you’ll know how much I bloody love a historical city wall!
Shop in the City Centre
The city centre is where you should head if you want to do some shopping. Whilst I didn’t see many shops that took my interest, some of the restaurants are great!
RELATED: Want to know how much all of this will cost you? Go and read my article “Budgeting For Ohrid”
Things we didn’t get to do but sound great!
- National Park Galicica – unfortunately the national park can only be accessed by car. Something we should have researched before we arrived in Ohrid! If you fancy exploring the national park for a day, think about hiring a car or a driver for the day – Macedonia is super cheap after all!
- National Ohrid Museum – we heard great things but simply weren’t in the “museum mood” and instead chose to explore by the lake and eat good food in our few spare moments!
- Bay of the Bones Museum – We should have visited the museum on our way to the Monastery of Saint Naum but the weather was bad, the lake was too choppy and the boat couldn’t stop at the museum :-(.
Vevchani Springs – This is actually something that I didn’t see advertised at all while we were in Ohrid. When I got home and was browsing my internet favourites, I stumbled across this TripAdvisor link which I’d obviously saved months ago and completely forgotten about – it looks gorgeous and is about a 30 minute drive from Ohrid.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own.
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