Lake Ohrid is one of these spots in Macedonia, which probably are never missed by travelers. “Its colour depends on the weather. Sometimes it can be deep and dark blue, sometimes – bright and greenish, like an emerald”, I was told about one of the oldest and deepest lakes in Europe.
Around it there are many small towns, but the most visited from all is the Ohrid one, which is listed as UNESCO world heritage site too. I got totally surprised when I found out that this town has 365 churches. One for each day of the year! That is hard to believe how spatially such number could be placed in such a small place…
Comparing with Skopje, in February Ohrid looks like a real oasis of tranquility. However, such quietness could be found just in the Low Season. “In summer Ohrid is overcrowded. It could be hard to believe now, but during the High Season becomes even difficult to pass by the central streets. Both Macedonians and foreigners come there to have holidays. For us, people who work with accommodation rentals, it is extremely good. Summer brings us money for the whole year”, told me the young Macedonian woman who together with her husband are renting rooms in their house. And, such business is very profitable. Nearly on every building in Ohrid you can find a sign where is written “Rooms for rent”. Summer crowds need to stay somewhere, but hotels, guesthouses and hostels simply are not capable to accommodate all of them, so then appears a chance for locals to cash in.
However, in winter mainly all these places are empty and waiting for their yearly golden era. But I would never tell that I didn’t enjoy walking everywhere around the town without fighting for my right to put a step on the pavement in between of the other thousand of feet. I think that very often I prefer the Low Season.
Central Ohrid is really small, but anyway it takes time if one wants to visit the Old part of it, which is located uphill, and enjoy the low part of the center together with walking along the lake promenade.
The Old lot is really charming. When going from one object to another, from one great palace to another important church, you are always passing by the tiny streets with private houses where locals are living. That definitely gives a chance to observe the daily life of Macedonians.
The position of being on the hill, Old Ohrid opens beautiful panoramic views of the lower part of the town, Lake Ohrid and mountains around. There are many spots to visit, so to plan a great walking day there with a picnic should sound nice.
However, the busiest is the lower Ohrid. Probably the main core is the pedestrian street, which leads to the lake. There one can find many bars, restaurants, shops and all the other material treasures what heart is willing for.
Ohrid is a place really worth visiting while in Macedonia. I am not sure if a traveler needs more than a few days there, but to make a short stop in my opinion is a must.
by Gintarė Adamonytė