Flights to Ohrid
Ohrid – Europe’s hideaway with a fairy-tale atmosphere
Macedonia in Europe’s southeast is home to one of the continent’s oldest cities, Ohrid, and for many it’s still an undiscovered idyll. From afar, it looks as if the ancient town has not changed at all over the centuries. Adding a picturesque and magical quality to the town – known as the country’s crown jewel – is the lake nestled in 2,000 m mountains. The culture and way of life have been moulded by 5,000 years of civilization and nearly two millennia of Christianity.
High season in Ohrid runs from July to September. It is particularly good to visit in July and August when the city hosts the popular Ohrid Summer Festival with world-famous performing artists.
Kids & families
Families with children delight in tours of the great lake
It would be a sin while on a trip to Ohrid to miss out on the lake and its sense of mystery. The pure blue body of water is downright calming, hypnotic. In the small port, you’ll find boatmen offering day trips with unforgettable views of Sveti Naum monastery. Families with younger children can arrange a quicker, shorter trip with a local captain. Rumour has it that some of the boatmen brew up an enjoyable Turkish coffee.
And what better than a bracing swim in the lake, perhaps at Ljubaništa or Labino beach, or aquatic sports. In the second half of August, the lake hosts an international swimming marathon.
Book a boat trip and experience the unforgettable – an eight-hour tour with amazing views and an on-board picnic. Don’t forget sunscreen, sunglasses, waterproof camera and a hat.
From fish to pearl
A certain species of fish called the plashica is a real pearl: its silvery scales are turned into a type of jewellery called Ohrid pearl using a technique known only to the artisans. The workshops run by the Talevi and Filevi families provide a glimpse at how the pearls are strung into a ravishing necklace.
Culture and architecture
The Jerusalem of the Balkans
Ohrid and its 3-million-year-old lake are on the UNESCO list of the world's cultural and natural treasures. At every step, one encounters historical sanctuaries, cobblestone sidewalks and affordable wine bars, cafés and restaurants on quaint narrow streets.
Museums and sights
From the main square surrounded by museums, set a course for the St. Sofia Church that appears on the country’s 1,000-denar note, then visit the ancient theatre, which in the past hosted gladiator duels and now is home to the Balkan folk music and dance festival held every July, and finally get a bird’s eye view of the town from Tsar Samuel’s Fortress.
According to a legend, Ohrid has 365 churches, so that there is one for every day of the year. That is the origin of the city’s occasional nickname of the Balkan Jerusalem. The plenitude of churches isn’t so surprising; after all this is where Saints Cyril and Methodius developed Cyrillic and Slavic liturgical culture back in the 10th century. A mosque and Ottoman-era buildings add spice to Ohrid.
To visit the fortress, we recommend renting a car – the route from Ohrid to the capital Skopje is 174 km and having your own vehicle lets you make stops at your leisure and enjoy the wonderful natural scenery.
When amazing architecture and magical nature get together
Just a walk away are the Church of Saints Clement on Plaošnik and the medieval St. John’s Church at Kaneo, with the breathtaking view of the shimmering lake as the backdrop. One thing is certain – hiking fans will be thrilled by the lush nature in Galičica National Park nearby. Fresh air, wild flowers, aromatic herbs and beautiful panoramic views will find a way to every hiker’s heart.
Food, drink and nightlife
When hunger bites, try the lake’s unique fish species served at the fish restaurants. The creamy fish soup called ciorbă makes a good hot meal.
After a long day, the Antiko Restaurant on Tsar Samuel street is a good stop; it serves up the city’s best ajvar (roasted pepper sauce) and sarma (cabbage rolls stuffed with minced meat). If you somehow managed to avoid the local fruit brandy rakija, NOA Lounge Bar serves a wide variety of cocktails.
Travelling by hire car opens up the entire lakeshore area for exploration. Other surrounding villages, such as Elšani with their home grape gardens are worth a visit. A hidden beach bar, restaurant and nightclub at Orevche beach are interesting places to enjoy exotic Ohrid trout, a delicious pita or local Zlaten Dab beer. Those planning a longer holiday will be glad to know that it’s easy to get to Albania from Ohrid. For a quick snack, grab a rich cheese and meat filled burek or banichka on your way.
If you’re walking in central Ohrid, you’ll see many small boutiques and shops selling local handicrafts, souvenirs, jewellery, accessories and clothing. The city’s two most famous jewellery shops are Antica and Talevi.
The big shopping centres in town – such as Ricci, Tamaro and St. Klement – cater to more demanding shoppers with products, accessories and gifts.
City buses and taxi cabs are convenient, safe and cheap in Ohrid. When setting off out of town, we advise renting a car to get to places not served by public transport – and it’s cheaper than going by taxi.
The distances within the city are small and short walks are a good change of pace if your hotel is in a good location. Plus, you can find locals who offer water taxi services.
Did you know...
- Ohrid Lake is 358 km² in area – 30 km long and 15 km wide.
- Nordica flies direct to Ohrid from 27 May to 23 August 2019
- Nordica’s direct flight from Tallinn to Ohrid takes 3 hours and 5 minutes
PLAN AN UNFORGETTABLE SUMMER HOLIDAY!
Nordica’s direct flights / 27-23 / May-Aug/ 2019
Tallinn (TLL) - Ohrid (OHD)