Showing posts with label Lake Ohrid region. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lake Ohrid region. Show all posts

Monday, February 19, 2018

Planting trees around Lake Ohrid Region

 Some amazing views, videos and photos came this week featuring our beautiful lake Ohrid Region. This time is Ecovolis, a group with young people who work on a program to contribute for a greener environment in Albania traveled in Lin Peninsula to plant new trees and to promote the region

They brought us the view of the region, which is still covered in snow. Ecovolis planted some trees around the lake, in order to raise awareness and to sensitize all the people living in the area, to protect their environment and their precious region, which was inhabited since the ancient time. Also it was a kind of promotion to the beauties of the whole Lake Ohrid region, and it's  historical sites nearby, such as Illyrian Tombs of Selca. It is very impressive when young people are trying to promote the values of the historical places.. 

See a short video and some photos from Ecovolis:

Monday, January 15, 2018

Mali i thatë, a winter destination around Lake Ohrid

Mali i Thate has seen many visitors this winter. It is situated around Lake Ohrid, in an altitude 2288 meters above the sea level. 

The tour to Mali i Thate, all covered in snow, is organized by some local travel agencies including Visit Pogradec, or High Albania Mountain Club etc.
This tour takes 8-9 hours, climbing to the Pllaja e Pusit, the highest peak of Mali i Thate.
When you arrive on the top of this Mountain, the view is really rewarding. You will see from there three lakes: Lake Ohrid, Big and Small Prespa Lakes.
If it is a good weather, you can see this amazing and breathtaking view. In the winter, maybe is difficult to have that view, since the lakes are mostly hidden under the clouds.

These part of Pogradec was unexplored until now by locals themselves. But now, many people from other parts of Albania and foreign tourists are climbing to these mountainous area. 
They also are learning about the natural heritage of Lake Ohrid Region. Albanian side of Lake Ohrid (1/3) is nominated to be inscribe as World Heritage, together with the other part of Lake Ohrid in Macedonian side, which is part of UNESCO since 1979..
Have a look to these wonderful photos of the latest tours to Mali i Thate, Pogradec, Albania. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Exploring the mountainous area of Pogradec and Korca region

Lake Ohrid region is one of the most beautiful, yet unexplored areas in Albania.

Apart from the Lake, there is a very beautiful mountainous area around it which offers a spectacular nature. It is ideal for sports such as climbing and hiking and other adventure tourism activities   
A group of young and passionate boys and girls are exploring every day the unknown part of Pogradec and Korca Region through tours organized by Visit Pogradec, a local tour agency.

As bike tours around Lake Ohrid, are  becoming more popular, there are lots of opportunities for hiking in paths where no one dared to go before.

Some weeks ago, Visit Pogradec organized a climbing tour to the highest peaks of the Korca region.

One of them was the tour to Valamara, a mountain peak in District of Korca, which reaches a heigh 2373 m. To reach the top of the mountain the group of hikers did 47 km.

The view was fantastic, and the nature amazing. Near the main ridge of Valamara there are very few trees while Valamara's lower slopes are forested. To the south there are many glacial lakes which could make very good nature attractions.

Guri i Capit 

Another high peak they climbed some days ago was Guri i Capit. Guri i Capit is a peak and is located in Korçë, Albania.

The ares is 1585 metres above sea level. The view of this stone mountain is just amazing.

It is situated in the Drenova region and has a very interesting shape. Some people says it looks like a Camel which is siting in the desert to relax after a long journey. it took a name after a goat, (in Albanian Cjap), which fall from this mountain.

these group of pioneers are discovering new places, inviting many people who love adventure tours to join them. 

Pogradec and Korca region has many things to offer for visitors, in terms of culture and nature.

For more:

Monday, July 17, 2017

Marta Pejoska, the story of the silver filigree artists from Ohrid

Marta is a young architect who lives in Ohrid. She has dedicated herself to a beautiful tradition, turning silver filigree into contemporary modern jewellery. Following architectural studies she established her conceptual studio for contemporary jewellery design in 2011, opening the first private art atelier and gallery for contemporary jewellery and filigree in her home town in 2014, in her name, Marta Pejoska,. Her designs are unique. In continuing an old tradition she is creating beautiful objects. The newsletter interviewed her to find out more about her work.

Marta, how did you start your silver filigree business?
My silver filigree business began informally almost twelve years ago when I learned the craft. At that time I was studying architecture, and in the summer I worked in my father's atelier (he was a self-taught painter and also an architect by education) and whenever I had the time, I designed and made small jewellery. As time passed the filigree jewellery became my passion and this passion has grown. When I graduated I knew what I wanted to do, so, in 2011, I established my studio and my jewellery brand under my name. This was followed, in 2014, with the opening of the first private art atelier with a gallery for contemporary jewellery and filigree in Ohrid, and in Macedonia.

From whom did you inherit this profession?
The technique for making filigree jewellery was traditionally passed from father to son. You couldn't learn if you weren't part of the family of a filigree master. Today, it's no longer like that. I learned the basics of the filigree technique back in 2005. I took part in the project Revitalizing of the old traditional crafts, held in the Old Bazaar in Skopje. The project was important, because at that time, the traditional crafts were in danger of dying out. There was no interest in them and there were just a few people doing such work. Filigree is part of the intangible Macedonian cultural heritage, and should be kept alive.

How old is this tradition in Ohrid?
According to the last filigree master of Ohrid, his family had a tradition on paper going back 200 years (and other records for 400 years).

Are you following the old tradition, or mixing it with new and modern ideas?
I cherish traditional filigree and I do it with great honour. But I also have the urge to make new filigree, using the traditional filigree technique with silver as the basic material. The main idea of my studio is creating wearable art jewellery that emerges from the mix between the old traditional filigree technique—its conservative principles—and the mind of the young artist, the freedom of thinking.

Who are your clients?
I have regular clients, domestic and foreign. My work speaks for itself I suppose, and I’m getting new clients every day! A lot of people find me online and choose to contact me among others, because as some have said, I give the traditional filigree jewellery a modern twist, and I do it well, I hope. Basically, all of my clients are people who have recognised the value of filigree and handcrafted jewellery. Among them are people who are seeing a unique piece of jewellery not just as jewellery but as art, as sculpture, an object with a story behind it. I have this way of working; whenever I have a commissioned order and I have to custom design a piece, I intend to meet the client, talk a while, have coffee at least and get to know them. Thus, I can create a piece of jewellery that meets precisely their preferences.

Are there other people doing the same art work as you?
In my home town of Ohrid, at the moment there are only a couple of registered artists doing filigree work. In Macedonia, there are also a few other established jewellery designers who are trying to create and sustain the scene of jewellery design with our independent jewellery work. Some of us have the filigree technique as our main work to earn a living.


Marta Pejoska, historia e një artiste filigrani nga Ohri

Marta, një arkitekte e re nga Ohri, i është përkushtuar traditës së bukur të punimit me filigran duke krijuar bizhuteri moderne. Pasi ndoqi studimet për arkitekturë ajo krijoi studion e saj për bizhuteritë moderne në vitin 2011, vit ku hapi atelien e saj private dhe një galeri me bizhuteri dhe filigran në qytetin e saj në vitin 2014, me emrin e saj, Marta Pejoska. Punimet e saj janë unike, në vazhdim të traditës së vjetër, duke krijuar objekte fantastike. Ne i morëm një intervistë për të mësuar më shumë për punën dhe pasionin e saj.

Marta, si e filluat biznesin e punimit me filigran? 
Biznesi im i punimit me filigran ka nisur që kur unë mësova zanatin. Në atë kohë unë studioja për arkitekturë dhe gjatë verës punoja në atelienë e babait tim (ai ishte një piktor autodidakt dhe kishte studiuar për arkitekturë) dhe sa herë kisha kohë të lirë unë dizenjoja dhe krijoja bizhuteri të vogla. Teksa koha kalonte bizhuteritë me filigran u bënë pasioni im, pasion i cili vazhdoi të rritej. Kur u diplomova e dija se çfarë doja të bëhesha, kështu në vitin 2011, unë krijova studion time dhe bizhuteritë e mija me emrin tim. Më pas në 2014, hapa atelienë e parë private me një galeri me bizhuteri modern të punuar me filigran, në Ohër, Maqedoni.

Nga e keni trashëguar këtë zanat?
Teknika e punimit me filigran ka qenë traditë e kaluar brez pas brezi. Ti s’mund të mësosh nëse nuk je pjesë e familjes së një mjeshtri të filigranit. Sot, nuk është më kështu. Kam mësuar bazat e punimit të filigranit në 2005. Kam marrë pjesë në projektin “Rivitalizimi i zanatit të vjetër”, i mbajtur në Pazarin e Vjetër në Shkup. Projekti ishte i rëndësishëm, sepse në atë kohë zanati ishte në zhdukje. Nuk kishte shumë interes dhe ishin shumë pak njerëz që punonin në këtë zanat. Filigrani është pjesë e trashëgimisë direkte kulturore Maqedonase dhe duhet mbajtur gjallë.

Sa e vjetër është kjo traditë në Ohër? 
Sipas mjeshtrit më të vjetër të filigranit në Ohër, familja e tij e ka pas traditë e cila është e dokumentuar dhe daton që para 200 vitesh (ndërsa në dokumente të tjera daton që para 400 vitesh).

Ju vazhdoni traditën e vjetër, apo e përzieni me ide të reja? 
Unë e vlerësoj filigranin tradicional dhe e bëj me kënaqësi të madhe, por unë kam kërkësa për të bërë punime duke përdorur teknikën tradicionale të filigranit me argjend si material bazë. Ideja e krijimit të studios ishte që të krijoja bizhuteri që krijohen nga përzierja e traditës së vjetër të filigranit me teknikat e tij konservative dhe duke futur elemente të reja moderne, sipas konceptit të një artisti të ri.

Cilët janë klientët tuaj?
Kam klientë të rregulltë, vendas dhe të huaj. Puna ime flet vetë dhe ka tërhequr klientë të rinj çdo ditë. Shumë njerëz më gjejnë online dhe nga aty më kontakojnë mua mes të tjerëve, sepse siç e thashë, unë i jap filigranit tradicional një përzierje moderne dhe mendoj se e bëj mirë këtë gjë. Në fakt, klientët e mi janë njerëz që i njohin vlerat e filigranit dhe bizhuterive të punuara me dorë. Mes tyre janë njerëz që i shohin bizhuteritë si art unik, jo vetëm si bizhuteri, por si skulpturë, një objekt me një histori nga pas. Unë punoj në këtë mënyrë: sa herë që marr një porosi nga një klient dhe që kërkon një dizajn të personalizuar, unë përpiqem ta takoj klientin, të bisedoj, të pi një kafe dhe ta njoh. Në këtë mënyrë, mund të krijoj një bizhuteri që u përshtatet preferancave të secilit.

A ka njerëz të tjerë që bëjnë të njëjtën punë si ju? 
Në qytetin tim, në Ohër, për momentin janë vetëm disa artistë të regjistuar që punojnë me filigran. Në Maqedoni, ka disa që kanë dizajner bizhuterish që po mundohen të krijojnë dhe të vazhdojnë traditën e krijimit të bizhuterive duke punuar në mënyrë të pavarur. Disa nga ne, teknikën e filigranit e kanë si punë kryesore për të fituar para.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Vevcani Carnival - a 1400 year old tradition

Vevcani Carnival is celebrated every year for more than 1400 years. It is held every year on 13 and 14 January (on the eve and the first day of the New Year, according to the old calendar).
Carnival is a mix of pagan and modern way of celebration. The main characteristics of the carnival are: archaism, secretiveness, and improvisation.

The village of Vevčani is situated in the southwestern range at the foot of the Jablanica mountain range. It is 800 – 950 metres above sea level. The village is located 14 km North-West of the town of Struga, close to Lake Ohrid region. Carnival is one of the most important festive day in the area. According to some sources, the tradition of the Vevcani Carnival is dedicated to St. Basil the Great, a Christian saint and bishop from Asia Minor, who is considered the founder of the monastic tradition in Eastern Orthodoxy.

Vevcani from morning of this festive day, turned into a kind of theater without borders. First participants backstage them dressed and shaped masks, far from the public eye, designed and made weeks before. Then all the participants go on streets with their masks and perform their imaginary scenarios like real actors.

 Vevcani Carnival as a collection of "archaic, mystery and unique masks, but the most traditional masks are: "groom and bride," "Stupid August" and musicians. Carnival can regularly see the masks and costumes that satirizes everyday political events in the country and in the world. Vevcani Carnival is considered also an outdoor theater. It engages all residents of the municipality, and residents open doors of their homes to guests with traditional specialties and good wine.

Under cloudless skies, hundreds of Vevcani citizens and curious guests from Ohrid, Struga, Macedonia and abroad, walked for nearly two hours in a parade, with the masks that this time was an image of the actual situation in Macedonia and the world.


Monday, November 14, 2016

Paragliding in Macedonia - even if you don’t fly, you can just enjoy the nature

Paragliding has a certain tradition in Macedonia. Thanks to its specific terrain configuration, easy accessibility to the mountains,  and weather conditions that allow flying almost all year around, Macedonia has become a place of pilgrimage for paragliding pilots around the globe. It has grown rapidly as a sport as well as a tourist attraction enabling almost everyone to get that amazing feeling of flying like a bird.
 The center of the ‘party’ is Krushevo, the highest town in the country at 1,350m above sea level. It rises above Pelagonia, the biggest valley in Macedonia. That is the place with perfect conditions for flying on most days of the year as well as for landing in the valleys around. Both professionals and beginners just love to fly from here.  Different international flying competitions are held here every year, so most of the time you will find pilots from all around the globe hanging out and flying high….
All year around, Krushevo town hosts many paragliders, including members of the Macedonian paragliding clubs, their friends and clients for tandem flights.. They all enjoy the heights, the beautiful nature, hanging out and having good food.
Another famous destination for flying  is Ohrid, or, more specifically, Galichica mountain.  Here you can enjoy tandem flights during the entire summer. Starting at around 1,700m above sea level you will see amazing views of Ohrid lake, a mountain and the old town of Ohrid. The adrenalin runs high and you get a sense of both nature and freedom at its best.
The third famous location of my choice is Shar Mountain… Starting at 1,600m altitude some pilots reach even 3,000m and higher. As an extra bonus, you will meet a stunningly beautiful  mountain that will take care of you at high altitudes...
Of course, if you are not able to go as far as Ohrid or Krushevo or Shara, then Skopje flying area is also a place that offers tandems both from Vodno Mountain and from Skopska Crna Gora.

Even if you don’t fly, you can just enjoy the nature...

Author: Anita Palceska @balkanwibe

Monday, September 19, 2016

Innovative Tourism Product Development Competition -Korca and Lake Ohrid Region

The Ministry of Economy, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship (METTE), Albanian Investment Development Agency (AIDA) and the Albanian Tourism Industry, with the support of RisiAlbania Project are launching the third edition of the “Risi Turistike Award”, this time in the Korça region in order to foster the development on new touristic products. Korca is the Municipality which include the city of Pogradec, situated on the shore of Lake Ohrid, the oldest and deepest lake in Europe.
The innovative tourism products will help to create new products and itineraries and or add value to the existing ones, by providing a richer and authentic experience for the tourists in both regions.
Risi Albania is a SDC project aiming to facilitate youth employment.
“Risi Turistike” is inviting all interested companies/ organizations to submit a proposal and business plan to develop and implement a new touristic product in the region of Korça. Deadline for submission of the proposals is November 10th 2016.
The results of the competition will be announced during the public event on December 9th 2016.

The aim of the Tourism Product Development competition:
- Attract more tourists in the Korça region, through diversification of the tourism product
- Extend the time of stay in the Korça region
- Increase the income from tourism in Korça region
- Increase employment opportunities for youth in Korça region.
Find more:

Monday, September 5, 2016

Ohrid- the history on the lake

The history and values of Lake Ohrid are featured in Australian leading national news media "The Australian"
The article "Ohrid, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: history on the lake" is written by ANGELA SAURINE. She writes some reasons why people of Australia should visit and learn about this region:

ICONIC IMAGE: If there is one sight that symbolises Ohrid, in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s southwest, it is Church of St John (or Jovan) overlooking the lake. Built on a cliff above the fishermen’s settlement of Kaneo, a short water-taxi ride from the port, the Orthodox Church is dedicated to John of Patmos, who is also believed to be John the Apostle. While the exact date it was built is unknown, archaeologists believe it was in the 13th century, before the rise of the Ottoman Empire, with a mix of Byzantine and Armenian architectural styles. While there, grab a bite at one of the restaurants built into the rocks at Kaneo, which have inviting decks over the water.

ANCIENT GLORIES: Ohrid is one of 28 UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites recognised for both their natural and cultural attributes. With its narrow cobblestone streets and traditional two-storey houses with rectangular windows and timber beams, the medieval old town is a wonderful place to wander. Built in 200BC, the city’s well-preserved ancient theatre was once used for gladiator fights. Since being revived in the 1980s, it has been used as a venue for concerts and the performance of ancient plays and comedies during the annual Ohrid Summer Festival in July and August. A Game of Thrones-esque fortress also sits at the top of the hill overlooking the city. In the early 11th century, Ohrid was the capital of a Slavic empire ruled by Car Samuil, and his fortress was one of the most impregnable strongholds in the Balkans, with 16m-high walls that stretched for 3km. Archaeological excavations indicate the fortress was constructed on the site of an earlier fortification that was likely built by Alexander the Great’s father, Phillip II of Macedon, in the 4th century BC. The city is also home to one of the first Slavic universities, the Ohrid Literary School, which dates to the 10th century.

SAIL AWAY: At 350sq km, Lake Ohrid is so big it feels more like an ocean. It is one of the oldest lakes in the world, formed by tectonic shifts in the Earth’s crust three to four million years ago and, at 300m, also one of the deepest. Hopping on a boat and exploring the lake and its many attractions is a must. Mato Co International offers tours ranging from half an hour to a full day that visit cave churches, fishing villages and monasteries. A highlight is the Museum on Water at the Bay of Bones, a recreation of a settlement that existed from 1600-800BC with houses built on a wooden platform on stilts.

GRAPE ESCAPE: On a similar latitude to California’s Napa Valley and Tuscany in Italy, this area is emerging as a wine destination. Evidence of oak wine barrels from 500BC have been found near the capital city of Skopje, 170km from Ohrid, and the country has more than 100 wineries. The most famous grape variety is vranec, which means “a strong, black and powerful horse”, and accounts for nearly half of the vineyards planted with red grapes. But cabernet sauvignon, merlot, pinot noir, shiraz, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, muscat and riesling are also grown. Tikvesh Winery, Stobi Winery and Popova Kula Winery are all worth a visit on a day trip.

Original Article:

Monday, June 27, 2016

Questionnaire on Lake Ohrid

What comes to one’s mind when Lake Ohrid is mention? Koran fish, lakeside, boats, swimming, nature? Maybe all of that!

A trial questionnaire was implemented in the Albanian part of Lake Ohrid Region (LOR) in the framework of the project, in order  to gain an understanding of people’s views on the region. The questionnaire, designed by ICCROM, an advisory body to UNESCO, gathered a preliminary set of data through interviewing people living and working in, or visiting, the area. 

The journalist talking to a local in Hudenisht
It was implemented by an Albanian journalist, Mr Genci Angjellari, contracted by IUCN, for an intense five-day campaign. Some 116 people—78 locals and 38 visitors—were interviewed in various locations along the Albanian side of Lake Ohrid including the city of Pogradec and the villages of Lin, Tushemisht, Hudenisht, Verdove, Starove and Drilon.

The questionnaire began by asking questions on the values and attributes of LOR today, gaining an understanding of the public’s current relationship and connections with their heritage, and, indirectly, the level of satisfaction with the current situation. Later sections, on tourism and visitor experience, aimed to gain insight into the impact of tourism on the intangible values and traditional lifestyles in LOR.

Activities associated with LOR
Initial results revealed a local population that has travelled extensively in the lake area and enjoyed many of its heritage places and experiences. Some ten percent of local residents benefit in one way or another from business and employment opportunities connected with tourism. Visitors to LOR seem to be largely domestic and, together with local residents, they identified a range of positive experiences related to the cultural and natural landscape. Future services for visitors would need to be developed in a way that provides both traditional hospitality, both in hotels and through the promotion of more locally based initiatives, such as home stays.
Culinary and agriculture in LOR 

The data gathered were processed by the ICCROM team and preliminary findings were shared at the May Promoting Heritage workshop, which equipped participants with genuine knowledge of the communities living in or visiting the area and their views about LOR. The results of this modest campaign demonstrate the importance of more substantial public consultation in the future and for extension to the Macedonian side of the lake, to inform decision making for managing LOR’s heritage and promoting it as a tourism destination.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Activities on Lake Ohrid Day (21 June)

21st June is Lake Ohrid Day. This decision was taken 16 years ago on February 2000 by the Joint Lake Ohrid Management Board.

This is a day when all the communities living on the shores of Lake Ohrid Region should just remind the outstanding values of Lake Ohrid. They should teach to their children to love and protect this natural treasure. On this occasion, every year three municipalities around Lake Ohrid, (Ohrid, Pogradec and Struga) organize many festive activities. 
This year the day was celebrated in Ohrid City, where a number of cultural and sportive activities  were organized by the Ohrid Municipality. Part of these activities, was the  opening of an exhibition with children's paintings inspired by Lake Ohrid. At the end of this activity, in symbolic way, the Mayor of Ohrid Mr Nikola Bakracheski and the Mayor of Pogradec Mr Eduart Kapri signed a document expressing the commitment of their municipalities to save and protect the world's unique ecosystem of Lake Ohrid. They put the document in a bottle which was taken to the Lake by a canoe boat. This symbolic day engage not only local government but also the community and helps at raising awareness about protecting Lake Ohrid.