Showing posts with label Ohrid city. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ohrid city. Show all posts

Monday, March 13, 2017

Fall for Macedonia's sleepy charm in Ohrid

Overlooking the extraordinarily blue waters of its eponymous lake, Ohrid enjoys a stunning position that is best viewed from a boat.
From there you will see the town’s terracotta roofs broken up by centuries-old church spires (the city claims once to have had 365) and overlooked by the turreted walls of Car Samoil’s Castle.
Ohrid has transformed itself from Macedonia’s religious centre to its busiest holiday resort and its beaches are the best by far in this landlocked nation.
However, a planned new lakeshore development will likely change this sleepy town forever, making now a great time to go.

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Outside the summer months Ohrid seems like a sleepy place and this is at the core of its charm: the cobbled streets with traditional Ottoman houses form a maze that leads up the hillside to the Gorna Porta, where the old town meets the ancient amphitheatre and the fortress.
Here you will still see elderly women dressed in black carrying groceries home from the market and hanging out washing over the ancient lanes.
The famous churches that dot the old town and the areas around it are little short of miraculous survivors: the Sveta Sofia Cathedral is an 11th-century structure that includes Byzantine frescoes that can still be seen in the apse, while the Church of Sveti Jovan at Kaneo is one of the most photographed places in the Balkans, with its wonderful silhouette framed by the waters of Lake Ohrid beyond.
 
UNMISSABLE EXPERIENCES

Ambling along the over-water wooden walkway past Lake Ohrid’s cliffs takes you from the heart of the old town to the idyllic sandy cove of Kaneo.
Order a plate of fried fish at the relaxed Letna Bavca Kaneo and then cool off in the placid waters of the lake.
The view of the Church of Sveti Jovan from here is magnificent, as are the craggy cliffs around you.
Lounge about in swimming costumes drinking beers with the locals for the quintessential Ohrid experience.
 Source:


Monday, August 15, 2016

Exploring the beauty of Lake Ohrid, Macedonia

The landscape photographer's paradise, where the poor become rich, where the fat become skinny, where everything is clear: I present to you Ohrid, Macedonia.

I spent four and a half days in Ohrid during my trip to the Balkans. Rule number one: stay longer.
While I didn't particularly "do" much besides swim in crystal-clear, UNESCO-approved Ohrid Lake, indulge in all things nature, catch every golden sunset, and walk through thousand-year-old churches, I came back feeling very unsatisfied as if I hadn't completed my rounds. The place is teeming with natural beauty everywhere, not to mention, the place is empty so it's like having it all to yourself.

While I'm all for getting lost in this nature haven called Ohrid (pronounced like okrid in Macedonian), I do recommend starting with a tour around the Lake so you get a better grasp of where you are and what your options are. I took a boat trip with Lale tours that began in Pestani, where we were staying, and traveled south along the coast of Ohrid Lake to visit the Monastery of St. Naum, passing through the National Park Galicica towards the Albanian border. We made brief stops in between to see the Bay of Bones, Trpejca, and St. Zaum, and once we reached St. Naum, we got on another boat to get a closer look at the St. Naum springs, where the water from Ohrid Lake flows into the Crn Drim River.
Fun fact: There are 365 churches in Ohrid's town alone, one for every day of the year. They call it the Jerusalem of the Balkans.
The next morning we took a boat from Ohrid's old town to a family restaurant off the lake called Kanevce where we ate, swam, and did nothing all day. The food here is very simple. I had a Shopska (the representative salad of the Balkans that consists of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and peppers topped with grated sirene cheese) at the start of every meal, or a Pindjur (a spread made up of tomatoes, peppers, and sometimes eggplant) to switch it up some days all accompanied by bread. Then there were simple fish dishes I gravitated towards for the main.

Additionally, everything is very inexpensive here. Food for two all day came out to a total of fourteen US dollars. Fourteen US dollars in New York City can maybe get you a salad or a sandwich at a decent bodega. You get the idea. The conversion rate here is extreme, you feel extremely wealthy.

We took another day to explore the nearby towns of Ohrid. We drove through the National Park Galicica, waved hello to Greece across the lake, explored an abandoned bus, got stung by nettles, walked through the remnants of the old Hotel Europa built during the communist era, asked for directions in Tsarev Dvor and grabbed a bite in Resen.

And on our drive back to Pestani, mother nature surprised us with an incredible show.
The thing about Ohrid is it's very low key. It's not somewhere you go if you're looking to necessarily "do" something. A number of tourists I briefly conversed with turned out to be regulars who would come to Ohrid as a place to kind of just rest and tune out. Ohrid, as I experienced, is a perfect getaway for those seeking solace, who want something underrated and cost efficient, those in search of something authentic and untouched, who need a big breath of fresh air.

Author:  Deborah Han

http://www.balkanvibe.com/story/Exploring-Ohrid-Macedonia/114

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Tourism/ Ohrid City, the pearl of Balkans

Located on the shores of Lake Ohrid, the city of Ohrid is one of the oldest human settlements in Europe. Ohrid, the wider lake region is a prime destination for Former Yougoslav Republic of Macedonia, with the city's old quarter containing beautiful churches along a graceful hill, topped by a medieval castle overlooking the majestic 34 km-long Lake Ohrid. This is undoubtedly the most alluring attraction of the Lake Ohrid region.

Cultural Heritage
Built mostly between the 7th and 19th centuries, Ohrid is home to one of the oldest Slav monasteries (St Pantelejmon) with more than 800 middle Byzantine icons dating from the 11th to the end of the 14th century. This icon collection is considered to be one the most important in the world. Ohrid comprises one of Europe's best preserved archaeological complexes with remains dating from the Bronze Age up to the Middle Ages, The city boasts unique religious architecture dating from the 7th to 19th centuries as well as urban structures showcasing a vernacular architecture from the 18th and 19th centuries. All of these present a treasure of historic, architectural, cultural and artistic values.

What to see
Ohrid's major attractions are all located within a remarkably concentrated and easily accessible area, among and above the narrow streets of the Old Town lined with restaurants and cafes perfectly suited for relaxing against the backdrop of the lake. Top attractions in the city include : Sv. Jovan Kaneo, Sv. Naum Monastery Galicica, National Park Tsar Samuel's Fortress, Saint Sophia Church, Sv Kliment Monastery, Plaoshnik Church.

What to do
Ohrid's many cafe bars and nightclubs make for a vibrant nightlife. As for the lake itself, it is so large and so deep that one might mistake it for a sea. For water sports lovers, fishing and boating are available, and numerous churches alongside the lake shores make for fascinating side trips and walks; while nature and adventure travellers can explore the National Park of Galicicia, an unspoiled wilderness ideal for nature enthusiasts. To gain a better feeling of the city, we recommend a gentle stroll along Lake Ohrid shore having a coffee, a glass of wine or a meal overlooking the lake. Ohrid and its beaches are packed from 15 July to 15 August, during the popular summer festival when it seems half of Macedonia descends on the town. The bars and restaurants are full during the summer, while June or September are much quieter enabling one to reflect next to the lake.