Ohrid, a Place of Thousand Churches

Ohrid is a wonderful place located right by the lake that carries the same name. It is an ideal place  for historical enthusiasts and light travellers. With its look and sights it offers a real ancient experience. For those who love visiting and sightsee churches this is a place for you because here you can find one behind every corner. You can glimpse through sights Ohrid has to offer in a day. However, I would recommend at least two or three, so you can peacefully discover hidden corners of the town, enjoy a drink or two by the lake and fill your stomach with Macedonian goods in the evening. 

What is worth seeing in Ohrid?

  • As I already mentioned there are plenty of churches worth visiting. Ohrid, supposedly, had 365 churches – one for each day of the year. The most typical and known is definitely St. John at Kaneo. It is located only 10-15 minutes of walking by the shore. Here, the most beautiful view of the church and the lake in the background awaits. From here onward a rocky path leads to the beaches on the other side of the city. In the second place, hidden under Samuel’s fortress is church of Saints Clement and Panteleimon. It was built by Clement, who is also buried here, that’s why the church is sometimes also known only as Church of St. Clement. The third one, with its medieval look is the church of St. Sofia. It has many frescos, it is a place of many concerts and it is a symbol on 1000 Macedonian denars. 

  • When we take a look at Ohrid, it almost seems as it is wearing a crown –  a crown known as Samuels fortress. The entrance is 100 denars and it gives you wonderful views of city and the lake. 

  • You should definitely plan a day spent driving around lake Ohrid and visiting the monastery of Saint Naum. Timetables of boats departures, as well as private boat drivers, can be found in front of the pier. Supposedly, there should be a daily boat ride at 10 am. However, don’t forget this is still Macedonia. What happened? Because there weren’t enough people on the boat, it was simply cancelled. Luckily, some of us got together and rented a private boat, which in the end cost only 10 euros more. On the way to St. Naum we stopped in the Bay of bones and Chuch of St. Mary – holy mother of god Zahumska. Bay of bones or museum on water is one of the oldest archeological settlement from year 6000 b.c. Now a small reconstruction can be seen because the original one was flooded by the rising of the lake. Near by, at the bottom of the lake, many artefacts were found, of which some of them can be seen in the museum. You can walk around the settlement, enter the houses and soon realise how advanced the people who lived here were. And why is the church of St. Mary – holy mother of god Zahumska special? First of all, because it is only accessible by boat. It used to be women’s monastery that’s why it was well hidden, especially from men’s eyes. A very important object with great value in the church is a rare fresco of the holy mother breast feeding the son of god. The final destination is monastery of St. Naum, one of the most beautiful ones by the lake Ohrid. In the courtyard the peacocks walk proudly and the view is amazing. Down by the river Crni Dim there are many stands, where you can buy souvenirs, Macedonian goods and jewellery for the ladies. 

  • A place, usually forgotten about, located only 15 minutes of driving away from Ohrid and the tickets for the bus costs only 50 denars, is Struga. It is divided by the river Crni dim, which springs near the monastery of St. Naum. The main street is filled with many shops, bars and restaurants. At the end of it, there is a marketplace, where you can get from fruit and veggies to “Guess” and “Tommy Hilfiger” T-shirts for only 5 euros. 

  • In the centre of Ohrid you can also find ancient theatre, Robevi family house and many good restaurants. Typical dishes worth trying are fish soup called ribja čorba, tavče gravče (dish from fresh beans) and makalo (spread made from yogurt and garlic). You should also try some of their wines and the best known beer Skopsko pivo. 


P.S. Ohrid is very known for its pearls, but be careful because you can easily buy fake ones. Many of the shops have a certificate, but in fact do not sell real pearls. Only families Talev and Filev are the ones who actually sell real Ohrid’s pearls – for any other ones it will be a gamble. 

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