Church of St.John at Kaneo

A hidden gem in the heart of the Balkans

Somewhere in the south part of North Macedonia there is a beautiful lake called Ohrid. It is the deepest lake in the Balkans, with a depth of 288m and is one of the most touristic place in this part of the country. It’s a great place for escaping the summer heat and relaxing on the beach or simply getting out of the busy city life in any other season.

Lake Ohrid - Location

Lake Ohrid is located in the south part of North Macedonia and is shared with the neighbored country – Albania – as well. The lake is surrounded by  beautiful hills and cities together with few historical sites. One of the most known city around the lake, is Ohrid. A very nice town surrounded by many viewpoints over the lake.

Things to do

1. Church of St.John at Kaneo

Church of St. John is probably one of the most photographed churches from North Macedonia and definitely the most iconic sight from Ohrid.The exact construction of the church remained unknown but is believed that it was built somewhere in the 13th century. It is very easy to reach it since you can have a view probably from all around the town. The sunsets are amazing from there and the way the sun projects over the stone texture of it, is simply stunning. Before heading down the town of Ohrid, don’t forget to check the viewpoint above the church. It will give you the best view over it.

2. Get lost in the old town

Ohrid is filled with beautiful sights and activities. The lake is definitely capturing all the attention but even like this, don’t forget to take a walk in the old town. You will find amazing viewpoints over the surroundings, cute narrow alleys and beautiful decorated houses to give you a warm and cozy welcome. 

3. Relax at the beach and take a swim

If you plan to visit this beautiful town, then you should also know that sightseeing can be easily done in one day. But this is not the reason you should go there. The water is so blue and clear and is the perfect place to escape the summer heat. To be honest, this lake it’s one of my favourites that I visited so far. The water is just perfect for a swim and the beach is perfect for having a drink, socialize or just to relax near the lake. However, you should consider that the majority of the beaches around the lake are pebbled or concrete.

4. Paragliding 

The most intense point of our trip was definitely the paragliding. There are paragliding companies offering transport from your accommodation until the place where the flying magic happens. Unfortunately, the first time our flight was cancelled due to windy weather but the next day we were up in the air enjoying the beautiful views over the lake. It was a truly beautiful experience and I recommend this to everyone. Don’t be afraid, it’s not extreme, it’s just beautiful. We tried with Paragliding Ohrid Company and it was great!

5. Enjoy the sunset around lake Ohrid

If you don’t know this about me, you will find out now: I am fascinated by sunsets. There’s something about the end of a day marked by the beautiful colours of the fallen sky. I simply love it. The views above the lake with the sunset as a background is more than you can imagine.

Tips for visiting Lake Ohrid

Best time to visit

I visited this beautiful place in mid August and it was great. Even if the temperature is high, you have this whole lake just for you, waiting to swim. The ideal time interval for visiting is May-September. Would be a pity to go there and not be able to try the lake because of the low water temperature but I bet the views are amazing with an autumn landscape as well.

Where to stay

If you will be spending just a few days in Ohrid, as we did, then I will recommend you to stay somewhere in the Old Town so you can easily reach all the touristic sights, be closer to the lake and restaurants. We had no trouble finding a good accommodation close to the lake at an affordable price. We chose Villa Lucija and we didn’t regret it. It was clean, the staff was nice and we had an amazing view over the lake. Give it a try!

Where to party at Lake Ohrid

Ohrid it’s not only a day place, where you hang out until 7-8 pm and then you return tired in your room. It has plenty of bars and dancing places which are filled with tourists ready to have a good time. By the time we were visiting, we gave it a try to Cuba Libre and Liquid and it was absolutely fun. The parties aren’t lasting long like it would be in the cities but you can definitely have a good time until 3am when the late bars are closing.

Macedonia has so much to offer and I feel that it truly deserves more appreciation in terms of tourism. I am sure there are many other beautiful places to visit inside the country but the short time didn’t allow us to visit all.

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