Ohrid, North Macedonia, Exploring the Town on Foot

Ohrid, North Macedonia – Exploring the Town on Foot

Ohrid woke up us with sunshine for our first full day in this lake resort town. Our traveling had brought us to an amazing place, that was at least the initial feeling as we gazed at the sunshine and enjoyed the view of Lake Ohrid from our balcony. We had already decided to spend the day relaxing, eating well, and to see where we had ended up. Let’s just start by saying that we were soon on our feet, walking a lot longer than first expected.

A Waterfront Promenade

As is usually the case when we arrive at new places, we head out for a walk. This first morning in Ohrid was no exception. We followed the waterfront and its small parks all the way from the old town to the outskirts of the town itself. We soon left Ohrid behind us and continued along the waterfront on a paved pedestrian and bicycle road. On one side was the lake and on the other the Studenčište Marsh. Sadly the view of the lake was mostly hidden, usually by a few trees and sometimes by a restaurant or bar.

We eventually reached the Hotel Park Lakeside where we noticed that the road we had walked along changed to also include cars. This was about four kilometers from our own accommodation. The sun was by now high in the sky and we were happy to be able to buy some water at the hotel shop before continuing back towards Ohrid.

For some reason, there is always that feeling that the distance back to where you came from is shorter than the initial walk. It felt like we in no time were back at the outskirts of Ohrid to find a new surprise. At the police grounds next to the walking path was a transport and rescue helicopter that was shown to the public. We had actually seen it practicing the night before when it was flying low over the lake. Now it was standing there in front of us. This was a Soviet-designed Mil MI-17 Helicopter belonging to the Macedonian Air Brigade. This was probably the main sight along our eight-kilometer-long hike.

Exploring the Hill of Ohrid

After our hike along the waterfront, we had some lunch before continuing our exploration of Ohrid. We decided to leave the waterfront and head uphill in the Old Town. Our target was set on the old castle high up on the hill. The hike up was actually a lot more demanding than first expected but the rewards made it worth it. Samuel’s Fortress has a long history. It was for a short period of time the center of the First Bulgarian Empire at the time that Ohrid was its capital. It was during the rule of Tsar Samuel of Bulgaria from the end of the 10th century until the beginning of the 11th century. There is a belief that there was a fortress here as early as the 5th century BC.

It is not the inside of the fortress that makes it interesting. Instead, it is the impressive walls and the beautiful scenery from the many viewpoints. You can really see across the border to Albania and especially get a feeling of the size of Lake Ohrid. But we were relieved when we began the descent back to the town. We were happy that we did not have to climb the hill more times that day.

Instead, our descent took us to a few more interesting places. We tried to reach the Church of Saints Clement and Panteleimon but were unsuccessful. Instead, we turned around and eventually reached the Ancient Theatre of Ohrid, This is a quite old theater dating back to the 2nd century BC. It’s yeat another sight that tells of the long history of Ohrid. Let’s just say that we were quite tired when we finally reached the doors of our accommodation.

A Sunset Over Lake Ohrid

Well, the day was not yet over and what is better than to enjoy a sunset with nice scenery? We sat down at a waterfront restaurant for some dinner and some drinks. This was just in time before it started to rain and I really mean rain. The rain together with the setting sun created an impressive light out over the lake. It is hard to describe and it was even harder to capture with a photo. It was a magical evening in Ohrid and we started to plan our upcoming days as we sipped our drinks. We had a lot that we wanted to see and the list had grown extensively as we once more say down on the balcony to enjoy the view and a glass of local wine.

Join us and read more about our Balkan adventure here: Summer in Macedonia 2023

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Lookoom

    I stayed on the hill near the fortress and the city walls, and more than once I walked up the steep slope from the city center, but there were so many old corbelled houses to admire that the effort was always rewarded.

    1. Jesper

      We tried to enjoy the sights on the way up the hill, but we did struggle a bit with the 35+ degrees Celcius. Luckily our accomodation during this heatwave was just a quarter of the way to the top. 🙂

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