Lake Ohrid, Travel Guide
At 300m deep, 34km long and three million years old, shared by North Macedonia (two-thirds) and Albania (one-third), Lake Ohrid is among Europe’s deepest and oldest. The Macedonian portion is inscribed on the Unesco World Heritage list for its cultural heritage and unique nature – it’s considered the most biodiverse lake of its size in the world.
To the east of Ohrid lies Galičica National Park with mountain villages and Magaro Peak, which can be summited. To the south, a long, wooded coast has pebble beaches, churches and camping spots. In summer the big, resort-style hotels and beaches can be unpleasantly crowded but there are better spots beyond them.
“Lake Ohrid Travel Guide”
Archaeological finds indicate that Ohrid is one of the oldest human settlements in all of Europe. The lake itself is over three million years old. Ohrid town is first mentioned in Greek documents from 353 BCE, when it was known as Lychnidos – or, “the city of light.” Only much later, in 879 CE, was it renamed Ohrid. The name probably derives from the phrase “vo hridi” – meaning roughly, “in the cliff.” It comes from the time when the town was limited in a small area on the lake side of the hill, which in fact is a huge cliff rising above the lakeshore. The town as we know it today was built mostly between the 7th and 19th centuries. During the Byzantine period, Ohrid became a significant cultural and economic center, serving as an episcopal center of the Ohrid Archbishopric. Along with Preslav, it became the site of the first Slavic universities in the 9th century. At the beginning of the 11th century, Ohrid briefly became the capital of the Bulgarian Empire, ruled by Car Samuil, whose fortress still presides over the city today.