Ohrid Lake, Republic of MacedoniaThe ancient city of Ohrid (along the coast of the majestic similarly-named lake is considered by many as the most beautiful and picturesque places in Macedonia. I certainly agree. The area combines the grandeur of nature and the spectacular genius of man as reflected in the city’s architecture. It is likewise home to the country’s most valuable historical monuments and important archeological finds. In fact, it is now listed as one of UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage Sites.

The city of Ohrid is considered as one of the oldest human settlements in the continent, believed to have been established back in the 7th century. Hundreds of years later, the area has become an icon of history, luxury and natural beauty.

Despite its ancient historical background, the city is now home to the most luxurious hotels in all Macedonia. It is really not surprising considering the majestic beauty of the location is sought after by the rich and famous. However, if your budget is a far cry from the asking price in these luxurious facilities, there are also plenty of accommodation options available for you. Take your pick from a wide array of holiday home rentals, villas, hotels and camp sites around the area.

One of the most important and valuable historical attraction of Ohrid is the ancient classical amphitheatre. It was discovered in Varosh sometime in 1935. The theatre was believed to have been the site of gladiator fights during the Roman conquest.

There is also the 10th century Car Samoil’s Castle. It may no longer be as grand as it was centuries ago, castle Samuil, Macedonia but the hike to the top of the hill where the castle is located is made worthy of the effort for the spectacular views it offers of the city and the surrounding lake.

For a better look at the city’s history, check out the National Museum. The building housing the museum is also an attraction in itself. Other magnificent buildings – mostly churches – that are also worth seeing include the 13th century Church of St. John Kaneo, the Cathedral of St. Sofia and its 10th century frescoes, and the church of St. Clement with the surrounding remains of long gone basilicas.

For natural attractions, Lake Ohrid is of course on top of the list. You can rent a boat or kayak and explore the lake’s vicinity or take a trip to the spring  source that feeds water to the lake. You can also take in the lovely lakeside views from a rented bicycle or from a comfortable chair in one of the many cafes and restaurants in the area.

If you are up for some hiking adventure, you can observe the lake’s panoramic view from an overlooking viewpoint at the mountain of Galicica. Views of the nearby Lake Prespa are equally stunning. Camping is allowed in the area and you can easily spend a day or two bird watching and wildlife spotting.  However way you wish to spend your time in the mountains, the spectacular panorama of the lakes is likely to be the highlight of the trip.

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