Dialling code: +389 (0)46
Postal code: 6000
License plates: OH 000-XX
Coordinates: 41°07′01.31″N, 20°48′06.14
City Patron: St. Clement and St. Naum
The town of Ohrid, one of the most desirable touristic destinations in this part of the Balkans, is situated on the shore of Lake Ohrid, in the south-western part of the Republic of Macedonia. The town has a population of approximately 54,380 inhabitants, and lies at an altitude of 700-750 meters above the sea level. The climate is Mediterranean with mild winters, which is of particular significance for tourism. Ohrid has good transport position and with the regional roads easily communicates with Albania via Struga, and via Bitola with Greece and central part of Macedonia. Also, the touristic value is supplemented by the airport in Ohrid. The Ohrid region is characterized with its natural beauties, historical and cultural heritage and enjoys the protection of UNESCO. Since 1980, first the lake, than the city is listed under World heritage sites protected by UNESCO. Fishing and crafts are significant industries for the economy of this city, but Ohrid mostly lives from tourism with the capacities which work during all seasons
The town has historic roots going back to the Neolithic times, and in the antiquity it was known as the city of Lychnidos, meaning ‘town of light’. Later in the 4th century BC, the town was inhabited by Macedonians and then the Romans in the late 2nd century. The city developed during the Roman times due to the road Via Egnatia, which passes through Radozda and Lychnidos. By the 5th century AD the first basilicas were built, and in 879 the town was no longer called Lychnidos but was referred to by the Slavs as Ohrid. St. Kliment, who is the patron of the city of Ohrid (08.December), was one of the disciples of Cyril and Methodius. He was a teacher, a Bishop and together with St.Naum, a founder of the first university on the Balkans. In the 10th century Tzar Samoil moved the capital of his empire to Ohrid, and later the city became a part of the Byzantine Empire, until the coming of the Ottomans in 1395. During this time Ohrid had a privileged position, with its own Archbishop.
Plaoshnik - The grave of St. Clement within the reconstuction of Byzantine church
This “hidden pearl” on the Balkan Peninsula is famous because there is a quote that in the Middle Ages there were 365 churches, one for each day of the year. Its exquisite natural beauty and the unique charm of the old part of the town also known as the Old Bazaar, makes Ohrid today one of the most visited destinations by the tourists.
The church of St. Sofia
The church of St. Sofia is one of the largest medieval churches in Macedonia. The church was originally built in the 10th century with the fresco paintings from the time of its foundation. Later the church was either built or restored during the period of the Archbishop Leo who was on the throne of the Church in the period from 1035-1056. For a long time it was the cathedral church ("Great Church") of the Ohrid Archiepiscopate. With the arrival of the Turks, the church was converted into a mosque. After the extensive conservatory and restoration activities the fresco paintings were offered to the light of the day. These preserved frescoes from XI, XII, and XIV century are amongst the highest achievements in medieval painting in Macedonia and the most important works of Byzantine monumental painting.
The church of St.Pantelejmon also called Plaoshniк This place has been a very important religious centre since early Christian times. This is the place where the first university in Europe in the 10th century was established and it is the place where the Cyrillic alphabet was created. Today the church is a reconstruction of the original church built in the 893 by St. Clement, the pupil of St. Cyril and Methodius and it is dedicated to St. Pantelejmon (protector of health). St. Clement died in 910 and was buried in the church where the visitors can see his grave. Later the church was ruined, and on the same place in the 17th century Sultan Mohamed Mosque was built. Only the fragments of the fresco paintings from pernicious periods were preserved. The reconstruction performed in 2002 was made on the original church of St. Clement where through the glass the parts of the original church from 9th c. are still visible.
Samuel’s fortress is one of the largest preserved fortifications in the Republic of Macedonia from the 11th century. The earliest trace trails back to the III century B.C., when it was the fortress of the ancient city of Lychnidos. The walls of the citadel are 3 km long and 16 meters high. Today, 18 towers and four gates still remain from the original structure from the 10th century, when Ohrid was the capital of the first state of Macedonian Slavs during the rule of the Macedonian King Samuel. The fortress gives a beautiful view of the Ohrid Lake and the old part of the city beneath.
The Antique theatre
The antique theatre was built in the 3rd century BC and later it was adapted and used by the ancient Roman. It could received 4 500 to 5000 spectators. After abandonment of the theatre, elements of the building material were used for the construction of other buildings. The reconstruction was completed in 2002 and after restoration today it hosts a lot of different events and functions.
Church of Virgin Mary Perivleptos
The church of Virgin Mary Perivleptos (also called St.Kliment) dedicated to the Mother of God, was erected in 1295, and the frescoes painted by Mihailo and Evtihij represent the earliest example of Renaissance art in Europe. The temple is known also as St. Clement church, because in the time of the Ottoman Empire the bones and relicts of this saint were transferred within the church. They were kept here until 2002 when they have been brought back to the original church of St. Clement at Plaoshnik. In the courtyard of the church the masterpieces of Ohrid icons collections are settled.
The church of St. John - Kaneo
The church of St. John - Kaneo is the church dedicated to St. John the Theologian - Kaneo is located on the south-western side, on a cliff hill surmounting Lake Ohrid. This temple has become one of the symbols of Ohrid, thanks to its marvellous location. The original church was built in the 10th century, but today the church has preserved fresco-paintings from the 13th century.
Monastery of St. Naum
Monastery of St. Naum of Ohrid is the monastery which Saint Naum was built on a rock, with a wonderful view of Lake Ohrid and of the surrounding mountains from Galicica National Park. The original church dedicated to the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel was erected by St. Naum himself in 900 A.D. The pupil of St Cyril and Methodius died in 910 and he was buried in the monastery within the church. There is one interesting legend connected to this church, a popular belief that if a visitor puts his ear on St.Naum’s grave he could hear his heart beating. The church was demolished in the Ottoman period and was renovated and reconstructed several times.
St. Naum springs
The 45 springs which are a rare natural phenomenon, bubble up from the bottom of the crystal clear stream bed, and mostly bring water from the neighbouring lake of Prespa, on the other side of Galichica National Park. A boat trip down to the springs, which feed Lake Ohrid, is available in the vicinity of the monastery of St. Naum.
Museum on water
Museum on water is located in the Bay of the bones, this open air museum represents reconstruction of a prehistoric (Bronze Age) pile-dwelling settlement discovered on the same place due to underwater archaeological excavations. Within the complex there is a small museum with a small exhibition of the discovered artefacts, as well as a Roman military fortification in the vicinity which has been reconstructed on the hill above the Bay of Bones and once had protected the Roman Empire from its enemies.
The church St. Virgin Zaumska
The church St. Virgin Zaumska originally dates from 1361. It is built in a vibrant style, with preserved fresco painting from the period of foundation. The restoration work has been done to the church and it is in good condition, attracting visitors, both by lake and from the trails in the mountain.
City Museum of Ohrid
The Robevci house in Ohrid is considered one of the most representative objects of the traditional old town architecture in Macedonia. The four-storey house, built in 1825, reconstructed in 1989, still preserves the original furniture from the 19th century. Today the House is home of the Archaeological Museum with the artefacts from prehistory, antique and medieval period (pottery, jewellery, coins), as well as the items from the ethnological exhibition
The Icon Gallery
The Ohrid Icon Gallery collects some of the best examples of the iconographic art in Macedonia, from XI until XIX century. It is considered to be the second most important and valuable collection of icons in the world after the Moscow collection. The Gallery of Ohrid Icons is located within the complex of the church of St. Bogorodica Perivlepta (St. Clement). The oldest preserved icons are those of "Ss. Basil the Great and Nicholas" and "The Forty Holy Martyrs" from the first half of the 11th century.
Ohrid city tour
A half day tour to Ohrid (World heritage sites listed under UNESCO) includes the Old part of the city visiting the church St.Sofija (11th c.), Ancient Theatre (3rd BC), church St.Bogorodica Perivleptos (13th c.), Ohrid’s Icons gallery, Tsar Samuel’s fortress, Plaosnik and the Curch of St. Pantelejmon and church St. John of Kaneo.
The tour can be expanded to a full day tour with the visit of the Monastery of St. Naum and the Museum on Water (reconstruction of an Eneolithic pile-dwelling settlement). Also there is possibility for buying traditional Ohrids’s pearls and handmade filigree jewelry.
01. April – 31.October: Sunday at 10 a.m
01. November – 31.March: Sunday at 11 a.m
Organized groups: at prearranged time.
1,5 - 3,5 hours
In front of the entrance of The Old Town
Organized groups: at prearranged time.
Price (entrance fees are not included in the price)
Additional fees for group passengers
St.Sofija church entrance fee: 1,7 € per person
St. Virgin Mary Perivleptos church entrance fee: 1,7 € per person
Ohrid’s Icons gallery entrance fee: 1,7 € per person
Tsar Samuel’s fortress entrance fee: 0,5 € per person
St. John of Kaneo church entrance fee: 1,7 € per person
Monastery of St. Naum entrance fee: 1,7 € per person
Museum on Water entrance fee: 1,7 € per person
Sights included in the tour
St. Virgin Mary Perivleptos church
Ohrid’s Icons gallery
Tsar Samuel’s fortress
Plaosnik and the Curch of St. Pantelejmon
St. John of Kaneo church
Monastery of St. Naum
Museum on Water
Larger organized groups can be organized at other scheduling at prearranged time.
Reservations and information
Macedonia Vision sale spots, authorized agents and hotel’s receptions.
Ohrid sightseeing tour (soon)
Ohrid surrounding tour (soon)
Excursions from Ohrid
Monastery St. Naum (half and full day tour);
Struga and Vevcani (full day tour);
Prespa and Prespa Lake (full day tour);
Mavrovo National park and Monastery St. Jovan Bigorski (full day tour);
Galichica national park (full day tour);
Pelister national park (full day tour);
Bitola and Heraclea Lyncestis (full day tour);
Prilep and Krushevo (full day tour)
Ohrid Summer Festival -The biggest event in the city of Ohrid is the Ohrid Summer Festival which takes place on 12 July - 20 August every year. It was held for the first time in 1961, and since 1994 the festival became a member of the European Association of Festivals. The event gathers artists from all over the world, offering events for everyone’s taste. A number of concerts, theatre plays, poetry readings, and ballet performances are enjoyed in the most magical atmosphere in the old part of the town.
Balkan Festival - Traditionally, this festival takes place in the beginning of July and hosts vocal and instrumental bands and solo singers from Macedonia, the Balkans, and neighbouring countries, presenting their authentic folk creations and traditional culture through dances, songs, rites, traditional clothes, local costumes, traditional musical instruments, and handicrafts.
Ohrid International Swimming Marathon - Each year, in the second half of August, the swimming elite throughout the world gathers in Ohrid and, starting from St. Naum Monastery, they swim along the lakeshore to the town harbour, approximately a 30-km route. In 1998 the Ohrid Swimming Marathon entered the list of 12 worldwide held marathons under the patronage of FINA -- the World Swimming Association.
Balkan Square Festival - This event of contemporary Balkan music is organized in the antique theatre in Ohrid and has so far hosted a lot of domestic and internationally known names.
Macedonian Language, Literature, and Culture Seminar - The Macedonian Language, Literature, and Culture Seminar is a major annual event that takes place in Ohrid during the month of August. It has a continual history of more than three decades and has become a famous Slavonic benchmark respected by the whole academic world.
Ohridski Trubaduri Festival - This three-day festival takes place in the middle of August. It initially started as a folk festival, but today the festival consists of three evenings: a folk, pop, and international evening. It became quite popular because some of the greatest Macedonian hits came out of this festival.