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Europe Travel: Day Trip around Lake Ohrid, Republic of North Macedonia — Activity Recommendations

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This is a list of activity recommendations for a day trip around Lake Ohrid, Republic of North Macedonia. This post is connected to our post about Ohrid, a base for travels around the western part of Macedonia.

The Lake Ohrid region is a cultural and natural UNESCO World Heritage site.


The basics

  • Day trip around the Republic of North Macedonia side of Lake Ohrid.
  • Lake Ohrid straddles the mountainous border between the southwestern part of North Republic of North Macedonia and eastern Albania. 
  • The lake and its surrounds make up the Lake Ohrid Region, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Drive from Ohrid around the southeastern side of Lake Ohrid to visit Saint Naum, Bay of Bones, and National Park Galichica.

Getting there

  • Most people get to Lake Ohrid from Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia or Tirana, Albania.
  • We recommend hiring a private driver to take you around Lake Ohrid for the day. Negotiate a rate in advance.

Connected itineraries

Note that the itineraries that follow are based on an accelerated timeline for those looking to get a first look at the Balkans.

UNESCO Heritage: Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region

In 1979, the Lake Ohrid Region was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its natural and cultural value. The inscription includes land in Republic of Macedonia and Albania.

“A superlative natural phenomenon, Lake Ohrid provides a refuge for numerous endemic species of freshwater fauna and flora dating from the Tertiary period. Situated on the shores of the lake, the town of Ohrid is one of the oldest human settlements in Europe. Built mainly between the 7th and 19th centuries, it has the oldest Slav monastery (St Pantelejmon) and more than 800 Byzantine-style icons dating from the 11th to the end of the 14th century. In the shallow waters near the shores of the lake, three sites testify to the presence of prehistoric pile dwellings, and the small Lin Peninsula is the site of the remains of an Early Christian church founded in the middle of the 6th century.”

Citations: UNESCO World Heritage Center, 2020.
If you haven’t already, check out why you should incorporate UNESCO World Heritage sites into your travel plans.

Map of locations around Lake Ohrid


Black Drim Springs and Saint Naum (Sveti Naum)

Saint Naum is an eastern orthodox monastery that is situated on a plateau overlooking Lake Ohrid. The medieval scholar and writer Saint Naum built the monastery in 905. The monastery was later deconstructed in the 11th century, only later to be rebuilt in the 16th century as a multi-domed byzantine structure.

Lunch at Restaurante Ostrovo on the spring

Boat ride through the Black Drim Springs

Visit Saint Naum (Sveti Naum) Monastery

Stop through the village of Peštani

Pop into The Church Holy Virgin of Peštani to see the inside of a small Orthodox church.

Bay of Bones

Bay of Bones is a former archaeological excavation site of Ploca Micov Kamen that was later turned into an authentic reconstruction. Lake Ohrid’s shallowness in this area enabled a massive wooden structure to be erected above the water, considered by many as one of the largest ever prehistoric palafitte. This prehistoric settlement dates between 1200 and 700 BC.

National Park Galichica (Mount Galičica)

Mount Galičica is a mountain range that rises 2254 meters (7395 feet) between Lake Ohrid and Prespa Lake. In 1958 the Macedonia named the area within their country’s borders a national park. The park spans 227 square kilometres (88 sq mi). and has over 800 flora species.

Return to Ohrid

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