Lively lakeside city in the summer, sleepy, laid-back town in the winter, Ohrid is home to Europe’s oldest and deepest lake. In the summer it becomes the place to be for boating, fishing, and swimming. I went during the winter and found that although I couldn’t really experience the lake, the city itself still has a lot to offer.
Here’s what to do in Ohrid during the winter
See the lake
The lake is still beautiful to behold. There are plenty of cafes by the water to relax at with a cup of coffee while taking in the lake. The weather can be a little chilly when it’s cloudy, but in late January when the sun is out it’s quite warm. Go for a walk around the lake and explore.
Climb the fort
As with many other cities in this region, Ohrid is home to a fort high up on a hill above the city. The fort’s walls are mostly intact and open to the public to climb. It offers a great view of both the city and the lake. Not far from the fort is an ancient amphitheater that is also incredibly well preserved.
See a church every day of the year
If churches are your thing, Ohrid is the place to be. In and around the city are about 365 churches within a short walk or drive from the city center. If you can appreciate the architecture, but aren’t worried about seeing all 365, stick to the ones in the city. There are several in Old Ohrid, in between the fort and the lake, an idealic location for a place of peace.
If you’re willing to drive a little bit, check out the Monastery of Saint Naum. It’s one of the larger religious institutions in the area and home to some lovely peacocks. It is also near the springs that feeds the entire lake from deep within the mountains. In the summer, there is a shuttle bus that goes from the city center to the monetary and springs. I stayed at Sunny Lake Hostel and the owner was nice enough to drive me up there so I didn’t have to worry about the bus.
Get some “delicious” food
Bkycho is right of Ohrid’s main square. At the recommendation of my hostel owner I went to try the kebap. And then I went back. And then I did two more times. The name translates roughly to “delicious,” and delicious it is. This place has the highest quality Macedonian food for the best price in Ohrid. I highly recommend the kebap, baked beans, shopska salad, and chicken soup. Not all at once, but I promise once you go, you’ll want to go back.
When we were in Skopje, we heard from multiple people that we had to try Dr. Falafel. Apparently it has the best falafel in Macedonia, and I must say I do believe it. Dr. Falafel is just a short walk off the main square. It’s menu is small, you can choose between a falafel sandwich or a falafel platter, and it’s quite affordable. For about four dollars you can get a drink and the falafel and hummus platter, a huge plate of food that on it’s own in the states would cost at eight or nine dollars.