Ohrid, immortal Ohrid – a kingdom of light and water, a repository of ancient ruins from Macedonia’s earlier kingdoms – is the sublime lakeside town that for many represents the culmination of the Macedonian experience.
Ohrid’s major attractions are all located within a remarkably concentrated and eminently walkable area, among and above the narrow streets of the Old Town, itself lined with restaurants and cafes perfectly suited for relaxing on cool summer evenings. Ohrid’s many café bars and nightclubs also make for vibrant nightlife.
As for the lake itself, it is so large and so deep that one might mistake it for a small sea. The full range of water sports, fishing and boating is available, and numerous churches alongside Ohrid’s lake shores make for fascinating side trips.
The uniqueness of Ohrid’s lake and historical architecture have been attested by UNESCO, which honored the town with an official designation as one of the few places on the cultural institution’s “World Inheritance” list.
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 B.C.E., when it was known as Lychnidos - or, “the city of light.” Only much later, in 879 C.E., was it renamed Ohrid. The name probably derives from the Macedonian phrase “Vo Hrid” – meaning roughly, “the town on the hill.”