Why Ohrid, North Macedonia should be on your travel bucket list

Church of St John at Kaneo

If you search Ohrid on google, chances are hundreds of images like this one will appear..

And trust me – it looks even better in person. This is the Church of St John the Theologian sat on the cliffs of Kaneo beach overlooking Lake Ohrid. It is one of Ohrid’s must sees and the views it offers of Lake Ohrid alone should be enough to entice you there! If you go in off season like we did, you’re very likely to have the place to yourself.

Most of Ohrid’s must sees can be done in one big loop of the town. Start by walking along Beach Potpesh until you reach the church of St John the Theologian. From here you can walk directly through the Old City Park stopping off at Plaoshnik. This was actually boarded up when we got there so unfortunately we missed it – i think a large hotel is being built so keep an eye out for that! Through the old city park there is a small uphill hike before you are right at the entrance of Samuel’s Fortress. A short walk down from the fortress sees you at the Ancient Theatre of Ohrid. A final stroll through the winding streets of Ohrid brings you to the Church Of Saint Sophia.

Samuels Fortress

Samuel’s Fortress is the only attraction in Ohrid which has an entrance fee. Its 60 denar per person which works out at only 80p. It is supposed to be open every day, but i know a few people who have been caught out, so worth a bit of research. There isn’t much to see inside the Fortress but its what’s on the outside that counts here! The views of Ohrid and Lake Ohrid are gorgeous up here and one of the main reasons Ohrid should be on your travel bucket list. Again due to low season we had the whole fortress to ourselves – such a treat! Just down the hill from the entrance of the fortress is the Fort Cafe. A cute little spot for a drink after exploring.

If we had more time in Ohrid, we definitely would of paid a visit to the Monastery of St Naum. Only a little drive out of the centre of Ohrid to reach it and we heard great things about the restaurant Ostrovo and judging by the website, it shouldn’t be missed!


Where to stay in Ohrid

One thing you’ll notice about Ohrid is there is SO MANY villas, apartments and guesthouses to choose from. Most of the attractions and accommodation are in the Old Town of Ohrid, so be sure to stay here. The old town gave me vibes of Venice, the lack of cars and roads made it super peaceful and even more picturesque.

We decided to stay at Villa Varosh and WOW!! It was one of the nicest hotels we have ever stayed in. Super clean, modern and fresh and little touches which really made the stay perfect. The hosts were wonderful and even sorted our bus travel back to Skopje for us (the language is pretty difficult to understand!). If you are considering staying in Ohrid, please stay at Villa Varosh – you will not regret it!


Just down the path from Villa Varosh is a restaurant called Restaurant Sveta Sofija – we sat outside here for a glass of wine, and were given cute cosy blankets to keep warm. the perfect stop for people watching at sunset! The Church of Saint Sophia is right opposite!

Note the last picture in the slideshow.. more macedonian Burek! This was from one of the oldest traditional bakeries called Pekara Lihnida in the town centre. Traditional Burek, sat on the edge of Lake Ohrid with those views. How could you not add that to your bucket list?!

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