kami

Can't live without travels! Wherever she goes she always looks for alternative spots or street art. A huge fan of Central Europe and off the beaten path places and a living proof that you can balance full time job and extensive travel!

Beautiful Ohrid, Macedonia off season

228 Flares Twitter 146 Facebook 0 Google+ 82 Pin It Share 0 StumbleUpon 0 228 Flares ×

If there’s one place everyone should visit in Macedonia it is undoubtedly Ohrid. This picturesque town lies on the shore of the lake with the same name, right at the border of Albania and Macedonia, two countries that surely will make it to the list of the best holiday destinations very soon. While Ohrid is in fact one of the biggest city in the country it doesn’t feel that way. The place looks and feels quiet and idyllic, and the regular part of the city with school, hospitals etc is located further from the lake, giving the shore away for tourism.

Ohrid off season

Ohrid has a long and rich history, dating back to the centuries BC. One of the most distinctive things about the city is the overwhelming number of churches, some of them so tiny that maybe 5 people could fit in inside. There used to be 365 churches in Ohrid, one for each day of the year, therefore the city was often called Jerusalem of the Balkans. Now there are not so many of them anymore but still there is one on every second corner. The city is also one of 28 UNESCO World Heritage sites that are both on Cultural and Natural list.

Ohrid off season

I happened to be in Ohrid in November. After falling in love with beautiful Berat it was time to move forward across the border. The day was beautiful, warm and sunny, and already in the very first moment I saw a glimpse of the lake, from the up high road leading to the Albanian-Macedonian border, I knew why everyone was so excited about Ohrid. The lake looked stunning! The hillsides full of autumn colours were gently rolling down to the water that was shining in the sunshine. It was one of the most picture-perfect views I’ve ever seen!

Ohrid off season

After leaving backpacks we went for a quick walk around, the catch the remaining daylight and enjoy the last rays of sun. There were literally no tourists around, the lakeside promenade was empty, the numerous hotels were closed and that made everything even better. It was such a perfect place to relax, especially considering the circumstances. When it was getting dark we found an empty but nice restaurant for the first encounter with Macedonian dishes and beer, a very successful encounter as it turned out the food there was delicious (and so was in Skopje)! Slowly the restaurant got busier and busier but there were only local people coming. Even if we were in the heart of the Old Town, the most touristic part of Ohrid it seemed we were the only visitors in the city. After getting stuffed with the yummy goodies it was time for a quick walk around. The place actually felt kind of scary and haunted as there was literally not a single person around and in most of the houses there were no sign of life, everything was dark…

Ohrid off season

The next morning the weather wasn’t so great anymore, it was gloomy and misty yet Ohrid still looked beautiful. We set to explore some more, see the most famous church – Sveti Jovan Kaneo, climb to the fortress and wander the cobbled streets with beautiful architecture. Again, there were no people around, the town felt abandoned. Besides us there was only one organized tour but they just went for a boat ride on the lake. It seemed like we had the town just for ourselves and that felt so good! And Ohrid really was the prettiest!

Ohrid off season

I think one of the reasons why I enjoyed Ohrid so very much was that we were (probably) the only tourists there. The architecture, the monuments, the nature and the landscape are incredible there, there’s no doubt about that! But while it was a pure pleasure to be there in November I don’t think I’d like it half as much in the summertime… It seemed to be a typical resort, full of random hotels, souvenir shops, various water activities and night clubs. And somehow all of that doesn’t really feel right in that sacred place.

Ohrid off season

The Sveti Jovan Kaneo church is probably the most recognizable and the most photographed place in Macedonia, the only that makes it to most of the postcards. We were the only people who were at the site, we could wander around undisturbed, spend some quiet time just contemplating the area, I could take way too many pictures. Few steps further, in the middle of the forest and next to another church, a brand new huge hotel was being built. That, for me, was the sign of expanding tourism. It made me sad but at the same time I could perfectly understand that – some countries have great industry or goods to export and others have a stunning sites to offer to visitors from all over the world. And that’s fine. But this view made me realize that travelling off season is the best way to discover the world!

Ohrid off season

Ohrid off season

Ohrid off season

Ohrid off season

Ohrid off season

Ohrid off season

Ohrid off season

Ohrid off season

Ohrid off season

Ohrid off season

Ohrid off season

Ohrid off season

Ohrid off season

Ohrid off season

Ohrid off season

Ohrid off season

Ohrid off season

Ohrid off season

Ohrid off season

Ohrid off season

Ohrid off season

Ohrid off season

Ohrid off season

Ohrid off season

Ohrid off season

Ohrid off season

Ohrid off season

Ohrid off season

Would you like to visit Macedonia? Do you like off season travels?


LIKED IT? PIN THIS POST!

ohrid pin (2)       ohrid pin (1)


If you think of visiting Macedonia or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it!

love, kami 2

If you enjoyed that post why don't you share it with your friends? That would mean so much to me! Also be sure to join 17.000+ fellow travelers and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, G+ or Instagram for travel updates and even more pictures! If you don't want to miss any news from me sign up to my monthly newsletter!

228 Flares Twitter 146 Facebook 0 Google+ 82 Pin It Share 0 StumbleUpon 0 228 Flares ×
18 Sty '15

Related Posts

There are 39 Comments.

  1. 22:38 18/01/2015

    Ohrid is one of the main reasons I’ve been wanting to go to Macedonia for a while. I must say, though, I’d not considered going in November, but after your experience, maybe that would in fact be a great time to visit! Lovely pictures, as usual, Kami!
    Sam latest post…Our Itinerary and Inspiration for Our Tentative Trip to AsiaMy Profile

    • kami
      22:25 26/01/2015

      Thank you Sam! Ohrid is probably the most known place in Macedonia and it is for a reason as the town is really beautiful! You definitely should go there! And November can be tricky with weather but is a great time to visit! :)

  2. Ochryda jest urokliwym mistem, które nawet w sezonie jest znośne, bo Macedonia przez turystów nie jest zbyt oblegaja. Jeśli już, to głównie przez Polaków, ponieważ jest tam dla nas tanio i stosunkowo blisko (dojazd dobrymi drogami, bo autostradami). Osobom, które wybierają się tam w sezonie polecam nocowanie poza Ohrydem, np. gdzieś w okolicach chociażby Elsani – puste plaże, cisza, spokój, dużo darmowych leżaków itd.
    balkanyrudej latest post…Bałkany 2014. Część 13 – Dardha, Korcza i… MacedoniaMy Profile

    • kami
      22:26 26/01/2015

      a ja od jakiegoś czasu mam wrażenie, że coraz więcej tej Ochrydy wszędzie, i to nie tylko w polskim środowisku. ale to dobrze, fejm się należy bo tam cudownie całkiem

  3. Piekne zdjecia! Uwielbiam te brukowane uliczki i kamienne budynki, jezioro tez przecudne.
    Blondynka z Krainy Teczy latest post…Kimberley – czyli Wielka Dziura i inne atrakcjeMy Profile

  4. 09:23 19/01/2015

    That is exactly why I love travelling off season. You get to see the same places but without the crowd that would surround you during high season days. This allows you to enjoy more. Of course the weather might not be perfect but is it a risk I am willing to take :)
    Ewa latest post…Jak karnawał, to w Wenecji!My Profile

    • kami
      22:30 26/01/2015

      true story! also summer crowds can often spoil the whole experience for you and there’s not such risk in the off season!

  5. Did you actually find one of those small churches that fit five or so people?

  6. To jest dokładnie do miejsce, które wszyscy znajomi polecają, jeśli kiedykolwiek wybiorę się dalej na Bałkany. I zdecydowanie zgadzam się z tym, że fajnie jeździ się poza sezonem. Bycie jedynym turystą w mieście to zawsze miłego doświadczenie. Miałem tak gdy byłem w Mińsku. Nie spotkałem ani jednego turysty z aparatem przez 5 dni ;)
    Marcin Wesołowski latest post…Wakacje na Teneryfie. Postawiliśmy na południeMy Profile

    • kami
      22:33 26/01/2015

      no Mińsk to już w ogóle hardkor! Chociaż i na hokieju mimo wszystko wielu turystów widać nie było (ale kolega i tak kumpla spotkał, pod mostem ;)) A na Bałkany naprawdę powinieneś podróż zaplanować, cudownie tam jest! i wtedy do Ochrydy koniecznie!

  7. Ohrid looks fabulous and yes, I’m totally with you, travelling during the low season is the best for me too. It just seems like you have the place almost all for yourself. The most unpleasant trips I had where when I travelled during high season, the places were too crowded, too expensive and not what I like the most.
    Franca latest post…Five Pics & Tips for TaipeiMy Profile

    • kami
      22:34 26/01/2015

      These are exactly reasons why I don’t travel anywhere in the summertime! It seems like there’re only disadvantages of going to any place at that time!

  8. Stunning photos! I especially like the one where you can the church and minarets in the same photo. You really notice the Byzantine and Ottoman influence in the buildings! :-)
    Joy @MyTravelingJoys latest post…Cool Vibes on Piotrkowska Street and OFF Piotrkowska in Łódź, PolandMy Profile

    • kami
      22:35 26/01/2015

      Thank you! The architecture and culture there is really influenced by the Ottoman Empire! Have you been to Macedonia or Albania? I think you’d like it there!

  9. Hello Kami, I am so happy I found your blog. Gorgeous photos! I love travelling off season even if the weather isn’t perfect – less people, cheaper, more peace to enjoy the sights. Even more than that, I love to travel on the shoulder season – not quite off season yet, but close enough that you get all the perks.

    • kami
      22:44 26/01/2015

      Thank you Dorota! :) I travel off seasons for exactly the same reasons as you! And well, weather isn’t the most important! As long as it’s not raining heavily I’m fine with that :)

  10. Cool, I was thinking about getting an apartment in Orchid for a couple weeks to break up my travel in the Balkans. I bet their are some good deals on accommodation in the off season.

    • kami
      22:45 26/01/2015

      I guess so! And Ohrid would be such a great place to relax a little bit and settle down for a while! It’s so stunning there!

  11. I’ve been to Ohrid in the off season too and loved it! We took a quick road trip over to the Bay of the Bones and the monastery near the Albanian border. The clear water and blue skies blew my mind. But I had much better weather than you though thankfully. ;)
    Andrea latest post…January Travel Plans: BudapestMy Profile

    • kami
      22:49 26/01/2015

      I really wish I had more time there as it seemed there were so many possibilities what to do and see there, even off season! Guess I need to return :D The weather was amazing on the first afternoon, it was perfect with blue sky and warm sunrays! Too bad the next day was gloomy… but I still loved it!

  12. Thanks for a great blog post Kamila. We’ll post it in our social channels if it’s okay with you. Share Macedonia by the way is a project to increase tourism to the country, says Mats from Team Share Macedonia. Meet you on Twitter, Facebook etc :)

    • kami
      09:41 30/01/2015

      you’re very welcome and thank you for nice words :)

  13. Rik Freeman
    13:01 28/01/2015

    I have not visited Ohrid as yet but many other areas of Macedonia and I have to say it is an ideal place to travel at any time of the year, winter will give you some stunning views of the mountain ranges that adorn the region as well as the wonderful and appreciative reception from locals when you drop by taverna’s or cafes etc. At this time of year you will meet the real people of Greece who I have found to date to be extremely friendly and all too ready to spend time talking to you and telling you of places they know of that most travellers tend to bypass. A lovely article and some excellent images that have convinced me to visit there… SOON. :-)

    • kami
      11:10 30/01/2015

      Thank you for your comment Rik! This is such an amazing part of the world and not only the places are incredible but also the locals are one of the most hospitable people ever! What other spots in the area would you recommend to visit? I hope you will make it to Ohrid soon, it’s stunning!

  14. Ohrid looks incredible. I must admit that I’d never heard of it – I was hoping to visit Skopje in March, but I’m thinking I’ll head to Ohrid instead.
    Michelle – Very Hungry Explorer latest post…PUB GRUB AT THE BLACK SHEEP, BRUSSELSMy Profile

    • kami
      11:52 30/01/2015

      you should visit both Skopje and Ohrid! There’re frequent bus connection and it takes some 3 hours to get between these two. I’m sure you’ll love Macedonia, big time!

  15. Dean
    15:34 06/02/2015

    Hey Kami, Gotta say, you’ve got some amazing pictures there, it pretty much sums up the beautiful side of Ohrid. I was there last year, it’s an extraordinary city and I had a really great time. I’ve managed to take a whole tour of the city, including all the monasteries and the Samoil Fortress (Stunning view from up there), but I feel like i need to visit it again, it just left me etching for me, you know, so I am planning to go back there again this summer, including visiting some other cities, like Bitola and Krushevo, which I didn’t manage to go to. I was really satisfied with the tour I arranged, the tour guide was incredible, all the stories he told about the past and the myths and legends related to it, just makes me itch of the thought itself. I have to share it with the rest of us adventurers; these guys know what they’re doing, and they deserve a lot credit for me wanting to go back! You should definitely check them out if you plan on visiting Ohrid yourself! and did I mention the lake? That dark blue color view, heaven on earth, we did a small boat trip and I took lot of photos, they’re all part of my adventure album!Stunning, just stunning! The weather overall was amazing, but sadly I didn’t have that much time to stay more in the end. I’m glad to see lot other people sharing positive experience from Ohrid,a magical place indeed! It’s really a must-visit place if you want to go and experience it yourself. I am impatiently waiting for summer to come and I’ll write you from there!Once more, thanks for this amazing post. Cheers!

  16. Simona
    14:57 09/02/2015

    Nice pictures and beautiful post. Now I have desire to visit Ohrid.
    Greetings from Slovakia :)

    • kami
      16:13 18/02/2015

      Thank you! It’s a really stunning place, I hope you will get a chance to visit soon! Greetings from Poland :)

  17. Leonardo
    16:06 05/05/2015

    I was there last year and i must say that for me Ohrid is PERFECTION!

  18. Leonardo
    16:09 05/05/2015

    interesting facts about this perfect city
    Ohrid had 365 churches, one for each day of the year, and has been referred to as a „Jerusalem (of the Balkans)”

  19. Lee Hamilton
    18:23 31/05/2015

    Wow amazing pics of Ohrid I would love to go there its on my hitlist.So far been to 54 countries still much more to see and do.I must admit Ohrid looks stunning Great pics and more reason to go there.

    • kami
      23:41 19/06/2015

      Thank you! I really hope you will get there soon as Ohrid is incredible and so worth a visit! 54 countries are pretty impressive! I’m at 57 but you’re right, there’s just so much more to see and do!

  20. MACEDONIA https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/mk.html
    Macedonians of today are DIRECT descendants of the Ancient Macedonians
    http://www.historyofmacedonia.org/ConciseMacedonia/AncientGenes.html

    Ancient Quotes on the Macedonians as Distinct Nation
    http://www.historyofmacedonia.org/AncientMacedonia/AncientEvidence.html

    #Documents of the #Continued #Existence of #Macedonia, #Macedonians as #distinct #nation and #Macedonian #language for a period of over 2500 years http://www.historyofmacedonia.org/ConciseMacedonia/Documents.html

    ANCIENT AND MODERN MACEDONIAN LANGUAGE IS ONE SAME LANGUAGE
    http://rosetta-stone.feit.ukim.edu.mk/en/node/75

    Beauties of timeless Macedonian city Ohrid https://www.facebook.com/Ohrid-Ancient-city-Lihnid-Lychnidos-only-Macedonian-always-and-forever-1728471940700271/?fref=ts
    https://www.facebook.com/MacedonianCityOhridTheHeavenInOurPlanet/

Leave a Reply

*

CommentLuv badge