Unique Places in Ohrid

  • Off The Beaten Path
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    Start of the hike
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Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Ohrid

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    Hike from Livada Pass to Lako Signoj Summit

    by Pijlmans Updated Jan 7, 2012

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    This is a hike to a summit in in the south of Galicica National Park. It is a climb of about 400 meters uphill, 1.5 hours to the top, and back via the same way.

    At certain points of this hike you can see Lake Prespa and Lake Ohrid from the same location.

    The Livada Pass is on the highest point on the road that connects Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa, close to St Naum. On your way from Ohrid to St Naum, take this road to the left (east) into Galicica National Park.

    The hike starts about 500 meters from the Chapel of St Gorgi, from where you have a great view over Lake Ohrid. You can park your car at the small parking place at St Gorgi, or drive a bit further towards Lake Prespa and park at the starting point of the hike, a 4WD track to the left (north) that leads uphill into the park.

    Just follow this track, along some (broken) electricity pylons to the top.

    On your right you can see some caves at a certain moment. These caves are probably man-made and used to store ammunition during the war. Be carefull if you want to have a look inside the caves, I found the skin of a snake there...

    Higher on the mountain, you will pass some trenches, also from the first world war.

    There are antennas on the top. From here, you could wander a bit further into the park if you would like of course.

    Warning: Do not try to do this walk if there is fog. First, you will not have a good view at the two lakes. Second, you might not have any view at all. I did this hike with some friends, in the fog, and on the top (Lako Signoj) we could not see more than 20 m ahead, it was even hard to see the trenches while we were standing next to them...

    If you do not have a car to reach the Livada Pass (Lipova Livada), you can take a bus to the village Trpejca or St Naum and take a taxi from there (and asked to be picked up after 3-4 hours later).

    This hike is also described in the second edition of the Bradt Travel Guide Macedonia.

    A similar GPS version of this hike can be found here: http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=lsvefmliqfswvhqk

    More pictures can be found in the travelogue via the link below.

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    Keep On Walking!

    by johngayton Written Oct 28, 2011

    One of my little rules in life is that I never have a beer until I've done something either constructive, productive or energetic and taking the camera for a walk ticks all three boxes for me.

    For a pleasant wander you can either walk along the lakeside boardwalk or follow the clifftop after Tsar Samouil's fortress to the picture postcard worth Church of St Jovan at Kaneo. But you needn't stop there. If you continue north there are footpaths through the woods and along the clifftop which offer some equally stunning views of the various bays further along the lake.

    Then of course you can return the way you came and enjoy that well deserved Skopsko at one (or all) of the little lakeside bars!

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    Hike from Ohrid to Velgosti via Ramne

    by Pijlmans Updated Sep 17, 2011

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    NOTE: Due to fire hazard it may be mandatory to get a permit from the Galicica National Park Office to enter Galicica National Park in the summer. Allegedly fines go up to 3000 euro if you are caught without a permit. See http://www.galicica.org.mk/ for more information.

    This hike will take you from Ohrid through the rural village Ramne to the village Velgosti. It is better known as the "Francophonie Hike", since the marking originally was sponsored by Francophonie. However, the trail used to be sparsely marked and it was very difficult to find the right trail the first time we did this hike in 2008. It took me three times by trial and error to complete the whole trail. In my traveloque I have a written a description with pictures that should enable you to do this nice hike without problems.

    Nowadays (2011) the trail is a bit better marked with signposts by the Galicica National Park Office.

    We did the hike again in 2011 and recorded the track with a GPS. You can view or download this walk in more detail at the link below. This GPS version is a round trip of about 16 km.

    The start is close to the petrol station at the Bulevar Turisticka near the Biljana Springs, just before you exit Ohrid on the road to St Naum.

    When you go left at the top of the stairs, you go to the new Galicica National Park Office and a Second World War memorial. To the right there are the ruins of an Early Christian Basilica.

    Continue the path near the stairs uphill to the asphalt road to Velestovo. At Signpost P13 of the Galicica National Park you leave the asphalt road to the left. Note that the coordinates on the post are wrong, they are somewhere in the nearby village Velestovo.

    Follow Signpost P12 to the village Ramne, where you can visit the church.

    From Ramne, you follow the asphalt road downhill. At a certain moment the asphalt road makes a curve to the left to Ohrid. Here you go right towards the Church of St Atanasia (St Atanas). At a crossing in the 4x4 track, follow the track with a sharp curve to the right to the Church of St Atanas. Remember this point because when you come back from the Church of St Atanas, you have to go straight on here to get to Velgosti. From here the trail is a bit hard to find, have a look at the pictures in the traveloque if you do not have a GPS device.

    Then walk via Signpost P3 and P2 to the Monastery of St Petka in Velgosti. You also pass Church of St Nedela in Velgosti.

    Walk back to Signpost 3, from here you walk to the pink Church of St Rusa Sreda.

    When you walk back a little bit from the Church of St Rusa Sreda, there is a path on your right going steeply uphill to the Cave Church St Bogorodica. This is probably the most rewarding part of the hike. The church itself will most likely be closed, you can try to get the key at the Monastery of St Petka or the Church of St Nedela in Velgosti.

    Now you walk back to where you left the asphalt road to Ohrid. If you follow the GPS track, it will take you to my favorite take-away Grill restaurant at the Bulevar Turistika. Have a beer while you wait for the skara!

    See the link below for the GPS track.

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    Early Christian Basilica

    by Roadquill Written Jun 16, 2011

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    Next to the reconstructed church Plaoshnik below the Czar Samuel Fortress. Approximately 2000 years old, the cite is being worked by archeologists. It is only at the initial stages but the layout of the area around the basilica is extensive.

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    Ohrid, Macedonia as base for visits in Balkans

    by StanYuni Updated Apr 4, 2011

    I visited a friend in Pristina when I used to live in Ohrid, Macedonia in 1999-2000. Ohrid is a beautiful town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site for both nature and culture, located on Lake Ohrid near where Macedonia, Albani, and Greece meet. It is inexpensive, but might be crowded during the Ohrid Summer Festival (mid July-mid August). If you stayed there, your son could take a bus via Skopje and join you. Or you could visit him in Prinstina and actually see where he is working and living. If he can do it, so can you. Dubrovnik would be even more crowded and expensive than Ohrid. It will be overrun with tourists during the summer. You can reach Ohrid by bus from Thessaloniki or Skopje, but I would fly in directly from Zurich or Vienna, if possible. Enjoy!

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    Sveti Cetirieset Sevastiski macenici (I&V)

    by Zvrlj Updated Nov 26, 2009

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    It seemed to us that nothing within the Ohrid medieval city walls can be off the beaten path. It is rather small, walkable area, and wandering all over it is the great, unique pleasure Ohrid offers. But there are some of its treasures which are almost impossible to find without guidance.

    During the visit to the Church of Santa Sophia, we asked guide to show us the fresco depicting the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste. Since the fresco is on the north wall of the altar space, behind the iconostasis, and it is strictly forbidden to all but priests to enter that space, we could only take glance of the small part of the fresco, through the gap between two pieces of curtain. In order to make up for our failed opportunity to admire one of the most astonishing frescoes of the 11th century Byzantine art (we know it from the reproductions in books), she have told us about an ancient church dedicated to the Forty Martyrs. This church stands very near Santa Sophia, and only fragments of the eastern wall remain, with barely visible traces of frescoes. She told us how to find it, and we did manage to find it! It is not an impressive sight, but it is an exciting testimony about dedication of people of Ohrid to its tradition and faith.

    The remains of Crkvata Sveti Cetirieset Sevastiski macenici – the Church of the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste can be reached by taking the staircase near the restaurant Sveta Sofija, and then turn to the second alley left. It is easy to miss it, but it requires not much effort to check the several alleys in order to find the church.

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    Walk around the town wall of Ohrid

    by Pijlmans Written Oct 14, 2007

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    Ohrid used to be completely surrounded by city walls, up until the Ottomans arrived in 1395. One could only enter Ohrid through two gates, the Upper Gate and the Lower Gate. Once taken by the Ottomans, the town expanded beyond the walls as the Turks and Ottomans moved into the Ohrid area. As in other towns like Skopje, the Ottomans kept the Christian population within the town walls.

    You can walk along the (partly restored) town wall. This short walk starts at the Upper Gate, which can be found on the higher part of Ohrid, in the town wall. Go through the gate and walk up the stairs on the right (see picture). At the end of the stairs, simply continue although there is not a road anymore, just a track through the bush.

    This way you´ll walk along the town wall, the end is close to the center of Ohrid.

    It is advisable to wear trousers to cover your legs, since the path may be overgrown by nettles and other plants.

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  • Grave of St Naum

    by stewartbel Written Jul 29, 2007

    The grave of St Naum is located in the church of St Naum. The custom is to kneel down in front of the grave, kiss it and put your ear on top of it and listen. What is the point? Well, when you put your ear on the grave, your hear something like hearth bumping. There is a legend that St Naum's hearth is still bumping in the grave and that is why local people consider this place - a sacred place.

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    Boat trip to St Naum (3)

    by stewartbel Updated Jul 29, 2007

    You can take a boat trip to St Naum monastery and resort. The boats leave every day at 9:45 morning time from the Ohrid port. There are three boats, each charging 350 Denars (6 Euros) return ticket to St Naum. The boats are returining at 17:15hrs. It takes 1 hr and quarter in one way.

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    Boat trip to St Naum (2)

    by stewartbel Updated Jul 29, 2007

    You can take a boat trip to St Naum monastery and resort. The boats leave every day at 9:45 morning time from the Ohrid port. There are three boats, each charging 350 Denars (6 Euros) return ticket to St Naum. The boats are returining at 17:15hrs. It takes 1 hr and quarter in one way.

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    You should know... first university

    by elgin99 Written Jun 4, 2007

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    The Ohrid Literary School was one of the two major medieval Bulgarian cultural centres, along with the Preslav Literary School (Pliska Literary School).

    Out of the descibe (historical site):

    "The school was established in Ohrid in 886 by Saint Clement of Ohrid simultaneously or shortly after the establishment of the Preslav Literary School. After Clement was ordained bishop of Drembica (Velika) in 893, the position of head of the school was assumed by Naum of Preslav.

    The Ohrid Literary School used the Glagolytic alphabet from its establishment until the 12th century and the Cyrillic alphabet from the end of the 9th century onwards.
    Saint Panteleimon (Macedonian: Свети Пантелјмон, Latinic: Sveti Pantelejmon) is a monastary in Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia situated on Plaošnik. It is attributed to Clement of Ohrid, a disciple of Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius and is believed to be the first university in Europe. Archaeologists have come to believe that the monastery was the site where the first students of the Glagolitic alphabet (used to translate the Bible into Old Church Slavonic) were taught.
    St. Clement's University was located in the old part of Varosh, in the Plaoshnik area. St. Clement was the first writer among the Macedonian Slavs.
    Over 3,500 students received their education in his university, after which they set out to spread Slavic literacy all the way to Russia."

    I met people which want give that fact more importance again. I've heard some good plans. I hope it will work.

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    Mosques and Islam

    by elgin99 Written Jun 2, 2007

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    Everywhere that footprints.
    St. Sophia church in Ohrid served as the cathedral church of the Ohrid Archbishopric until it was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman domination. In the early 20th century it was transformed back into an Orthodox church.
    In 14th century a new church was built by the kesar Duka and his son Dimitrius, but in the 15th century with the coming of the Turks, the church was turned into a mosque. His remains were brought in the St. Mary mother of God - Peribleptos church, built in 1895 and since then it is known among the people as St. Clement church.

    Today the Islamic (Muslim) religious community is organized through the so-called mufti office in Ohrid. There are 10 mosques in the town, the majority of which are practicing mosques, i.e., they are used for the religious services of the citizens from the Muslim Community.
    The Community owns the Turkish Temple and it is occupied by the "Helveti Tarikat" sect that follows its own, independent Islamic route of belief. They also own many "turbes", i.e., graveyards where the founders of this order have been buried.
    In Ohrid there are also two preserved hammams (public bathrooms).

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    3-4 day trip Ohrid-Prilep-Krusevo-Ohrid

    by Pijlmans Written Apr 13, 2007

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    We did a very nice 3-day trip, starting from Ohrid, two days in Prilep, a stay in the monestery of St Spas in Trstenik close to Krusevo, and a visit to Krusevo.

    The trip contains hikes (from Prilep to the Monastery of Treskovec where you could also stay one extra night, and from the Monastery of St Spas to Krusevo) as well as cultural and historical sites (Fortress Towers of Marko and Monestery of St Michael the Archangel in Prilep, Meckin Kamen and the Ilinden Uprising Monument in Krusevo).

    Check my pages about the towns as well as the tips if you´re interested!

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  • Sv. Dimitry

    by agmoose02 Written Oct 4, 2006

    Visit this small church located just to the right of the entrance to the compound containing the Church of Sv. Bogorodica Perivlepta. This church seems largely ignored, when placed beside the more inspirational Sv. Bogorodica and the Gallery of Icons, but it dates from the 14th century and has some interesting features.

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  • Sv. Bogorodica Celnica

    by agmoose02 Written Oct 4, 2006

    Unfortunately, this lovely church was closed by the time I happened to wander by but it is still nice to view from the outside and it is tucked away on one of the side streets leading down the hill from Sv. Bogorodica Perivlepta.

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Ohrid Off The Beaten Path

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