Lake Ohrid is the most popular tourist destination in Macedonia, combining a rich historical heritage and breathtaking scenery. The town of Ohrid Macedonia, located on the shores of the lake, has been inhabited for more than 2,000 years, and ancient churches, fortresses, and other historic buildings portray architectural styles from the early Christian era and the Ottoman period. In addition to the historic buildings, Ohrid Macedonia also boasts beautiful views over the lake, with houses perched on cliffs by the shore, reminiscent of Mediterranean scenery. There are several nice natural beaches on the shore of Lake Ohrid where you can sunbathe and swim, and if you're looking for a hotel in Ohrid, this tourist hub has a full range of budget and luxury accommodation.
Many of the churches in the town of Ohrid charge a modest entrance fee, but you will find the spectacular traditional architecture well worth the price. One of the most important churches to visit at Lake Ohrid is St. Sophia Church, one of the oldest Christian churches in the area, dating from the eleventh century. The church was later turned into a mosque upon the arrival of the Turks, who added a side porch to the building. St. Sophia Church is famous for its collection of eleventh-century frescoes, the largest in the world. The Church of St. Bogorodica Perivlepta, dating from the twelfth century, is another important destination, and its architecture and decorations display impressive examples of late Byzantine art by two young painters, Michael and Eutychius. The frescoes at this church are considered precursors of Renaissance art.
Other major attractions at Ohrid include the ancient fortifications that surround the town and the ancient fortress of King Samuil that crowns the city. The oldest remains of the city wall that still remain date from the third century BC. Samuil Fortress, at the highest point of the town, was the capital of King Samuil in the eighth century. This early medieval fortress is well preserved and free to enter, and visitors can climb the fortress walls and view a round tower, several graves, and a cistern. The view from the top of the fortress is among the best in the area.
Lake Ohrid also has multiple beaches that offer an experience from secluded to lively. Gradiste Beach is popular among young people, with a party vibe and fun music. Gorica Hotel Beach, on the other hand, is one of the most beautiful beaches on the lake, but it also one of the most crowded, so get to this pebbled beach early if you want a good spot.
After a day of sightseeing or soaking up the sun, finding a good hotel in Ohrid Macedonia can make or break the experience. One of the most highly rated hotels in town is Villa Germanoff. This intimate, private hotel in the center of town offers exceptional service for budget prices, whether you are a honeymooner or a backpacker. Spotless rooms are comfortably furnished, air-conditioned, and pleasantly decorated, and the bathrooms are large and clean. The piano room, which is available at a very reasonable price, has a lovely sitting area in addition to a piano and a large comfortable bed. The hotel has a terrace with tables and chairs, perfect for lounging around while you enjoy a spectacular view of the lake. This charming hotel in Ohrid may be small, but many guests have been happier with the Villa Germanoff than at larger luxury hotels.
Another popular hotel in the area is the four-star Aleksandar Villa, a luxury boutique hotel with twelve apartment style rooms. The Aleksandar Villa has comfortable rooms, large bathrooms with jacuzzi baths, and breakfast included. The hotel is new, centrally located, and just steps from the lake. Many hotels in Ohrid, including the Aleksandar, can also help you too book Ohrid tours should you wish to explore the city with a knowledgeable guide.