Lake Ohrid and Springs of St Naum

It could have been the free double shot of espresso we got on our late evening arrival at Camping Rino that made it a terrible night for us on the shore of Lake Ohrid. Another option could have been the other visitors talking and laughing constantly until 3 am. Our original plan was to stay here two nights so we wouldn’t have to pack our stuff again. We did want some more sleep tonight. So we packed our tent and hit the road around Lake Ohrid. Enough accommodation around lake Ohrid available.

Our first stop was the Monastery of Kalista. A beautiful located monastery complex right on the shores of Lake Ohrid. It’s the summer residence of Archbishop Naum, the highest church official of the Macedonian Orthodox Church.

Kalista Monastery with The Holy Mother of God church and cave church near ohrid in Macedonia.
Kalista Monastery with The Holy Mother of God church and cave church.

Inside the complex you’ll immediately see the big, church  and a small chapel with spring in the corner. The most important however, is the cave church of Sv Bogorodica. This cave church is hidden behind the new buildings and you need to ask to visit it. We payed the small entrance fee and got a fluent English speaking man taking us into the small cave church. A very interesting visit to get to know more about the Macedonian church and the wonderful frescoes  (15th century according to our Bradt Guide book but even older according to the man).

Can you see the entrance of the cave church Sveti Atanas?

We left the complex through a back door and suddenly found ourself on the beach of a luxurious hotel. Since it was still relatively early in the morning most of the visitors were probably still sleeping or having a breakfast buffet. The gardener of the hotel didn’t seem to mind we were walking there so we just continued. About 200m passed the hotel is another cave church of Sveti Atanas.

Cave church of Sveti Atanas high in the cliff above lake Ohrid in Macedonia
Cave church of Sveti Atanas high in the cliff above lake Ohrid

Lake ohrid in Macedonia.

The next highlight on the shore of Lake Prespa – when going counter clockwise – is the beautiful village of Radozda. The village is situated on the narrow land available between the lake and high cliffs.

From the village you can take a path the climbs up a series of stairs to the cave church of Saint Archangel Michael. For me, this was the most beautiful cave church in Macedonia. Especially the location and the view from the church.

View from the path to the Saint Archangel Michael cave church behind the village Radozda.
Saint Archangel Michael cave church, high in a rock above Ohrid Lake.

According to our Bradt travel guide book, it should be possible to see some remains of the Via Egnatia when hiking on a path starting at the end of the village. However, after hiking about an hour uphil we didn’t see anything special except for a small chapel and another view on Lake Prespa.

Another view on lake Ohrid. Almost on the border with Albania.

So we returned to the village Radozda where we would have lunch in one of the fish restaurants on the lake.

Boat tour Lake Ohrid and Springs of St Naum, Macedonia
A taxi boat can bring you to all the villages around Lake Ohrid.

At the fish restaurant, we were surprised to see Ohrid Trout on the menu. It’s a endimic fish on the verge of extinction.  It was mentioned in our guide book but it was really not a secret that this restaurant was serving the fish.

Anything is possible today. Fish restaurant in Radozda.

I went online to see what I could find about the fishing ban on Ohrid Trout. I found out that the Macedonian government introduced the ban only from 2005 until 2014. So it could have been legal to serve Ohrid Trout while we were there last summer.

To make a complete tour around lake Ohrid, we have to cross the border with Albania. A long queue at the border made the trip longer than expect but we finally got into Albania.

To make a complete tour around lake Ohrid you need to cross the border into Albania. This view is waiting for you in once you crossed the border.

We didn’t got any information about possible highlights in Albania nor dit we got Albanian money so we just kept driving until we were back in Macedonia.

Just across the border waits one of the most popular places around Lake Ohrid. The Ohrid springs with the Monastery of St. Naum. The water from lake Prespa goes underneith the mountains of Pelister national park and bubbles here into a green lagoon with crystal clear water.

Boat tour Lake Ohrid and Springs of St Naum, Macedonia

Just next to this nature wonder is the monastery of St. Naum. Around the monastery are plenty of peacocks wandering freely.  If you look very closely on the photo below, you can see a peacock sitting in the shadow on the roof of the back chapel.

St. Naum monastery at Lake Ohrid.

After the visit to the monastery we asked around for someone to take us on a romantic boat trip. For only 10 euro for both of us, a man took us in a manual powered boat on the springs of lake ohrid. We were very lucky to have the boat completely for our selves.

Boat tour Lake Ohrid and Springs of St Naum, Macedonia
You can see the circular springs at the bottom where fresh water rises from the ground.

Boat tour Lake Ohrid and Springs of St Naum, Macedonia Boat tour Lake Ohrid and Springs of St Naum, Macedonia

Boat tour Lake Ohrid and Springs of St Naum, Macedonia
We had this boat for our selves (including a captain) to see this nature wonder of St Naum springs.

The springs are really marvelous to see. One of the best boat trips I’ve done.

Sunset in Lake Ohrid, Macedonia.
Sunset along the shore of Ohrid lake when driving from St Naum springs to Ohrid city.

We made a last minute booking in a hostel a little outside the center of Ohrid for tonight. Before heading to the hostel we still made an evening walk on the promenade along the lake in Ohrid. A very charming walk to finish our day.

Sunset in Lake Ohrid, Macedonia.
Sunset in Ohrid