PHOTOS: Lake Ohrid, Macedonia

We had arrived the previous evening in the dark—all four of us half asleep—but the next morning, as we left the hotel and rounded the first corner into town, there was no missing it. Lake Ohrid in Macedonia is at least four million years old, but I’ll be damned if she didn’t look brand new.

We stood on the road that climbed the hill of the old city and looked out, unable to see the other end of the lake 30-some kilometres away. In the forefront was an ancient theatre dating back nearly 2,000 years, uncovered accidentally in the 80s during a construction project. Back in the U.S., we’re lucky if we can find a nickel in the sand, but there a shovel makes sense. In North America, we find arrowheads, not amphitheatres.

Despite its old age and grandeur, Lake Ohrid is relatively unknown to tourists outside of Europe and the Mediterranean due to the fact that Macedonia, which became a country in 1993, has only recently focused its attention to tourism. Located in the southwestern part of the country, Lake Ohrid provides most of the seafood served in the town of Ohrid, and during the summer its waters are enjoyed by locals and tourists alike for boating, fishing and swimming. The foothills of National Park Galichica allow the adventurous to get a bird’s eye view of this gem.

Lake Ohrid, Macedonia

Picture 1 of 10

View of the Ohrid waterfront at Lake Ohrid from Samoil's Fortress.

Will McGough

Will McGough is a writer focused on all types of travel, from swimming with pigs to parties in ice hotels. He is inspired by the spectrum of ways in which people live their lives in the different parts of the world. He enjoys the idea of waking up every day to new opportunities, new landscapes, and the new feelings that the former inevitably evoke. He doesn’t discriminate: Massages, wine tasting, sailing, skydiving, and bed-and-breakfasts are all equally inviting. He writes daily about his travels on his blog, Wake and Wander.