Ohrid & Skadar Impression
The Albanian town of Shkodra and the Macedonian town of Ohrid are situated by the lakes bearing their names. Each of them is something special and both are in the spotlight of tourists.
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Skadarsko jezero or Liqeni i Shkodrës are two thirds located in Montenegro. The rest belongs to Albania. It is the largest lake in the Balkans,with an area from 370 to 540 km2. Its depth ranges from 1-44 meters.Once the lake was part of the Gulf, now it is a place below the Adriatic Sea. There are not many plants. It is the largest freshwater fishing area and also one of the largest bird sanctuaries in Europe.
About 50 islands rise from the lake, where there are monasteries, churches and fortifications. The first printing house of Southern Slavswas established here. The lake allegedly flooded fertile soil. Predominantly in the north, the approach is marshy, making the lake a heaven for more than 260 bird species. On the Montenegrin side you can swim in the village Donji Murići. In Shkodra, there are the peripheral parts of Shiroka and Zogaj,where the beaches are located.
Охридско Езеро or Liqeni i Ohrit belongs to the oldest lakes in the world. 30 million years old species have been preserved in its waters. Located in the territory of Macedonia and Albania. Its area is about 350 km2. Its depth reaches 285 m.Its origin dates back to the last ice age. It is supplied by groundwater from the nearby Prespa Lake and flows into the Adriatic near Struga, Macedonia. The shores of the lake are mostly rocky.
Of course, the tourist attraction is joined to this lake - the monastery of St. Naumwhich is considered the cradle of Old Slavonic language. Basically, bathing is possible from all sides.In Albania it is the city Pogradec, on the Macedonian side Ohrid.
Skadar lake was part of our trip as part of our stay in Montenegro. Everyone told us it is the biggest and nicest, so we said why not. Our trip, however, consisted only of a view. We literally dragged ourselves on that view point, I can't even estimate how much, because it seemed to me indefinitely. From the Albanian border, we set out on paths that everyone had long forgotten about in the mountains. We saw about one house in the whole area, which looked more abandoned than inhabited.
Those who like olive groves will find enough of them here. The minibus took us to the top of the mountain, where you can see the surrounding area. In front of you spreads a light on the blue mirror, which has no end and somewhere in the distance it merges with the sky. On the other side, apart from the mountains, you can also see the Adriatic in the distance. Skadar is really huge. We didn't have the opportunity to be right there, but this look at him convinced us that we would definitely try its waters in the next opportunity.
Ohrid was the idea of my traveling companion, who was attracted mainly by Old Slavonic. We went to Ohrid from the Albanian coast across Albania to Pogradec. Along the way we were accompanied by the river Shkumbin, which is an imaginary line dividing the country into the region of Tosks and Ghegs. In summer it is almost dry. The city of Pogradec is a typical Albanian city with chaos and disorder. We were not on the local beach in this town, but it is also maintained. We just went on to Macedonia.
There was no one on the border except us. After the transition, we entered a completely different country. The mess that accompanied us since leaving the resort has been lost. On the left side the lake was shining and the atmosphere was more pleasant. The language was also much easier to understand.
Monastery of St. Naum is the center of the Orthodox Church. It lies directly on the shore of the lake. The surroundings are beautifully landscaped. Behind the entrance gate there are small souvenir stalls on the left, there is a restaurantlittle further away. On the right side there is a pebble beachwhere you can sunbath and swim. The staff is very helpful and typically Balkan hospitable.
Prices here are very very favorable.Apart from the local currency - Macedonian denar - of course there is no problem with the euro.The monastery is located a little back on a small hill. The whole place breathes history. Entrance fee is very acceptable. This place is one of the pearls of the Balkans full of peace, harmony and spirituality. Certainly it should be on the top of the list of religious tourism..
The whole locality breathes with calm and helpfulness. By the lake you will find several apartment houses, hotels and guesthouses, where you can stay at great prices. The lake is very clean,but the water is cooler. It is therefore necessary to wait for warm weather. There is no problem with restaurants in the area, even if you stay outside the city. Of course a good choice is also the city of Ohrid,which has a very pleasant atmosphere. Everyone will find his own. Macedonians try to beautify their pearl to the maximum.
In general, these lakes need to know what you want to do there and see so you know where to come from. Montenegro and Macedonia have a better coastline. There is more peace and nature on the Albanian side. It will certainly not happen that you should have a problem in Shiroke with finding accommodation. If so you don't want to push on crowded beachesbut you would like to go swimming somewhere,these lakes are the best choice. Ideally, this is naturally linked to high-altitude hiking,which the best conditions are in the Balkans for. So pack up your tent, sleeping bags and go for your best summer vacation!