Macedonia – the most important crossroad in the heart of the Balkan Peninsula is a still undiscovered and mystique country which warmly welcomes all the travelers who want to reveal its secrets. Through the centuries, Macedonia has kept treasure of natural beauties, traditional values and different cultures.
Ohrid – City of Light
Ohrid is a large town in southwestern Macedonia on the shore of Lake Ohrid. A town of vast history and heritage, it was made a UNESCO heritage site in 1980. Nestled between high mountains up to 2,800 m and Lake Ohrid, it is not only a place of historic significance but also of outstanding natural beauty. The lake itself is over three million years old. Factually accurate and based on extensive historical research, indicate that Ohrid is one of the oldest human settlements in all of Europe. Ohrid town is first mentioned in Greek documents from 353 BCE, when it was known as Lychnidos – or, “the city of light.” – “a precious stone that emits light”. The sacred architecture of Ohrid is prominent within the urban landscape. It includes early basilicas, monasteries, and medieval churches; are located in a manner that ensures each one enjoys a view of the lake and sunlight. Numerous archaeological vestiges dating to prehistory can be found on the site of the old city. The convergence of well-conserved natural values with the quality and diversity of its cultural, material and spiritual heritage makes this region truly unique. The soul of the immortal city of Ohrid is the sublime lakeside point that for many represents the culmination of the Macedonian experience, a kingdom of light and water, a repository of ancient ruins from Macedonia’s earlier kingdoms. Ohrid is the jewel in Macedonia’s crown.
From prehistoric and classical times (when Ohrid was known as Lychnidos, the ‘City of Light’), the Lake Ohrid region has been an important center of culture and learning. The land itself with its tranquil deep and ancient lake and scenic mountain scapes provides a glorious backdrop for Ohrid’s breathtaking array of religious and secular works of art and architecture. The major centre of southern Slav learning was established here in the 10th century, and since that time countless frescos, mosaics, and icons have been created. Over the centuries an enormous and colorful heritage of beautiful architecture, magnificent artefacts, culture, crafts and traditions has evolved. Combined with its scenic lake and mountainscape, interesting town and village architecture, climate, local hospitality, and delicious fresh food, a visit to the Ohrid area will prove deeply rewarding.
A stroll around the old town,”‘Varos”, and port is a great delight. You can see the colourful market, walk down cobblestone lanes past small shops and boutiques to the quayside for superb views of the lake and mountains, up to the fortress past ancient houses to an even more sensational panoramic view, or along the lakeside to Kaneo where the church of St. John juts out into the lake in one of the most romantic settings imaginable.
Ohrid’s surroundings are just as fascinating. Take a boat trip to the monastery of St. Naum, and see the magical springs of the Black Drim River as they flow into the lake. Hike through the mountains to visit an ancient cave church or a traditional village like Velestovo or Elshani where time seems to have stood still for centuries. Wherever you go, you will notice the clarity of the light, the purity of the air, and the warmth of the hospitality.
Trails (walk, cycle, boat)
The flat areas around Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa offer a wide network of paths and roads that are readily available for use as walking and cycling trails by all levels of ability and age groups. The local mountains rise to over 2000 meters. Climb to the summit and enjoy breathtaking views of the lakes and numerous quaint villages. Take a deep breath of fresh air and smell wild flowers with the wind whispering in your ears. See a variety of unusual birds, and let their haunting song transport your senses into an aura of tranquility. The Heritage Trails will take you to many villages where you can experience rural life in Macedonia. Local guides and maps are available from our travel agent. Among the most enjoyable trails are those going through Galicica National Park between Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa, in the mountains west of Struga around Vevcani, and in the traditional village of Brajcino above Lake Prespa. Whatever your level of fitness, whatever terrain you enjoy walking or bicycling on, you will have the opportunity to observe a rural way of life that has been relatively unchanged for more than a hundred years. You can always take a boat trip and visit some of the localities around the lakes or drift on the lake and take in the stunning scenery.
Enjoying the trails
Choose a trail and embark on a personal discovery of the natural and cultural heritage of the Macedonian Lakeland. Discover the source of Slav literacy and culture and the richness of Byzantine art among the world’s most highly prized religious frescos and icons. Dive into the clear waters of the lakes. Enjoy the unique taste of the Ohrid trout or Lake Prespa carp. Walk amid the peaceful and ancient hills. Savour the breathtaking scenery. Breathe in the fresh air. And, drink from the cool mountain springs.
Tsar Samuel’s Fortress Until 1018, Ohrid was the capital of the first state of the Macedonian Slavs and where Tsar Samuel (976 – 1014) built his fortress. The three kilometers of towers and high walls, were originally built to protect the town on the three sides not facing the lake. The fortress now dominates the town and provides an excellent vantage point of the lake and the mountains. It is used as an open air theatre stage during the Ohrid Summer Festival.
Gallery of icons
Acknowledged as one of the most valuable in the world, this collection of icons was created between 11th and 19th centuries. Some are covered with silver coatings decorated with miniature figures of prophets and various saints, scenes from the Old and the New Testament, as well as floral and geometrical ornaments. The gallery is located next to the church Mother of God Peribleptos.
National Museum – House of Robevci
In 1516, more than two centuries before the Louvre or the British Museum, the archbishopric museum was established in the church of St. Kliment, making it one of the oldest museums of its kind in Europe. At present, the museum is housed in several premises. The house of the Robev family, an architectural beauty built in 1863, stores the archaeological heritage of the region of Ohrid and Struga from prehistory to present. The ethnographic collection of the material and spiritual culture of the people from this area is displayed in the Urania house. The Museum of the Slavic Literacy houses photographs, copies, and originals of the main documents written in Church Slavic language in both the Glagolitic and
Cyrillic alphabets that illustrate the overall development of the Slavic Literacy from its inception to the present.
The Ohrid Plane Tree
The small cobblestone square near the market is dominated by a large plane tree (Platanus Orientalis), one of Ohrid best loved landmarks. The tree is 800-900 years old. Its trunk is approximately 20m wide. It has become hollow and in the past has been home to a small barber’s shop and a small café. The large dome of the Ali Pasha mosque is a prominent feature of the ancient plane tree area. This monument of Islamic architecture and art is believed to have been built towards the middle of 16th century as an endowment of the vizier Ali Pasha from Belgrade. Biljana Springs In a tiny park on the outskirts of Ohrid, the waters of the Biljana Springs connect the mountain to the lake. Hundreds of springs feed Lake Ohrid with fresh water, but none is as famous as Biljana. The springs are fed by the waters of Lake Prespa passing under the mountain. They also provide drinking water for the city of Ohrid. The story of the beauty of Biljana Springs is retold through a love song that is one of Ohrid most popular traditional songs.
Once a separate village, Velgosti is now one of the suburbs of Ohrid, but it still leads a quiet life. Positioned at the foot of Istok Mountain, this village provides an opportunity to explore the mountain area, and savour the rural life of its inhabitants such as shepherds. Above the village, the monastery of St. Petka provides accommodation all year round in a tranquil environment with a beautiful view. Further up the mountain are the churches of St. Ilija and St. Nikola.
If you are looking for quiet village life, beautiful lake views and unspoiled natural beauty visit Elshani. Traditional life goes on here as if time has stood still. Each family has its own vineyard, animals are still kept and traditional process such as the distillation of rakija are still practised. Woodcarvers and coopers still pursue their trades. A wonderful base for mountain walks, the village offers accommodation, shops providing food and drinks, and mountain guides. The local tourist organisation offers a wide range of organised activities such as guided tours into the mountain and surroundings.
Once a fishermen’s village, located at the foot of Mt. Galicica, in a small bay, 12 km from Ohrid on route to St Naum, Pestani has developed into a modern tourist centre, with good restaurants, cafes, shops and a good hotel.
A typical example of a fisherman’s settlement on the shores of Lake Ohrid, with houses that are built on the slopes of a steep hill. The village boasts a beautiful pebble beach. Here you can experience the real taste of the fresh rainbow trout as well as other homemade local specialities. Nearby the village is the church of the Mother of God Zahumska, erected in 1361. The church stands at the foot of the Mt. Galicica and can be reached only by boat.
Near the village Trebeniste, there is one of the most attractive archaeological localities in Macedonia. Those archaeological discoveries have entered the world anthologies. Most famous are Trebeniste gold masks, two of them are in the museum in Belgrade and two in the museum in Sophia. The masks date from the end of the 6th century and the beginning of the 5th century B.C. They were used to bury the princes from Trebeniste, who belong to the ancient Macedonians.
The Spring of the river Black Drim
The springs of the Black Drim are near the monastery of St. Naum. The water feeds forty-five springs from Lake Prespa making a huge, lake like spring, which flows into Ohrid Lake here, and out at Struga 35 km across the Lake. The water is cold and clear like nowhere else, and the area is inhabited by wild ducks and other birds. Take a rowboat tour to see the springs and get closer to this mini paradise.
Galicica National Park
The National park “Galicica” is located between the two ancient Lakes of Ohrid and Prespa. In 1958 it was designated as a National park because of its very high biodiversity, extremely rich flora and fauna and exceptional natural beauty. Take a walk through the grounds of the Park, and at every step you can find rare herbs rich with ethereal oils, colorful carpets of mountain flowers, wild fruits, or you can simply enjoy the serenity and the breathtaking views.
Unique trails and locations on Galichica, for the fans of mountains tourism
Trekking trail Asan Dzura It is situated in the central part of the National park and it is 15 km long.
The cave “Samatska Dupka” It is 224 m long, 6 m wide and the ceiling is 2 to 10 m high. There are decorations “draperies” and “cave pearls” in the cave.
The viewpoint “Goga” It is situated on 1735 m above sea level. Both Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa and the mountains surrounding them, can be seen from here.
“Bachilo” – Mountain house Traditional object for summer mountain cattle breeding and procession of sheep milk.
Bay of the bones
In prehistoric times Lake Ohrid was home to a settlement of pile dwellers who lived literally on top of the water, on a platform supported by up to 10,000 wooden piles anchored to the lake bed. The remains of the settlement were discovered at this spot and between 1997 and 2005 they were gradually excavated by an underwater team – the Museum on Water is an elaborate reconstruction of the settlement as archaeologists think it would have looked between 1200 and 600 BC.
The slightly theatrical name, Bay of the Bones, given to this archaeological site is a nod to the many animal remains and fragmented vessels that have been found here. On shore, there’s a small, interesting exhibition of some of the relics, including a fascinating wall-sized photograph of the settlement foundations as they look now under the water. Better still, for divers it’s actually possible to visit the underwater excavations in the flesh with Diving Center Amfora.To the north of the site, on the cliff head, there’s also a reconstruction of a Roman fort that can be visited as part of your museum ticket. The Bay of the Bones is 16km south of Ohrid town.
Churches & Monasteries
Early Christian basilica at Plaoshnik
The ruins of this monumental Episcopal Church stand on the spot called Plaoshnik, one of the most serene places in the old part of the town. It was probably built and decorated in 5th century when the town Lychnidos was an important Early Christian Episcopal centre. The basilica has been erected on the foundations of an older classical temple and has a trefoil shape. Unknown artists decorated it with magnificent mosaics with figurative floral and zoomorphic motifs.
St. Kliment’s monastery of St. Panteleimon at Plaosnik
The church of St. Panteleimon was built in 893. It was here that the Ohrid Literary School, the spring of the Slavic literary and cultural activity, was situated. St. Kliment established a university and educated more than 3500 disciples who spread throughout the Slavic world and continued his work. During the period of Ottoman domination the church was converted into a mosque. Archaeological finds in this church include St. Kliment’s tomb. He is the patron of the city of Ohrid and all of Macedonia.
Church Mother of God Peribleptos (St. Kliment)
The extraordinary architecture and stunning wall paintings make this church, which dates from 1295, one of the most significant mediaeval monuments in Macedonia. After the conversion of St.Sophia into a mosque during the Ottoman domination this became the cathedral church of the Ohrid Archbishopric and was renamed St. Kliment. The most important treasures of the church, the frescoes, are works of the eminent mediaeval painters Michael and Eutychios whose dramatic expressiveness was the basis for the new trend in Byzantine art from this epoch, called “The Renaissance of the Paleologues”.
Church St. John at Kaneo
The picturesque church of St. John the Theologian dates from the end of the 13th century. Standing alone on the lakeshore on a cliff high above the fishing settlement of Kaneo, it is one of the landmarks of the old town of Ohrid and a favorite symbol of the entire city. It affords magnificent views of the lake,
the city, Galicica National Park, and the mountains of Albania on the far shore. In the summer, young men perform death defying leaps into the lake from the cliff below the church.
Church St. Sophia
This cathedral temple of the Ohrid archbishops is the largest and most magnificently preserved monument of church architecture in Ohrid and Macedonia. The exceptionally picturesque 11th century frescoes in St. Sophia are among the best achievements in mediaeval painting from the period of the Macedonian dynasty in Byzantium. It served as the cathedral church of the Ohrid Archbishopric until it was converted into a mosque and later into a storehouse during the Ottoman domination. In 1912 it was transformed back into an Orthodox Church. During the Ohrid Summer Festival, the church is used as a venue for classical concerts and plays due to the exceptional quality of its acoustics.
St. Naum monastery
The church and beautifully renovated monastery hotel complex of St. Naum are stunningly situated on Ohrid Lake. St. Naum of Ohrid, world famous for his miraculous healing powers and a contemporary of St. Clement, built the original church and monastery here in 900. A pilgrimage and healing center since the Middle Ages, many thousands of pilgrims visit the grave of St. Naum who was buried in the church in 910, in a small, beautifully frescoed chapel.
The 14th century cave church of St. Stephen is built in rock and offers an insight into life centuries ago. There is a small monastery, which offers accommodation in summer for a limited number of tourists. (Ask our travel agent about this). Stunning views of the lake and Ohrid can be enjoyed.
Living the lake
Ohrid is a natural and artistic treasure among mountains and shores of Lake Ohrid in the western part of the Republic of Macedonia. Ohrid has preserved its core in the old part of the city on the double hill of the Samuel Fortress. Within the limits of the medieval borders a number of archaeology and art lovers would discover more than they expected. Those who happen to be introduced to Ohrid would come back to enjoy the city – museum, whose single church, fresco or icon become invaluable rarity. The visitors take back a specific atmosphere of the tranquility that exists of the narrow and steep streets filled with beautiful buildings from the old city architecture and with medieval temples with picturesque facades as a decor of the blue Lake Ohrid the oldest one in Europe and one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. On the 5th of September 1980 the City and the Lake of Ohrid were declared a cultural and natural heritage site under protection of UNESCO. Situated in the southwest of Macedonia on the border with Albania, in the Ohrid valley, surrounded with high mountains, with its deep blue waters, Lake Ohrid represents an extraordinary natural beauty which has great economic value for the region and tremendous scientific significance for the World. This “Blue Pearl” has attracted people for a long time ago for various reasons; to settle in the vicinities and using its natural sources, tourists have enjoyed its beauty as well as the surrounding. Challenging scientists from all over the world have revealed some of the lake’s endless secrets.
Due to its tectonic origin, in the distant geological epochs (4-10 million years ago), the geographical isolation of this lake from the rest of existing fresh waters of that time, the great water volume (53
km3), and the permanent life conditions till today, this lake has become a sanctuary for many organisms from the tertiary period, which from other hand, earns another epithet to the lake – a museum of “living fossils”. The lake itself has very transparent waters with maximum transparency of 22 m in winter. This is a result to its oligotrophic state (low production of organic matter) and respectively to that relatively low fish yield.
Inhabited by a tremendous sets of unique creatures that can be nowhere else found in the world, induced with the favorable life conditions, the lake has become one of those several lakes in the world where future evolution took part among its inhabitants in terms of forming new subspecies, species, genera and even families. The relatively huge endemism – more than 200 endemic species – is mainly expressed among the creatures living at the lake bottom. The endemism that is also expressed among the fish fauna with 60% from the 17 native fish species is another rarity. Some of the endemic inhabitants of the lake, especially the round shaped sponge Ohridospongia rotunda represents a certain evidence that Lake Ohrid, unlike most of the lakes of the world has never been dried out since its formation.
These facts, from the end of 19th century till nowadays attracts various scientists from the world (geologists, biologists, hydrologists, palaeontologists, physicists etc.) to work on this lake and the secrets they have solved has great contribution to the general knowledge of lake’s and organism’s evolution on the Earth. This high scientific value of Lake Ohrid, in the year 1935 led to establishment of a permanent research center on the shores of the lake – The Hydrobiological Institute. This institute also has hatchery facilities for breeding the endemic dominant and economically the most important fish from the lake – Ohrid trout for stocking purposes. Since 1935 till today the lake has been stocked with over 800 million of Ohrid trout offspring. Besides the Ohrid trout another endemic trout species increases more the value of the lake and its high quality fish fauna – the Ohrid belvica. At present both of them are highly endangered species.
Another fish, the Ohrid bleak that is the most numerous in the lake, has been used in former times for manufacturing the famous “Ohrid pearl”. This souvenir has fascinated a number of visitors to this region, increasing the glance and glamour of women around the Globe. In the world today exist just a few other lakes, with similar age, origin and a high percentage of endemism. These lakes include, lakes Baikal, Titikaka, Victoria, Malawi. The Macedonian freshwater see – Lake Ohrid – has also significant tourist, fishery and other economic importance. The microclimatic conditions mainly caused by the lake are giving to the region conditions of favorable medical resort. The very clean waters of the lake are making it one of the largest drinking water reservoirs in the world.
Struga, Resen, Oteshevo
Struga – Poetry and bridges
The spirit of Struga is tender. Located on the shores of Lake Ohrid, the city is laced with bridges, dotted with delightful architecture, and linked by lanes. Everywhere its romantic soul is apparent. The Black Drim River flows through the heart of the city after it journeys from the springs near St. Naum through Lake Ohrid. From Struga it continues across Albania to the Adriatic Sea. Once known as “Enchalon” -Eel, Struga welcomes eels all the way from the Sargasso Sea. Nowadays, Struga is better known for its annual international poetry festival, “The Struga Poetry Evenings”. Poems are read from the bridges to add to their romance. Struga is the birthplace of the most eminent representatives of the Macedonian
culture and national revival in 19th century, the brothers Constantine and Dimitar Miladinov. Since 1962 Constantine’s famous poem “Longing for the South”, traditionally opens this major world poetry festival. And, in the mountains to the north is the wildest festival of them all, the Vevcani Carnival, where anything goes! Many other villages in the mountains and along the lake offer memorable experiences for visitors wishing to get off the beaten track and discover the rural charm of an ancient land. Church of St. George
Built in 1835 over a much older church from the 16th century, the small church of St. George stands in the centre of Struga. It contains frescos from the end of 19th century, but its real treasure is a small gallery of icons from 13th to 19th century, including the well known icon of St. George painted in 1267. A long inscription on the back of the icon mentions “Struga of Ohrid”.
The Nature Museum
The Natural History Museum was founded in 1928 by Dr. Nikola Nezlobinski. Initially featuring his own collection, it now contains a wide variety of insects, birds, fish, and animals from the Ohrid & Prespa region.
Vangel Kodjoman Gallery
Vangel Kodjoman is one of the most prominent contemporary painters of Macedonia. Most of his work has been dedicated to his land and people. His paintings show scenes of old houses leaning over the narrow streets and a life that no longer exists. Some of his finest paintings are permanently exhibited in this gallery located in the middle of Struga.
Black Drim River
The Black Drim River flows out from Lake Ohrid near the “Drim” hotel and continues all the way to the Adriatic Sea. The banks of the river are an ideal place for romantic strolls. Each year, at the end of August you can listen to poets from all over the world reciting poetry in dozens of different languages. It is an inspiring occasion.
Cave church Archangel Michael in Radozda
In a natural cave on a steep rock above the village of Radozda is a church dedicated to Archangel Michael. It is one of the oldest cave churches discovered on the shores of Lake Ohrid. Its frescos, painted on the uneven wall of the cave, date back to the end of 13th century. A close examination reveals the extraordinarily beautiful presentation of the Archangel Michael in the composition of the Miracle of Cana. Nearby is a fishermen’s village with excellent restaurants.
Cave churches in Kalista
The small cave church of the Nativity of the Virgin, is situated high in the rocks on the western shore of Lake Ohrid near the village of Kalista and close to a monastery complex. Entry into the church is gained through a wall (which also provides the church’s apse) into the natural space of the cave. The interor of the church was painted during the 15th or 16th century. Nearby, on a steep cliff overlooking Lake Ohrid is another cave church, dedicated to St. Athanasios. The natural opening of the cave has been used as a
nave while the apse and the eastern wall are built of craggy stones. An old painting in the church is attributed to the second half of the 14th or the first half of the 15th century.
Located at the foot of the beautiful Jablanica Mountain about 10km northwest of Struga is the pretty village of Visni. It is surrounded by a forest of beech and oak trees. The cave church of the Holy Savior is a 3km walk from the village along a brook in a beautiful canyon. The fresco that decorates the wall and ceiling is dated from the end of 14th century.
Early christian basilica in Oktisi
Located near Vevcani in the mountain village of Oktisi is an ancient Christian basilica from the end of 5th or the beginning of 6th century. The mosaic floor of the church is richly decorated with representations of deer, horses, flowers, trees, and geometrical ornamentation.
Vevcani is a large village located 14 km northwest of Struga. It is built on a steep hillside and sheltered by a mountain. Its architecture is most appealing with many old houses and buildings of all styles and shapes. The sound of water can be heard running through channels throughout the village. It comes from the famous Vevcani Springs which have a water flow of between 400-4000 litres per second. Old water mills still grind corn, wheat and other grains as they have for centuries. Walk through the rich chestnut tree forest, climb up to the village of Gorna Belica or the glacial lakes.
On the marked walking trails above Vevcani are the remains of the old Roman road, the Via Egnatia. It goes through a beautiful forest to Vajtos, an ancient stopping place and vantage point used by trade caravans traveling between the Adriatic coast and the Black Sea. The panoramic view over the whole Lake Ohrid valley is spectacular.
Located 1,600 meters above the tree line and close to the Albanian border, the village of Gorna Belica can be reached by driving, biking or walking from Struga, or by hiking from Vevcani. Nowadays, only two elderly ladies live all year round in the village, although other residents visit on weekends and holidays. The church of St. Petkai is undergoing restoration, but the two ladies are happy to tell its story and that of the saint. The owners of some of the holiday houses offer accommodation in their homes, and there is a modern hotel in the center of the village.
Peace and nature – Resen
The extraordinary, wild and unique beauty of the Lake Prespa area attracted the Macedonian Tsar Samuel to build his first seat in this place on the isle of St Achilles. The lake itself, which consists of two parts, Small and Big Prespa, is bordered by soaring and is part of the municipality of Resen. Here you will find endless sandy beaches, mountain slopes rich with game, stunningly frescoed churches, the peace of a wild and undiscovered country and even a few pelicans! The area itself is entrancing, you will certainly want to pay a visit to Brajcino, one of the most delightful villages imaginable. The town of Resen was mentioned for a first time as a mediaeval settlement under the name Rosne in
- The transformation of this mainly rural settlement began in the 18th century with the development of crafts and by the 19th century Resen had become a city settlement with a rich market place. Resen is well known for its apple orchard area. Fine clay pottery has developed into a major craft industry and in the Resen ceramics colony was established in 1971 and continues to attract visitors and exhibitors from all over the world. The town also possesses a rich museum collection full of archaeological and ethnological finds from the area. The church of St. Elias in Grnchari
The village of Grncari sits at the foot of the picturesque Baba Mountain, not far from the road that takes you from Resen to Greece. Here you will find the 13th century church of St. Elias with its renowned frescos and accommodation built for pilgrims and other travelers.
Unbelievably, in the house of a local farmer Jone Eftimoski you will find one of the richest ethnological collections in Macedonia. It contains wonderful examples of jewelry, weaponry, old coins and over 140 national costumes from the whole region of Macedonia. Jone is delighted to welcome visitors and explain the origins of his colorful artefacts.
On the Northern shores of Prespa Lake you will find the Ezereni ornithological park, home for over 115 different bird species, including the pelican. The park has a surface of 2080 sq. ha. with natural shores of moors and reeds covered with willow trees. The park is protected and is under the patronage of various international organizations including EUONATUR.
Church St. George in Kurbinovo
The old church dedicated to St. George is situated near the village of Kurbinovo, hidden away in an idyllic clearing as on the approaches to Mount Pelister above Lake Prespa. It is a modest building with magnificent frescoes painted in 1191. The extraordinary wall decoration of this church is one of Macedonia’s best examples of mediaeval painting.
The Slivnica Monastery
The Slivnica monastery and its church, dedicated to the Mother of God, are situated some three kilometers from the village of Slivnica. The monastery complex consists of a modest church that was built and decorated in 17th century, and auxiliary buildings, built in the 19th century. The wall paintings are well preserved demonstrating the stylistic characteristics of wall painting from the beginning of the 17th century in Macedonia.
Located on the Eastern shores of Prespa Lake, below the Baba Mountain, with its 16th century St. Petka church, picturesque Brajcino has typical village architecture of big houses with massive walls made out of green stone granite reflecting the once prosperous status of this fertile agricultural area when trading agriculture goods was the main source of income generation. The river Brajcinska Reka flows through
the village into Prespa Lake. You can fish for trout in the river, enjoy a picnic with roasted lamb, home made leek or cheese pies or other specialties such as fresh yogurt prepared by the villagers, visit the old water mills by the river and taste the home made brandy (rakija) that is still made in the traditional way.
Close to the village of Brajcino there is another impressive village combining a mixture of village and town architecture. In the hills above the village there are two churches devoted to St. Peter and St. Paul.
The Island of Golem Grad
Archaeological excavations undertaken on the island have shown that it was inhabited from Hellenistic to mediaeval times. Traces of the various historical periods can be found on the island, including two 14th century churches, St. Peter and St. Demetrios. Today the island is uninhabited. As part of Galicica National Park, its rare plant and animal life that have been preserved through the centuries, are strictly protected. Boat trips may be taken around the island, and escorted land trips are available under the auspices of the park authorities. Treasure of this region are birds, which are the found for existence of Prespa Park.
The village of Konjsko is located on Lake Prespa near where the borders of Macedonia, Greece, and Albania intersect. The village contains the protected remains of an ancient settlement and nearby is one of the prettiest beaches on the lake with the little cave church of St. Elias.
On the western shore of Prepa Lake amid rich forest there is the center for respiratory diseases, Otesevo. The center benefits from excellent natural conditions such as high altitude, oxygen rich unpolluted air and many sunny days.