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Discover the oldest lake in Europe: Lake Ohrid

Once in a while I start looking at the world map. The first thing I think is “Mother of god, look that I’ve been traveling for quite long already and still seems that I’ve not seen anything of this huge world…“. The second thing that I start doing, is comparing sizes of countries, lakes, rivers, and I can spend hours before I realize the time I’ve doing that. And there are times that it gets simply crazy and I end up grabbing the computer and starting to compare the GDP of each country, its population, highest points, etc. Extreme level freak, I know.

Looking at a geopolitical map of the old continent, the fact is that Lake Ohrid will not be the first one you will notice. No, it’s not as long as the famous Lake Balaton (Hungary), nor it’s at all as big as Ladoga (Russia), but has a particularity that nobody can take away: it’s not only the oldest lake in Europe, but shares the privilege of being one of the oldest in the world with the lake Titicaca (between Peru and Bolivia) and Baikal (Russia).

 

    Let’s know a little more about it

The Ohrid lake it is located in southeastern Europe, creating a natural border nowadays between the Republic of Macedonia and Albania. It is the deepest lake in the Balkan peninsula and with more than 3 million years of life and thanks to the said depth, it could survive the Ice Age with most species that lived on it. For this reason, it is often called ‘The museum of living fossils‘.

Became part of the list of the World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979, which gave a deserved worldwide recognition not only to the lake but also to the region in general, which began to appear as a destination to visit on tourist maps of Eastern Europe and the Southern Europe, for benefit of both countries.

 

    From where and when to visit the lake?

The best time of the year to visit Lake Ohrid is between April and October, but even if these are the months with more sun and heat, you probably will not save yourself from some unexpected rain. If you feel like you can snorkel in its clean waters, or what is more typical, you can take a boat and go to St Naum, the last Macedonian village before the border. If you are not so much into getting in the water, you can enjoy long walking or cycling trails along the shore and also the small natural beaches between villages.

In my case, I have visited this lake twice. The first, on the Albanian side, from the towns of Pogradec and Lin in the summer of 2014. And the second, in April 2015 and immersed in this adventure already in the Macedonian side, from Struga and Ohrid town, that gives its name to the lake. Wherever you go, it is certain that the lake views, its quiet crystal clear water and green mountains surrounding it will be amazing. Still, if you have to choose one of them, certainly it should be the magical city of Ohrid, which has a lot to offer besides the lake, but we’ll talk about it in another post! :)

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