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Best Macedonia Beaches & Cafes You Have To Hit This Summer
Written by Nikolina Matković
Being a proud half-Macedonian and having been to Ohrid countless times, I am so familiar with the Pearl of the Balkans; I could walk around blindfolded and not miss a step.
Ohrid is the world’s best-kept secret, littered with pristine beaches, breath-taking views, fresh food, great nightlife and most importantly, a wealth of history. Ohrid is, in fact, the oldest city in the world with continuous civilization advancement, earning it the name “Kingdom of Archaeologists.” Most people know this, but because it’s a super cool fact I’m going to chuck it in any way, Ohrid has a church for each day of the year – 365 in total, earning it yet another name “The Balkan Jerusalem.”
It is a city for young and old alike, and you will NEVER hear anyone say they haven’t thoroughly enjoyed Ohrid and can’t wait to go back. By the time you’re up-to-speed with this article, you’ll be booking your ticket as well 😉
Macedonia Beaches You Gotta Check Out
Ohrid is a UNESCO world heritage city of approx. 50,000 inhabitants. It was built on the shores of the oldest Lake in Europe – the town in which it is named after, Ohrid. It is an untouched corner of the world, its beauty immeasurable.
Situated on the shores of a great lake, there are, of course, many beaches along its 56-kilometer shoreline. I would recommend using a taxi to get to all of these places bar Kaneo where you can walk to if you are staying in town. Taxi rates are pretty cheap here and the best way to get around unless you want to hire a car (plenty of rental agencies throughout Ohrid, super easy to find one!). Here are just a few with a little something for everyone.
Don’t forget to pack your sand free Tesalate beach towel when visiting these Macedonia beaches!
‘Letna Kaneo,’ one of the best places to eat in Ohrid, is also on a stunning beach! Doesn’t get much better!
A picturesque short walk from town, walking through the citadel behind Sv Sofia church and over a gorgeous bridge, you will come to Kaneo beach, situated under Sv Jovan Kaneo church, one of Ohrid’s most beautiful churches (and my favorite!). The cocktails here are on point as well so definitely have a couple when you’ve taken a break from swimming in the freshest water on earth. The view is pretty magnificent also. This beach can get pretty crowded in peak tourist season so maybe not the best with small kids.
Gradishte beach is located 20 kilometers south of Ohrid. It’s actually a spot where you can kill two birds with one stone and get some pretty cool history in as well as downtime. It is a MUST on your list of things to do here. Popular with locals and is family friendly, there are several cafes to eat at and have coffee as well as bathroom blocks.
On a famous archaeological site, a couple of km’s up the road, the Museum on Water, also known as the Bay of Bones is a replica reconstruction of how archaeologists believe the area would have looked like between 1200 and 600 BC when the pile dwellers lived on top of the water there. There are many original artifacts and fossils that were excavated from the bottom of the lake between 1997 and 2005 that are on display now. There’s a plus for divers here as well as you can also visit the underwater excavations. Happy days!
Lagadin is a gorgeous town located at the foot of the Galicica national park, about 10km out of the city center, with one of the most beautiful beaches in Ohrid.
There is also a hotel there which is a great place to stay if you don’t want to be right in the center of town – it is also called ‘Lagadin.’ This beach is family friendly, great for kids and for lunching. All the beaches in Macedonia have an option for sunbeds (approx. 100 denars per sun bed) and have bars with table service.
There is usually music to listen to as well. This is definitely the place to go for some R&R, breathe deep and enjoy the tranquility.
A tiny traditional fishing village on the shores of Lake Ohrid near the Albanian border, Trpejca has become a favored summer destination in recent years. In fact, it’s become to popular that locals have started calling it the “Macedonian Saint-Tropez”. Even though there’s only one school, one church and only a couple of stores, there are several accommodation options.
In summer, Trpejca is a great destination for outdoor activities ranging from swimming, sunbathing and snorkeling to boating and hiking. A small strip along Lake Ohrid serves as the local beach, which thanks to its surroundings is one of the best beaches in Macedonia.
Best Cafes In Macedonia
Letnica is the largest cafe at the end of the charshija – the main strip or walkway in Ohrid.
Some cities have a korzo, other have an esplanade or a riva, in Ohrid, it is the charshija and as usual, it is the place to see and be seen. Letnica is on the left side, taking up almost an entire corner and is opposite the lake. A great place to sit and people watch whilst enjoying good coffee. You can also order basic food here such as ham and cheese toasted sandwiches, pancakes and ice cream – it might not be on the drinks menu but ask the waiter, and he’ll order it for you 😉
Liquid is a stunning cafe that doubles as a nightclub in the evening (if night clubbing is your thing, then Liquid should definitely on your list of places to go!).
Liquid is located right on the water of Lake Ohrid in the old part of town, so walking distance from the center. Great coffee, great food & drinks but most importantly, great view, It is one of a kind in that during the day it is so chilled out but by nightfall, it is cranking!
The best way to get here is by one of the small boats on the lake. There are men waiting to take tourists on tours around the lake to see the view of Ohrid from the water – definitely do this!
On the way, ask him to let you off at Potpesh for half an hour or so – a tiny cafe unseen from the shore. Not many people come here as they don’t know about it, it is definitely a locals only spot. You’ll feel as though you’ve gone back in time. You can only sit outside, and there are only 2-3 tables. Well worth a visit if you get the chance.
There is so much more to Ohrid than just this, more amazing beaches, restaurants, and cafes and SO much more history and places to see. Stay tuned for part two where I’ll show you all this and more.. your front row seat awaits!
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