Lake Ohrid

Lake Ohrid is the largest and most beautiful of Macedonia’s three tectonic lakes. Its astonishingly clean, clear waters together with the serene stillness of its mountain setting have captivated visitors since prehistoric times. The lake is enormous, at some 30 kilometers (18 miles) long and up to 288 meters (945 feet) deep.

While the lake is fed by water from three rivers, most of Ohrid’s water comes from another lake- Prespa, on the other side of the Galicica Mountain. Being at a higher elevation, Prespa spills its water down to Ohrid through mountain springs, the most important being Ostrovo near the monastery of St Naum, and Biljana near Ohrid town.

With its unique flora and fauna characteristic of the tertiary period (2-4 million years ago), Ohrid is one of Europe’s great biological reserves. Most of the lake’s plant and animal species are endemic and unique to Ohrid. The most famous among these are two types of Ohrid Trout (letnica and belvica, in Macedonian).

Other unique Ohrid creatures include two types of eel as well as the bleak, whose scales are used for making the well-known Ohrid pearl. This treasured jewel is produced according to a secret method passed down from generation to generation. Sport fishing attracts many passionate fishermen from Macedonia, Europe and the world.

In 1980 Lake Ohrid was proclaimed a place of world cultural and natural inheritance by UNESCO.

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