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Ohrid North Macedonia

Perhaps Europe's sheer amount of UNESCO World Heritage-listed landmarks is the reason why Ohrid remains somewhat off the radar. Nevertheless, this historic lake town is one of the region's most scenic. Aside from summer's swell, the lack of overwhelming tourist crowds helps Ohrid keep its charms – from the quiet alleys to the myriad sidewalk cafés and restaurants serving up seafood fished out of the adjacent lake.

Strolls through Ohrid's old quarter unveil beauty and history in equal measure. Steep cobbled streets slope downwards towards Lake Ohrid and upwards towards what remains of the Ancient Theatre of Ohrid, built in 200 BCE. Shopping is a favourite pastime in the main square, as is spending time admiring the Byzantine-style architecture of the Church of Saints Clement and Panteleimon. Even closer to the lake, you'll find the 13th-century Church of St John at Kaneo, whose interior frescoes are outmatched only by the structure's picture-perfect cliffside perch over the water.

For a glimpse of Ohrid's early history, take a drive down Lake Ohrid's eastern bank to the Museum on Water in the Bay of Bones. Here, you'll find a reconstructed overwater settlement originally built by prehistoric pile dwellers, which was excavated from the lake bed. Dives can also be arranged so you can get a closer look at relics that still sit underwater.


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