Things to do in
Southwestern Region

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Our most recommended things to do in Southwestern Region

From Skopje: Full-Day Private Tour of Mavrovo and Ohrid

1. From Skopje: Full-Day Private Tour of Mavrovo and Ohrid

You will be picked up from your hotel and continue to the National Park of Mavrovo, passing the cities Tetovo and Gostivar. After arriving at Mavrovo, you will have a short visit of the place, visiting the center of Mavrovo, looking at the Winter facilities and seeing the new and old Church of St. Nicolas. After that, drive on to River Radika then continue on to one of the most beautiful monasteries in Macedonia – St. Jovan Bigorski and Ohrid. Placed on the Bigor rocks on canyon valley of the River Radika, next to the exuberant forests in the North–West slopes of Bistra Mountain. After that, you continue to Ohrid, where you have a city tour. Your tour starts before the monument of St. Cyril and Methodius, and it then heads to the Lower gate, City museum, Church of St. Sofia, Antic Theater, Upper gate, Church of St. Virgin Mary, Perivleptos, the Gallery of effigies, Samoils fortress, Plaoshnik and finally the tour ends with a walk through Ohrid’s market-place. You will then return to your hotel.

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Skopje: Transfer to Tirana w/ Half-Day Tour of Ohrid

2. Skopje: Transfer to Tirana w/ Half-Day Tour of Ohrid

Starting from your hotel in Skopje, travel to Ohrid for about 2 hours. Afterwards, break in Ohrid for a half-day tour with a licensed tour guide. The walking tour will start from the town’s harbor. Then, you will head towards the old part of the town and stop at the Lower Gate and the Museum of Robevi (the Robevi family). Have a tour of the Church of St. Sophia which dates from the 11th century and then go up to the Roman amphitheater, dating back to the 3rd century B.C. Afterwards, continue walking to Icon Gallery, which shows a range of some of the most famous and valuable icons in the world right after the ones in Athos and in Russia. In the vicinity of the gallery, you will find the Church of Sveta Bogorodica Perivleptos (St Clement’s Church of the Holy Mother of God Most Glorious) which dates from the 13th century and possesses some of the most beautiful and valuable frescoes from the 13th century, not only in this country but in the Balkans as well. Then, carry on walking to Tsar Samoil’s Fortress which was named after the first tsar of the Macedonian Slavs, who having conquered Byzantium, brought most of Macedonia under his rule. Then, walk to Plaoshnik, the place where you will visit the newly built St. Clement’s Monastery Church which is dedicated to St. Clement (the patron of Ohrid) and St Pantelejmon, which stands beside the original site of St. Clement’s University, the first university of the Macedonian Slavs started in the 9th century A.D. Inside the church, you will also see the tomb with St. Clement’s relics. Besides the church, see the foundations of the 5th century basilica with beautifully preserved mosaic floors and some swastikas also discovered on the floors. From here, head towards the Church of St. Jovan at Kaneo, which was built at the end of the 13th century, and is one of the most frequently visited churches in Ohrid because of its beautiful location on the cliffs directly above the lake. After this, go back to the town on foot. Another option will be to return to the town by boat and at the same time, to make a tour of the lake providing you with a great view of the town. There will also be the possibility for free time or lunch. Continue your trip to Tirana with a drop-off at your address or hotel accommodation.

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Tirana: Lake and Town Ohrid Day Trip

3. Tirana: Lake and Town Ohrid Day Trip

Following a pickup from your accommodation in Durrës or Tirana, embark on a guided tour of the charming city of Ohrid. Begin the tour at the magnificent Church of Saint Sophia. Then visit the National Workshop for a handmade paper-making demonstration. Next, pass by Samuil’s Fortress and walk along its historic 4th-century walls. See the Ancient Theatre of Ohrid built in Hellenistic style and walk up to the cliff-top church of Saint John at Kaneo for panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Enjoy your free time with a lunch in the city. After your lunch, continue the tour to the Medieval Monastery of Saint Naum. See the resident peacocks that roam the grounds and enter the monastery to marvel at its intricate frescoes. On the way to Ohrid, visit the one of a kind Bay of Bones Museum, a prehistoric settlement located on Lake Ohrid. It is an authentic reconstruction from the pile-dwelling settlement, dating back between 1200 and 700 BC. Transfer to Tirana in the late afternoon with a short stop in the town of Pogradec.

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Full-Day Tour of Ohrid from Skopje

4. Full-Day Tour of Ohrid from Skopje

This tour takes you to the city Ohrid from Skopje. The drive from Skopje to Ohrid takes about 2 hours. Upon arrival in Ohrid  you"ll start the a tour with a visit to the church of St. Sophia,  which dates back to the 11th century. The you'll go up to the Roman amphitheater, which dates back to the 3rd century B.C. Afterwards you will continue walking to the Icon Gallery, home to a range of some of the most famous and valuable icons in the world, right after the ones on Athos and in Russia. In the vicinity of the gallery is the Church of St. Clement’s, or the Church of the Holy Mother of God Most Glorious, which dates back to the 13th century and possesses some of the most beautiful and valuable frescoes from the 13th century not only in this country but in the whole of the Balkans. After that you will carry on walking to Tsar Samoil’s Fortress, named after the first tsar of the Macedonian Slavs, who, having conquered Byzantium, brought most of Macedonia under his rule. Then you will walk to Plaoshnik, where you will visit the newly built St. Clement’s Monastery Church. Dedicated to St. Clement - the patron of Ohrid - and St. Panteleimon, it stands beside the original site of St. Clement’s University, the first university of the Macedonian Slavs, founded in the 9th century A.D. Inside the church you can also see the tomb with St. Clement’s relics. Beside the church you can see the foundations of the 5th-century basilica with beautifully preserved mosaic floors and some swastikas also discovered on the floors. From here you will head towards the Church of St. Jovan at Kaneo, which was built at the end of the 13th century, and is one of the most frequently visited churches in Ohrid because of its beautiful location on the cliffs directly above the lake. After this you will go back to the town on foot. Another option is to return to the town by boat and at the same time to make a tour of the lak,e providing you with a great view of the town. After a short break you will return to Skopje.

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From Skopje: Private Full-Day Tour of Ohrid and Saint Naum

5. From Skopje: Private Full-Day Tour of Ohrid and Saint Naum

Starting from Skopje, the tour begins with a 2-hour drive to Ohrid. Visit the church of Saint Sophia and the Roman amphitheater. Explore the Icon Gallery, to discover some of the most famous and valuable icons in the world. Then see the beautiful frescoes at the 13th century Saint Clement’s Church of the Holy Mother of God Most Glorious. After this, continue to Tsar Samuel’s Fortress, named after the first tsar of the Macedonian Slavs. Then head to the Church of Saint Jovan at Kaneo, in a stunning location on the cliffs directly above the lake. From here, return to the town on foot or by boat. After a little break, visit the Bay of Bones Neolithic settlement to see how life was lived in 1,200 B.C. Continue along the picturesque lakeshore to the Monastery of Saint Naum, situated where the river Black Drin flows into Lake Ohrid. The springs at Saint Naum are part of the National Park Galicica. In the chapel of the church is the tomb of Saint Naum, with frescoes of his life and his miracles. Return to Skopje at the end of the tour.

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Ohrid Half-Day City Tour

6. Ohrid Half-Day City Tour

Tour the city of Ohrid on the eastern shore of Lake Ohrid in the Republic of Macedonia on a half-day sightseeing tour of the center of Christianity for Slavs. The 4-hour guided tour takes in all the main sights of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of only a handful inscribed both for their culture and natural landscape. Walk through the Lower Gate to the Archeological Museum in the Robev Family House, and tour an exhibition of ancient artifacts, including a statue of the Goddess Isis. Continue to the 11th-century cathedral church of St. Sofia, the Ancient Theater from the 2nd century BC, and the beautiful icons at the church of St. Mary Perivleptos. Get fantastic views of Ohrid Lake from the medieval walls of Samuil Fortress. Descend to Plaosnik at the crossroads of civilizations on Ohrid Hill. Visit the burial place of St. Kliment, and the newly reconstructed church of St. Pantelejmon. End at the church of St. Jovan Kaneo, one of Ohrid’s landmarks, before visiting the fisherman’s settlement of Kaneo for a boat trip on the lake.

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From Skopje: Private Full-Day Trip to Bitola

7. From Skopje: Private Full-Day Trip to Bitola

Your driver/ guide will pick you up from your hotel or any location of your preference in Skopje, and then take you by comfortable air-conditioned car or minivan to Bitola. In about less than 3-hours driving, as a first stop in Bitola and an introduction to the city’s history, you will be able to visit and learn about the ancient settlement Heraclea Lyncestis and the well-preserved floor mosaics, fine examples of early Christian art. After visiting Heraclea, driving by the City Park, your driver/ guide will transfer you to the City Museum from where you will enjoy a walking tour through Shirok Sokak, among the nice colorful romantic and neoclassical buildings, housing cafes and restaurants, with time to taste some local bites or just relax with a coffee and people watching. The tour will further continue through the sites to the Old Bazaar, finishing at the Green Market, where you won’t miss the chance to buy a “pepper necklace” or some of the fresh, organic and seasonal products. Transfer back to your hotel or any location of your preference in Skopje.

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From Skopje: 6-Hour Private Mavrovo Tour

8. From Skopje: 6-Hour Private Mavrovo Tour

Start with a morning departure for Mavrovo. After arriving have a short informational session about Mavrovo and Mavrovo National Park. Visit the Cave Sharko and have a little walk and see ski passes and hotels around the area. After that, visit the village of Galicnik where Galicka Svadba (wedding) takes place. Galichnik is a mountain village in the Republic of Macedonia and along with Lazaropole, it is one of the two largest and oldest Mijak villages in the region. Galichnik has well-preserved traditional architecture, including an amphitheater in the village square, and is famous for its surrounding countryside and nature reserve. People from Galichnik and northwestern Macedonia appreciate the local yellow cheese (Kashkaval) that is produced in the region as well as the local salt brine white cheese "belo sirenje." After visiting Galicnik, drive along Mavrovo Lake and canyon of river Radika to the biggest monastery in Macedonia – Bigorski Monastery with its wood carved iconostasis from 18th century. After that, visit a natural place – Waterfall Duf. This tour then continues to visit the wonderful Monastery Rajcica. After that, have a traditional lunch in Mavrovo and return to Skopje.

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Transfer from Skopje to Ohrid With Stop at Bitola

9. Transfer from Skopje to Ohrid With Stop at Bitola

Starting with pickup from your hotel or any location in Skopje, travel towards Ohrid in an airconditioned minivan. Pass through the beautiful mountain valleys, getting excellent views of the Macedonian countryside. Along the way, stop at the charming town of Bitola for a few hours for some exploration. Take the opportunity to visit Heraclea Lyncestis, an important settlement founded by Philip II of Macedon in the 4th century. Discover the beautiful, well-preserved floor mosaics which are fine examples of the early Christian Art period. See also a mixture of Ottoman, neo-classical, and 19th century romantic architecture within the town. Wander the pedestrian street of Shirok Sokak, lined with colorful and neoclassical buildings, almost of all of them housing charming cafés. After some time in Bitola, continue with your transfer to Ohrid.

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Berat: Day Trip From Ohrid

10. Berat: Day Trip From Ohrid

From the Jerusalem of Balkans to the beauty of 1,001 windows, this Berat day trip from Ohrid is perfect if you’re hoping to discover the best of this historic city in a single day. Hop from one historical place to another. Berat is the town of legends and characteristic Ottoman architecture. As one of the oldest towns in Albania, it dates back to the 5th century. Also known as the city of 1,001 windows, seen from afar, Berat looks like a place that belongs in a fairytale movie. Follow your guide as you see significant spots throughout the city and learn their history. Marvel at the 1,001 windows of the city and visit a castle. See the National Ethnographic Museum that portrays different aspects of Berat life and the National Iconographic Museum Onufri that holds many precious items. The city, a UNESCO-listed heritage site, lies alongside river Osumi and at the foot of the Tomorri Mountains. Take in the scenic views of the city’s natural landscapes as you explore.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Southwestern Region

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What people are saying about Southwestern Region

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 37 reviews

This was an excellent tour and a great way to learn about Ohrid. My guide (Naumka) was born and raised in the town. She knew the history, background, and modern context of the sites we visited. Her English was excellent and her enthusiasm even more so. It is wonderful to spend time with someone who knows an area so well and loves sharing that information. She is very proud of Ohrid and is both professional and enthusiastic about helping visitors see and understand details that would otherwise be overlooked.

Perfectly organized tour, I liked everything very much - professional work of the guide, driver, selection of objects to visit. I recommend this excursion to lovers of nature, culture, architecture and history. Perfectly organized tour, I liked everything - professional work of the guide, the driver, selection of objects to visit. I recommend this excursion to lovers of nature, culture, architecture and history.

We spent a whole day with dance, boss and our super driver that day, and Vaska, super guide and speaks perfect German, in Ohrid and Mavrovo. Vaska could explain and show us a lot about everything and has a great knowledge of all of Macedonia, the religion and the people. We had a lot of fun and we would book the tour again anytime!

The tour was awesome! I have been lucky to have Andi as a guide. Both the tour and the guide were amazing! The landscape is astonishing. Andi knows a lot about the region and the surrounding territories. Go for it, you won’t regret it and that will surely stay a memory for life.

Good and understandable explanations and the place Ohrid is beautiful. In addition, a very good driver who speaks English. Perfect!