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Southwestern Region

Culture & History

Our most recommended Southwestern Region Culture & History

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

1. 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.

Full-Day Tour of Ohrid from Skopje

2. 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.

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.

Ohrid Half-Day City Tour

4. 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.

From Skopje: 6-Hour Private Mavrovo Tour

5. 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.

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

6. 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.

From Tirana: Guided Day Trip to Ohrid with Transfer

7. From Tirana: Guided Day Trip to Ohrid with Transfer

Head to the border of North Macedonia to reach Ohrid. Discover the best of this ancient city with your guide. Ohrid is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its art, history, architecture, and nature. Begin your day trip with a hotel pickup in a comfortable air-conditioned ride. Explore your first stop in North Macedonia, the Samoil's Fortress. Learn about the rich history of the medieval fortress and the city. Take a turn to visit the Church of St. John, located on the cliff over Kaneo Beach. Enjoy amazing views of the city and Lake Ohrid from here. Make your way to the city center to enjoy the sights and sounds of the old bazaar. Take a leisurely stroll through the Mezokastro district. Step inside to the Monastery of St. Naum, an enchanting Byzantine-style building along Lake Ohrid. Make your journey back to Tirana memorable with a stop at the Albanian side of Lake Ohrid.

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

8. 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.

From Skopje: Private Full-Day Trip to Bitola

9. 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.

From Tirana: Day Trip to Korca, Pogradec and Ohrid Lake

10. From Tirana: Day Trip to Korca, Pogradec and Ohrid Lake

Venture into the heart of southeast Albania on this day trip from Tirana. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Drilon Natural park on Ohrid lake and take in the unique architecture in the cities of Korca and Pogradec, and the charming village of Tushemisht. Have your guide pick you up from your location in Tirana and relax in a comfortable vehicle on the way to Korca, which is close to the border with Greece. Stop at the Old Bazaar which was first established 500 years ago and has Ottoman and Roman-style buildings. Head to the tree-lined Pedestrian Boulevard and pass by shops and cafes. Admire the architecture of the main Orthodox Cathedral which was built just after the communist period. Uncover the history of how the city had the first Albanian school and was once a flourishing trade center. Visit Drilon Natural park to take in the greenery before continuing to Korca. Continue to the hillside city of Pogradec which is by the shores of Ohrid lake. Go to Drilon, a park with willow trees and swamps, which has been the poetic muse of many poets and artists. Travel to the village of Tushemisht which is mainly inhabited by Orthodox Albanians. Experience the unique culture of this village and see how the streams cross through the village. Hear about its part in Albanian cinematography. Make your way to the city of Pogradec to see the old town where some traditional architecture is still preserved. Combine the old with the new as you view the modern part of the city and take some time to take in views of the lake before returning to Tirana.

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What people are saying about Southwestern Region

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 16 reviews

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.

Skerdi was an excellent guide who went the extra mile to show us all the beauty around lake Ohrid. The tour has some real highlights and the beautiful nature, cozy old towns, churches and monasteries were mesmerizing. Highly recommended

We really enjoyed this day trip from Skopje. Robert our driver was very professional. Our Ohrid guide tour Naumka was the best we can get. Well done to Plus Travel Skopje for this tour

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

Everything great, Andi very professional and nice. The place is beautiful. I recommend it 100%.