Ohrid Lake

Ohrid Lake   

Ohrid Lake is one of the most important natural aquariums in the world. It was formed some 4 million years ago, which makes it one of the oldest tectonic lakes in the world, along with Lake Baikal in Russia, Lake Tanganyka in Africa, and Lake Titicaca in South Amerika. The lake succeeded to preserve unique and endemic flora and fauna and as one of the rare preserved ancient lakes in Europe will receive the epithet “natural museum of living fossils”. It is located in the southwestern part of Macedonia on an altitude of 695 m above the sea level, surrounded by mountains over 2000 meters high. The lake has a surface of 358 square kilometers and two-thirds of the lake surface area belongs to Macedonia and one-third to Albania. Ohrid Lake is the deepest lake on the Balkan Peninsula and the maximum depth is 286 m. But recently a point which is 310m below the surface was discovered. It has crystal clear water and during the sunny days, the water is transparent even to the depth of 23 m. Due to its depth, the lake never freezes even in winter when the temperatures are below zero. The lake counts 17 kinds of fish. The most familiar and the most commercial are the endemic Ohrid trout, the eel, the carp, and the especially interesting small fish called “plashica”, whose scales are used for making a special emulsion. And The emulsion is used in the process of making the famous Ohrid pearl by the two families who know the secret. In the flora mainly dominate different species of algae and tall plants. The lake gets most of the water from the neighboring Prespa Lake, which is on a higher altitude for 150m. The water emerges beneath the karst massif of the Galichica Mountain and appears in the lake through the springs near St Naum. This area is protected by the National Park of Galichica and the visitors can discover the rare beauty and this Paradise on the Earth by the small rowing boats that will take you to the springs. Exploring the 87 km shoreline of the Lake, the beautiful landscape, the undiscovered secrets and mysteries of the lake waters, the spectacular cave churches, the opportunities to swim, dive, sail or just enjoy, is something you must do. Due to all these natural values, Ohrid Lake was listed among UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1979. The importance of the lake was emphasized when NASA decided to name one of the Titan’s lakes after Lake of Ohrid.