5. 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.