North Macedonia
Mar 2021
1 month

Ohrid

Mountains, lakes and a welcoming legion of stray dogs.

[Local Time}
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[Description}

Nestled in North Macedonia, Ohrid is a city with a rich history and beautiful nature.

It's famed for its UNESCO-listed old town, the tranquility of the lake, and a wealth of historic churches, monasteries, and mosques.

Verdict:
Consider for a holiday

If you're already in the Balkans, it's worth a week. Otherwise, it's too quiet to be worth traveling exclusively for.

🌎
Verdict:
Consider for a holiday

If you're already in the Balkans, it's worth a week. Otherwise, it's too quiet to be worth traveling exclusively for.

Verdict:
Consider for a holiday

If you're already in the Balkans, it's worth a week. Otherwise, it's too quiet to be worth traveling exclusively for.

👎
Verdict:
Consider for a holiday

If you're already in the Balkans, it's worth a week. Otherwise, it's too quiet to be worth traveling exclusively for.

🛫
Macedonian Denar (MKD)
42,000
⚠️ Would avoid

Summary

North Macedonia was the starting point for a tour of the Balkans in 2021. Prior to the trip I would not have been able to locate the country on the map, but at the time of Covid it was one of the few countries allowing unrestricted access from the UK making it a useful destination to start travel from.

Accommodation
Great
Good
Ok
Bad

Reasonable selection of airbnbs in the centre of the town. If visiting outside of the peak season you should have your pick of apartments at a very reasonable price.

info
New legislation
Recent changes introduced by the Turkish government has made short-term rentals for under 100 days more restricted. Keep an eye on Reddit threads for up-to-date assessments of how the new legislation is impacting short-term rentals in practice.
Places to work
Great
Good
Ok
Bad

There's only one real option for coworking in the town at present, although there is a large range of cafes. If planning to work from home, I would not assume the internet would be of sufficient quality.

Value
Great
Good
Ok
Bad

Like the rest of North Macedonia, food and drink is very reasonable priced throughout, however compared to larger cities, there isn't an enormous selection of choice. Prices for local excursions and bicycle/car hire prove to be very good value.

info
The yen is currently at a 34-year low
While this is undoubtedly a negative for the Japanese, it makes for an exceptionally good time to visit Japan from abroad. Although this trend is unlikely to reverse significantly in the short term, it's still worth checking before visiting.
Read more
View the cost of living
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Working hours
Great
Good
Ok
Bad

North Macedonia operates on Central European Time (CET), aligning with Western Europe.

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Where to stay

Would avoid
Recommended
Old Town
Only a 10 minute walk from the main boulevard, the raised areas of the old town offer some great views over the lake ahead.
Would avoid
Recommended
Center
if you are looking to be as close to the centre as possible, head for the "St Clement of Ohrid" Boulevard where you'll have the widest selection of choices on your doorstep.

Where to work

CoWorkOhrid
Top Choice
☕️ Good Coffee
📍 Top Location
🥗 On Site Cafe
🧍Community Focused
⭐️ Quality Fit Out
🌳 Outdoor Space

The only coworking facility intown, CoWorkOhrid is a great destination to get work done, around a 15 minute walk from the centre of town.

During winter there's great views of the snow topped mountains in the distance with great views of the sunset. Complementary coffee available also.

The only drawback is a lack of lunch options in the immediate area so you'd be best off to come prepared.

Remote work visa

No remote work visa
Remote work visa available
Remote work visa coming soon
If staying for a prolonged period, you may want to consider a dedicated visa for this destination.
This country is actively working on a visa support for remote workers.
Check your government website for details of how to obtain a tourist visa.
View full details
To the best of my knowledge this information was correct as of 27th April 2024. If you notice something has changed drop me a message and I'll update it!

Citizen Remote is a great source of up to date knowledge for everything to do with remote work visas.

Safety

Off-work

Hike in Pellister National Park

An natural haven renowned for its diverse flora and fauna with numerous hiking trails and serene lakes, best accessed if visiting from the neighbouring town of Bitola. If visiting during the winter months, be prepared for intensely snowy conditions.

Learn more
Day trip to Skopje

The North Macedonian capital is well worth a visit in it's own right, known for its grand ornate statues and buildings. If in town for a few days, head to the Matka Canyon Trail.

Visit the Holy Mother of God Zahumska

This church dedicated to St. Mary was built in 1299 and is located at Zaum on the eastern shore of the lake at the foot on Mount Galicia. Easily accessible via car or bike and some river boats run during more popular periods.

Hike in Pellister National Park

An natural haven renowned for its diverse flora and fauna with numerous hiking trails and serene lakes, best accessed if visiting from the neighbouring town of Bitola. If visiting during the winter months, be prepared for intensely snowy conditions.

Beautiful national park towards Bitola, around an hours drive away.
Day trip to Skopje

The North Macedonian capital is well worth a visit in it's own right, known for its grand ornate statues and buildings. If in town for a few days, head to the Matka Canyon Trail.

Worth a visit, the nations capital
Visit the Holy Mother of God Zahumska

This church dedicated to St. Mary was built in 1299 and is located at Zaum on the eastern shore of the lake at the foot on Mount Galicia. Easily accessible via car or bike and some river boats run during more popular periods.

13th century Monaestry located at the southern base of the lake.

Duration & season

Early March was bitterly cold, with the surrounding mountain peaks covered in snow for the entirety of the month. Some sunnier days were had towards the end of the trip but I couldn't recommend arriving any earlier than April. The peak of summer is hot, with temperatures regularly up to 30 degrees,

Food & drink

Trpejca
·
Cycle
Peaceful cycle on the road which traces the base of the Galičica national park. Veer away from the lake for a decent climb up the mountain.
National Park Pellister
·
Walk
Situated just outside the neighbouring city of Bitola, the pine treed national park is a perfect place for brisk winter walks.
Ohrid - Bitola
·
Cycle
A scenic & relatively peaceful journey between the two cities aside from the occasional articulated lorry.

People

There is a small local population in the town, with high seasonal fluctuations over summer with holiday markers arriving from predominantly in neighbouring Balkan countries. During the month I was there I would be relatively confident I was the sole remote worker in town.

Local people were friendly and welcoming with English spoken in the majority of cafes and bars.

Exercise

Trpejca
Peaceful cycle on the road which traces the base of the Galičica national park. Veer away from the lake for a decent climb up the mountain.
keyboard_arrow_down
National Park Pellister
Situated just outside the neighbouring city of Bitola, the pine treed national park is a perfect place for brisk winter walks.
keyboard_arrow_down
Ohrid - Bitola
A scenic & relatively peaceful journey between the two cities aside from the occasional articulated lorry.
keyboard_arrow_down
Trpejca
Peaceful cycle on the road which traces the base of the Galičica national park. Veer away from the lake for a decent climb up the mountain.
National Park Pellister
Situated just outside the neighbouring city of Bitola, the pine treed national park is a perfect place for brisk winter walks.
Ohrid - Bitola
A scenic & relatively peaceful journey between the two cities aside from the occasional articulated lorry.

Verdict

Positives
  • Amazing scenery.The lake and neighbouring mountain ranges provide inspiring vistas.
  • Very peaceful.Outside of the peak summer season, it is an area of much tranquility and seclusion.
  • Outside of the Schengen Zone.If for whatever reason you have reached your limit of time available within the Schengen group of countries, North Macedonia is an alternative.
  • Cheap.One of the least expensive countries in Europe.
Negatives
  • Super quiet.If that is not explicitly what you are looking for, then you may be left dissapointed.
  • Not a great deal of international cuisine.I enjoyed the local food, but don't expect too great of a variety apart from some burgers and Italian.
  • Really cold in winter.Bitterly, bitterly cold. Even in March, it was prohibitively cold.
  • No remote worker community.Very high chance that you may be the only person in town working remotely from there.
Tips
  • Arrive after April.Whilst the snow makes it an incredibly scenic backdrop, it hampers your ability to properly enjoy hiking the mountains.
  • It would be a great day trip from Skopje.There's no real reason to spend more than a couple of days here unless you're looking for some form of retreat and isolation.
Planning a trip?
I loved everything about this trip to Japan. I've put together some thoughts on my entire stay in the country, which may come in handy if you are planning a visit soon.
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