Lake Ohrid on the high plateau of Macedonia

Lake Ohrid on the high plateau of Macedonia

We had just received an email from Hans-Jürgen, who informed us that he would be taking a motorcycle tour to Turkey again this year. Just a few days later, a second email from him, this time with a photo, arrived in his inbox, announcing his arrival at Lake Ohrid in Macedonia.

We will try to be there again in time for a meeting.

The lake was created by a tectonic rift

ohridsee 02Time to take a closer look at Lake Ohrid, especially since this lake has already been one of our destinations several times and will be again for a certain period of time from mid-June.

Lake Ohrid in Macedonia is one of the oldest lakes in the world. The age of the lake is estimated to be 2 to 5 million years, which is suggested by the presence of several endemic species. It is thought to have originated in the Pliocene, more than 2.6 million years ago. The lake was created by a tectonic rift, movements and activities of the earth's plates, which still cause changes in the structure of the earth's surface today. The existence of an approximately 100-meter-high subaquatic mountain (lava solidified under water with a pillow-like shape) probably dates back to the Pliocene.

With a maximum depth of 287 meters

ohridsee 04Lake Ohrid is the largest lake in Macedonia and one of the largest lakes in the Balkans.

The water level is 695 m above sea level with a maximum depth of 287 meters. The area of Lake Ohrid is given as approximately 349 square kilometres.

The larger part of the lake area belongs to the Republic of Macedonia, the smaller part to the Republic of Albania.

On the Macedonian bank, the ancient settlements of Ohrid and Struga are the most important cities today, on the Albanian bank it is Pogradec.

In total, more than 200,000 people live around the lake.

ohridsee 05In the middle of the city of Struga is the "outflow" of Lake Ohrid in the form of the Black Drin River, ultimately the water of Lake Ohrid flows into the Adriatic Sea. Lake Ohrid, whose catchment area is approximately 1,414 square kilometres, has no significant tributary in the form of a river. The lake is only fed by numerous small spring streams. The most important and best-known source is at the Sveti Naum monastery.

Water emerges there and flows underground from Lake Prespa, which is 200 m higher and southeast of Lake Ohrid. At least that is the assumption to date, because it is not certain whether this underground connection still exists. It is possible that this connection is temporary and is opened and separated by geological processes in the karst rock of the mountain range between the two lakes. On the Albanian side there is an important spring in the park of Drillon near the village of Tushemisht. Another underground spring near Tushemisht is used to supply water to the city of Pogradec.

The best-known species for the lake is the epidemic Ohrid trout

ohridsee 06Despite overfishing in the past, which has also led to the extinction of some endemic fish species in Lake Ohrid, fishing is an important economic factor on the lake. Some endemic fish species are still present, especially in the spring pond of Sveti Naum. Breeding fish in fish farms tries to compensate for the losses. The best-known species for the lake is the endemic Ohrid trout (Salmo letnica; maz. Ohridska pastrmka, alb. Koran). In nature it is considered particularly endangered, of course due to overfishing. Also endangered or already extinct are Salmo ohridanus (Alb. Belushka, maz. Belvica), Salmo balcanicus, Salmo lumi and Salmo aphelios.

There are also various representatives of the gastropods that spread into the Paratethys during the Mesozoic. However, many of the fish species typical in other European waters are completely missing, e.g. E.g. all perch, grayling, char and coregone, pike and three-spined stickleback.

Further reports on Lake Ohrid and its surroundings will follow soon. And by the way as you can see from the picture above: we arranged to be at Camping Rino in time.

Please read as well:

Amsterdam - By boat through the canals

Belgrade - The strategic importance of the fortress



Life | Outdoors