Lake Ohrid

View of the Lake Ohrid. © Enkeleda Llukovi
Church of St. John Kaneo at Lake Ohrid. © CC BY-SA 4.0
Reconstruction of Bronze Age stilt houses on Lake Ohrid, near Peštani, North Macedonia. © CC BY-SA 3.0

Names in the national language

Liqeni i Ohrit (Albania)

Ohridsko Ezero (North Macedonia)


Location and short description

Lake Ohrid makes part of the mountainous border between southwestern North Macedonia and eastern Albania. It is one of Europe's deepest and oldest lakes, preserving a unique aquatic ecosystem that is of worldwide importance. The lake is connected with the Cerava, Pogradec and Verdova Rivers in Albania and the Black Drin River in North Macedonia.


Special features

Lake Ohrid is one of Europe’s great biological reserves and home of numerous endemic and relict freshwater species of flora and fauna. More than 210 endemic species exist in the area, among them the famous Ohrid trout (Salmo letnica) and thefreshwater sponge (Ochridaspongia rotunda). In addition, the area has many caves like the Memelishti and Najazmë Tushemishti Caves in Albania and the Govedarnik Cave in North Macedonia. The stone formation of Kamjes (Guri I Kamjes) in Albania and the springs of Drinloni and Tushemisht in Albania and Biljanini Izvori in North Macedonia add up to the special features of the area.


Main biotop types

Sandy and costal formations, meadows, hills, woodlands and alpine areas, mix deciduous evergreen forest and sub-alpine vegetation, aquatic biotopes



  • Fish: Ohrid trout (Salmo letnica), Freshwater sponge (Ochridaspongia rotunda), Carp (Cyprinus carpio), Ohrid belvica (Salmo ohridana), Spined loach (Cobitis ohridana)
  • Plants: Sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa)


Status of protection

Protected Landscape (Albania)

Monument of Nature, Galichica National Park (North Macedonia)

The importance of the lake was further emphasized when it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979. In 2014, the Ohrid-Prespa Transboundary Reserve between Albania and North Macedonia was added to UNESCO's World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

Lake Ohrid

National Agency of Protection Areas/ RAPA Korce (Albania)
Email: info(at)

Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania
Email: contact(at)

Macedonian Ecological Society (North Macedonia)

National Park Galichica (North Macedonia)
Email: galicica(at)

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