Ohrid Lake – the oldest natural lake in Europe

Ohrid Lake is the largest and most important natural lake in Macedonia and probably the most important biological stagnant water ecosystem in Europe. 

Ohrid region is rich in history, archaeological sites, and natural beauty. Thanks to these features, in the year 1980, Ohrid city and Lake Ohrid were declared a world heritage under UNESCO protection.

Ohrid Lake - the oldest natural lake in Europe

Ohrid Lake is a tectonic lake in the southwest part of the Republic of Macedonia. Located on the border between Macedonia and Albania, between the mountains Petrino, Galichica and Suva Gora on east, Belicka and Mokra mountains to the west.

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The greatest length of Ohrid Lake on direction north-south is 30.35 km, the largest width is 14.5 km, with a total length of the lakeshore of 86.2 km, of which to Macedonia belong 50.4 km and to Albania 35.7 km.



Ohrid Lake is placed at an altitude of 693.17 meters and covers an area of 348.8 km2, of which 229.9 km 2 or 65.9% belong to Macedonia and 118.9 km 2 or 34.1% to Albania.

The maximum depth of the lake is 287.5 m, and the average is 144.8 m. The total accumulated water on average is 50.5 km3.


The Lake is filled with water from the karstic springs located along the east coast (St. Naum spring, Tusemiste, Biljanini Izvori, etc.).,  from precipitation secreted directly above the lake surface, and from tributaries: Cherava, Koselska River Daljan, and Sateska River.

Lake Ohrid loses water trough vapor, and mostly trough the river Crni Drim (Црни Дрим) (22 m 3 / s).

Average annual surface water temperature is 13,6 ° C. It is highest in August (22.3 ° C), and lowest in February (6.6 ° C), while the temperature of the water in the deepest parts of the lake is 6,0 ° C. The water has a blue-greenish tint, with transparency in July from 21.5 m.

Ohrid Lake is known for the endemic Ohrid Trout (Ohridska Pastrmka) and many other former endemic species living organisms that are extinct in other lakes.