Ohrid & Bitola Tour

Ohrid & Bitola Tour
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Description

In this tour, we pass through Galichica National Park and there is one stopping point at an altitude of 1700 metres to have a view of the surroundings.

Then we resume our journey to Lake Prespa , which is situated 853m above sea level. It is about 40m in depth and covers an area of 274 square kilometres. It is rich in fish and also pelicans inhabit this lake. The Prespa region is the richest one in apples and there is a factory that produces different kinds of juice. When we reach Bitola, on the right, you can see Mount Pelister (2,601m tall) and Pelister National Park which is the smallest but oldest national park in Macedonia (opened in 1948). It is famous for its ancient Molika pine trees and many other different types of flora and fauna and it conserves some rare glacial lakes, Pelisterski Ochi (the Pelister Eyes). It is a famous winter ski resort with hotels and ski-lifts. In Bitola we visit the church of Sveti Dimitrija (St Dimitri) dating from the 19th century and renowned for being one of the biggest churches in the Balkans, then we just have a quick glance at Yeni Mosque (built in 1559) which is an art gallery now, then the Yahdar-Kadi Mosque (built in 1562) and the Isak Mosque (built in 1508-09). In the centre of town is the Clock Tower. The River Dragor runs through the town. Sirok Sokak (a long pedestrian area) is renowned for the beautiful old houses that belong to the 19th-century architecture. Bitola is a town of consulates, also the town where the Manaki brothers, famous for their pioneering work with the camera, opened their Studio of Art Photography in 1905. In honour of their work in photography and later cinematography, the first international film camera festival in the world was started here in 1979 and it is held every September.

After this, we go to the ancient Macedonian town of Heraclea Lyncestis by bus. It was the first major town established in the rich Pelagonia valley in the 4th century BC. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon, the father of Aleksandar III of Macedon. Archaeological excavations are still going on at this site and so far a Roman Bath, a Roman amphitheathre, a Courtroom and a small and big Basilicas from the 5th century have been discovered. The basilicas have the most beautiful and well preserved mosaic floors which are also the biggest in the Balkans and considered to be ones of the most valuable in the world from this period. Afterwards lunch in Bitola is optional and then we go back to Ohrid.

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