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Resort with £100 flights from Manchester Airport has drinks for £1.60 but looks so classy

In Europe
June 08, 2024

A holiday hotspot popular with the rich and famous – George Clooney even has a house there – the Italian Lakes are a top destination on travellers’ wishlists. As you’d expect its desirability comes at a high price, with tourists forking out a small fortune during their trip.

Not surprisingly a pint of draught beer in Como will set you back around six euros, with a meal out for two coming in at 75 euros. But if you’re after stunning lakeside views this summer and gorgeous sunny weather, without the eyewatering prices, there is a cheaper alternative.

Lake Ohrid in North Macedonia boasts scenery that could rival that of Lake Garda or Como with a mountainous landscape giving way to tranquil blue water. Ohrid city sits on the north shore of the lake and features a charming old town, with cobblestone streets, quaint shops and bustling restaurants.

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Ohrid is incredibly budget-friendly. A local pint will cost roughly £1.60, while a meal out can cost as little as £4.80. There are direct flights from Manchester Airport to Ohrid with a single ticket costing around £100 in July (you may have to pay extra for seat allocation and baggage).

The Church of Saint John

The Church of Saint John -Credit:Getty Images

North Macedonia’s border with Albania actually cuts through the lake, while the border with Greece is only a few hours’ drive away, ideal if you want to explore a little further afield. Despite being land-locked, North Macedonia has several beaches to offer along the shores of Lake Ohrid – with views that would give any Mediterranean coastal destination a run for its money.

Kaneo is a pebbled beach overlooked by the impressive Church of Saint John, while Potpesh is a tiny beach hidden away with a small bar. Further along the shore of the lake, around a 20 minute drive from Ohrid, is Gradishte Beach, where you can hire sunbeds and parasols, as well as trying watersports such as kayaking and pedalos.

Explore the shoreline of the lake

Explore the shoreline of the lake -Credit:Getty Images

Ohrid itself is packed full of historical features as one of the oldest settlements in Europe. In fact the city and the lake form a UNESCO World Heritage site and Biosphere Reserve. Climb up Samuel’s Fortress in the Old Town for incredible views of the city and the lake, visit Ohrid’s ancient amphitheatre and stop by the Bay of Bones Museum, a reconstruction of a Bronze Age village on stilts over the water.

After a day spent exploring the shores of the lake or wandering the streets of the old town, a visit to one of the lakeside restaurants is a must. North Macedonia enjoys Mediterranean and Turkish fusion cuisine with Italian and Greek influences. Tuck into tasty dishes as you watch the sun set over the water.

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