Posted by: Caroline | April 23, 2010

A Short Stay at Sveti Naum

Typically, border towns are lackluster, confusing areas that serve as good motivation to cross the border as soon as possible. But after our short time spent at tranquil lakeside Sveti Naum, Alex had to drag me across the border to Albania.

The first thing we did was hop into this boat for a guided tour of the springs that feed into Lake Ohrid.

How gorgeous is this water? When you look down, you can see the water bubbling out of the ground.

Our guide said sometimes the waters even take on a violent tinge.

After rowing through the brilliantly-colored waters, we arrived at this secluded church.

The church has its own natural baptismal pool with water flowing in the shape of a cross.

The springs boat tour was a great way to spend Alex’s birthday.

And he even pitched in with the rowing.

Sveti Naum’s main draw, however, is this monastery.

Peacocks roam the grounds looking peaceful enough…

…but this sign leads me to believe they’re not always so docile.

They do put on a great show when they feel like it!

The monastery has a wonderful view of Lake Ohrid and the surrounding mountains.


Travel Info – If you’re trying to cross the border into Albania on foot from Sveti Naum, you’ve got two options: either cross the military base to the adjacent border post, or go around on the road. The military base guards were not in a good mood the day we crossed, so we had to go on the road. Our boat conductor gave us a ride for free. Using the road, it’s 3.5km walking to the border post (although there may be shortcuts), and another .75km to the Albanian post, from which point taxis on to Podgarec are available (negotiate–we were offered 10 Euros but ended up paying 5 after we stormed off towards Podgarec on foot). If you know in advance the military base route is not available and don’t want to take a taxi, ask for your boat conductor to take you to the little church mentioned in this post, then hike from there to the border post. The post is only 1km form the little church, and the road is just uphill from the church.

Happy travels!



  2. And the best sign competition goes to “Warrning!!! peacocks can harm your children.”

    Happy Birthday Alex!

  3. The Balkans are becoming a fascinating, separate chapter in this journey. Hopefully, Spring in Europe is catching up with the warmth you left in Africa.

  4. […] Most surprising is how the moat is formed. Even though the Bay of Kotor is salt water, connected to the Adriatic Sea, Kotor’s moats are fresh water. That’s because on either end of the city, very strong springs force water right out of the bottom of the rocky cliffs, giving the water a blue-green glow just like we saw in Sveti Naum. […]

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