Secrets of Prespa & Ohrid >

Secrets of Prespa and Ohrid

3 countries, 3 lakes, 1000's of species

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A crossroads of European life, the Prespa and Ohrid lakes are shared by five ethnicities,

four national parks and three different countries: Albania, Greece and North Macedonia.


The mix of geology, climate and the varied habitats give rise to 170+ species of butterfly,

270+ species of birds and over 1,800 plant species, in an area the size of Greater London.

Stroll in ancient juniper forests that look down on the world's largest breeding colony

of Dalmatian pelicans, whilst learning how to follow the tracks of brown bear, grey wolf & wildcat through the ruins of Roman cities, Byzantine churches & Ottoman mosques.


tbc 2022

or enquire about private tours


£1,695 (approx.)


4 - 7






Prespa might be tiny, but it blends lakes, wet meadows, mountain pastures and forests into one home, for an exceptional variety of plant and animal life.


Human tribes built by the lakes at least 6,000 years ago, before the arrival of empire - Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines, Bulgarians & Ottomans.


Lake Great Prespa is today shared by three nations, with ancient races like Vlachs living across the borders. All of whom you'll meet along the way. 

  • Dalmatian and white pelicans

  • Wildflower meadows at 1,500m

  • Reed beds hide warblers, little bittern & squacco heron 

  • Bears, bats and beech marten 

  • Endless nightingale song

  • Neolithic village & archaeology museum

  • Heraclea and its mosaics

  • Tsar Samuel's 10th C basilica

  • 13-15th C hermitages

  • 15th C mosque 

  • UNESCO Thessaloniki (optional)

  • Pondic Greek beekeeper

  • Raki distiller

  • Resident nature writer, Julian Hoffman

  • Vlach Shepherd

  • Galicitsa park warden

  • Albanian teacher



Below are the main natural and cultural highlights.

To view or download the full, detailed itinerary, plus other documents, please use the Download box.

Day 6 to 8 - The Tsar's Island, Vlachs & Pelicans

  • Into Greek Prespa

  • 10th-century citadel of Tsar Samuel

  • world's largest Dalmatian pelican colony.

  • Day with Julian Hoffman - resident nature writer and naturalist

  • Amble around a traditional livestock village with a Vlach shepherd. 

  • Hotel in Laimos, Greece for three nights. 

Day 9 - Lunch by the sea

  • Coastal wetland - flamingo, waders, stone curlew.

  • Arrive in Thessaloniki


Many guests choose to stay in Thessaloniki this evening.


We offer an extension package or can assist you with hotels and things to do and see. The city's 13 UNESCO sites are well, well worth seeing.

Map Route Secrets Prespa Ohrid

Documents to download

Front cover SPO Itinerary

Full itinerary (PDF)


Google Drive

Full itinerary



Day 1 - Cultural Capital of Thessaloniki

  • Fly into Thessaloniki (Salonica) for dinner

  • Hotel in Thessaloniki, Greece for one night

Day 2 - Bees, Ancient Heraclea & into Prespa

  • Lunch in a beekeeper's garden.

  • Ancient city of Heraclea and mosaics.

  • Hotel on shores of Great Prespa, North Macedonia for two nights

Day 3 - Mt. Galichitsa & the Bay of Bones

  • Sub-alpine pastures of Galicica National Park - butterfly hotspot

  • Lake Ohrid lakeshore for grilled trout lunch

  • Prehistoric village on stilts - the Bay of Bones

Day 4 & 5 - Albanian Prespa and Korce

  • Free of intensive agriculture - 'dwarf' cows & lakeside allotments with a local teacher who grew up under the Hoxha regime.

  • Korce - free afternoon in the cultural capital of Albania

  • Fine archaeological and Medieval Art museums

  • 15th-century Mirahori mosque.

  • Hotel in Korce, Albania for two nights.

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A day-by-day photographic run-through of the itinerary

Click on the main image to expand it

Dalmatian pelican (c) T. Kastritis
Lilium albanicum (c) A. Strid
Mikri Prespa (c) Thanos Kastritis
2016 05 12 AG church fresco
Kafeneio tou Pappou, Lefkonas
Trollius europaeus (c) A. Strid
Shepherds' campfire
Mylos Hotel
Linaria dalmatica (c) A. Strid
Great Prespa
Yellow wagtail B. Voslamber
Impatiens balfourii (c) A. Strid
Ohrid cobble street
Pygmy cormorant
Orchis purpurea (c) A. Strid
Cyclamen hederifolium (c) A. Strid
Floor mosaics at Heraclea
Bee-eater, (c) B. Voslamber

What's included

- Full-board, three meals a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner

- Juice, coffee or tea at breakfast

- Accommodation
   (3-star equivalent. There's no EU star system in Albania, but every hotel is warm, clean, cosy and with Wi-Fi) 

- Transport to and from the airport 

- Transport during the full itinerary 

- Financial Failure Insurance (see the section on Package Tour Regulations

- Tour leader, Yiannis (Greek otter expert, birder and history buff) plus the cast of local ‘guides’ who join along the way 

- Entry to any museums, archaeological sites or monuments 

- Water and fruit in the minibus (nb. we use tap water where we can, and ask you to bring your own reusable 
   water bottles, but there are a few sites where we have to use bottled water)

Comprehensive info on hotels and all other details can be found in the Itinerary and FAQ documents above.

Click to see our full Terms and Conditions