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Guide to Ohrid, Macedonia

Friday 20 November, 2015

The take-off at Ohrid sits on a ridge between two of the country’s biggest lakes in a beautiful region that has been designated a national park. It gives good consistent conditions with easy ridge runs, or just enjoy a long glide down to the beach.


Lake Ohrid is a large lake that straddles the border of Macedonia and Albania in the southwest of the country. Running along the east side of the lake is a large mountain ridge that faces west giving good flying conditions especially in the afternoons and evenings.

The main launch towards the southern end of the ridge is reached by a tarmac road. There are often shuttles going up with the tandem companies and taxis are cheap. Hitch-hiking can work but there aren’t that many cars going up. It’s best for pilots to hook up with the local clubs.

There is another launch closer to Ohrid city but this involves going up a dirt track that requires a 4-x-4, so you will need to hitch a ride with one of the tandem companies that use it.

It’s a west-facing slope with a steep rocky face which can create strong conditions but gives very smooth thermals in the afternoons. It usually starts around one o’clock in the afternoon and is flyable until sunset. The conditions are consistent across the year. Most people stick to flying along the lake shore which is a 30km ridge offering nice-out-and-returns.

April to November. Late snows can make access more difficult.

Launch: 1,600m
Landing: 700m
Average cloudbase: 2,500 – 3,000m

Hang glider friendly with road access to launch and a new large landing below. There are plenty of hang glider friendly landing options around Ohrid City.

The out-and-return to Ohrid is very beautiful and you can finish the flight by landing at St. Naum Monastery on the border with Albania, where there are lots of fish restaurants for après-vol.

Early in the day in can be quite strong on the rocky faces.
Landing options between take-off and Ohrid are limited especially for hang gliders.
The national park have a daily fee of five euros for flying.

There is plenty of lakeside accommodation in villas and hotels as well as camping options, with Ljubanista Camping being closest to the landing. If you stay in Ohrid City it takes an hour to get to launch.

Ohrid lake is the oldest and deepest lake in Europe with unusually clean water so a great vacation spot. There are many churches in the area,  the town once having as many as 365,  and an old fishing port that has been restored and is now a museum. You could always visit the big castle tht lies on a hill in the centre of town, plus of course the vibrant city has plenty of cafes and bars.
There are lots of biking and hiking trails on the mountain, and the hike to the top is quite a highlight.

MeteoBlue and Wind Guru. There are also a number of local weather stations on the Holfuy network:,, The site starts later in the day as it is west facing.

In the summer season you can find flights to the local airport at Ohrid. Alternatively Skopje and Tesaloniki (Greece) are the closest airports. You can arrange transfers with the hotels or get a bus.


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