Visiting Snake Island, Golem grad in Prespa Lake, Macedonia

Snake Island, Golem grad

The next day I wanted to visit the island Golem Grad also called Snake Island on Lake Prespa. On the internet, there was no mention of how to get there. I looked at the map and found out that the largest city near island is Resen and there are direct buses from Ohrid to Resen. The port where boats depart to the island is in the village Stenje.

With my friend we came to the bus station and were lucky because 20 minutes later our bus to Resen left Ohrid. The journey took about 45 minutes and the price was 150DEN. At the bus station in Reset we tried to find out if there are some buses to Stenje some buses, but the answers was negative. Stenje is a small village and the only way to get there is by taxi or hitchhikng. We decided to call taxi. Taxi ride to Stenje from Resen costs 500 DEN.

In Stenje I went to ask people if they do not know someone who has a boat. As I found out later all the people called to one man who had a stronger ship like others. He told us that the boat costs 50 Euros and now it is too late because the weather can change quickly and storm can start. He told us to come tomorrow at 8 AM because it is the best time to observe pelicans, weather is stable and he has couple from Belgium, so our trip will be cheaper.

We were a bit disappointed so we went to the coast, hoping to find someone who is willing to take us to the island now. In one garden were 3 men, we ask them and they bring us to the house and told us that this man has a boat.  To the great surprise he was the same man with whom I called and I realized that all people have called only to this man. What a shame! But he was nice, invited us to his home, brought beers and we made agreement that tomorrow we will come at 8am. It was very kind invitation, we talked for about an hour when we saw big black clouds behind mountains.

Stenje, Macedonia

Stenje, Macedonia

Stenje, Macedonia

We went on foot to a place where we could hitch hiked. It is shortcut to Ohrid through the National Park Galicica. Our waiting for a car lasted about 15 seconds. Friendly couple from Prilep took us and they stopped the car to show us view on the top of the mountains. From there was a beautiful view of Lake Ohrid.

Galicica

The next day we woke up early in the morning and went the same way to Stenje. Man with boat was already preparing the boat and there were also our fellow travelers from Belgium and we started our journey.

Stenje

Stenje

The road to the island took about an hour. We saw hundreds of giant pelicans. It was amazing, we felt like in national geographic.

Snake island, Golem Grad ´

Snake island, Golem Grad

Snake island, Golem Grad

Snake island, Golem Grad

Snake island, Golem Grad

Snake island, Golem Grad

Snake island, Golem Grad

Snake island, Golem Grad

We anchored a boat and start our adventure on the island, only island in Macedonia. Right at the beginning we saw snakes basking on the rocks.

Snake island, Golem Grad

Snake Island, Macedonia

We followed the marks and we came to the preserved church. We have seen several ruins of old churches. In the past, the monks lived here with hundreds of snakes. On the island there are also their burial sites.

Snake island, Golem Grad

Snake island, Golem Grad

Snake island, Golem Grad

Snake island, Golem Grad

Snake island, Golem Grad

The island could be known as Turtle Island, because you can see many many cute turtles there.

Snake Island, Golem grad

But the most interesting part of the island for us was the place where birds – black cormorants lived. They sat on the endemic trees that are found only here and somewhere in South America. Their excrements are changing brown bark tree on white. There were thousands of them and their singing was indescribable. That sound, black birds on white tree specific shapes and lots of turtles which were very psychedelic. We stood in silence and watched the show.

Snake Island, Golem grad

Snake Island, Golem grad

On the island, we spent about an hour and it was for me one of the most beautiful Macedonian experiences.

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1 Comment

  1. yosi@yosigal.com' Yosi says:

    Thank you for this review! What month was that? I wonder if we are going to face similar weather (stormy afternoon) in late August.

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