It has a unique aquatic ecosystem of worldwide importance, with more than 200 endemic species. For the world-unique freshwater species and its rich bird life, the North Macedonia's side of Lake Ohrid was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979, with the site being extended to also include the cultural and historic area of Ohrid in 1980. Albania’s side of Lake Ohrid was also designated UNESCO world heritage status in 2019.
The towns situated at the lakeside are Ohrid and Struga in North Macedonia along with Pogradec in Albania. The lake is otherwise densely surrounded by settlements in the form of villages and resorts in both countries.
Lake Ohrid is one of the symbols of North Macedonia and it is one of the most visited sites in the country.