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Pogradec is a town in the east of Albania on the shores of Lake Ohrid. Overshadowed by its glitzy neighbors on the Macedonian side of the lake, the town of Pogradec has been experiencing a revival recently. After communism collapsed, the once popular lakeside resort town went into a state of decay and disrepair, with minimal investment undertaken. The urban development that took place was generally chaotic and unappealing. However today, private investors and government, interested in bringing Pogradec to its former glory, have begun pouring in money to the town. A waste water treatment plant is being built (soon to be completed), and will return the excellent water clarity that is seen on the Macedonian part, to the Albanian part of the lake as well. Hotels are being built or renovated and refurbished, and infrastructure is improving throughout.

Visitor information[edit]

  • Pogradec Tourist Information Center, Rr. Reshit Collaku, Pallati 23, Lagja1, Pogradec, +355 83 26080, [1].  edit

Get in[edit]

From Macedonia, you can enter via Qafë Thanë or Tushemisht border crossings.

There is no railway service to and from Pogradec since 2012. The train service from and to Durres now stops in Librazhd. You will have to find additional transport from Librazhd to Pogradec. If you want to take the train, it leaves Durres once a day at 7.15, arrival time in Librazhd at 11.01. Return trips to Durres depart from Librazhd at 11.55 (arrival 15.42). Carriages are quite OK now (2011) except that all windows were broken like they were hit by bullets, so select a window where the view is best.

A faster option is to take a bus or minibus (furgon) from Tirana: the departure points of these change regularly so check with the hotel or hostel. These take 3 to 4 hours but the roads in the East are largely good. Buses cost 500 Leke, while minibuses are 600 Leke.

It is possible to cross the border from and to the Republic of Macedonia by foot or by car to the south of Lake Ohrid, but major coaches to Ohrid town take the northern route from Tirana. There is a busservice from Ohrid on the southern route that runs, after a stop at Sveti Naum, to and from the border for 110 Macedonian denars. Although taxi's ask 5€, a good price (2012) from the border to Pogradec for two persons is 200 Leke.

The boat from Ohrid to Pogradec leaves only on Sundays at 2.40 pm. You have to check in 24h in advance.

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

  • Statues of renown poets and Pogradec natives Lasgush Poradeci and Mitrush Kuteli.
  • Visit the numerous churches and mosques
  • Balkan Film and Food Festival[2]
  • Fishermen coming at shore with their overnight catches

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Visit the Toplec district which is often compared to Tuscany.
  • Take a boat ride at the springs of Drilon, the origin of the mighty Drin river which flow into the lake here.
  • Visit the picturesque resort village of Tushemisht next to Drilon and swim in the crystal clear water of Tushemisht's sandy beach.
  • Head north from Pogradec to the village of Lin, where you can visit the archeological site on the hilltop of the village. The site was once an important settlement and fortress of the ancient Illyrian tribes that lived throughout the Lake Ohrid region. The site is mostly unexcavated, however the beautiful mosaics and exposed sections of the ancient walls give the visitor a glimpse of the hidden treasures that lie beneath your feet. The views of the lake and surrounding mountains from the hill above Lin are nice.
  • Visit the private studio of talented local painter Anastas Kostandini
  • Take a coffee with your jacket in the morning and go to the beach with your bathing suit in the afternoon!
  • Do canoeing and a boat trip in the lake
  • Lake Day, an annual festival showcasing the best in traditional crafts, this event gathers the three surrounding towns of Pogradec, Struga, and Ohrid.
  • Women's Artisan Exhibition is an annual craft and delicacies exhibition of souvenirs made from local women.
  • Take part in the annual Wine Fest in December.
  • Visit the numerous lake side resorts along the way (near Hudenisht) by taking a drink and enjoying the calm atmosphere and breath taking views, esp. in winter.
  • Visit the Lukova Lakes and monumental tombs of Selca village
  • Enjoy the peculiar setting of a full moon being reflected on the lake while exploring the milky way and countless stars in the sky at night. In the summer you could encounter by a chance a lightning bug!
  • Shebenik-Jabllanice National Park, the edge of which is 45 minutes away is full of mountains, forests and wildlife to explore.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Hand made works from artisans and paintings by local artists.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Try baked Korani dish (Ohrid trout, be aware that it is endangered) or baked Belushka or Jekna.
  • Kernacka

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Sip the delicious local wine. A local saying goes that Ohrid trout was born at the lake and dies in the wine.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Pogradec is known for having crisp nights and thus deep sleeps. It is normal to cover yourself with a quilt in the middle of summer. In particularly, afternoons naps are quite refreshing.

You can stay at one of the many hotels of Pogradec such as the recently renovated Enkelana Hotel and Hotel Perla or you can choose to stay at one of the hotels at the beautiful and quieter lakeside areas of Drilon and Tushemisht village, which is only 4 km from Pogradec. The accommodations there include Hotel Siren, right on the sandy beach, the splendid Millenium Hotel, and Vila Art, once a summer residence of the former dictator Enver Hoxha. Recently, small lakeside resorts have been build along Ohrid Lake near Hudenisht, North-West of Pogradec. One even offers camping facilities for campers.


Get out[edit]

  • Ohrid and Struga just across the lake in Macedonia have wonderful old towns, many churches, and plenty more.
  • Korca is just 45 minutes away by car or public transportation, has charming churches and museums.

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