city of Albania
Europe > Balkans > Albania > Southeastern Albania > Pogradec
Pogradec is a town in the east of Albania on the shores of Lake Ohrid. In 2019 the mixed UNESCO World Heritage site "Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region" was extended to also include the Albanian side of the lake.
Lake Ohrid
Pograec is located on a narrow plain between two mountain chains along the southwestern banks of the Lake of Ohrid. Its climate is profoundly influenced by a seasonal Mediterranean and Continental climate.
Prior to the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the 1992 declaration of the Republic of Albania, Pogradec was a popular resort destination. However, with the dissolution of the socialist republic, and in the ensuing years of Balkan wars, tourism income was affected in the region leaving buildings empty and Pogradec solely dependent on its agricultural products and exposed to cross border trafficking, as people struggled to earn money for housing and food.
Investors from successful tourism businesses across the lake in North Macedonia and elsewhere have spearheaded private investment in the hotel sector in Pogradec. Hotels are being built or renovated and refurbished, and infrastructure is promised to be improving throughout.
Visitor information
Pogradec Tourist Information Center, Rr. Reshit Collaku, Pallati 23, Lagjja 1, Pogradec, ☏ +355 696070855
Get in
From North 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 07:15, 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 lek, while minibuses are 600 lek. Shared private taxis, if you can find one, will cost the same as furgons for a full car and often save you a headache.
It is possible to cross the border from and to North 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 bus service from Ohrid on the southern route that runs, after a stop at Sveti Naum, to and from the border for 110 Macedonian denars. Although taxis ask €5, a good price (2012) from the border to Pogradec for two persons is 200 lek.
Get around
Map of Pogradec
Once you have arrived in the city, you can use a car to drive around, but it is a better experience if you get around by foot, especially near the lake. In the night, especially in summer, there are a lot of people who walk around the boulevard and you will feel the good energy until midnight.
Pogradec is also famous for the usage of bicycles. You can rent a bicycle for a few hours and have enough time to visit some places and especially ride alongside the lake with a fantastic view.
Further afield
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.
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Last edited on 1 August 2021, at 08:16
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