Get to know Pogradec
The city of Pogradec lies on the shores of a natural miracle, Lake Ohrid, 695 m above sea level. In 1980, Lake Ohrid was recognized by UNESCO as a “Place of Natural and Cultural Heritage of World Importance” due to its historical values and unique flora and fauna.
Pogradec is an historic city, inhabited since the Neolithic era (6000 – 2000 B.C.), then subsequently by the Illirians, Enkeledians and Desarets who founded the Illyrian State and built the Castle of Pogradec above the present city on the hilltop, at an altitude of 870m.
Starting from the hilltop overlooking the lake and Pogradec, and following along the lake’s Northwest mountains lies a rich historical area, Mokra. Here you will find the Tombs of Selca (IVth Century B.C.), Golik Bridge (part of Roman Via Egnatia), and further back in the mountains, Rodokal and Omezh, where according to legend, Alexander the Great’s uncles on his mother side lived. The village of Lin is found along the only peninsula in Lake Ohrid. Here is an ancient Christian Basilica with wonderful mosaics dating from the VIth – VIIth centuries A.D. Here too is the land of legends which speak of treasures hidden along the lake shores by Emperor Justinian during Byzantine times.
Lake Ohrid is one of Europe’s richest biological resources, 2 – 4 million years old, and very rich in oxygen. The lake shores in Albanian territory extend 35 km from Lin to Tushemisht, and run through Pogradec which is located 25 km from Lin and 4 km from Tushemisht. The Macedonian border is only 5 km from the city center.
Pogradec is a city that is rapidly evolving as a center for regional tourism. With 38,000 inhabitants, Pogradec is a cultured town of hospitable and calm people. The distinguished poets Lasgush Poradeci and Mitrush Kuteli were born and lived in Pogradec. Poradeci’s lyrics and Kuteli’s stories are great treasures, waiting to be discovered by foreigners. In our present time, there are a considerable number of distinguished painters with great individuality. They open the doors of their Pogradec studios for visitors, including A. Kostandini (known as Taso), G. Zeka, V. Vasili and Gj. Lako.
Pogradec is known as the city of flowers. Long expanses of open green space extend along the lakeshore, covered with colorful flowers from spring to the first snows of winter, making it a beautiful tourist delight all year long. East of Lake Ohrid, the grand Dry Mountain rises 2200 m high, with a snow cap throughout the year. The city's shores are exposed to northern winds and thus are one of the most picturesque places along the lake.
Pogradec is attractive and relaxing not only during the hot summers when the Lake keeps residents cool, but even during the winters, the yellow colors of fall and the spring season for lovers. You will commonly experience fresh air throughout all the seasons, good traditional food, beautiful nature, modern hotels and numerous entertainment options. Pogradec cuisine is another reason to visit and relax along Lake Ohrid. One can even try the Koran fish which is only found in this Lake and in the Russian Baikal Lake.
Pogradec invites you to relax and enjoy yourself all year long. Any visitor will quickly see why this region came to be known by the Roman name Lyhnidas, or Lake of Light.