Pogradec (Albanian: Pogradec or Pogradeci) is one of the finest tourist sites in Albania, because of its location near Lake Ohrid, famous for its crystal clear water, natural habitat of the Koran fish, similar to trout. Beyond the beautiful beach, a holiday in Pogradec is made more interesting by trips to the tourist center of Drilon (5km east), with crystal fountains that fill the beautiful canals surrounded by trees and ornamental plants, or to the beautiful villages of Tushemist and Lin, with lovely beaches and clear water, where wine production and agriculture are the traditions of each house.
The city of Pogradec lies along the mighty Lake Ohrid, 695m above sea level. It’s bounded by the lake to the north and northeast. In the southern and western directions there are mountains and hills, mountains Mokra, which create a beautiful wreath to the city. The hills are covered with bushes most of chestnut, beech and oak trees, but also fruit trees and vines.
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The archaeological excavations in the village of Lin at north of Pogradec and in the river Leka, show that this area has been inhabited since the late Neolithic period (from 6000 to 2000 years ago). The area of Pogradec, according to several sources, was inhabited by the Illyrians, and it was here that a powerful state was established, building castles and cities like Blace, Selce and Poshtme. 40 km away from Pogradec, in the heart of the mountains Mokra in the low Selca, there are 5 monumental tombs dating back to 2400 years ago, built near the end of the fourth century BC. They are unique in Europe for the way they are dug into the rock. The paleo-Christian church in Lin, located on the peninsula of Lini, was built in the fifth century BC and all the floors are decorated with mosaics. Other churches and other archaeological sites, such as bridge Golik, show the beginning of an ancient civilization.
The Castle of Pogradec is situated 689m above sea level, and is close to the city. It has been inhabited since the fifth century BC. In the second half of the fourth century BC, this Illyric residential area was fortified with bastions. It was a small castle, with small residential houses, and served as a fortress for the surrounding area. Archaeological excavations show that the inhabitants of this area are engaged in agriculture, fishing and other trades. Also they established relations with neighboring areas. The city and its houses were burnt by a huge fire in the second century BC during the Roman-Macedonian-Illyrian war. Pogradec Castle continued to be occupied during the invasion of the Romans, but without fortification did not have the same active life he had before. At the end of the fourth century, were built new ramparts and the castle began to be useful for the native population, this time to protect them from the barbarians. It continued to be a major residential area until the new invasions in the ninth century.
Things to do in Pogradec
- Take the 1maje, an avenue along the beach located in the eastern part of the city.
- Visit Drilon, 5 km from Pogradec. Among the freshness of the trees and the channels of crystal clear water, there are many restaurants where you can enjoy traditional cuisine and other Mediterranean specialties.
- The beautiful lake Lukova provides attractive opportunities for summer camping.
- Kabashi is positioned in the middle of a forest of chestnut trees, 3 km from the quarry. Here you can breathe fresh air and there are beautiful waterfalls.
- Visit the archaeological sites: the monumental tombs of Selca(40km away from Pogradec), the mosaics of Lini dated back to Roman times, the Castle of Pogradec, Golic bridge
- Visit the churches: the monastery of St. Thomas (an Orthodox church in Lin of the second century BC), the church of St. Dimitri (a small Orthodox church of 1154) and the church of Santa Marena (an Orthodox church rebuilt in 1744).