crossing tushemisht-st.naum border how to cross from st.naum to pogradec albania and north macedonia lake ohrid

Crossing Tushemisht-St. Naum Border: How To Cross It

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How To Cross The Border From St. Naum To Pogradec: Crossing Tushemisht-St.Naum Border

As I’ve seen on the internet, it’s a common issue of travelers trying to cross the border from North Macedonia to Albania at Lake Ohrid. The most frequent way is crossing Tushemisht-St.Naum border. In other words, getting from St. Naum Monastery in North Macedonia to the closest town in Albania called Pogradec.

When exploring North Macedonia and taking my way to Albania, I faced the same problem. Unfortunately, you don’t have many options, and the internet doesn’t have many resources. That’s why I want to share with you my personal experience and give you tips for crossing this border. So if you happen to be in the same situation trying to solve this problem, keep reading.

Traveling in North Macedonia and Albania is generally quite a challenging task, especially in the latter country. Traffic is usually unorganized, buses don’t have a timetable, and nobody even knows about their departures.

That brings us to the fact that border crossing is also going to be… let’s say, adventurous. But we can do this together.

crossing Tushemisht-St.Naum border
Crossing Tushemisht-St.Naum border from St. Naum to Pogradec

 

 

3 Ways For Crossing Tushemisht-St.Naum Border

When crossing Tushemisht-St. Naum border, from St. Naum to Pogradec, you have the following 3 options:

 

1. Take A Taxi

Taking a taxi is not the easiest way for crossing Tushemisht-St.Naum border, but a more comfortable one. Unfortunately, the taxi won’t take you further than the actual border.

What you can do is to take a taxi in St. Naum and drive to the North Macedonian border. None of the taxi drivers is willing to take you all the way across the two borders to Pogradec. They’ll only leave you in front of the border. After, you still have to find a way to cross the border and get to Pogradec.

It’s nice to be transported at least to the border. You can do it if you want to get there faster, or you can’t find nobody driving that way when hitchhiking.

Just pay attention to the price the taxi driver tells you. They tend to give you a too high rate. Bear in mind that from St. Naum to the actual border, it’s only 4km, which is approx. 10 minutes drive. The taxi driver asks for 400 Denars (North Macedonian currency) or 800 Lek (Albanian currency). It’s definitely overpriced for such a short ride. Don’t forget to negotiate. Tell them 200 Denars or 400 Lek or even less. They’ll still drive you.

Just don’t drive with them for such a high price. For more information about bargaining with taxi drivers, check out my article about getting around North Macedonia.

Once you are at the border, you have 2 options. Either you stop some car waiting at the border and ask them to drive you across the border, or you can walk.

Albania buses taxi travelling in Albania crossing Tushemisht-St.Naum border
Traveling in a taxi in Albania and North Macedonia

 

2. Hitchhike

As I mentioned above, you can get to the border and start your hitchhiking adventure there. Or you can be lucky and find someone right at St. Naum who would drive you.

But many visitors at St. Naum make it as a day trip from Ohrid or other parts of Lake Ohrid and don’t continue to the border. Instead, they get back to their accommodation at Lake Ohrid in the afternoon.

Many of them also take a boat and don’t even have a car. So you can try to hitchhike right from St. Naum but be prepared for this situation. If you can’t find anyone at St. Naum, get somehow to the border and try to stop a car at the border. People are nice, and there’ll be somebody who will take you across the border for sure.

 

3. Walk Across The Border

Perhaps the most adventurous way for crossing Tushemisht-St.Naum border at Lake Ohrid is to go on foot. As I’ve read on the internet, many people do it this way as there are really no other options to cross it, except the two mentioned above.

Walking across the border is quite common, and you don’t have to be afraid. You might get to Pogradec even faster as people in a car have to wait quite long until the police check everyone. But when you walk, you don’t have to wait in the row of cars and just go straight to the police to check your passport.

Be prepared that the police might check your backpack or bags, so don’t carry anything illegal. Other than that, you don’t have to be afraid. Just walk and cross the border.

If you walk from St. Naum, you’ll just follow the main road until the North Macedonian border. It’s 4km, which will take you about 45minutes to the border on foot.

Then get through, and right after, there’ll be the Albanian border. Once you cross both borders, just follow the road until you reach Pogradec. There is no specific path for pedestrians only. You’ll have to walk on the main road. Be cautious and walk on the left side to see the cars driving in front of you.

Albania road trip solo travelling
Me traveling solo and taking buses in Albania

 

 

Hitchhiking & Crossing Tushemisht-St. Naum Border

People driving their car and waiting at the border might not be willing to take you. Simply because they don’t know you and might not trust you. They think, what if you carry something illegal. Then they take you, and the police spot it; they’ll also get into trouble.

This is the reason why it might get difficult for you to hitchhike right at the border. If this is the case, just cross the borders on foot and after the Albanian border, try to stop a car to Pogradec.

 

 

My Personal Experience Crossing Tushemisht-St. Naum Border

To cross the border from St. Naum to Pogradec, I first took a taxi from St. Naum to the border. I don’t really like taking a taxi and always find another way to get around. Still, when I travel as a solo woman, which was the case here, I am rather cautious.

As I mentioned above, I negotiated the price first. Taxi drivers take both currencies, Macedonian denars or Albanian lek. Lucky me that they do, since I only had Albanian Lek at that time. The taxi drove me right to the North Macedonian border and left me there. Then I was ready to cross it on foot.

You know those kinds of situations when you act spontaneously, or your mouth just says something you didn’t really plan to.

Well, that happened to me at the border. I walked towards it and was ready to go straight to the police. However, as I saw a few cars waiting, I spontaneously went towards them and had a look into a few of the drivers. One car had a couple inside. So, without further consideration, I just approached this car and asked the man whether he would drive me across the border.

Lake Ohrid North Macedonia travel guide crossing Tushemisht-St.Naum border
Crossing Tushemisht-St.Naum border

 

Hitchiking Across Tushemisht-St. Naum Border

They were both looking at me very strangely as if I was mad. The man was not really sure and didn’t want to drive me. Luckily, his wife sitting next to him asked me where I was going and tried to persuade her husband to take me.

Then he started asking me questions and ensuring that I wasn’t carrying something illegal in my backpack. I assured him that I didn’t have anything. It took perhaps 5 minutes to make the guy comfortable, and after, he was all right with the fact to drive me across the border.

This couple was from Croatia, and we got the chat. They were super nice, asking me what I was doing there and where I was heading. The woman was pretty scared and told me I should be careful traveling alone, especially in Albania. They told me there were road tripping from Turkey and at the time driving around Lake Ohrid. So I asked them if they could drop me off in Pogradec, and they said they were driving the way, so it wasn’t a problem.

What a great experience I had meeting such nice people taking me across the Tushemisht-St. Naum border.

 

 

Travel Fearlessly

As you can see, traveling is the best thing you can do. It enriches you in so many ways. You don’t have to be afraid because the situation will be solved somehow.

You’ll always meet nice people, learn something new, and push your boundaries. I highly encourage you to start traveling solo or with friends organizing your travel on your own. It’ll enrich your life in so many ways.

Crossing Tushemisht-St.Naum border might be challenging but also very adventurous. Unfortunately, there is no other way to cross it than with the 3 ways mentioned above. There is no bus route or a boat that would take you across the border. So choose from these three options.

If you’ve had this experience, let me know in the comments below how you crossed the border. And if you are about to do so and have some questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

St Naum monastery things to do at lake ohrid cross the border from St. Naum to Pogradec
St. Naum Monastery, things to do at Lake Ohrid, North Macedonia

 

 

More Tips For North Macedonia Travel

If you want to see more of North Macedonia, take my North Macedonia road trip. It’ll guide you through the highlights of the country in 8 days. Need more inspiration about the things you can do at Lake Ohrid? Check my article about it.

Crossing the border on a bus is not possible, but you can travel in North Macedonia by local buses. However, you have to know a few things before your journey. Read my article about getting around North Macedonia. It also contains the exact prices of the routes, taxi rates, and what you can bargain.

For more inspiration, read about the most beautiful places in North Macedonia.

If you want to continue your journey to Albania after crossing the border, check out my Albania road trip itinerary. It’ll show you the highlights of the country in 10 days.

Or continue to Tirana and make some of the best day trips from Tirana. Then, to explore more, choose one of the 5 itineraries I’ve designed for you to have a great trip to Albania.

Happy Travels!