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crossing tushemisht st. naum border
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Crossing the border from North Macedonia to Albania at Lake Ohrid is a common issue for travelers. The most frequent way is crossing the 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 issue. Unfortunately, you don’t have many options, and the internet only has a few resources. So, in this article, I share my experience with you and give you tips for crossing this border. 

Let’s face the adventure of crossing this border.

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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
  2. Hitchhike
  3. Walk across the border

1. Take A Taxi

Taking a taxi is a good way to cross Tushemisht-St. Naum border, but it won’t take you further than the actual border. After, you still have to find a way to cross the border and get to Pogradec.

Just pay attention to the price the taxi driver tells you. They tend to give you a rate that is too high. Remember that from St. Naum to the actual border, it’s only 4km, which is approx. 10 minutes drive.

North Macedonia itinerary 7, 8, 9, 10 days Ohrid Fortress
Ohrid: Samuel’s Fortress

The taxi driver asks for 400 Denars (North Macedonian currency) or 800 Lek (Albanian currency). It’s 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.

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.

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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 return to their accommodation at Lake Ohrid in the afternoon.

Many also take a boat and don’t even have a car. So you can try hooking right from St. Naum, but be prepared for this situation. If you can’t find anyone at St. Naum, get to the border somehow 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.

crossing Tushemisht-St. Naum border hitchhiking
Me hitchhiking from North Macedonia to Albania

People driving their cars 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 get into trouble.

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

3. Walk Across The Border

Walking across the border is common; you don’t have to be afraid. You might get to Pogradec even faster as people in a car must wait until the police check everyone. But when you walk, you don’t have to wait in the line of cars and 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.

You’ll follow the main road until the North Macedonian border. It’s 4km, taking about 45 minutes to reach the border on foot.

most beautiful places in north macedonia to visit Ohrid Fortress
Me exploring Samuel’s Fortress In Ohrid

Then, get through, and there’ll be the Albanian border right after. 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 before you.

My 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.

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 then. The taxi drove me right to the North Macedonian border and left me there. Then, I was ready to cross it on foot.

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

best things to do in Ohrid and Lake Ohrid St. Naum Monastery
St. Naum Monastery – Lake Ohrid

Hitchiking Across Tushemisht-St. Naum Border

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

Then he started asking me questions and ensuring 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 scared and told me I should be careful traveling alone, especially in Albania.

most beautiful places in north macedonia to visit Skopje bazaar
Skopje Bazaar

They told me they 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.

It was a great experience meeting such nice people, taking me across the Tushemisht-St. Naum border.

How To Travel Fearlessly In The Balkans

As you can see, traveling is the best thing you can doIt 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.

is albania safe for solo female
Me at Lake Ohrid


I’ve also answered some of the frequently asked questions. Check my answers below:

Is There A Border Between Albania And North Macedonia?

Yes, there are many borders between Albania and North Macedonia, depending on which road you’re arriving. The countries aren’t in the Schengen Zone, so the police check your documents, car, or bus. Prepare to wait at least an hour at the border.

How Do I Get To Sveti Naum?

You can get the Sveti Naum from Ohrid by boat, taxi, or car. The best way to get there is by a rental car or an organized boat excursion from Ohrid.

Can You Cross From Albania To North Macedonia?

Yes, you can cross from Albania to North Macedonia. There are many borders. Be aware that the border controls take at least 1 hour because these countries aren’t in the Schengen Zone, and it takes time until the police check all the documents, each car, and bus.

WRAP-UP: Crossing Tushemisht-St. Naum Border

This is what it looks like crossing the border between North Macedonia and Albania. It’s a journey full of adventure, and the best tip I can give you is not to be afraid and take it as an adventure. You’ll always meet lovely people who are willing to help you. Be open-minded and enjoy the journey.

If you have any questions or need help planning your trip to Albania or North Macedonia, contact me at info(at)voicesoftravel.com. I’ll gladly help you.

Happy Travels!

voices of travel about me photo

About the author: Nicoletta is a travel enthusiast and passionate language learner. While traveling, she loves to connect with locals using her language skills to learn about new cultures. Look for her skiing, hiking in the mountains, or exploring new destinations as she designs travel itineraries for her clients.

NORTH MACEDONIA: Interested in more articles for North Macedonia?
Check out my North Macedonia Travel Page:

ALBANIA: Interested in more articles for Albania?
Check out my Albania Travel Page:

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Trust Gsm Albania

    I read your full article and as an Albanian citizen I am I would like to correct one thing that Albania is safe for tourists even a single lady can walk free without being harrased by native ones but people from other Balkan nations always told to the tourist that Albania is dangerous for foreigners,that is not true

    1. Nicoletta

      Hi there, thanks for your comment. I can only agree with everything you said. I’ve traveled to Albania as a solo woman, and nothing ever happened. Albanian people are very nice, and everything went smoothly. I only mentioned in this article that people have this general perception that Albania is dangerous. Many people told me that as well, and IT’S NOT TRUE :).

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