“Prespa” cross-border region

Prespa region is situated in the southwest part of the Republic of Macedonia and southeast part of Albania and includes Prespa, Ohrid and Korca valleys. The region borders with Greece on its southeast side. On its southwest side in Albania it shares the boundaries with Gjirokaster County, and shares the boundaries with Berat and Elbasan Counties on the west side, while in Macedonia it borders the Municiplaty of Bitola on the west, the Municiplaty of Struga on the east and the Municiplities of Debarca and Demir Hisar on its north. The region includes two municipalities in Macedonia, Resen and Ohrid, and Korca, Pogradec, Pustec, Devoll and Kolonje in Albania. The region is well connected with the surrounding territories and other destinations around the world. The total number of people living in this area is 328.390 (70.840 in Macedonia and 257.576 in Albania).

The region holds important natural resources, fairly good physical and communal infrastructure and some level of homogeneity of economical, social and other performances.

The Prespa region’s nature is its incontestable value, and its preserved natural wealth, combined with the diversity of flora and fauna with many protected species. Ohrid Lake is positioned at the mountainous border between south western Macedonia and eastern Albania. It is one of Europe’s deepest and oldest lakes, preserving a unique aquatic ecosystem that is of worldwide importance, with more than 200 endemic species. The importance of the lake was further emphasized when it was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1979.The climate in the region varies from continental and Mediterranean in certain parts of the region to mountain climate. The springs are sunny and full of colours, the summers are sunny and pleasant at each spot, autumns are as colourful as the springs and the winters are either white with snow or pleasantly cool.

Rich and long regional history has resulted in immense cultural heritage in the whole Prespa region. Material and intangible cultural heritage and the traditions, specific customs and common festivities characterise the area. This is a place where frescoes from the pre renaissance period can be found and a place where modern artistic expression can be experienced. Traditions that preserve common identity of different communities are best expressed through various festivities in the region.

Regional cuisine is rich in most diverse delicious specialties. Typical gastronomic specialties in the region abundant with waters are mainly fish dishes, as well as its tasty grilled meat and wonderful cheese. It preserves the national specialties like tavce gravce, pindzur, ajvar, turlitava, lakror and many other dishes that combine healthy vegetables and delicious meats.

A combination of diverse types of land in the Prespa region provides for the growth of various plants and animals, and a whole series of products made from the region’s agricultural raw material.

The nucleus of the economic activities in the region has a long tradition on agriculture with special focus on apple production, food processing industry, textile industry, construction industry and tourism. They have been developed to the main characteristics of the area, such as climate, geographic position, history of economy and cooperation and the capacities of human resources.

Tourism is one of the main economy drivers and a growing industry in the Prespa cross-border area. There are more than 500 sites in the region and more than 100 activities that can be enjoyed while spending time in this area. The activities you can undertake here range from atypical summer holidays, to hiking, cycling, paragliding, swimming, food and drink tasting, visiting cultural events and cultural heritage sites, enjoying traditional festivals and events, international festivals like Ohrid Summer Festival, monodrama and poetry festivals, folklore festivals, and many more. The sights tell the stories about rich history of the region and overlapping cultural influences present here, but also speak about immense natural capital and wonderful nature this area hosts.