My eighth day in Albania continued that afternoon in the beautiful city of Pogradec! Come along with me as I enjoy some Albanian koran on Lake Ohrid and visit Pogradec Beach and Drilon National Park in Pogradec, Albania!
My afternoon began on the white sand beach on the shores of crystal-clear Lake Ohrid in Pogradec, Albania. It’s the deepest lake in the Balkans and also borders North Macedonia. A lot of Albanians prefer to come to this lake than to the Adriatic because it’s freshwater. It’s also a sandy freshwater beach, which is rare in Albania. On the other side of the lake in Ohrid, North Macedonia, there is no beach like this. It was summertime, so it was packed!
My boy Erjan from Travel Media EU and I checked out the boardwalk along the beach. There’s a park between the beach and the street, and on the street is a row of restaurants. We were walking to Restaurant The Change. Along the way, I learned that the shops in Pogradecs are part of the main economy. They sell mostly fish, souvenirs, and items for daily life.
At Restaurant The Change, I met the chef and owner, Apostolos, who would be making a lake fish called koran for us. The restaurant is a modern fish restaurant and is considered one of the best in Pogradec. They have a beautiful wooden terrace and the interior feels like you’re on a Greek boat!
In the kitchen, Apostolos made a modernized dakos salad with tomatoes, cucumber, oil, feta cheese, and a hard, Greek-style bread. Then, he made a second salad with spinach, pistachios, berries, raisins, and pomegranates. He also made an eggplant salad and then started on the koran.
At the table, we had all of those plus tzatziki, fritters, zucchini fries. Apostolos also made some koran tartare right in front of our table! He cubed the koran and added ingredients like avocado, mango, olive oil, orange juice, and lemon juice. It looked unreal!
I started with the koran tartare with mayo on the side. The presentation was beautiful and it was so fresh, cold, and crunchy. The mayo didn’t taste like mayo—it was like a creamy, delicious sauce. The perfect tartare!
The zucchini fries were soft, hot, and lightly battered. The spinach and arugula salad was crunchy with a nice, fruity burst from the pomegranate. The pistachios gave it a nice nutty flavor. A nice summer salad! The dakos salad’s bread wasn’t as hard as it usually is because it had soaked up the oil. I lived it! The zucchini fries with the tzatziki was amazing, and the eggplant salad was mushy, fresh, and unbelievably tasty.
The feta phyllo rolls were similar to baklava with sesame seeds and nuts on top. They were so crispy and stuffed with feta. It was a nice balance of crunchy and sweet! We enjoyed some white wine with everything.
Then, it was time for the star of our lunch, the grilled koran with salt, pepper, and lemon. It was beautifully presented and reminded me of a less fatty salmon.
The skin on the koran was super crispy and crunchy. It came directly from the lake, so it was super fresh! Queen Elizabeth had this dish and loved it! I preferred the tartare, but it was still fantastic!
To end our meal, Apostolos served us some of his father’s rakija. From there, we headed to Drilon Beach. On the way back to our car, we saw some people playing foosball. Then, we headed to the beach, where there was a long pier where lots of kids were jumping into the water. There was also a broken water slide. The kids were so carefree. It took me back to my childhood!
Pogradec is a summer city, so everything shuts down during the cold winter months. We drove 5 minutes to Drilon National Park, a beautiful natural area. There’s another, smaller beach along the way and a few restaurants.
In the park, there was a stream and lots of birds. We took a 15-minute boat ride with a captain for 500 lekes/$4.72 USD. You ride down the stream in a circuit. You can also stand on balconies on the shore and feed the ducks. It was so relaxing and peaceful. I even rowed the boat for a while! We passed some farms and restaurants. The air quality was so nice!
What an awesome afternoon exploring Lake Ohrid, Pogradec Beach, and Drilon National Park in Pogradec, Albania! Massive thanks go out to my friends at Travel Media EU, Balkan Pearls Tour Operator, and Rental Car Albania for making this adventure possible. I highly recommend booking with them when you travel to Albania!
I hope you liked coming with me to try Albanian koran and exploring Lake Ohrid and Pogradec, Albania with me! If you did, please give this video a thumbs up and leave a comment below. Also, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and click the notification bell so you don’t miss any of my travel/food adventures around the world!
97 Countries • 1400 Cities
Leave a Reply