“Sharra” cross-border region

The Sharra cross border region is positioned in the center of the Balkan Peninsula, occupying territories belonging to Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo*. The name Sharra of the cross-border region derives from the Sharra Mountain – a largely undiscovered gem for most visitors and a cherished dwelling place for local inhabitants. The Sharra cross-border region, homogenous in natural, cultural and Socio-economic characteristics, includes two Municipalities from Macedonia – Jegunovce and Tearce, three from Kosovo* – Dragash, Strpce and Prizren, and the district of Kukes in Albania.

The mountainous area of Sharra region elevates from 300m above sea level to 2,764m at the highest peak. The Sharra region distinguishes itself by its high-mountains, eco systems, genetic resources, local endemism, and more than 2000 species of indigenous flora and fauna. The flora includes high-altitude forest-belts of oak, beech and spruce, and the fauna includes rare species of birds, bears, wolf, lynx, wild rabbit and fox. The first impression of visitors to the Sharra region, is unquestionable the picturesque landscape, the almost snowy Sharra Mountain standing proud and glorious, the attractive valleys clothed in forest and pasture, the river and glacial lakes diverse and beautiful.

Rich historical and cultural setting and changing influences over centuries have left a trace on the region’s architecture. Architecture from the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman eras can be seen alongside that of more modern times. Ancient fortresses, mosques, churches, tekkes and traditional houses make up this rich architectural mosaic. The region is well known for the famous crafts works and old masters who have produced unique Works of art for centuries – filigran craftsmen, sewers, patternmakers, silver workers, blacksmiths and leatherworkers who are proud of their skill that dates back to prehistory.

Given its cultural and ethnic diversity, the cuisine of the Sharra region is rich mixture of similar variety. Influences from Turkish, Albanian, Macedonian, Serbian and Greek food preparation are evident all over the area. The Sharra region in general is traditionally known for its high quality and delicious lamb meat and cheeses: soft white cheese (sirenje), yellow cheese (kashkaval) produced from sheep and cow milk. The region’s cuisine is also noted for the diversity and quality of its other dairy products, for wines and the rakija – local alcoholic beverage – a kind of brandy produced from locally grown grape, pear and plum.

The Sharra region is abundant in natural resources that provide excellent conditions for agricultural and livestock development. Fertile land and diverse hydrographical characteristics makes the area highly suitable for cultivating various agricultural crops. Farming is the most important employer for the rural population of the region.

Tourism plays an important role on regional and local development nowadays, due to the region’s beautiful nature and rich cultural and historical heritage, accompanied with numerous activities that enable exploring the area such as hiking, skiing, hunting, cycling and many others.

*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence