Dreaming of the Balkans

It wasn’t too long ago that the Balkans were known, above all, for their political unrest.  But in the past twenty years or so, the region has gone from a conflict-torn area to one of Europe’s greatest travel destinations. With a month to travel at the end of the school year, I’ve decided to spend that time exploring the beautiful Balkans, a brand new part of the world for me. Luckily, I’ve been able to find at least one friend who will join me on this journey, and it’s starting to come together as a truly epic adventure. Though the trip is still over four months away, I can’t help but dream of how fantastic it will be, so I’ve compiled some photos of the stunning locations I hope to visit.

Zagreb, Croatia (photo credit)

Lubljana, Slovenia (photo credit)

Bled, Slovenia (photo credit)

Plitvice, Croatia (photo credit)

Dubrovnik, Croatia (photo credit)

Kotor, Montenegro (photo credit)

Berat, Albania (photo credit

Athens, Greece (photo credit)

Mykonos, Greece (photo credit)

Santorini, Greece (photo credit)

Meteora, Greece (photo credit)

Ohrid, Macedonia (photo credit)

Sofia, Bulgaria. Wait, what?! (photo credit)

Bucharest, Romania (photo credit)

Have you been to the Balkans? Our travel plans aren’t fully laid out yet, so recommendations for cities (particularly in Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Romania), countries, and sights within those would be highly appreciated! What spots on the Balkans can I absolutely not miss?

10 Responses

  1. The Balkans is up-and-coming. When I went to Croatia four years ago, there were hostels just opening up (try and hit Split and Hvar if you can!). Same with Romania, now that it’s in the EU. Just be aware that road conditions are deceiving when measuring distances, though I would totes skip Bucharest and explore some of Romania outside the city – Brasov, Sighisoara, Maramures. Rent a car here, for sure!

  2. Gammy says:

    How beautiful! You are going to love this adventure! I’ve never been there, so I will enjoy it “with you”! I love you!

  3. Katherine says:

    A friend of mine did a month-long bike trip through Croatia last spring, and from the beautiful pictures she took, I was insanely jealous! It sounds like you are also planning a fantastic itinerary 🙂

  4. I found it very easy to travel around some of these countries by train 2 years ago? I could have stayed in Split for longer, beautiful, don’t miss Ljubiana and Bled. Brasov in Romania so easy to visit the castles. I found Sarajevo and Mostar very moving because there is so much evidence of the fighting in the 1990s.

    • We wound up using a combination of trains and buses and really enjoyed it! I only got to pass through Bosnia quickly, but I’d love to return to the region and see Sarajevo and Mostar.

  5. I’ve been to Dubrovnik (awesome) and Greece (does that even count as the Balkans?). Both great places for a journey. Santorini is possibly the most otherworldly beautiful place on Earth!

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