Did you know that there is an area of Europe without tourists, affordable, with spectacular beaches, incredible food and a history marked mainly by the influence of the Ottoman Empire? Let us introduce you the Balkans, a mountainous system that extends throughout Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria.
Travelling in the Balkans has become an increasingly demanded option for those seeking unspoilt natural scenery and valuable heritage. For some reason, these countries are not that popular and not many people venture themselves to visit them. However, all of them feature fabulous areas, beautiful beaches and top attraction that suits to everyone. Are you ready to start a new adventure? Join us on this new adventure and discover a whole new world while travelling in the Balkans.
Travelling in the Balkans
Lake Bled is one of the most famous lakes not only in the Balkans also throughout Europe. The blue waters on which the island of Bled peacefully floats with its church dedicated to the Assumption of Mary in contrast to the green mountains in the background give as result one of the most incredible landscapes of this world. Another imposing image is the Bled Castle, a construction of the Middle Ages on the shores of the lake.
Plitvice Lakes National Park
This park is a must visit if you are in Croatia: it’s a complex of lakes and waterfalls that seem almost drawn from a fairy tale. It’s very close to Zagreb, the capital city, so you can go on an excursion to spend the day.
Rovinj is an ancient Croatian city on the Istrian Peninsula with hundreds of years of history related to Italy in one form or another, whether under the rule of Ravenna or the Republic of Venice. That’s why it has such an Italian vibe and its landscapes look like those of the Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast. With its marina full of white boats and colourful buildings, it’s one of the most beautiful port cities on the Adriatic Sea coast.
Split is a beautiful Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea with a vast Roman history and amazing views. The two must-sees of Split are Diocletian’s Palace, an old marble and stone mansion built to serve as a resting place for that Roman emperor, and Marjan Forest Park, a large green park perfect for a lovely stroll. Certainly, Split is one of the most beautiful areas in the Balkans.
Mostar is the most visited city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and for good reason: it’s the most beautiful city in the country. The town boasts an oriental vibe as well as beautiful remnants from the Ottomans. Mostar was a very important city during the war between Bosnia and Croatia, and the historic bridge that stood for hundreds of years was destroyed in only a few days by the Croats in an attack specifically directed at the cultural identity of the Bosnians. Over time the city recovered all its essence and erected a replica of its beautiful bridge. Nowadays, Mostar has become one of the most brilliant jewels of the Balkans.
Recently it has become a victim of mass tourism, but that does not mean that it’s a city to be overlooked. On the contrary: Dubrovnik was called by Lord Byron the pearl of the Adriatic and its influx of visitors confirms the reason for the nickname. People come from all over the world to see this magnificent walled city of white stones shining in the summer sun and one of the best beaches in Croatia as a backdrop. Dubrovnik was also the scenario of a large number of episodes of the world-famous TV series Game of Thrones.
Located in south-central Albania, Berat is half-city, half-open-air museum. The Ottoman villas that look like eyes from the hills gave it its nickname “The city of a thousand windows”. In addition, there are many other historical sites such as mosques, churches, remnants of walls and entire neighbourhoods that can be seen and traversed to get a better idea of how this area used to be the rule of the Ottoman Empire.
Finally, the best way to finish this fabulous post is with one of the most beautiful cities of Kosovo, Prizren. Prizren has a marked Ottoman influence that is present in every area: it’s dominated by cobbled streets, wooden houses, engraved stone walls, mosques with soft carpets and water fountains in every corner. This city has a lively atmosphere and has a large number of restaurants and pubs. The last days of June are the best time to visit Prizren.
Here our post with the most beautiful cities for travelling in the Balkans. Have you ever been to any of these areas? Comment!