We hate to say this, however many Individuals have no idea what or the place the Balkans are. The area takes its identify from the Balkan Mountains that stretch all through the entire of Bulgaria. The Balkan Peninsula is bordered by the Adriatic Sea within the northwest, the Ionian Sea within the southwest, the Aegean Sea within the south, the Turkish Straits within the east, and the Black Sea within the northeast. The idea of the Balkan Peninsula was created by the German geographer August Zeune in 1808 and is a melting pot of various cultures, ethnicities, languages and creeds. So now that you understand roughly the place the Balkan Peninsula is, what’s there to do within the Balkans?
The easiest way to discover this area is to cowl just a few elements at a time on a number of journeys or take a complete month to cease in as many nations as potential, making an attempt not solely to go to the capitals but additionally probably the most fascinating and hidden locations in every nation.
To stipulate a protracted journey within the Balkan nations, we’ve amassed a sequence of strategies that will let you uncover many incredible locations scattered within the numerous nations of the area. It focuses on probably the most attention-grabbing locations scattered between Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Slovenia.
Small however filled with sights between historical past and nature, Slovenia boasts quite a few websites protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Website.
Imposing mountains, historic cities, medieval castles, historic church buildings and a spectacular coast are concentrated in a small geographical space.
The stops to not be missed when visiting are the capital Ljubljana, the coastal metropolis of Piran, the Caves of San Canziano, Lake Bled full with a Gothic fortress inserted in a spectacular setting of snow-capped mountains and the Triglav Nationwide Park. Additionally price seeing are the Idrija Mercury Mine, the Sečovlje Salt Pans Nature Park, Lake Bohinj and the Postojna Cave.
Because of its enchanting pure landscapes, Croatia is likely one of the most sought-after locations by European vacationers recognized for the clear water and wild seashores of the Dalmatian coast, pristine islands and historic cities such because the capital Zagreb.
A various nation that ranges from- the Istrian coast to the mountainous hinterland of the Dinaric Mountains with rocky gorges, dense forests and lakes. Consequently, there are quite a few locations to go to in Croatia, from the Plitvice Nationwide Park in Cut up with its historic Diocletian Palace, a Unesco World Heritage Website, to the Krka Nationwide Park, in Rovinj, as much as the islands of Hvar, Brač and Korčula.
Spectacular Dubrovnik deserves a separate point out with its historic buildings, the enchanting seashores of Orebic, Cava and Lapad and the breathtaking views. The outdated metropolis and the good partitions that encompass it are a UNESCO World Heritage Website.
BOSNIA – HERZEGOVINA
Within the variegated socio-cultural context of the nations that make up the Balkan area, Bosnia-Herzegovina has the primacy of internet hosting quite a few ethnic minorities, appearing as a real crossroads of cultures and religions.
Its city landscapes are characterised by church buildings and minarets, whereas the pure ones are wealthy in mountains such because the Dinaric Alps, nationwide parks akin to Una and historic cities, akin to Stolac, the place kinds and cultures of historic dominations combine. The important levels of the journey are the cities of Mostar, Sarajevo and Travnik, a former Ottoman capital surrounded by castles and mosques.
Additionally price seeing is the small Trebinje and the well-known sanctuary of Medjugorje.
Montenegro can boast a few of the most scenic pure landscapes within the Balkan area with hills overlooking the ocean, sandy seashores, rugged mountains, canyons akin to Tara, historic villages akin to Kotor and lakes within the woods akin to Shkodra surrounded by nature. Its coastal cities, akin to Budva, are additionally incredible, which mix supreme seashores for bathers and a medieval historic centre of nice allure.
A good looking expertise to cross and uncover the territory of Montenegro is represented by the Balkan Specific practice, which is likely one of the most stunning railway routes in Europe. It reaches the lengthy seashores of Bar, a picturesque city the place the numerous historic fortresses overlook the Adriatic coast. Additionally to not be missed are the pink sand seashore of Stevi Stefan.
One of many oldest areas within the coronary heart of the Balkans is Albania with its centuries-old historical past testified by quite a few castles and archaeological websites, akin to Shkodër, the cultural capital of the nation or Durres with the most important amphitheater within the Balkans or Kruja, a scenic outdated city. However in Albania, there are additionally coastal landscapes of uncommon magnificence.
The Albanian Riviera boasts rolling hills and wild seashores surrounded by untouched nature such because the Llogara move, the Llogara nationwide park, the Gjipe canyon and seashore, the archaeological website and the Butrint nationwide park. To not be missed are the cities of Berat and the stone metropolis of Gjirokastra, the Nationwide Park of Theth or the turquoise coast in entrance of the village of Dhermi.
Bulgaria is likely one of the largest and oldest nations within the Balkan area, with a big presence of great historic websites such because the rock-hewn church buildings of Ivanovo and interesting and various pure landscapes starting from giant nationwide parks akin to Central Balkan and Pirin to the seven Rila lakes.
The capital Sofia preserves its multicultural heritage with music, conventional dance, costumes and crafts hidden within the city material of nice architectural worth. The traditional metropolis of Nessebar stands on a steep peninsula with a historic heart filled with church buildings separating squares and cobbled streets, whereas the Rila Monastery is the most important and most historic within the nation.
REPUBLIC OF NORTH MACEDONIA
The Republic of North Macedonia doesn’t coincide with the territories of the historic area of Macedonia however extends over a smaller territory with a predominantly mountainous and landlocked character. Its harsh and wild nature is dotted with valleys, reserves such because the Mavrovo Nationwide Park, Canyons akin to Matka and enormous lakes such because the crystal clear one in every of Ohrid, Orchid Lake with the Sveti Naum monastery or Prespa lake with the suggestive snake island.
The capital Skopje has a really historic historical past testified by archaeological websites such because the Skopje Aqueduct and Scupi, and Ottman constructions, particularly the Outdated Bazaar and the Mustapha Pasha Mosque.
To not be missed is the charming village of Ohrid, with its church buildings and monasteries named a UNESCO World Heritage Website.
Our Closing Phrase
All through social media, we see many entries about Croatia, however not many concerning the different Balkan nations. Every have their very own personalities, magnificence and allure. We desire to lease a automobile in Italy and drive many of the approach, taking trains the place it is sensible. The Balkans have every little thing you could possibly need on a vacation: stunning seashores and landscapes, historic and historic cities, unimaginable nationwide parks and pleasant and welcoming individuals. When pondering of your subsequent European vacation, consider the Balkan area. You’ll not be disenchanted.