The Balkan Peninsula is home to some of the most enchanting and beautiful places in Europe. From the Adriatic coast to the wilds of the Dinaric Alps, this European region is a real surprise. It is our opinion that everyone should visit as soon as possible; it’s only a matter of time before everyone finds out how beautiful it is. If you are planning to visit this region, read our list of seven great trips to take in the gorgeous Balkan Peninsula.
Zagreb may be Croatia’s capital city and Dubrovnik its most famous and touristy town, but the true gem of this enchanting Balkan country is Split. Located on the Adriatic shore, Split is a must-see place for everyone who travels to Croatia. Here you can admire beautiful coastal panoramas and, at the same time, ancient ruins that are situated just a few steps from the sea. Split was once used as a port for explorers who were combing the nearby Dalmatian islands. Today, it is pretty quiet, but it is a destination worthy of spending at least one weekend.
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
One of the most famous towns of the Balkan Peninsula is Sarajevo, and it is a place that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. Considered as the gate between East and West, the town has an eclectic mix of influences, ethnic groups and religions. Sarajevo should be seen not just for its beauty and history, but also because it is the perfect place to organize interesting day-trips. From the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, you can easily reach the historical town of Mostar, the lovely hamlet of Blagaj or spend a day relaxing at the beach in the coastal town of Neum.
Bay of Kotor, Montenegro
Prepare to fall in love with Montenegro. This small Balkan country is home to some of the most beautiful places you will see in your life, such as the Bay of Kotor, a gorgeous bay that starts in the medieval town of Kotor and ends near the Croatian border. Kotor is surrounded by majestic mountains and is down right magical. The Bay of Kotor has a handsome collection of ancient hamlets, such as Tivat, Perast and Herceg Novi that are worth exploring.
Albanian Riviera, Albania
If you love wild coasts, lovely hamlets, high mountains and pristine beaches, there is only one place to visit: the Albanian Riviera. This gorgeous area of Albania starts from the Llogara pass (a mountain pass 30 minutes by car from the town of Vlora), and ends at Ksamil beach, also called the Ionian pearl because of its beauty. From Dhermi to Borsh, from Jale to Lukove, the Albanian Riviera is packed with terrific beaches that rival the beauty of other famous coasts around the Mediterranean Sea.
When people think about Bulgaria, the capital city Sofia often comes to mind. However, the country has other beautiful places that are worth a look, such as Plovdiv, which is considered to be the cultural hub of the nation. The main landmark of the city is a second century Roman amphitheater that is one of the most photogenic places in Plovdiv. It was discovered in 1968 by accident during the construction of a tunnel through the mountain? Bulgaria is a country full of surprises.
Macedonia is one of the least visited countries in the Balkan Peninsula, compared to its more famous neighbors like Croatia and Montenegro, but it has every charm that they possess. If you have time to see just one place in the country, let it be Ohrid. The town is located near the oldest and deepest lake in Europe, Lake Ohrid. If that wasn’t enough to make it worthy of a visit, its beauty, history and Ottoman-era architecture earned it a spot on the UNESCO Heritage Site list.
Rugova Canyon, Kosovo
Kosovo is rarely on the list of Top Destinations to see in the Balkans, and that’s sad because this small Balkan country has a lot to offer visitors. The most beautiful area of Kosovo is situated near the Montenegrin border. Start your journey in the town of Peja, just one hour by car from the capital city Pristina. Tour the town and stock up on supplies before embarking on your journey trough the terrific Rugova Canyon and surrounding mountains.