Although the exact definition of ‘Balkan’ states is the subject of many arguments between scholars, what isn’t to be disagreed upon is the breath-taking nature of the region and the wonderful opportunities presented by holidays in the Balkans.
While some believe the Balkans to comprise 11 nations in their entirety, others say the region also takes in parts of other countries too, stretching even as far as areas of Greece, Turkey and Slovenia.
Either way, the Balkans is generally accepted as incorporating several countries within central and Eastern Europe, many of which formed part of the old Yugoslavia, including North Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.
Already, you can tell Balkans holidays are guaranteed to be dreamy.
Whether you’re looking for gorgeous scenery, relaxing beach getaways, cultural city breaks, active adventures or simply wanting to sample sumptuous food, there will be plenty of options across the Balkan Peninsula.
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Solvenia’s Lake Bled is the perfect spot to incorporate several of the above options. Nestled at the foot of the breath-taking Alps, the whole landscape wouldn’t be out of place in a fairy tale. In the middle of the lake sits an island and a church, where it’s not unusual to see weddings. So, if you’re looking for inspiration – or looking to drop a hint – this could be the perfect spot for couples’ holidays in the Balkans.
Another beauty spot can be enjoyed at the stunning Plitvice Lakes in Croatia. The National Park is a huge forest reserve in the heart of the country, boasting 16 lakes, waterfalls, caves and hiking trails and is an incredibly popular destination, particularly in the summer months.
In neighbouring Montenegro, Durmitor National Park is a real-life Hollywood scene. Mountains, lakes, forests and gorges present an adventure playground for canoeing, skiing, hiking and whatever else takes your fancy – within reason. Tara River Canyon is especially impressive.
For city breaks in the Balkans, the world (well, 11 or possibly 14 countries) is your oyster. From the cultural Albanian capital Tirana, to the laid-back Ljubljana in Slovenia and the nightlife of modern Sofia in Bulgaria, there’s something to capture all imaginations.
Right across the Balkans, there’s an incredible amount of natural and man-made beauty to explore and be in awe of, so if none of the above floats your boat, there’s still fairy tale castles (and creepy castles too), wildlife, delicious food and drink, quaint medieval towns and villages, and an abundance of history waiting to be uncovered.
And beach holidays in the Balkans have stayed relatively under the radar too, despite the growing popularity of the region as a getaway spot. While it goes without saying that Croatia’s Adriatic coastline is idyllic – not to mention islands such as beautiful Brac – and Bulgaria’s coastal party resorts have attracted young revelers for several years, the beaches of Albania, Romania and Montenegro remain something of a hidden gem.
The golden sands of Mamaia in Romania are said to be the ‘Saint Tropez of the East’, while Ksamil Beach in the south of Albania, just a stone’s throw from Corfu, is the country’s crème de la crème of beaches.
From fairy tale castles to beautiful sun-kissed beaches, The Balkans are a cocktail of beauty & culture
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