Europe is known for its stunning tourist destinations. Moreover, this precious gem tucked away in Southeast Europe has a lot to offer to every kind of traveler. From beautiful natural scenery, diverse cultures, and rich history to luxurious resorts and restaurants, a trip to the Balkans is sure to give you what you are looking for. So, while you are visiting southeast Europe, specifically the Balkans, here are 10 places you mustn’t miss.
The Pellumbas Cave (Albania)
This archaeological site is located near the village of Pellumbas, which is just 45 minutes from Tirana. From there, you can enjoy a 1-mile walk up the trail that is a sight to behold, with a cascading mountainside and the Erzen River down below. Bring out the adventurer in you while exploring the inside of the dark cave with torches. Enjoy the marvelous stalactites and stalagmites inside the cave. If you are lucky, you can spot bats flying around too. Just remember to wear appropriate shoes and clothes for hiking, as the cave is damp.
If you are a beach lover, this beautiful city in Romania is one that you don’t want to miss. It is located on the shores of the popular Black Sea. This gives you a chance to enjoy the best of the surrounding black sea beaches. The magnificent sunrise over the beautiful sea isn’t only worthy of waking up early, but also picturesque and worth sharing with the world.
Skopje (North Macedonia)
This is the capital of Macedonia, popularly known for its rich history following Roman, Ottoman, and Byzantine rule. If you are a history lover, the historic attractions such as Tvrdina Fortress and the Archaeological Museum of Macedonia will satisfy your curiosity. The city is also known for its best restaurants and food. Enjoy the best beef kebabs and grilled bread as you catch up with people at home. Don’t forget to get one of the best sim-only deals for roaming before traveling. It will save you money on calls, SMS, and data for contacting people at home from international destinations.
The second largest city in Bulgaria and one of the most beautiful cities you will ever visit. Plovdiv is located along the Maritsa River and is built on six hills. One of the popular tourist activities in the city is climbing these hills. You will have the best view of the city from the top of Nebet Tepe or Bunardzik Tepe. If you are up for some entertainment, performances by the Plovdiv Opera at the Ancient Theatre will make your night.
Plitvice Lakes National Park (Croatia)
This park hosts some of the most breathtaking natural landmarks in the country. The scenic beauty of the turquoise-colored lakes is unforgettable, not to mention the amazing waterfalls and the lush greenery that are picturesque. Remember to visit in the low season for you to enjoy the fresh air and get an unobstructed view of these features.
This city lies along the Ljubljana River. It is often ranked as the most beautiful city in Eastern Europe, owing to its fairy-tale beauty. Ljubljana gives travelers a little bit of everything. History and art lovers can get a taste of the city’s artistry and history in the art galleries and museums. For entertainment, the city hosts charming cafes and hip bars that offer the best food, drinks, and an entertaining nightlife.
Durmitor National Park (Montenegro)
This is another stunning natural beauty to see in the Balkans. This park stretches across the Durmitor Mountain Range and east along the Tara River, which is home to Europe’s deepest gorge. This park hosts 48 peaks that go as high as 8,300 feet. There are multiple trails to get you to the top of the plateau. And, if you want to cool off from the hike, there is an ice cave with icy stalagmites and stalactites waiting for you.
This second-largest city in Albania has a good mix of rich history and sandy beaches. The city hosts a huge Roman amphitheater and a 9th-century church. Get to see artifacts drawn from the Greek, Roman, and Hellenistic eras at the Archaeological Museum. If you crave some sand, head to Durres beach for a feel of its unique sand.
Blagaj (Bosnia & Herzegovina)
This little town is less known to tourists as compared to Mostar but is one of the most beautiful spots to visit, especially for a family vacation. The village is surrounded by lush green hills and has mild weather. It is also less crowded, which makes it the perfect destination if you want to escape the busyness of Mostar. One of the most popular places to see is the Blagaj Tekija. This Sufi monastery is built into a cliff.
The Elafonisi beaches, located on Crete Island, are a must-see in the Balkans. The shallow and warm waters make it a perfect destination for kids. Moreover, if you are into water sports, you can enjoy kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, windsurfing, and more. Away from the sand, sun, and water, you can take a hike on path E4 from Paleochora to Elafonisi.
There is so much to see and do when visiting the Balkans. The region boasts some of the most beautiful natural landmarks in Europe, ranging from caves and green hills to beautiful lakes, rivers, and sandy beaches. Before you end your trip to the Balkans, ensure that you explore the above exquisite places for a trip that you will never forget.