The Balkans (or the Balkan Peninsula), is an area of southeastern Europe with a long disputed history. Today it is a beautiful tourist area, and the region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch from the Serbian/Bulgarian border all the way to the Black Sea.
The area of the Balkans comprises Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia. It has always been a popular tourist destination and in 2017, Vogue, Condé Nast, Travelzoo, and a many other leading travel brands declared Eastern Europe the destination of 2017.
In this post we’ll tell you about the 10 most popular places to visit on your vacation to the Balkans.
1. Lakes of Bled and Bohinj, Sloveni
The Lakes of Bled and Bohinj in the Slovenian Alps are simply amazing and make a favorite mountain resort for travelers from all over the world. They’re only a short two hour drive from Croatia’s capital (Zagreb), making Bled and Bohinj a perfect day trip destination.
2. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
The Plitvice Lakes National Park is a UNESCO protected attraction in the mountains near Croatia. The area consists of 16 spectacular green and blue lakes, often lovingly called “the sixteen silver stairs”. The Plitvice Lakes are truly one of Croatia’s most wonderful natural attractions.
3. Island of Hvar, Croatia
The Island of Hvar is becoming more and more popular every year, largely because of its beautiful location and sunny days. It has one of best old town centers in Europe, churches and narrow cobbled streets.
4. Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia
Dubrovnik is famously known for its ancient Medieval walls and its stunning UNESCO protected old town. Dubrovnik is a modern city now with luxury hotels, fantastic views and top class restaurants.
5. Diocletian’s Palace in Split, Croatia
The Roman Emperor Diocletian built his retirement palace in Split in the beginning of the 4th century. The palace is located in the centre of the city of Split, right on the Croatian coast.
6. Kotor Old Town/ Montenegro
Kotor is located in the beautiful Gulf of Kotor on the coast of Montenegro. The main tourist attraction is the Medieval walls that were built when the Venetians ruled the city. The old town has many narrow streets and historic sights to explore.
7. Skadar Lake, Montenegro
Skadar Lake sits on the border between Albania and Montenegro. Not many people know but it is the largest lake in the Balkan Peninsula. Its also a large bird sanctuary, so that makes Skadar Lake perfect birdwatching, biking and watersports.
8. Roman Amphitheatre in Pula, Croatia
The Roman Amphitheatre in Pula in Croatia is one of the best-preserved buildings of its type in the world, rivalling the Colosseum in Rome. It was built in the 1st century AD and is commonly referred to as the Arena of Pula. Today the Amphitheatre hosts classical concerts and popular music festivals take place here.
9. Mostar Old Town, Bosnia & Herzegovina
The Mostar Old Bridge was built in the 16th century by the Ottomans. The Old Town is an eclectic mixture of western and eastern heritage, full of beautiful street bazaars and mosques.
10. Trakošćan Castle, Croatia
This spectacular castle is located in the North of Croatia, and is built on a hill surrounded by a large lake. It was built in the 13th century and extensively restored in the 19th century. Trakošćan Castle is by far the most spectacular castle in Croatia, rivalling the world’s best.