The beaches in Albania are the best in Europe, which is why heading to the Albanian Riviera is a must in the Balkans. Albania is still largely unexplored, which means the beaches are well kept and you’ll have them (almost) all to yourself. The Albanian Riviera is best explored by car, although it is possible to take local transportation between the larger towns.
Take a cooking class
One of my favourite things to do when I travel is taking a cooking class. It’s the perfect way to really get to know the culture, people and history. Luckily for all us foodies, the Balkans have an amazing cuisine. Of course, the food differs from country to country, but much of the flavours and ingredients are the same.
Watch the sunrise at Lake Bled, Slovenia
Lake Bled is one of the most magical places you’ll ever visit. It’s located just an hour from the capital Ljubljana, and it’s one of those places that are way better in real life than in the photos. In the middle of the lake, there’s an island with a small church, and the lake even has its own fairy tale castle.
Experience the real Narnia in Soca Valley, Slovenia
Another magnificent and absolute must-see in Slovenia is Soca Valley. It’s located in the Western part of the country, and was one of the highlights of my Slovenia trip. You’ll get the most out of your trip by going through the Vrsic Pass (not open during winter) and head from Bovec down to Kobarid. This is where part of the movie Narnia was filmed.
Explore the majestic Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
Oh, Plitvice. I’ve seen many waterfalls in my life, but this is the most beautiful. What makes Plitvice Lakes special is that there are so many waterfalls. It’s a whole park that you can spend days exploring, and each waterfall is prettier than the last. Do yourself a favor and visit. It’s really stunning.
Look for Game of Thrones sites in Croatia
Any fellow Game of Thrones fans here? Well, you’re in luck, because you’ll find lots of them in Split and Dubrovnik. You know Kings Landing, right. That’s the real-life Dubrovnik, where you’ll find anything from the Great city walls to the Jesuit staircase with Cersei’s infamous Walk of Shame. Find photos of all the Dubrovnik Game of Thrones sites here.
Relax at Lake Ohrid, Macedonia
Looking for a quiet place to spend the weekend? Look no further than Lake Ohrid in North Macedonia. It’s easy to get here. Just get on a plane to Skopje, take a bus or rent a car (2.5 hours) to Lake Ohrid, and you’re there. It’s such a lovely lake with a beautiful town and historic monasteries right at your doorstep.
Visit the quaint Mostar in Bosnia
Mostar is the most popular place in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The thing that makes Mostar unique is the beautiful Stari Most bridge and medieval town. It’s like a fairy tale with its high minarets, street art and wonderful views. And the food. Oh, don’t get me started.
Watch the amazing landscape in Montenegro
Montenegro is spectacular for one main reason: the landscape. While it’s a good idea to base yourself in the historic town of Kotor, you can easily explore the rest of Montenegro from there. The main sights include Lovcen national park, Ostrog monastery and Durmitor National Park. The latter was my favorite. Read my posts about the 10 best things to do in Montenegro.
Go vampire hunting in Transylvania
If not for Dracula, what is Romania most known for? Have fun looking for flapping bats in Transylvania, visit Sibiu – the city where the houses have eyes or look for Dracula’s castle (Bran castle). The capital Bucharest is a melting pot of Art Nouveau architecture and green parks, while you’ll find the perfect weekend break in the city of Brasov. Oh, and they also have pretty amazing food in Romania that you should try.