Hey, travel and tourism in Europe has been done to death and when we think of tourism European cities, experienced travellers will immediately mention their top 10 cities in western Europe.
Why? I don’t know, except that most people have “done” Paris, Vienna and maybe even Helsinki, long ago.
How many times have you heard people raving about their experiences in Tirana, Sofia, Skopje or Sarajevo?
Seriously folks, for the vast majority of tourists to Europe, tourism European cities means west, not east or even south, but almost never, south-east.
I’ve been all over Europe, north south, east and west and while I just love Paris, Vienna and all the other northern and western cities, the unexplored east and south countries are so different and have so much to offer.
The culture, history, arts and crafts, the food, architecture and most other things are poles apart from what you will find in any western “developed” countries.
And there’s another great thing – it’s not full of tourists.
Don’t be put off by the Balkan war – that was 20 years ago and by now, the region is pretty much stabilised.
So, let’s be specific, name the countries that should be on your holiday list and then, one at a time, I’m going to give a brief intro on each one.
Brief, because there’s nothing that beats doing your own research.
You have your own likes and dislikes and providing you’re not misled by misconceptions, a new region of unexplored beauty awaits you.
Starting with Wikipedia’s definition of “the Balkans” and from west to east, we would begin in the far north western corner in the Comune di Trieste which is a part of Italy; east is Ljubljana, Slovenia; Zagreb, Croatia; Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Belgrade, Serbia; then Sofia, Bulgaria.
From Sofia we would return westerly through Skopje, Macedonia; Prishtine, Kosovo; Podgorica, Montenegro.
Finally, south via Tirane, Albania to Athens, Greece. There’s your 11.
Now that you’ve got the picture of the inverted triangle that comprises the Balkan Peninsula, you might understand that this entire area is relatively unexplored and for tourism, and largely undeveloped.
In fact, the World Bank lists every one of those countries below the average GDP/PPP (which roughly means “standard of living”) which means that the cost of living and touring is cheaper than anywhere else in Europe. Of the 11 countries, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Greece are the most expensive while Albania and Bosnia would be the cheapest.
4 star hotels for less than $100 a night, some times as low as $50 a night?? Yep.
Go to our Links page to find out about getting there by train and to visit the official web sites of all countries.
Get you Passports ready folks, it’s time to find something different.
Do me a favour and come back here later. With help from our friends there, we’re going to create a small page for each country on what’s what and where.
BTW, remember than we DO earn commissions if you buy anything through us – BUT – all our earning go to our Arasi Foundation for welfare projects.