When you think about a vacation in Europe, Balkans might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But not considering this beautiful region would be a big mistake. It has everything you need, the beautiful Croatian coastline, famous Slovenian mountains, amazing Serbian music festivals and so, so much more.
There is definitely no lack of reasons for spending the summer in the Balkans, but in case you are still uncertain whether or not that should be your next destination we have created a list of incentives to help you decide and to ensure that you have an unforgettable summer.
Explore the stunning Croatian coastline
Numerous idyllic islands, beautiful beaches and picturesque historic ports glistening with the cool, clean waters of the Adriatic make up the Croatian coastline. For years this magical location has remained off the tourist track, but in recent years it has become the go-to destination for amazing summer vacation.
Summer on the Croatian seaside includes many delights. You can stay in one place or yacht from island to island. Starting with the amazing Opatija with its annual average of 2,230 hours sunshine and high-mineral seawater, it has been the go-to destination for numerous aristocrats and royals. And if you decide to explore some of the neighboring villages you are bound to find some of the best seafood restaurants on the Adriatic coastline.
Another must-visit is the grand city of Dubrovnik. Ever since it was the filming location for the HBO hit series Game of Thrones it has attracted a large number of tourists and celebrities. Once there you’ll get to walk the stone steps, enjoy amazing sunsets and experience the city as it was centuries ago.
A festival goer? Serbia is the place to visit
If you prefer to spend your summer on amazing music festivals, soaking in great tunes and positive energy. Visiting Serbia is a must. There is something for everyone and depending on your music taste you can easily choose the festival or festivals you want to visit. And while there, make sure you enjoy the local cuisine and very affordable, yet quality drink selection.
The first on the festival list is the famous Exit festival. Heald on a 17th century Petrovaradin Fortress, it has become one of the leading European music festivals. Every July, Exit attracts tens of thousands of young festival-goers with its diverse music options, a large number of stages and an unforgettable itinerary.
Another option, for those who want to experience a bit more authentic Balkan music scene, is the renowned trumpet festival that takes place in Guča, a village in Serbia. For the few days of the festival, this small village transforms into a never-ending celebration. With great food, strong drinks and the continual sound of trumpets. It is a sight to behold and you will definitely not go home disappointed.
Perhaps you’d prefer summer in the mountains. Slovenia has got you covered
If you prefer to spend your summer exploring amazing mountainsides, swimming in crystal lakes and hiking through some of the most untouched forests in Europe. Slovenia is the place to visit. Tucked into a mountainous corner, between Austria, Italy, and the Adriatic Sea, this little country has a lot to offer.
From the majestic Julian Alps with their glacial valleys, clean and sparkling rivers to numerous clear and cool lakes and Instagram-worthy waterfalls. Not to mention that there is an absolute abundance of deep forests and mysterious caves along with some fascinating medieval towns and beautiful castles. You won’t be lacking in adventure opportunities in Slovenia.
The one location you simply can’t afford to miss is the magical Lake Bled. It is the crown jewel of Slovenian lakes and can make for an idyllic vacation location. Starting with the absolutely stunning scenery, weather conditions that are quite reliable so that you can plan ahead, and all the way to the thermal lake water and quality accommodation options. The best part is that you get to see the famous island in the middle of the lake with its baroque church.
Just a few final thoughts…
You must be already packing for the Balkans. But in all honesty, all of this is just a tiny piece of what expects you there. A lot of travelers have stated that the hospitality of the people in this region is unmatched. Whichever country or counties you chose to visit in the Balkans, your hosts will make you feel at home.
There is so much more to explore, from the beautiful wilderness of Bosnia and Herzegovina all the way to the ancient Greek digs and temples. Plan your trip wisely, you don’t want to miss a beat, and one thing is for sure, the Balkans will steal your heart and you will keep returning to this majestic region of Europe.