Legendary castles, white beaches, monasteries with an ambiance of peace and solitude, seaside resorts and astonishing centuries-old culture is just a few of the many things that the Balkan Peninsula can offer. Additionally, the deep green forests and the diverse, but sometimes troubled history, give a wide choice of opportunities for every traveler.
Are you wondering where to go and what to do? Then check out these great places we recommend.
• Lake Bled, Slovenia
Coming out of the surrounding Alps, Lake Bled is the Slovenian gemstone which has become one of the country's main landmarks. Visitors are amazed by the castle which offers outdoor terrace dining and the indoor seating which has large windows framing Lake Bled.
There are traditional high-quality Slovene dishes and for those with a sweet tooth – Bled Cream Cake is something you should try before leaving.
In the middle of the lake, there is a picturesque church on an island. From the wooden boathouses, you can rent a boat to get there, where you are most likely to see a wedding. According to their traditions, the groom has to bring the bride up the stairs, so they can ring the church bell and then make a wish.
• Blagaj Tekke, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
If you want your experience to be all the more special, visit the Blagaj Tekke by night when you will be able to enjoy the seclusion and the opportunity of deep reflection.
Only 12 km from Mostar, this mystical place is located on the wellspring of the Buna river. It was built to host gatherings of the Sufi Brotherhood. Bagaj Tekke is considered as the holiest and most ancient site in Bosnia and Herzegovina where the only condition to go inside is to take off your shoes and to put a cloth over your head (only for women). After a walk through the dervish home, you can quietly have a drink and enjoy the noise and color of the tireless blue-green waters.
• Balchik, Bulgaria
Created more than 2600 years ago, Balchik is one of the most ancient European cities. Today the ancient town is a preferred seaside resort by many locals and tourists as well. It has great SPAs for just chilling out with friends, family or your better half.
This town provides its visitors with spectacular beaches, colorful alleys, museums, camping spots, though as the most stunning would be the Palace of Balchik.
If you happen to go there, take a stroll through the labyrinths of stone stairs, magnificent vegetation and a marvelous waterfall. Also, climb on the palace’s terrace from where you can admire the beautiful seashore and the romantic and unique town.
• Durmitor National Park, Montenegro
While much of Montenegro is covered with mountains, Durmitor is the center of mountain tourism in the country, whether for skiing or just enjoying the views. Part of the park that can be considered is the Tara River Canyon, the second largest in the world after the Grand Canyon.
You can also go rafting and although the water might not be the fastest, the views going through the canyon make it worthwhile. There are many great little restaurants that offer delicious food and during summer some places light a crackling log-fire – a perfect way to spend your evening after a long day exploring.
Numerous lakes are reflected in the landscape, and in the autumn the whole park lights up with the changing colors of the leaves.
• Split, Croatia
This city is the perfect combination of natural and artificial beauty. In the year 305, Roman emperor Diocletian chose Split as his retirement home, building a palace that is now just part of the historical city center. This ancient structure complex is rather well-preserved and offers interesting outside views of its buildings.
There is plenty of shopping to be done and museums to tour too. Or you can just stay in front of the Palace and join the locals in slowly drinking cocktails while enjoying the gentle breeze.
Your sightseeing options vary, yet are equally beautiful. You can ride along Riva by the coast, climb one of the neighboring hills to see the city or simply relax on the beach.