3 week trip around the Balkans States

The Western Balkans don’t tend to be towards the top of the classic European adventures list, but they really should be and especially so if you’re looking for a 2-3 week adventure.  Whilst the likes of Spain, France and Italy offer the beautiful settings and a similar(ish) geographical area, the Western Balkans offer the variety of 8 different countries, are more compact, less busy and go toe-to-toe with those countries in terms of beaches, dramatic settings and cute old towns.  Examples?  The Havar area has the best beach and boat setting in Europe; Lake Bled and Sveti Stefan must be up there with the most picturesque spots in Europe; Dubrovnik has arguably the best Old Town and city walls in the world; and, in my opinion, Montenegro has the most beautiful coastline in the world.  Don’t believe this?  Give it a go – as I say, one of the best 2-3 week European adventures in Europe

An odd few days making the way across Northern Albania

I spent 3 days passing through Albania on the way from Lake Ohrid in Macedonia to the coast of Montenegro and not sure I’d recommend it as a destination in its own right.  The main reason being that the surrounding countries seem to have so much more to offer.  The coast, whilst nice, cannot compete with the magnificent coastline of Montenegro or the nearby beaches in Greece; the interior is also nice, but it is a cut below the view you get over Lake Ohrid in Macedonia; and Tirana is ok to walk around but you’d never chose it over Sarajevo or the world famous Dubrovnik.  It gets points for sheer randomness, for example the countryside is littered with 170,000 bunkers to help ward off potential invasion, but overall I’d put it down the list when it comes to places to visit in the Balkans

  • If you are keen though on a trip around this part of the world with its stunning castles and old towns, and some of the best coastline in the world all compactly housed within the Western Balkans’ 8 countries, see my 2-3 week itinerary for the highlights and general tips for this part of the world, –3 week trip around the Balkans States