The Balkan is a place known for the rich history and an extraordinary mix of cultures and religions. Situated in south-east Europe and named after a chain of mountains it is really an unexplored gem for travelers. Over thousands of years, it was an important area for business, religion and many important battles that have been fought for its control. Since it connected the Mediterranean with central Europe and was one of the major transit lines connecting Europe with Asia many civilizations and empires have ruled over it and left their trace. These different influences can be felt mostly in culture, music, food, and customs of the local people. Be it orthodox chants, ottoman saz music, Jewish melodies, Austrian desserts or Mediterranean wine you will find everything in the Balkans. If you are interested in Balkan travel this blog is perfect for you.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a long name for a small country. Situated in the heart of Balkans it can be seen as the small condensed version of the whole region since it is known as a meeting place of Islam, Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity, and Judaism. The whole region is mountainous this country is no different. A chain of Dinaric Alps runs through the middle separating Bosnia in the north from Herzegovina in the south. Nature is the first thing that captures your attention. Mountains, lakes, and rivers provide plenty of possibilities to explore and enjoy this country.
The most popular place in Bosnia is the capital, Sarajevo. Known for its beauty and exquisite blend of influences it is widely known for many historic events that have shaped the lives of both the locals and the people around the world.
Having an unusual shape and a very long coastline Croatia is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Balkans. With its long coast and over seven hundred islands and reefs, it attracts tourists from all around the world.
Probably the most visited destination in this country is Dubrovnik. It is an ancient city republic that was thriving in the age of renaissance. It was well advanced for that historical period pioneering many advancements in diplomacy, trade etc. The city walls still stand and many movies and series have been using it as a setting for their plots including the world popular Game of Thrones series.
The Republic of Serbia is partly located in southeast Europe and partly in central Europe. It shares borders with Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Albania, and Montenegro. Serbia’s northern autonomous province– Vojvodina with its capital city – Novi Sad is mostly considered to be located in central Europe. The capital of Serbia is Belgrade, one of the most populous cities in the region. Flowing through Belgrade and most of northern Serbia the river Danube is a great potential for tourism. It is navigable and connects Belgrade with many other big European cities.
Medieval monasteries are this country’s proudest heritage. Most of the population is Christian orthodox and the currency in use is the dinar.
Monte Negro simply means black mountain in old Venetian. The name was in use since the 13th century and for the Montenegrins, the name is Crna Gora which has the same meaning. Like the rest of the Balkan countries, it was conquered by the ottomans in the 15th century but contained a level of autonomy and was ruled by prince bishops (vladika) for centuries as a theocracy.
Since in the south Monte Negro has access to the Adriatic sea this where you will find some of the most interesting places to visit. From the bay of Kotor down to the Skadar lake, which Monte Negro shares with Albania, this Mediterranean jewel won’t let you forget the Balkans.
This Balkan country recently underwent a name change. Before being Northern Macedonia its official name was the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia but for most of the Balkans, it is simply called Macedonia. The cities to visit are definitely Skopje, the capital, and Ohrid famous for being an open museum with a very important history.