The Balkan region, located in south-eastern Europe, offers a wealth of potential holiday destinations.
Rich in history, culture, and with a sunny summer climate, there are countless reasons why a holiday to the Balkans could be a great choice for this summer. Cheaper than most of Northern Europe, there is plenty of scope for everything from a quick weekend getaway to a two-week vacation.
If you’d like to visit the area but are undecided on exactly where to go, the following guide will talk you through three must-see waterfront destinations in the Balkans that you should consider.
If you’re up for an adventure, the Dalmatian Islands could be the perfect location for you.
Located south of the Croatian coastline, there are many islands for you to visit and explore, the most famous being Hvar. With beautiful towns to discover, you won’t be short of things to do during your days on these islands. There is also plenty to do in the evenings, with a host of restaurants and lively piazzas to enjoy.
If you are unsure about which island is best for you or aren’t confident about your navigation skills, you could consider booking a walking holiday in Croatia. This will allow you to take a guided tour of both mainland Croatia and a range of islands too. This could be ideal if you are travelling alone and looking to meet like-minded people.
Don’t worry if you are looking for something slower-paced, the Dalmatian Islands are home to some incredible beaches, ideal for fully switching off.
Even though some might have not heard of Dubrovnik, many will probably recognise it by the resemblance between this stunning town and King’s Landing in Game of Thrones.
Dubrovnik is a medieval town famous for its clear blue sea and ancient city walls, one of its most popular attractions. Tourists can wander the old town, rich in history and breathtaking views, where restaurants and local shops overlook the narrow streets.
If you’re looking for somewhere to immerse yourself in culture, you should think about a trip to Piran this summer.
Located in southwestern Slovenia, Piran is famous for both its beautiful Venetian architecture and its pier. There is much more than that on offer though, with Piran also having a maritime museum, an aquarium, a theatre, and several galleries. Not only is there lots to explore but most of it can be done on foot, with cars not allowed within the old city area.
If you aren’t up for staying in one place, Piran is just 1.5 hours from Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana, and 2.5 hours from Venice, meaning there is potential to make this a multi-destination trip.
Lake Bled, Slovenia
Lake Bled is one of the most visited locations in Slovenia and for good reason.
Lake Bled is often referred to as one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe. Tourists can walk around the lake in 1-2 hours, taking in the stunning views and photogenic landscape. In the warmer seasons, people can also swim in this lake or explore by boat, paddleboard or kayak.
As a popular destination for tourists who visit Slovenia, Lake Bled is home to many restaurants and hotels that are located on the very edge of the lake. One example is Vila Bled, which guarantees direct access to the lake and overlooks Bled Island, a small and picturesque island that rises from the lake.
The Bay of Kotor, Montenegro
If you’re wanting to embrace nature on your holiday, Montenegro is an excellent choice.
Bordering Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Albania, Kosovo, and the Adriatic Sea, Montenegro boasts a combination of gorgeous beaches and mountains. Home to five national parks, you certainly don’t need to worry about finding walking trails or picnic spots to suit you! The most beautiful waterfront place in Montegro is the Bay of Kotor, often called Europe’s southernmost fjord.
If your feet become tired after lots of exploring, you could hop on a train from Bijelo Polje to Stari Bar. Despite only being 250km in length, this route will take you from mountain to coast, with stunning views along the way.
Skopelos rose to fame in 2008 thanks to Mamma Mia!, the ABBA-inspired musical. This small island is the ideal retreat for anyone who is looking for a relaxing Mediterranean holiday.
Skopelos offers a number of peaceful beaches with the opportunity to swim in the clearest of seas. Scuba diving, stand-up paddling and kayaking are just some of the activities that are made available to tourists. Hiking is another popular activity when the temperature allows it; old footpaths on the island can lead to unexpected places like secluded beaches and hilltops, which provide breathtaking views of the island and surrounding sea.
To ensure you have a great hiking experience in Skopelos, be sure to get the AllTrails app before you go. The app has reviews from other hikers to keep you up to date on the latest trail conditions. You can filter by trail difficulty, length, and suitability and download trail maps to help keep you on track even when you’re offline.