The Balkans is a diverse cultural and geographical region. In this area of Europe you will find, spectacular lakes and mountains, skiing and great beaches, beautiful rivers and medieval castles. In most of the English-speaking world, the countries commonly included in the Balkan region are, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Romania. Sometimes, countries like Moldova, Slovenia and Turkey are included.
The Balkans, also referred to as the Balkan Peninsula, is a region of southeastern Europe. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains, which run through the centre of Bulgaria into eastern Serbia. “Balkan” comes from a Turkish word meaning “a chain of wooded mountains”.
The Balkan Peninsula may be defined as an area of south eastern Europe surrounded by water on three sides: the Adriatic Sea to the west, the Mediterranean Sea (including the Ionian and Aegean seas) to the south and the Black Sea to the east. Its northern boundary is often given as the Danube, Sava and Kupa rivers.
Here are some of the interesting countries you can visit in this region:-
Bulgaria is a beautiful country, bordered by the River Danube in the north and the Black Sea in the east. There are mountain ranges and sparkling lakes.
Sofia is the capital city. And on the Black Sea coast there are long hot summers with the beaches to match at Varna and Burgas beaches Varna. If a winter holiday in the snow is more to your taste, then Bansko is the resort for you. The village of Bozhentsi in rural Bulgaria was proclaimed an architectural and historical reserve in 1964 and is part of UNESCO’s cultural monuments.
Other popular attractions include the 10th century Rila Monastery and the 19th century Euxinograd chateau.
Croatia is famed for the sapphire waters of the Adriatic that gently lap onto its stunning beaches and into the secluded coves. There are medieval castles to take your breath away and eight areas in the country have been designated national parks.
Among the World Heritage Sites are the Old town of Dubrovnik, the Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian and the historic city of Trogir.
Montenegro’s mild Mediterranean climate boasts an average of 240 sunny days each year with some of the finest beaches imaginable. While the mountains of Montenegro include some of the most rugged terrain in Europe.
The Tourism Masterplan of Montenegro (a 3 year plan started in 2007) is also paving the way for a national development program for nature based tourism, especially hiking and biking, with new infrastructure and services.
The beautiful country of Slovenia correctly holds the crown of the “Green Heart of Europe” it touches the Alps and borders the Mediterranean Sea.The nation’s capital, Ljubljana, proudly shows its Baroque and Art Nouveau influence. The Skocjan Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site are worth the visit alone.
A national symbol of Slovenia is Mount Triglav and the Triglav National Park named after it. It is part of the Julian Alps that supplies water to two large river systems, the Soca and the Sava, flowing to the Adriatic and Black Sea, respectively.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia has also become an increasingly popular skiing and Ecotourism destination. Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the last undiscovered regions of the Southern Alps, with vast tracks of wild and untouched nature attracting adventurers and nature lovers.
The central Dinaric Alps are loved by hikers & walkers, containing both Mediterranean & Alpine climates. Whitewater rafting is something akin to a national pastime, with 3 rivers including the deepest river canyon in Europe, the Tara River.
Next time you consider a holiday in Europe, consider the Balkans. You will not be disappointed and it could be the start of a long-standing love for the region.