10 Best Attractive Places In The Balkans (Southeast Europe) Not To Miss This 2022
You know, one of the advantages when you work as a sailor is that you can travel the world free. Just think about reaching distant lands, meeting other people, learning their culture and traditions, exploring the places you’ve seen only in books or magazines. And there will always be underrated regions in the world waiting to be explored that’s why many people made traveling as their passion because their goal is to see those places even once in this lifetime.
In Europe, the countries in the Balkan peninsula (Southeast Europe) are yet to be explored and this area takes its name from the Balkan mountain ranges situated between the border of Serbia and Bulgaria down to the Black Sea. While it comprises to a dozen countries, it is mostly narrowed to the nations that used to constitute the former Yugoslavia (now Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia), Albania, Bulgaria and Romania. During the 1990s when we traveled to the Balkans, it was then the height of the war (transition from socialist regime to democratic form of government in Eastern Europe) but those days were over and at present going there is totally safe with these countries on their way to a booming travel industry, so let’s then check out on the best attractive places in the Balkans not to miss this 2022.
Lake Bled, Slovenia
The most iconic attraction of Slovenia that captivates thousands of visitors to the quaint town of Bled (Southwest Slovenia) just to see this stunning glacial body of water, this is Lake Bled surrounded by mountains. A best attractive place in the Balkans not to miss this 2022, the real magnet of this clear, turquoise lake is of course the little island in the middle where the Church of the Assumption is perched with its own enigmatic story. This 17th century Church can be reached via “pletna” boats and has a beautiful Baroque-style staircase of 99 steps, it also has a “wishing bell” that whoever successfully rings it 3x with just one pull of the rope, the wish will be granted.
City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia
The capital of Croatia, Dubrovnik, a best attractive place in the Balkans not to miss this 2022 is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe especially its magnificent walls. Absolutely one of the world’s most preserved medieval cities, the walls that encompasses the Old Town were constructed between the 14th-15th centuries made of limestone and are 4-6 meters thick and 26 cm. high. Without a doubt the city walls are Dubrovnik‘s most iconic site and which it earned the title as “Pearl of the Adriatic Sea”, the most impressive of which is the Pile Gate which is of Gothic style built in 1537, the main entrance to the Old Town.
If Dubrovnik, Croatia is the “Pearl of the Adriatic”, then Nesebar in Bulgaria is its counterpart being the “Pearl of the Black Sea”. A best attractive place in the Balkans not to miss this 2022, Nesebar is very much an old city as it gets, having first developed during the end of the Bronze Age (3,200 years back) and its full of relics from its early settlers such as the Thracians, Greeks, Romans, Ottomans (Turkish) and Bulgarians. A “museum town” and a cultural treasury of Bulgaria, the most evident remnants of the city’s glorious past are the churches laid out all over the Old Town because it was in this part of Southeast Europe where most of the opulent churches were built when Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire.
Peles Castle, Romania
Famous for being one of the most impressive castles in Europe, Peles Castle is tucked in the Carpathian mountains near the town of Sinaia, Romania. A best attractive place in the Balkans not to miss this 2022, this castle is a masterpiece of German Neo-Reinassance architecture with its 168 rooms decorated in the most lavish styles and have dedicated themes from world cultures. This was once the summer residence of the Romanian Royal Family until their abdication in 1947 and the country fell into a communist rule but was once again opened to the public after the Romanian revolution in 1989.
Stari Most Bridge, Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina
A masterpiece of Islamic architecture, this iconic bridge in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina used to have the widest area in the world when it was completed in 1567. Elegant in its simplicity, Stari Most, a best attractive place in the Balkans not to miss this 2022 is known to have been built by the Ottoman sultanate with no concrete foundation and was only held together by egg whites and metal pins. It stood for 427 years over the Neretva River until t was damaged during the 1990s’ war, reconstructed between 2001-2004 and apart from being a historic landmark, Stari Most is the site of a favorite diving spot to test the bravery of young men in Mostar at an event every summer.
Blacaj Tekija, Blacaj, Bosnia-Herzegovina
A best attractive place in the Balkans not to miss this 2022, Blacaj Tekija is a beautiful monastery found under a rock cliff in Bosnia. It’s a short drive from Mostar (site of the Stari Most Bridge) and what makes this Dervish monastery more attractive is that it is next to Buna River whose water is so clean and clear that you can even drink from it directly. While Blacaj Tekiya is one of Bosnia‘s tourist attractions, this is still a very sacred area, the monks are doing their services regularly thus utmost reverence for the place is expected.
White City of Berat, Albania
Sometimes known as the “town of a thousand windows”, Berat is one of Albania’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites and one of the worlds oldest inhabited towns way back to the 6th century of early Greeks, Romans, Bulgarians and Ottoman civilizations. A fairy tale-like town and a best attractive place in the Balkans not to miss this 2022, Berat‘s most striking feature is the collection of white-washed stone Ottoman (Turkish) houses with many windows built on the hills. Definitely the kind of a place that you would love to see in your lifetime not only for its very intriguing architectural style of the ancient houses but also for its religious tolerance as Berat is shared by the Christian Gorica which is south of the Osumi River and the Muslim Mangalem, north side of the river.
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
Home to 16 different lakes that change color in just the blink of an eye (from blue to green to aquamarine then to turquoise) and surrounded by 90 waterfalls, Plitvice Lakes are Croatia‘s most visited national park. A best attractive place in the Balkans not to miss this 2022, the lakes are arranged in a cascading form separated by dams and plants but are connected by walkways to allow visitors to explore the area without harming the scenery of the place. A UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its breathtaking views and the unique emerald blue color of the lakes that change every second depending on the angle of the sunlight and the quantity of minerals in the water.
Ohrid, North Macedonia
Not a lot of people know about North Macedonia but this is a landlocked country in the Balkans surrounded by Kosovo, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Albania which was once a part of Yugoslavia and yes at some point, it used to be the greatest empire in the world where Alexander The Great came from. Ohrid is an amazing historic town along the shores of Lake Ohrid, the oldest and deepest lake in Europe, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. A best attractive place in the Balkans not to miss this 2022, Ohrid, which is as old as the lake, was the heart of Orthodox religion during the Byzantine period thus it is famous for its very old Churches and monasteries like the one found along Lake Ohrid, the Church of St. John Kaneo (the author of the Book of Revelation in the Bible).
It is a living museum, Kotor Old Town in Montenegro is a best attractive place in the Balkans not to miss this 2022. This is a medieval place that has been founded before Christ and its very unique feature is that it was built like a maze to protect it from invaders in the old times so it is easy to get lost here, a wrong turn will take you far from your destination, even the locals get lost as well. There is a street named “let me pass” which is one of the narrowest street in the world wherein it is impossible for two people to pass through at the same time.
If you are still one of those who connects the Balkans with war then you really must have to visit this stunning region. It may had a turbulent history but the war has been over decades ago and things have changed. The area remained an extraordinary destination for adventurers hungry for new experiences.