The word ‘Balkans’ can roughly be translated as ‘Mountains’ or ‘Chain of wooden mountains’ and backpacking in the Balkans is one of the best places in Europe to do it.
The area which is found in Eastern Europe is made up of the largest peninsula that includes Moldova, Romania, Albania, Yugoslavia, in addition to parts of European Turkey and Greece.
Where Should you Travel to in The Balkans?
As we have already seen the Balkans is made of up of a number of countries but one of the most tourist-friendly places happens to be Croatia and Split in particular and the day trips you can do from Split is one of the highlights of the region..
Full of archaeological wonders that have been left behind by the Romans, Yugoslavians and those from the Ottoman and Byzantine eras, Croatia is a mixture of old and new architecture, and it’s really well worth a visit.
If you plan to see as much of the Balkans as you can then you may want to consider heading to Macedonia, specifically to see it’s capital city Skopje before travelling onto Lake Ohrid.
If you are looking for more of an adventure and you want to head out into the country you may want to visit Plovdiv in Bulgaria, an ancient city that was built around many hills.
If you’re in Bosnia then for sure you should visit Mostar. A guide to where to stay in Mostar here.
Albania seems to be often overlooked for the beaches in Albania to the more popular ones of Croatia, but Albania is a gem of travel in the Balkans. Be sure to try and visit if you’re planning a trip to the Balkans.
Travelling Around the Balkans
Getting to the Balkans is relatively easy if you want to hop on a plane. However, when you’re in the Balkans you’re likely to find that hopping on a train or bus is pretty easy. Please note that bus and train tickets can cost as much as $15 dollars for a one-way ticket.
However, the bus and train services are usually quite good when they turn up and they can often take you from one country to another with ease. Please note that if you have luggage with you it’s likely that you will be charged for it.
Not everyone in the Balkans speaks English so you may have to rely on a pen and some paper to help you get from A to B. Writing your chosen destination down along with the time you’d like to leave will work wonders.
People here are very helpful including those who work at bus and train stations so asking for help this way will ensure you get to where you need to be.
Safety in the Balkans
While there seems to be a lot of bad press about the Balkans and the safety of tourists there the area is pretty safe. This part of the world is no longer at war which means you will very rarely face any issues.
You may want to be on the lookout for some gipsies who might follow you around asking for money, but this is the only real worry and it’s more of a nuisance than a danger.
The local people are warm and friendly and are happy to have tourists visit as it helps the local economy and shows that this part of the world is safe.
With more and more people travelling to the Balkans every year and discovering the area’s beauty and history you may want to visit soon as prices are likely to rise the more popular the Balkans becomes.
Plan your travels today and get ready to enjoy yourself in this beautiful and historical part of the world.
If you plan to go backpacking in the Balkans and Eastern Europe then be sure to take a guide with you. These are recommended: