Here Come the Balkans

Posted in: Eastern Europe


photograph courtesy of mhodges
photograph courtesy of mhodges

The Balkans stretch from Croatia‘s Adriatic coast to Bulgaria‘s booming Black Sea resorts, and include cities from hip and brooding Belgrade to creative, chic Thessaloniki. The tourist infrastructure in the region is famously uneven, with Greece and Croatia among the easiest to navigate, and Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia among the most difficult.

For a number of reasons, tourism is exploding in the region. From the increasing popularity of the Montenegrin coast and Macedonia’s Lake Ohrid (pictured above) to waves of second home real estate sweeping Croatia and Bulgaria, there seems to be no stopping the tourist euro in the Balkans.

Here’s a Balkan region roll call: Albania; Bosnia-Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM); Greece; Montenegro; Romania; Serbia; Slovenia; and Turkey.

Surrounded on three sides and with low-cost routes winging to destinations all over the region—the Balkan region has become the place to go for city breaks and affordable extended holidays. And given the European Union’s commitment to enlarge to eventually include the entire region, it is also a good bet that long-term stability is in the region’s future.

About the author

In order to keep a promise she and her brother had made to their grandmother (and to simultaneously fulfill one of her own dreams) Kaymaria left her beloved hometown of Oakland, California and headed to Athens in time for the 2004 Olympics. Today, she continues to work and play in the Greek capital, where you may find her writing atop Lykavittos, road-tripping with overseas guests, enjoying Athens cafés with friends, dancing to Greek hip-hop music, or reading Greek subtitles in an outdoor cinema. The daughter of two life-long educators and enthusiastic travelers, Kaymaria has explored North America, Mexico, and Europe. It was not until she spent a year as an exchange student at The University of York in England, however, that she discovered that she does not actually speak English.

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