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Budget Friendly Travel: Explore These Hidden Gems In The Balkans Region



The Balkans Region is one of the most beautiful places in the world, filled with history dating back thousands of years, unspoiled land and idyllic villages. 

Greece and Croatia are some of the most popular destinations that make up the Balkans Region, but other destinations, including North Macedonia, Bosnia and Slovenia, are cheaper. If you’re looking for budget friendly destinations off the beaten path, here are five destinations to visit in the Balkans region.

Struga & Ohrid, North Macedonia 

Visitors traveling to North Macedonia slowly are increasing, but the area remains a hidden gem among tourists. More people are exploring North Macedonia because it’s north of Greece.

Located in the southwestern region of North Macedonia, Struga is a beautiful city with mountains and its gem of Lake Ohrid. There’s a lot to explore in Struga that will cater to travelers who like outdoor adventures or want to explore the region’s rich history and culture.

Ohrid is 20 minutes from Struga, and its lake alone makes it worth visiting. Ohrid has a lot of ancient monuments to explore.

Varna, Bulgaria

Another gem in The Balkans region is Bulgaria. Located just east of North Macedonia, Bulgaria is one of Europe’s cheapest countries to visit. Varna has entertainment, festivals, bustling nightlife, art, culture and the beautiful Sunny Beach.

Some of the top attractions in Varna are the beautiful Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin, the Sea Garden, the Varna Archaeological Museum and the Stone Forest. Historians believe the area where the rocks stand date back thousands of years. It’s an otherworldly experience.  

Varna has lively and unique festivals, including the International Sofia Film Fest, showcasing Europe’s newest film trends worldwide. There’s a “Night of Literature,” celebrating art cafés, bookstores, schools, the International Pop Musical Festival “Discovery and so much more. 

With its location on the Black Sea coast, Varna is a beach town, with Sunny Beach being the most popular for its sand dunes, water sports and nightlife.

Berat, Albania

Situated along the Osum River in Central Albania,  Berat is the romantic town known as the “city of a thousand windows” for its distinctive architecture and scenery. Berat has a different vibe from its underrated and stunning Riviera, but has just as much charm. 

Culture and history lovers will appreciate that Berat is home to the Berat Castle, which is one of two UNESCO-listed historic centers in Albania. Another highlight in Berat is inside the castle. The Onufri Iconographic Museum holds more than 200 pieces of artwork, icons and liturgical items.

Berat is one of the best preserved Ottoman cities in the region, and you can see that at the castle, along the cobbled streets and the traditional homes.

The city also is filled with a lively café scene, wineries and outdoor adventures. Berat is worth visiting during your vacation in Albania.

Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Mostar is a popular day trip from places like Dubrovnik and Split in Croatia. It’s also a great day trip from Sarajevo.

Located in the southern portion of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mostar is sits along the Neretva River. The Stari Most is one of the most iconic landmarks in the Balkan region. After exploring The Stari Most, head through the ancient streets in Mostar, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Mostar is home to many shops and boutiques on its bustling streets. While the bridge is the main attraction, the churches, synagogues and mosques are worth visiting in Mostar. Their striking beauty symbolizes that Mostar is a cultural melting pot of ethnicities and religions.

Portorož, Slovenia

Portorož is a beautiful seaside resort, along the Adriatic Coast. While Portorož is a luxurious vacation, it’s cheaper than popular destinations, such as Greece and Croatia.

Visiting Fonda Fish Farm is a top attraction where people can learn more about breeding some of the world’s most delicious fish. Portorož is a seaside town and the beach attracts people. With any famous coastline, you will find cafes and restaurants along Portorož Beach.

Water Park Laguna Bernardin is within Hotel Histrion. It’s the largest pool complex in Albania, with swimming pools, relaxation pools, children’s pools and quitter pools for optimal relaxation.

Source : Travel + Noire

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