Albania Gjipe beach
Albania Alps Valbonia Theth2
North Macadonia Lake Ohrid

Contrary to popular opinion, the Balkans is so much more than just the countries of the former Yugoslavia. Surrounded by water, the Balkan peninsula is made up of Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Serbia, Albania, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria and Romania. There’s a lot to explore.

And a lot to see. The Western Balkans are rightly lauded for the beautiful beaches of Croatia and Montenegro, but the region is also worth visiting for the mountains that run down its spine, its mix of historic churches, mosques and monasteries, and for the warm welcome and delicious food of its people.

For while Croatia has hogged the international travel limelight, many of the other Balkan countries are still relatively unvisited. Montenegro is home to beaches just as beautiful; Albania has mountain peaks and Ottoman towns, and Slovenia’s Ljubljana can rival anything Dubrovnik can do. The Balkans are beautiful and ready for visitors.

15 days

Off-the-beaten path in the Balkans

Albania and Kosovo’s hiking trails
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8 days

West Balkans in a week

Croatia, Montenegro and Albania highlights
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8 days

Istria’s coastlines and hilltop villages

Explore Istria’s walking trails for orchids and architecture
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5 days

Albania and Kosovo ~ Walking in Illyria and Epirus

Exploring Albania’s capital and surroundings
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5 days

Sarajevo and surroundings

Bosnia’s historic cities and mountain villages
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11 days

Mountain walks in Montenegro

Exploring Montenegro’s national parks
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8 days

Exploring Montenegro’s coastline

National parks, Cetinje and Kotor Bay
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8 days

Cycling Montenegro’s canyons and coastlines

Active adventures in Montenegro
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7 days

Montenegro loop

Montenegro’s best bits in a week
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8 days

Hiking Montenegro’s national parks

Exploring Montenegro’s hiking trails
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12 days

Via Dinarica way through Bosnia Herzegovina

Walking routes through Bosnia’s national parks
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8 days

West Balkans wine and food

A culinary adventure through the Balkans
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  • Albania

    Albania

    Europe’s best-kept secret
    Once best known as the final European country to throw off the shackles off Communism (outside the USSR), Albania spent much of the 20th century closed to outsiders...
  • Tirana

    Tirana

    Tirana’s small size makes it a perfect place to explore in a day, but to truly get under its skin, try out its cafe culture for coffee, beer and pastries...
  • The Accursed Mountains

    The Accursed Mountains

    The Accursed Mountains (otherwise known as the less-dramatic Albanian Alps) feel a world away from the rest of Europe...
  • Albanian Riviera

    Albanian Riviera

    Head to the Albanian Riviera for uncrowded shorelines, turquoise waters and the beauty of the Greek Islands without the price tag...
  • Berat

    Berat

    Head up through the hills to Berat and you’ll notice the seemingly endless number of windows on the white Ottoman houses lining the way...
  • Durres

    Durres

    The port town of Durres is home to Albania’s liveliest beach, but it is the town’s amphitheatre that is the main attraction...
  • Kruja

    Kruja

    Gjergj Kastrioti, also known as Skanderbeg, was a military commander famous for resisting Turkish invaders in the 1400s...
  • Gjirokastra and the Drino Valley

    Gjirokastra and the Drino Valley

    The Drino Valley in southern Albania is the perfect place to see traditional Albanian villages...
  • Butrint National Park

    Butrint National Park

    Found close to the beaches of the Albanian Riviera, Butrint National Park is one of the Balkans’ largest archaeological sites, with ruins from several different ethnic groups, including Greek, Roman and Venetians...
  • Shkodra

    Shkodra

    Known to Albanians as the ‘city of bicycles’, Shkodra is a pleasant place to spend a couple of days pootling around...
  • Bay of Vlore

    ...
  • Gjirokastra

    Gjirokastra

    ...
  • Valbona Valley

    ...
  • Mount Jezerca

    Mount Jezerca

    ...
  • Apollonia

    Apollonia

    ...
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Bosnia and Herzegovina

    The lesser-visited, more-beautiful Balkans
    Bosnia and Herzegovina often lags behind Croatia, Montenegro and Slovenia when it comes to Balkan breaks, but that makes this under-rated and under-visited country all the more appealing...
  • Sarajevo

    Sarajevo

    Sarajevo has been a city at the centre of conflict for much of the 20th century, whether as the scene of Archduke Franz Ferdinand assassination which sparked World War One or for the brutal siege in the civil war of the 1990s...
  • Sutjeska National Park

    Sutjeska National Park

    The Sutjeska canyon is home to huge grey crags that offer rock-climbing to the adventurous, but it’s the park’s hiking trails that are the biggest draw, including a section of the Via Dinarica trail...
  • Mostar

    Mostar

    Picture-perfect Mostar is best experienced after dark, when the day-tripping hordes head off...
  • Hutovo Blato Nature Reserve

    Hutovo Blato Nature Reserve

    Hutovo Blato Nature Reserve is made up of six interconnected lakes that form one of Europe’s most important bird reserves...
  • Počitelj

    Počitelj

    Beautiful medieval architecture is the draw in the fortress village of Počitelj, where visitors can see the restored Hajji Alijia Mosque and 16m Ottoman clock tower...
  • Blidinje Nature Park

    Blidinje Nature Park

    Just a couple of hours from the Adriatic Sea, vast Blidinje Nature Park is a perfect spot to get active...
  • Lukomir

    Lukomir

    The tiny mountain village of Lukomir is a three-hour trek from Rakitnica River on the southwestern slopes of Bjelašnica Mountain...
  • Trebinje

    Trebinje

    Just 30km from Dubrovnik, Trebinje is a worthwhile alternative to Croatia’s classic destination, with a walled Old Town, mountain views and a river complete with swimming spots...
  • Bjelašnica ski resort

    Bjelašnica ski resort

    Just 25km south of Sarajevo, Bjelašnica ski resort offers decent runs at modest prices between December and February...
  • Croatia

    Croatia

    Dazzling coastlines
    There’s no hiding it — Croatia’s spectacular coastline is one of the best in the world...
  • Dubrovnik

    Dubrovnik

    The jewel in Croatia’s crown, Dubrovnik might just be one of the most picturesque cities in the world...
  • Rovinj

    Rovinj

    Rovinj’s egg-shaped peninsula houses it’s charming old town, where you can wander through cobbled streets, cosy squares and tasty restaurants...
  • Lovran

    Lovran

    Little-known to foreign tourists, Lovran is actually a town with a long history of tourism...
  • Konavle Valley

    Konavle Valley

    Easily accessible from Dubrovnik, Konavle Valley is home to 33 villages and offers hiking, biking and horse-riding trails...
  • Zagreb

    Zagreb

    Croatia’s gritty capital mixes concrete slabs with old town glory, but its cafe culture is the main draw...
  • Motovun

    Motovun

    Many visitors to Istria confine themselves to the coastlines of Pula and Rovinj, but head inland to the greenery of its hilltop villages for a hidden treat...
  • Pula

    Pula

    The busy seaside town of Pula is best-known for its ancient Roman architecture, such as the Arch of the Sergii which dates back to 27BC...
  • Opatija

    ...
  • Fažana

    ...
  • Kosovo

    Kosovo

    A new dawn in the Balkans
    Europe’s newest country is also one of its most talked about...
  • Prizren

    Prizren

    Kosovo’s second city is its cultural heartland, packed with history, handicrafts and Kosovo’s best food...
  • Montenegro

    Montenegro

    Ancient towns cut into majestic mountains
    Tiny Montenegro has long been touted as the hot, new travel destination – and it’s easy to see why...
  • Bay of Kotor

    Bay of Kotor

    Montenegro is a country full of beautiful views, but the Bay of Kotor’s waterfront might just be the best...
  • Lake Skadar National Park

    Lake Skadar National Park

    Skadar is the Balkans largest lake, with two-thirds sitting in Montenegro and the rest in Albania...
  • Lovćen National Park

    Lovćen National Park

    Lovćen is most famous for the towering mausoleum of St Peter at the Jezerski vrh peak, but it’s worth exploring the park adventure activities, from ziplining and quad-biking for thrill-seekers to hiking and cycling for the more sedate...
  • Cetinje

    Cetinje

    Sitting at the foot of the Lovcen mountains, Cetinje is the former royal capital of Montenegro...
  • Stari Bar

    Stari Bar

    High up on the edge of a bluff near Mount Rumija lies the ruins of Stari Bar – the original town of Bar, which is now a port city down by the water...
  • Biogradska Gora National Park

    Biogradska Gora National Park

    Peaceful Biogradska Gora is best-known for its primeval forest, where you can spot ancient beech, maple, elm and juniper trees — some of which are more than 500 years old...
  • Durmitor National Park

    Durmitor National Park

    Home to more than 50 peaks, mountain rivers and underground streams, the dramatic Durmitor National Park is Montenegro’s adventure playground...
  • Lake Piva

    Lake Piva

    Lake Piva was created in 1975 after the Piva River was blocked by the construction of the hydroelectric Mratinje Dam, flooding Piva Canyon...
  • Virpazar

    Virpazar

    Considered the main gateway to Lake Skadar National Park, the tiny village of Virpazar was once an important trading port...
  • Tara Canyon

    Tara Canyon

    Found on the northern edge Durmitor National Park, the Tara Canyon cuts deep into the landscape, with its deepest point being only 200m less than the Grand Canyon...

Balkans Travel Specialists

3e Travel

Self-guided hiking and cycling trips to the Western Balkans
Destinations Albania, Montenegro
Tour Type Custom itinerary, Group tour, Private tour
Activity Nature & Wildlife, Active, Trekking, Biking

Kudu Travel

Cultural walking tours in the Balkans
Destinations Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro
Tour Type Group tour
Activity Beach, Family, Nature & Wildlife, Culture, Active, Trekking

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