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10 reasons why the Balkans should be on your radar

Offering excellent value for money, our large range of Balkan holidays will take you on cross border adventures through Kosovo, Albania and Monteneg... Read more
10 reasons why the Balkans should be on your radar

Offering excellent value for money, our large range of Balkan holidays will take you on cross border adventures through Kosovo, Albania and Montenegro, trekking journeys in Bulgaria, Greece, North Macedonia and Slovenia and along coastal trails in Croatia and Albania. We'll even take you along sections of the Via Dinarica, a 1,200 mile route that traces the spine of the Dinaric Alps and is classed as one of the best hiking trails in Europe. We think everyone should enjoy the Balkans, so check out our 10 reasons why this region should be on your radar:


1. The Balkans are so close

If you live in the UK or Western Europe, the Balkans are not far away at all. In fact, you can travel by train from London to Munich which takes approximately 10 hours and then jump on a 9 hour night train from Munich to Zagreb – easing into the Balkan way of life and waking up to breakfast in Croatia. If you prefer flying and don't want to spend the first day of your holiday venturing through the changing European landscapes, you'll be pleased to hear that you can reach a lot of Balkan destinations within a couple of hours by plane from regional airports.

2. Off the beaten track 

It doesn't take much in the Balkans to get off the beaten track. The Balkans are just as rich in history and culture as the rest of Europe, but it hasn’t become mainstream (yet) so most of the time you can avoid the big crowds. You can be easily be walking in rarely visited areas not long after arriving, like on our Walking in the Balkan Borderlands holiday, where you cross-borders and explore the wild regions of Kosovo, Montenegro and Albania and follow the Peaks of the Balkans route, all starting within a one-hour transfer from Pristina airport.  


3. There is a lot of of history

The Balkans has a rich and complex history spanning thousands of years. It has witnessed the rise and fall of various civilisations, including the ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, and Habsburgs. The Balkans experienced frequent conflicts, such as the Ottoman conquest, nationalist uprisings, World War I, and the Yugoslav Wars which has left them sprinkled with unique cultural heritage sites. Explore the old towns like Mostar on our Bosnia and Herzegovina walking holiday, which is almost fairy-tale like when illuminated and a great place to photograph, especially the cobbled streets, Mostar Bridge and Ottoman quarter.

4. There is gorgeous scenery and wonderful nature

There’s something for everyone in the Balkans. Even if historical sites are not your thing, you can go into the mountains and indulge yourself in the raw, often untouched nature. The Balkans offer more than mountains of course. You’ll find waterfalls, lakes, rivers, canyons, caves, hills, beaches and forests.

Bulgaria boasts a diverse and captivating landscape and our one-week Trekking the Ridges and Summits adventure, spends 6 days in the Rila and Pirin mountains where you will summit the big Bulgarian four - Vihren, Kotelo, Maliovitsa and Musala. Our two-week trip through the heart of Transylvania’s spectacular Carpathian Mountains, walks through both Bulgaria and rural Romania and is brimming with mountain views and fascinating cities.

5. Fuel your adrenaline 

For those looking for some extra adrenaline activites during their visit to the Balkans, you'll be happy to know that you can do everything from river rafting to rock climbing, mountain biking to white water rafting. It ticks the boxes for anyone looking for some extra heart pumping activites.

It's a great destination for families, especially in Slovenia's Julian Alps where our Julian Alps Jamboree Family Adventure includes hiking up to the Martulk Waterfall, mountain biking by lakes, summer toboggan runs, climbing the high ropes courses and going on an optional rating trip on the Soca River.  Whatever rocks your adrenaline boat, the Balkans has you covered. 

6. More bang for your buck 

Compared to Western Europe, you will get a lot further with what you spend in the Balkans. The majority of countries in the Balkans have their own currency which is not tied to the Euro, meaning you’ll find local drinks and food excellent value for money. At KE we try to include all meals on our trekking or walking holidays, especially when you’re in the mountains, but once you’re back in the towns and cities with a wide range of restaurants, we may occasionally feel it’s better not to include a lunch or dinner which leaves you free to decide on your portion size and budget.

If you are looking for a really good value holiday, then check out our Walking in the Albanian Alps adventure which starts at just £995 for 9 days. With all meals included, transfers, accommodation, activities, excursions and baggage transfers all taken care of, all you have to do is walk, eat and explore. 


7. The food is out of this world

With grilled meats, fresh seafood and fresh vegetables, you can’t go wrong satisfying your taste buds! A popular dish known to this region is burek, a flaky dough filled with meat. No one goes hungry in the Balkans. The portions are generous and the food is usually sourced locally. This means cheeses from the animals you encounter on your hike in the mountains, herbs from the garden of the chalet, vegetables grown and cultivated by the villagers. Who said local and sustainable?  

If you choose to go self-guided and walk along the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia,  you'll be able to soak in all this fantastic region has to offer with wine tastings in Ston having walked through the vineyards, sampling the delicious oysters on the Peljesac Peninsula, the creamy goats cheeses on Mljet and wines of Konavle. A gastronomic adventure for food lovers.

8. The Balkans is a safe place to travel

Overall, the Balkans is a safe place to travel, with millions of tourists visiting the region each year without major incidents. While you should always exercise the same level of caution and common sense as you would when travelling to any other destination, crime against tourists is rare as well as street harassment and other unwanted attention. Governments in the Balkans are increasingly recognizing the importance of promoting safe tourism and investing in measures to ensure the well-being of travellers.

Going Self-Guided is becoming an increasingly popular way of travelling and a great way to explore at your own pace, but if you'd rather join a guided group, then we have nearly 20 adventures to choose from.


9. It's so easy to explore more than one country at a time

With so many Balkan countries with land borders, it's easy to hop from one country to another. It allows travellers to explore multiple countries and experience the diversity of the Balkans within a short period. Our Balkan Trilogy Road Cycle Tour is a great example where on the first day you cycle through three different countries, from Dubrovnik in Croatia, through parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina to Kotor in Montenegro.

Through the Heart of the Balkans is an off the beaten track walking holiday, that combines the two fascinating Balkan countries of Montenegro and Serbia, on a trekking route through the mountains and staying in unique accommodation including a monastery overnight. Our classic High Peaks of the Balkans trekking holiday takes you across 4 countries, summiting the high peaks of Albania, Kosovo, Montengro and North Macedonia, all in one week. 

Although visa policies can vary among the countries in the Balkans, several countries have established visa-free regimes and there are continuing efforts to promote visa-free travel within the region. 


10. The welcoming locals

Balkan people are known for their hospitality and friendliness towards visitors. Locals often take pride in welcoming guests into their homes, offering traditional meals, and sharing stories about their culture and history.  The communities are often tightly knit, with a strong emphasis on family and community bonds. Social gatherings, coffeehouses, and local markets serve as meeting places where people come together to socialize, share news, and exchange stories. 

By interacting with locals, you gain a deeper understanding of the region's unique and vibrant local culture. Our NEW Self-Guided Walking on the Coastal South of Albania really takes you off the beaten track, following shepherd's trails to small hillside villages, untouched by time. Here you can join the friendly locals over a relaxed coffee and burek in traditional tavernas.


Want to find out more about KE holidays, then give us a call on 01768 773966 or USA/Canada toll-free 1888 630 4415. You can email; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can also organise a face-to-face zoom meeting on request. We offer trusted holidays with financial protection and flexible booking conditions. 

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