19 Jan Summertime Hotspots in The Balkans
The Balkans in general are often overlooked by Westerners as a tourist destination in Europe. While Croatia brings in the crowds during the summer, the rest of the Balkan countries tend to be neglected. The summer tourists to Europe invade the coastlines of Spain, France, Italy and Greece. The Western European Capitals stay busy and crowds take over the new tourist hubs in Central European cities like Prague, Krakow and Budapest.
Those who choose not to follow the Western Crowds and instead venture to the Balkans will find they are deeply rewarded by some fantastic destinations.
While there are plenty of a great places to visit in the Balkans, here are 3 must visit hot spots to spend summertime in The Balkans.
Macedonia’s beautiful lake offers sublime scenery & architecture, nice beaches and a fantastic laid back atmosphere. Macedonia’s interesting history is reflected in its unique cultural mix. In Lake Ohrid tourists can explore the bustling Ottoman Style Old Town and Market, impressive Byzantine churches and a Medieval fortress.
Those that feel brave enough and can handle the heat can trekk Macedonia’s Galicica National Park. Beach bums will enjoy the lively beach villages of Gradiste and Pestani, not to mention the tranquil and rustic beach of Ljubinista!
Young Macedonia’s from the Capital Skopje and surrounding cities fill up the town during the peak summer weeks turning Lake Ohrid into a nightlife hotspot. Beach bars dotted around the lake open led by the fantastic Cuba Libre hosting some fantastic parties and live music events. The location combined with the vibrance during summertime make this a special place to visit, while low prices make it great option for budget travel.
Eastern European Capitals like Skopje, Zagreb and Bucharest tend to calm down in the peak of the summer, when they see a mass exodus of residents heading home to their villages, visiting the local beaches or travel abroad. (Same thing happens in Milan and Athens)
An exception to this rule is Serbia’s Capital of Belgrade that stays alive throughout the summer. While many Serbs visit the Montenegro’s coastline, those that leave are replaced by other visitors to the Balkans and serbs living abroad visiting home.
Year round Belgrade is known for its fantastic nightlife hosting one of the best nightlife scenes in Europe. While the nightclubs close down they are replaced by ‘Splavs’ riverboat nightclubs that line the Danube. These places go wild every night during the summer from midnight! During the summer Belgrade is an all day party, serbs spend the day drinking, swimming and eat pleskavica at the city beaches, in the afternoon they line the hip bars and restaurants of Sava-Mala district before finishing off in the Splavs! Belgrades summer nightlife is not to be missed.
I mentioned above ‘Serbs visiting Montenegro’s Coastline’ during the summer. This is the hot spot where many go! Joined by beautiful sunblessed Russian Tourists, the Serbs and Montenegran Locals head to the white sandy beaches with their crystal clear waters for to relax and take in some sun. Some beaches hosts day-time parties while others like those seen on the banks of Montenegro’s charming Sveti-Stefan are purely for relaxation. Sveti- Stefan north of Budva town is a tiny little island connected by a thin strand land to the mainland. The island features beautiful traditional architecture and is host to a spectacular hotel making it off bounds to the public, while one side of the connecting beach can be accessed. Other attractions include the nearby stunning city of Kotor and some beautiful national parks close by.
Budva’ s historic old town makes a good place to eat and as the sunsets the town fills up. Bars come alive and the party begins. Things usually end up in Budvas Open- Air super club, Top Hill which as its name suggests is located at a high point in Budva overlooking the sea. If Beaches, Nightlife and Incredible Scenery sound like your thing, consider Budva this summertime in the Balkans.