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Destinations

Saranda Albania

Saranda, the gateway to the southern Albania, is a small town of about 33.000 inhabitants, situated on a beautiful horseshoe bay between the mountains and the Ionian Sea. The name Saranda derives from an early Christian monastery dedicated to Agioi Saranta (Forty Saints). In antiquity, Saranda was known as Onchesmus. Located opposite the Greek island of Corfu, Saranda is characterized by a Mediterranean climate and warm sea waters. Saranda typically has over 300 sunny days a year. Due to its location and warm weather Saranda is one of the most attractive tourist towns on the Albanian Riviera, where honeymooners traditionally spend their holidays.

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Shkoder Albania

Shkodra is the fourth largest city in Albania. Recently, it has experienced a face lift as streets and buildings were renovated, a promenade opened and a new swing bridge built over Buna River.

Queen Teuta’ Illryan kingdom was based here in the 3rd century BOT. The Ottomans laid siege to the city in 1473 and 1479, losing 14,000 and 30,000 men in these raids, respectively. Shkodra changed hands with Montenegro numerous times during World War I. Shkodra was badly damaged during an earthquake in 1979.

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Tirana Albania

Sulejman Pasha Bargjini, a native feudal lord from Mullet, established the city in 1614. His first constructions were a mosque, a bakery and a hamam (Turkish bath). On February 8, 1920 Tirana was made the temporary capital by the Congress of Lushnje, and it was proclaimed the permanent capital on December 31, 1925.

The main business and entertainment area (not by coincidence) has become “The Block” (Blloku) which is the area where in the past, the communist leaders used to live under strict protection. Locals prefer to hang out at the many cafes and main parks. Tirana is a youthful and lively town resonating constant energy. A popular retreat is by cable car to Mount Dajti where one can get a panoramic view of the city from above.

Mostar, Bosnia

Mostar Bosnia & Herzegovina

Mostar, formerly one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the country. The city was the most heavily bombed of any Bosnian city during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina following the breakup of Yugoslavia. At the beginning of the war, air strikes destroyed many important buildings and structures, including the cultural and spiritual icon: The Old Bridge (Stari Most).

Mostar has been most famous for this beautiful historic Ottoman-style bridge, which spanned the Neretva river in what is considered the historic center of the city. Through combined efforts with the international community, rebuilding of The Old Bridge was completed in 2004, almost 11 years after its destruction, using some of its original pieces recovered from the Neretva river…

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Sarajevo Bosnia & Herzegovina

Sarajevo is one of the most historically interesting and varied cities in Europe. It is a place where the Western & Eastern Roman Empire split; where the people of the Roman Catholic west, Eastern Orthodox east and the Ottoman south, met, lived and warred. It has been both an example of historical turbulence and the clash of civilizations, as well as a beacon of hope for peace and tolerance through multi-cultural integration. Sarajevo is not a huge city – 395,133 people live in its urban area, but it is very livable, vibrant and busy.The city is historically famous for its traditional religious diversity, with adherents of Islam, Orthodoxy, Catholicism and Judaism coexisting there for centuries.

Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia Bulgaria

Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria. It is also the biggest city in the country with about 1.7 million citizens (including suburbs). Today, Sofia is a dynamic Eastern European capital, distinguished by its unique combination of European and Communist-style architecture as well as many beautiful orthodox churches. Furthermore, it claims to be one of the few European capitals with beautiful scenery and a developed ski-resort so close to it – the Vitosha mountain.

Sofia was founded 2,500 years ago. Over the centuries, it has been given several names – Serdica , Sredetz and the remains of the old cities can still be viewed today. Because of its strategic location in the middle of Balkans for a while it had been selected for a new capital of the Roman Empire.

Veliko Taranovo, Bulgaria

Veliko Tarnovo Bulgaria

A town with very rich history, Veliko Turnovo was the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire and has long traditions in the culture of Bulgaria. The city is rich in museums and historical sites, combined with vivacious night life propelled by the students in one of the largest universities in Bulgaria.

Often referred to as the “City of the Tsars“, Veliko Tarnovo is located on the Yantra River and is famously known as the historical capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire, attracting many tourists with its unique architecture. The old part of the city is situated on the three hills Tsarevets, Trapezitsa, and Sveta Gora, rising amidst the meanders of the Yantra. On Tsarevets are the palaces of the Bulgarian emperors and the Patriarchate, the Patriarchal Cathedral, and also a number of administrative and residential edifices surrounded by thick walls.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik Croatia

Dubrovnik is a stunningly intact walled city on the Adriatic Sea coast of the extreme south of Croatia. Although its population barely exceeds 40,000, it’s one of the most prominent tourist resorts of the Mediterranean and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.

The city of Dubrovnik was built on maritime trade. In the Middle Ages it became the only city-state in the Adriatic to rival Venice. Supported by its wealth and skilled diplomacy, the city achieved a remarkable level of development during the 15th and 16th centuries. Furthermore, Dubrovnik was one of the centres of the development of the Croatian language and literature, home to many notable poets, playwrights, painters, mathematicians, physicists and other scholars.

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Island of Brac Croatia

Brač is a Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea. It’s best known for the white-pebble beach Zlatni Rat (Golden Cape), a favored windsurfing site outside the resort town of Bol. Supetar, the island’s main town, offers a horseshoe-shaped beach and ferries to and from Split. Seaside Pučišća features traditional architecture and an active quarry for the island’s famous white limestone.

Split, Croatia

Split Croatia

Split is a city in Central Dalmatia, Croatia. The city was originally built around the Diocletian palace (a palace/fort built for the retired Roman emperor Diocletian) where the locals sought refuge centuries ago. Despite initial appearances, however, the city is not a small tourist town, and extends over a large area well beyond the ancient core. With over 300,000 people in the wider bay area, it’s the economic hub of the eastern Adriatic shoreline (the unofficial “capital” of Dalmatia). Wandering the historic centre of Split you can still clearly see the Roman walls, squares, and temples.

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Zadar Croatia

Zadar is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Croatia. It is situated on the Adriatic Sea, at the northwestern part of Ravni Kotari region. Zadar serves as the seat of Zadar County and the wider northern Dalmatian region.

The area of present-day Zadar traces its earliest evidence of human life from the late Stone Age, while numerous settlements have been dated as early as the Neolithic. Before the Illyrians, the area was inhabited by an ancient Mediterranean people of a pre-Indo-European culture. Zadar traces its origin to its 4th-century BC founding as a settlement of the Illyrian tribe of Liburnians known as Iader.

Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb Croatia

Zagreb is a vibrant city of around 800,000 people (metropolitan area: 1,200,000). The city boasts a charming medieval ‘old city’ with architecture and cobbled streets reminiscent of Vienna, Budapest, Prague and other Central-European capitals. In 2011 it was visited by over 700000 tourists, mainly from Austria, Germany and Italy.

Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of Croatia. It is located in the northwest of the country, along the Sava river, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain.

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Litochoro Greece

Litochoro is a town and a former municipality in the southern part of the Pieria regional unit, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Dio-Olympos, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit. It is located at the base of Mount Olympus, on the western shore of the Thermaic Gulf. The first recorded mention of Litochoro is in an account of a visit by Saint Dionysius to Mount Olympus.  The town is a popular destination for those wishing to climb Mount Olympus as almost all climbing routes begin to the southwest of the town.

Psakoudia, Greece

Psakoudia Greece

Psakoudia is a village of Chalkidiki peninsula (formerly prefecture), in Central Macedonia, of Northern Greece. This settlement belongs to the Municipality of Polygyros, and in particular to the municipal unit of Ormylia. It covers the west part of the long sandy beach of Ormylia, and has a population of 299 inhabitants.

In ancient times, there was the city of Sermyli, or Sermyle, in the area, an ally of Athens, which was destroyed by Philip II of Macedon. As a seaport it was used in the past, like Yerakini, for small bulkers to freight raw magnesite of a small concession owned by Skalistiris in eastern Trikorfo mountain area.

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Thesaloniki, Greece

Thesaloniki Greece

Thesaloniki also known as Thessalonica and Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia. At about a million inhabitants, it is considered Greece’s cultural capital, renowned for its festivals, events and vibrant cultural life in general and has recently been ranked by Lonely Planet as the world’s fifth-best party city worldwide. More importantly, it is also a city with a continuous 3,000 year old history; preserving relics of its Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman past and of its formerly dominant Jewish population. Many of its Byzantine churches, and a whole district of the city in particular, are included in UNESCO’s World Heritage list.

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Budapest Hungary

Budapest is the capital city of Hungary. With a unique, youthful atmosphere, a world-class classical music scene as well as a pulsating night life increasingly appreciated among European youth and, last but not least, an exceptionally rich offering of natural thermal baths, Budapest is one of Europe’s most delightful and enjoyable cities. Due to its scenic setting and its architecture it is nicknamed “Paris of the East”.

In 1987 Budapest was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List for the cultural and architectural significance of the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue.

Pristina, Kosovo

Pristina Kosovo

Pristina is the capital and largest city of Kosovo. It is the administrative center of the homonymous municipality and district.

The city has a majority Albanian population, alongside other smaller communities. With a population of about 500,000, Pristina is the second-largest Albanian-speaking city in the world. Geographically, it is located in the north-eastern part of Kosovo close to the Goljak mountains. The city is situated some 250 kilometres north-east of Tirana, 90 kilometres north of Skopje, 520 kilometres south of Belgrade and 300 kilometres east of Podgorica.

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Prizren Kosovo

Prizren is a pretty city of mosques and monasteries dating to the 14th century. Happily spared (mostly) from both the “destroy the old, build the new” drive of the communists during the early years of their rule in Yugoslavia, as well as the ethnic and religious atrocities that plagued the Western Balkans in the last decade of the 20th century, Prizren has the best-preserved old town in the country by far, and is often referred to as the cultural capital of Kosovo.

Ohrid, Macedonia

Ohrid Macedonia

Ohrid is a large town in southwestern Macedonia on the shore of Lake Ohrid. A town of vast history and heritage, it was made a UNESCO heritage site in 1980. Nestled between high mountains up to 2,800 m and Lake Ohrid, it is not only a place of historic significance but also of outstanding natural beauty. Ohrid is the jewel in Macedonia’s crown.

Skopje, Macedonia

Skopje Macedonia

Skopje is the capital of the Republic of Macedonia; it is in the Povardarie region, and is the largest and most diverse city in the country. Skopje has been occupied by many different peoples since its foundation. This is evidenced by the several Byzantine churches and monasteries around the city, also by a few Roman sites, such as Scupi and Skopje’s Aqueduct. However, the group that left the greatest mark on Skopje were the Ottomans. The Ottomans ruled Macedonia for hundreds of years and built a large number of mosques and other buildings.

Budva, Montenegro

Budva Montenegro

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Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor Montenegro

Kotor is situated in a most secluded tip of Boka Kotorska bay, in the northern part of the Montenegro coast on the Adriatic Sea. Kotor has developed around Stari Grad (local language for “old town”), the city’s old town and best known landmark, which is listed with UNESCO World heritage sites. Kotor Bay is the deepest natural fjord-like bay in the Mediterranean Sea, and the scenery around it (including the steep mountains which come almost straight down to the waters edge) is spectacular.

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Ulcinj Montenegro

Ulcinj is the southern most major town along the Montenegrin coast before reaching the border with Albania. Around 80% of the population of Ulcinj are ethnic Albanians. Together with the town of Tuzi, it is one of the two major population centers of Albanians in Montenegro. Due to the town’s pleasant location on the coast it is a major tourist destination of much of the Albanian population of Kosovo.

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Zabljak Montenegro

Žabljak is largest town on mountain Durmitor, high mountain in northern Montenegro (2,522 m). Žabljak itself is town at highest altitude in the Balkans, at 1,450 m above sea level. Although being a center of municipality of the same name, it is a small town of some 2,000 inhabitants. The town of Žabljak and the whole municipality with Durmitor, Sinjavina and Tara canyon, make up a very interesting tourist destination.

Brasov, Romania

Brasov Romania

Brasov has a population of 283,901 and is the 7th largest city in Romania. It is located almost in the centre of the country and surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains. The city provides a mix of wonderful mountain scenery in the nearby Poiana Braşov and medieval history with German influences in the old town. The city is 176 km from Bucharest.

Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Cluj-Napoca Romania

Cluj-Napoca is capital of historical region Transylvania, is one of the most visited cities in Romania. The city, with 324,576 people, is very pleasant, and it is certainly a great experience for those who want to see urban Transylvanian life at its best. Along with fine dining, excellent cultural activities, a wonderful historical legacy and a great atmosphere, the city will certainly not disappoint those who add it to their travel itinerary. What’s more is the fact that Cluj (as it’s called for short) is so easy to access and get around.

Constanta, Romania

Constanta Romania

Constanta is a coastal Black Sea town in southern Dobruja, Romania, the second most important city in the country and, during summer, a beautiful touristic city. It is the capital of Constanta county and Romania’s largest seaport, a great city to begin to explore the wonders of the sea.

Iasi, Romania

Iasi Romania

Iaşi is situated in northeastern Romania, and very close to the border with Republic of Moldova, from which Romania is divided by the Prut River. The city is positioned on the Bahlui River, affluent of Jijia that flows into the Prut River, Iaşi is the “legendary city of the seven hills”, namely Cetățuia, Galata, Copou, Bucium, Șorogari, Repedea and Breazu, just like so many cities around world, one such example being Rome. Some of these hills have conspicuous churches perched on top, each of which warrants a different view of the city.

Sulina, Romania

Sulina Romania

Located at the eastern end of the Danube Delta very close to the Black Sea coast, Sulina is a good location for tourists that want to combine exploring the Delta with spending some time on a quiet beach.

During the mid-Byzantine period Sulina was a small cove and in the 14th century a Genoese port inhabited by a handful of sailors, pirates and fishermen. In 18th century the Ottomans built a lighthouse there in order to accommodate communication between Constantinople (Istanbul) and the Danubian Principalities, the main breadbaskets for the Ottoman capital

Timisoara, Romania

Timisoara Romania

Timisoara is also known as the city of roses and parks, and has a very green face, especially in spring, when tulips abound. Some call it little Vienna, because of similar architecture and the number of museums.

The third most populous city in the country, with 319,279 inhabitants as of the 2011 census, Timișoara is the informal capital city of the historical region of Banat. In September 2016, Timișoara was selected as the European Capital of Culture for 2021.

Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade Serbia

Belgrade is the capital of the Republic of Serbia and is, as such, the country’s largest city with a population of about 1.8 million people. It lies on the confluence of the two major European rivers, Sava and Danube. The city has a long history, dating back to the 4th century BC, when the area was settled by Celtic tribes. Later on, it became the Roman city of Singidunum, and relics of that era can still be seen in the city, particularly at Kalemegdan Fortress. During the Middle Ages the town changed hands between the Kingdom of Hungary and the Serbian Despotate (of which it was the capital) until 1521, when it was captured by the Ottoman Empire. Until Serbia retained its independence in 1878, the city again changed hands multiple times, but between the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg Empire.

Novi Sad, Serbia

Novi Sad Serbia

Situated on the Danube River between Budapest and Belgrade, it is a treasured regional and cultural centre. Novi Sad has a population of 400,000 in the wider urban area. Novi Sad is the second largest city of Serbia, the capital of the autonomous province of Vojvodina and the administrative center of the South Bačka District. It is located in the southern part of the Pannonian Plain, on the border of the Bačka and Srem geographical regions, on the banks of the Danube river, facing the northern slopes of Fruška Gora mountain.

Bled, Slovenia

Bled Slovenia

Bled is a popular destination in Slovenia due to its romantic scenery and access point for Triglav National Park, which offers numerous outdoor adventure opportunities. The town features a little white church on an island in the center of an emerald green mountain lake, with Bled Castle perched high above, amidst the Julian Alps.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana Slovenia

Ljubljana has no world-famous attractions, which is just great: there’s no need to hop from one place to another, taking photos and crossing the items on your checklist. You have all the time to stroll around and enjoy the city itself.

In the summer, its center hosts a number of city sponsored events, from children workshops and public playgrounds on the streets that get closed for traffic for the occasion, to Trnfest’s off-beat street performances and musical events of all genres. In autumn it shows its academic face as it fills again by students of the state’s largest university to whom the city owes much of its youthful character.

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