2 weeks in the Balkans

Old Aug 10th, 2017, 03:04 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2017
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2 weeks in the Balkans

Hi, we're 3 females (23 yo) planning a 2 week trip to the Balkans. We're really into hiking and if we could fit in a beach or two somewhere then even better! So far, the countries we'd really like to visit include Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and may be Macedonia too. Now, given that we have only 2 weeks, we're confused whether to keep it to two countries with a week in each or could we possible fit in a 3rd?

We've planned out a few rough itineraries (Bosnia-Montenegro-Albania; Montenegro-Albania or Bosnia-Montenegro. The only thing is, to get to Bosnia we'd have to get a flight to Split, croatia and then get a bus to Mostar or Sarajevo in Bosnia). I don't mind travelling around a bit but one of our travelling buddies would like to keep it a little relaxed so I'm guessing 2 countries would be a better option? In that case, what two countries would you recommend? We enjoy hiking, scenery, history and are not much into visiting just cities.

So I suppose my question is how many countries can we realistically fit into 2 weeks in a way that we actually get to enjoy them and not just be jumping from one to the other without actually taking anything in? From my research, Montenegro and Albania seem to be the better ones fro hiking, although Bosnia looks good too. Any recommendations?

Sorry if this is a bit messy, and I'd be happy to provide more detail that I might have missed here. I hope to get some answers!

Thank you.
glacebleue is offline  
Old Aug 10th, 2017, 06:13 PM
  #2  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,767
I’m sorry, but the question you pose, as you pose it, is not answerable IMO – it depends on what YOU want to see and experience!

Here's what I recommend: Get some good guidebooks (or spend some time with a few in your local library) to develop a detailed wishlist. Plot that wish list on a calendar. Each time you propose to change locations, pencil in your transportation, add some time on either side (for getting to/from your lodging, checking in/out, packing/unpacking, getting lost/oriented, etc.). Note that Each change of location can be "costly" as it is time that you will not have to see or do anything. If your goal is hiking, make sure you either plan on round-trip hikes or that you plan around your options to get back to your starting point.

FWIW, the scenery from Split through Mostar and on to Sarajevo is stunning. If you do that, consider an overnight in Mostar, which can be absolutely delightful after daytrippers leave.

And BTW, the Plitvice Lakes National Park -- which is not far from Split -- is, IMO, the single most un-missable of Croatia's many splendors. Not only are the lakes connected by travertine waterfall formations, each lake has unique microbiota, and as a result, the lakes are different colors. The best way to see that is to make a single, long loop through the park -- something on the order of 6 hours or more (including time for the boat that connects the lower and upper lakes), and by all means, start at the lowest part of the park so you are facing the falls as you proceed.

Good luck!
kja is offline  
Old Aug 11th, 2017, 07:41 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Trains and buses go everywhere you'd want to go - fares are cheap. For lots of info on trains check www.seat61.com (info on pre-booking your own tickets); www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Aug 20th, 2017, 06:15 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
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Me and the cook are staying in Mostar for 4nights at the end of next month. As well as what the town offers there's a lot to see and do in the surrounding area, easily reachable by public bus.

Then we're getting the early morning train to Sarajevo, and have 8 nights there. Again, plenty of easy to reach outlying places.
LancasterLad is offline  
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