Eastern Europe/Balkan ideas

Old Mar 9th, 2023, 06:36 AM
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Eastern Europe/Balkan ideas

Hello, just looking for opinions on some ideas. We are looking at traveling for two weeks in July. We have a couple ideas that would like some input on if anyone has time.
First, they start in Budapest (never visited):
One path is from there to go Budapest -> Bratislava -> (Vienna?) Ljubljana -> Zagreb and then down the coast to Split and Dubrovnik.
My concern with this is the popularity of Croatia. I tend to dislike very popular/touristy areas but I know it is beautiful and my wife is pretty keen on it.

Another path is to leave Budapest -> Cluj -> Timisoara, Romania (we've visited and loved Maramures and central Romania), -> Belgrade -> southern Croatia and head up the coast.

A final choice is similar to the second but Budapest -> Cluj/Timisoara -> Sophia, Bulgaria -> North Macedonia -> southern Croatia and up the coast.

We prefer to see some of the less visited areas and especially with those with deep history. Many large cities have wonderful museums and attractions but we really enjoyed being out in rural areas of Romania. Though I do worry about time and transportation.

Any thoughts?
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Old Mar 9th, 2023, 07:07 AM
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Allow plenty of time for Budapest (although it does seem to have gotten a lot more popular than when I first went in 2004).

Any of those three would be good trips, but much as I love Ljubljana I would opt for version three. (Timsoara rather than Cluj.) Try to visit Szeged on the way from Budapest to Romania - https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...d-time-around/ Definitely visit Lake Ohrid in North Macedonia - https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...dmiring-ohrid/ and spend some time in Albania.
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Old Mar 9th, 2023, 01:00 PM
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Being Hungarian and a travel blogger, I visit these places a lot. I think the first itinerary is the better choice. Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna... then instead of Ljubljana I recommend Bled or the Soca Valley... then Plitvice Lakes in Croatia, then down to Split, Dubrovnik... then my big favorite in Bosnia and Herzegovina is Mostar, I think it's a very beautiful area too, well worth a day. Then we're heading to Kotor in Montenegro soon, which I think is also a nice destination.
About July, it will be very hot and crowded almost everywhere. Be prepared for that.
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Old Mar 12th, 2023, 12:34 PM
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Thank you for the reply. Trying to pare down the locations to fit our time. May save Budapest for a Central Europe trip and focus on an area of the Balkans. So many choices I know nothing about but all sound great!
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Old Mar 12th, 2023, 12:36 PM
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We may be shifting towards a lower to mid Balkan area to fit our timeline. Bosnia and Herzegovina has caught my wife's interest too.
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Old Mar 12th, 2023, 01:05 PM
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Loved Sarajevo, Mostar is also worth a look and the scenery is good.

https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...ting-sarajevo/
https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...rajevo-reborn/
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Old Mar 13th, 2023, 04:53 AM
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Thank you for the links. I think that will be a main stop. Likely reducing travel area to mid to southern Balkans rather than Budapest, Slovakia/Slovenia. Save that for a Vienna and Prague trip.
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Old May 9th, 2023, 12:52 PM
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My suggestion is to take the train from Budapest to Pécs which is worth at least a full day




and from there go to Zagreb


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Old May 9th, 2023, 10:42 PM
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2 weeks, lots of places, are you a student on a train?
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Old May 10th, 2023, 05:56 AM
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The OP may have settled on his itinerary back on March 13th and hasn't responded since his thread has been bumped up. Let's allow the OP to return with any follow-up questions he may have and/or if the itinerary gets tweaked.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2023, 10:07 PM
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One of my favorite places is Ohrid lake in North Macedonia.This summer season TUI UK introduced charter flights to there and i believe WIZZ still serves London-Skopje route.
Ohrid is an amazing city listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list and the epynomous lake is enchanting with its pristine waters and pebble beaches scattered along the lake(some only accessible with boat).You can swim there, go scuba diving, cycling,paragliding, horseback riding and many more.



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Old Sep 7th, 2023, 08:05 AM
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Hello Darren,

Yes, we visited Lake Ohrid as well as as stopping in Bitola to see the Roman dig. That and the lake were the highlight of the Macedonian portion.

We then traveled through Kosovo on our way to Montenegro (beautiful) to see Budva and Kotor before heading into Bosnia for five days. Then we crossed over into Croatia near Debrovnik and traveled up to Split and Zadar.

Quite a lot of driving but some beautiful scenery and delicious food.
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