Yugoslavia ear car

I wish we had this car!

I love a good road trip. There is nothing quite as satisfying as cruising through a country’s winding back roads to really get to know the local landscape, people and discover spots that you would have missed arriving by air. Of course if you have even more time then riding a bike or walking can be even better ways to become intimate with your destinations. But a car provides a level of freedom and flexibility (motorbikes as well!) that allows you to explore extensively but also smell the air and fresh bread baking in the morning.

When we set off on our 9 day Western Balkan road trip we didn’t know what to expect. All we had was a map, a tent, a rough idea of where to go and few hotel bookings that kept us grounded but not constrained.  This was by choice as getting lost and having adventures are one of the best experiences in life, not to mention great blog article material :) .

Many people back in the US thought we were crazy and that the Balkans are still dangerous. They are not, or at least no more dangerous than NY city and I would argue much safer in many ways. You can cover a lot of ground in 9 days and we were determined to see as much of Croatia’s Dalmatian coast as possible, where we spent the bulk of our time. In the end we traveled over 1,800 km starting in Kosovo and driving through Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. We ate, drank and danced to the rhythm of the Balkans and arrived home safe, sound and energized. More detailed articles will follow on all of our destinations, but for now here are some of the highlights that should be included in any trip to the area.

Old City of Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik Croatia

Undeniably the Jewel in the sparkling Adriatic sea, the old City of Dubrovnik and its massive walls should not be missed.

Magical and funky city of Split

Gregorious of Nin Split Croatia

Ignored by travelers until recently the old city of Split is at once Magical and funky. The atmosphere of sitting, eating, drinking and just living life among exposed Roman ruins is not to be missed

Romanesque Portal in Trogir’s Cathedral

This incredible portal into the Cathedral is the first example of nude sculpture in architecture in Croatia. The whole city which sits on a tiny island is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Forest River in Krka National Park

Krka National Park Croatia

This beautiful park will leave you in awe as you walk and swim between rushing waterfalls and rivers running throughout the surrounding forest.

White Marble History of Zadar

Zadar Croatia

The most northern city on the Dalmatian Coast the old city of Zadar is unique in its white marble roman design and its layers of exposed history.

Natural Beauty of Kornati Islands

Kornati Islands Croatia1

150 uninhabited islands await as you cruise through the Adriatic sea. What trip to Croatia can be complete without a trip to the isalnds?

Monastic Magnificence of Ostrog, Montenegro

Ostrog Monestary Montenegro

Founded in the 17th century by St. Basil, this is the most visited pilgrimage site in Montenegro. Clinging to a high cliff a visit here is packed with incredible views and throngs of worshipers praying for the healing miracles associated with the monastery.

Like all good trips this article needs to end as well. But fear not we will bring you on a guided tour of our travels through the Balkans soon enough. For more pictures from our trip visit Todd’s Wanderings Facebook Page for the complete view of this beautiful area.

We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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15 Responses to “Balkan Highlights: road trip from Kosovo to Croatia and back”

  1. Josh dookhieNo Gravatar says:

    Todd,
    Thanks for all the amazing info! I am planning a 2 week roadtrip hopefully done relatively cheap throughout the Balkans. I was wondering if you could offer some insight for a rough itemerary of the area. I am hoping for a good mix of cities and nature with a lot of randomness thrown in. Your blog is awesome, Thanks for the resource!!

  2. PatriziaNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Todd,

    just came across your page and like what I see :-)

    I am currently planning a trip through the Balkans (&Hungary, Slovenia) and was wondering whether you have some good advice concerning some stunning natural highlights. I am not so much into cities but really into hiking…

    Would be great to hear what you have to say.

    Cheers,

    Patrizia

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patrizia, thanks for stopping by and I’m excited about your trip! I live in Kosovo at the moment and have tons of suggestions :) I’m not sure how much time you have but here is my list (some you can find here on my site):
      Slovenia- Bled and Bohinj lakes
      Croatia-the Dalmatian coatline along with Kirka and Plevica national parks (both stunning parks)
      Montenegro-Kotor, then the Mountains near Kolosin
      Albania- Velbona valley (most gorgeous mountain area in the Balkans
      Kosovo- Dragash :)
      Macedonia- Ochrid Lake is worth a trip
      Bulgaria- have been there much but the mountains around Bansko are beautiful
      Greece- Climb mount Olympus
      Serbia- I have not been, but supposedly a ride along the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal is great.
      Todd Wassel´s recent [type] ..The Statues of Mt Takao

  3. SlavaNo Gravatar says:

    Is that Grgur Ninski? It seems like Croats have a statue of him in every city :)
    Slava´s recent [type] ..Reasons to visit Plitvice Lakes

  4. Todd… I was so close to going to Dubrovnik recently but due to time and other things I had to pass it up… Regret it now a little bit!
    Croatia is definitely on my list… Seems like the Laos of Europe
    Aaron : BeforeYOUBackpack.com´s recent [type] ..9 Iconic forms of Asian transport

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hey Aaron,
      I loved Dubrovnik and Croatia but it is getting a lot more expensive! Amazing number of UNESCO sites though. I think Montenegro and Albania will be the next big “it” places in the region. Prices are still low there and the beauty and history are amazing.

  5. I am SO jealous – Croatia has been on my short list for SO long. Great photos.
    Barbara Weibel´s recent [type] ..Sleeping on the Great Wall of China

  6. SophieNo Gravatar says:

    This is such an interesting part of the world – Dubrovnik, Mostar, Trebinje, Kotor…. so many beautiful and evocative spots. You have some excellent photos here; I esp. like the Montenegro monastery. Look forward to reading more :)

  7. JasonNo Gravatar says:

    Todd,

    Nice post and great road trip. The photos are great and I particularly like the pilgramge spot in Montenegro. Can’t wait fo the next road trip.

    Jason

  8. tanushreeNo Gravatar says:

    Ahh Magical… !!!
    tanushree´s recent [type] ..The Rants of a Sick sick Woman !!!

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