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Balkan Countries Travel Planning

17 Jun

Balkan Countries Travel Planning is the summary of my two months travel to three of the Balkan countries: Macedonia, Albania, and Kosovo, during the summer of 2017 (June – July). The pace of traveling was slow, in accordance with the flexibility I had to go wherever I wanted with my car.

Balkan Countries Travel Planning – General Planning:

Travel Planning for the road trip through the Balkan Countries started a couple of month in advance. I couldn’t go anymore as I had planned and postponed the trip for one year. I used a Lonely Planet Guide for the southeastern Europe and the official tourism websites for Macedonia and Albania. I had names of places where I wanted to go and a vague idea of the order of the places I wanted to see. As I was going with my own car, I didn’t bother too much with the plans. I was flexible to go, stop, and stay wherever I wanted. I only searched for camping places on the ACSI Campings website and saved some printscreens with the locations of all the campings from the region.

Balkan Countries Travel Planning – Fixed Plans:

– a few days before leaving Romania, I made a booking on Airbnb for the first four nights in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia

Balkan Countries Travel Planning – Intentions, but nothing fixed:

When I left for the Balkan Countries of Macedonia, Albania, and Kosovo, all I knew was that I wanted to go but hadn’t fixed dates for:

– go throughout Macedonia for almost one month – arbitrary route: Skopje – Eastern Macedonia – Western Macedonia – Lake Ohrid

– cross from Macedonia to Albania somewhere near Lake Ohrid (there are two places where you can cross the border)

– stay in Albania for almost one month – arbitrary route from the South to the North of the country: from Sarande, go along the Mediterranean Coast to Tirana – Dures – Shkoder

– try the three days round-trip along the Komani Canyon – trek from Valbone to Theth for one day – back to Shkoder

– go to Corfu Island for one week, probably with a ferry from Sarande (Albania) – I dropped this plan because I decided to experience more the Balkan culture and lifestyle

– cross from Albania to Kosovo and follow the route Prizren – Peja – Prishtina and turn back to Skopje (Macedonia) from where I go Home to Romania

Balkan Countries Travel Planning – Final Result:

The final result of my trip through a couple of Balkan Countries, where I stayed for two months, is a series of ….. travel diaries. Enjoy your reading and let me know your opinion about the Balkan Countries. Which is your favorite country? Why?

Macedonia

  • two days driving from Romania to Macedonia, crossing Bulgaria (via Bușteni – Calafat – Sofia – Kriva PalankaSkopje)
  • explored Skopje for two days: the new town and the old Turkish bazaar
  • round road trip to the lakes nearby Skopje: Kozjak, Matka, and Treska
  • road trip to Vodno Mountain; arrive on the shore of Mavrovo Lake
  • road trip from Mavrovo Lake to Lazaropole village, via Mavrovo – Galichnik – Radika Canyon – Sveti Jovan Bigorski Monastery – Jance – Lazaropole
  • explore Lazaropole village and turn back to Skopje for one day
  • road trip from Skopje to Kratovo, via Staro Nagoricane – Kokino Megalithic Observatory – Kuklica (with the Valley of the Stone Dolls) – Kratovo
  • road trip from Kratovo to Star Dojran, with a few detours to the monasteries of Lesnovo, Veljusa, and Vodocha – Strumica town – Star Dojran lake resort
  • relaxation day in Star Dojran and walk by the Dojran Lake
  • road trip from Star Dojran to Prilep, with stops to the archaeological sites Vardarski Rid (near Gevgelia) and Stobi (near Negotino) – meander around Kavadarci wine region and Tikvesh Lake – Prilep
  • round road trip from Prilep to Zrze monastery – Krusevo mountain town – Treskavec former monastery
  • explored Prilep and Bitola, including the archaeological site from Heraklea Lyncestis
  • road trip from Bitola to Ohrid, via the shore of Prespa Lake – with Brajcino mountain village
  • explored Ohrid historic town for two days (the Christian part and the old Turkish bazaar)

Balkan Countries Travel Planning – Latest State:

I am currently in Macedonia, Ohrid City (updated 17th June, 2017)

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