Eastern Europe

Eastern Europe comprises the easternmost countries of Europe. This includes the portion of Russia that lies west of the Ural Mountains. .

All countries in the region were once part of the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War, but today most have shed this historical legacy, and many are part of the European Union.

Definitions for the western part of Eastern Europe are harder to define precisely, other than their postwar Soviet legacy. A more historic definition describes Eastern Europe as a cultural and economic entity: the region lying in Europe with main characteristics consisting in Byzantine, Orthodox, and Turco-Islamic influences.

 

 

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Europe (Eastern) (photo by Wikimedia Commons)

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Countries in this region:

Combination Atmosphere destinations combine elements of both cultural and natural destinations, where this combination is itself essential to the travel experience. Common examples are Archaeological Sites (where culture is usually experienced outdoors), Scenic Local Markets (where indigenous cultures interact outdoors), Hotsprings and Vineyard Areas (where nature provides the raw materials but humans create the surroundings), and Unique Cultural Landscapes (where humans and nature interact in innovative ways, as in the elaborate rice terracing systems of Asia).

Combination Interests typically fall somewhere in the middle of the three types of primary interests in terms of
(a) how climate-dependent they are
(b) how accessible and physically demanding they are.

Bulgaria

Atmosphere: Combination    
Best Weather: May, June, September, October

 BulgariaBulgaria’s position near the Turkish Straits has made it a key crossroads from Europe to the Middle East and Asia. The country is largely mountainous, with lowlands in north and southeast. Several major bodies of water play an important role in its landscape, with the Danube defining Bulgaria’s northern border with Romania and the Black Sea defining its eastern border.
 
Combination Atmosphere destinations combine elements of both cultural and natural destinations, where this combination is itself essential to the travel experience. Common examples are Archaeological Sites (where culture is usually experienced outdoors), Scenic Local Markets (where indigenous cultures interact outdoors), Hotsprings and Vineyard Areas (where nature provides the raw materials but humans create the surroundings), and Unique Cultural Landscapes (where humans and nature interact in innovative ways, as in the elaborate rice terracing systems of Asia).

Combination Interests typically fall somewhere in the middle of the three types of primary interests in terms of
(a) how climate-dependent they are
(b) how accessible and physically demanding they are.

Estonia

Atmosphere: Combination    
Best Weather: June, July, August, September

 EstoniaEstonia is a Baltic state. Estonia is known for its diverse water options, both ocean and inland. The country has extensive coastline marked by numerous bays, straits, and inlets. Inland, Estonia has over 1,400 lakes. There are also many rivers in the country, as well as numerous fens and bogs. Enhancing the outdoor experience, boreal forests cover 61% of Estonia.
 
 
A Cultural Atmosphere includes both the historic (eg, landmark town centers) and the contemporary (music, nightlife, etc).

Cultural Interests tend to be:
(a) indoors-oriented, and therefore not as linked to weather conditions for enjoyment
(b) relatively physically accessible, while also not being physically demanding.

Latvia

Atmosphere: Culture    
Best Weather: June, July, August, September

 LatviaLatvia is a Baltic state, famous as ancient trading point linking cultures from the Vikings to the Greeks. Geographically, western Latvia is dominated by its sea coast, which consists mainly of white, soft sandy beaches. The interior still has large unspoiled areas, with forests covering approximately a half of Latvia's territory and a variety of parks and trails.
 
Combination Atmosphere destinations combine elements of both cultural and natural destinations, where this combination is itself essential to the travel experience. Common examples are Archaeological Sites (where culture is usually experienced outdoors), Scenic Local Markets (where indigenous cultures interact outdoors), Hotsprings and Vineyard Areas (where nature provides the raw materials but humans create the surroundings), and Unique Cultural Landscapes (where humans and nature interact in innovative ways, as in the elaborate rice terracing systems of Asia).

Combination Interests typically fall somewhere in the middle of the three types of primary interests in terms of
(a) how climate-dependent they are
(b) how accessible and physically demanding they are.

Lithuania

Atmosphere: Combination    
Best Weather: June, July, August, September

 LithuaniaLithuania is the most populous of the three Baltic states, and somewhat less forested and more widely developed. It has some sandy coastline, over half of it by the Curonian sand peninsula. Lithuania’s glacial history has led to numerous lakes and extensive wetlands systems. The main and largest river is the Nemunas River, which is wide and deep enough to carry international shipping.
 
 
Combination Atmosphere destinations combine elements of both cultural and natural destinations, where this combination is itself essential to the travel experience. Common examples are Archaeological Sites (where culture is usually experienced outdoors), Scenic Local Markets (where indigenous cultures interact outdoors), Hotsprings and Vineyard Areas (where nature provides the raw materials but humans create the surroundings), and Unique Cultural Landscapes (where humans and nature interact in innovative ways, as in the elaborate rice terracing systems of Asia).

Combination Interests typically fall somewhere in the middle of the three types of primary interests in terms of
(a) how climate-dependent they are
(b) how accessible and physically demanding they are.

Romania

Atmosphere: Combination    
Best Weather: June, July, August, September

 RomaniaRomania is located in the north of the Balkan Peninsula on the western shores of the Black Sea. While Romania has significant cultural similarities with other Balkan states, it is regarded as unique due to its strong Latin heritage. Its southern regions are usually seen as part of the southeast Balkans, but Transylvania, its central and largest region, has a more central European feel, with old castles, vineyards, etc. Among its most significant geographic features is the Danube River, the Carpathian Mountains, and the vast Black Sea.
 
A Cultural Atmosphere includes both the historic (eg, landmark town centers) and the contemporary (music, nightlife, etc).

Cultural Interests tend to be:
(a) indoors-oriented, and therefore not as linked to weather conditions for enjoyment
(b) relatively physically accessible, while also not being physically demanding.

European Russia

Atmosphere: Culture    
Best Weather: May, June, July, August, September

European RussiaRussia is by far the largest country in the world, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area. Most travelers focus on western (European) Russia, because this is where the vast majority of cultural heritage can be found. This includes many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, world-class museums, music and dance, and other cultural activities. It also includes an extensive lake area in the northwest near Scandinavia. For those interested in a warmer experience, there is the southern region around the Black Sea, with resort cities such as Sochi.