Southeastern Europe

Southeastern Europe comprises the eastern countries of Mediterranean Europe, including Greece, Cyprus, and the Balkans.

Greece is the most popular travel country in the region, known for its islands, beaches, and rich history. It is considered the source of much of Western culture, influencing language, politics, educational systems, philosophy, science, and the arts.

The Balkan states have their own attractions, with charming towns, impressive monasteries and citadels dotting the hillsides, extensive mountains, and beautiful forests and lakes.

The Southeastern region is among the most diverse in Europe linguistically and culturally, which has led to an occasionally turbulent history (although it is peaceful now).

Among the languages spoken in the region are Greek, Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Slovene, and Macedonian. Religiously, the Greek Orthodox church dominates some areas, while other areas (notably Bosnia and Albania) are primarily Islamic.

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Europe (Southeastern) (photo by Bunker)

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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.

Albania

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

 AlbaniaAlbania is a small country located in the Balkans on the Adriatic Sea. Culturally, the majority of the people in Albania are of Muslim background, but religious observance as a whole is relaxed, and nightlife activities such as cafe lounging and dancing are popular. Albania has an extensive coastline, as well as lowlands in the west facing the Adriatic Sea. The 70% of the country that is mountainous is rugged and often inaccessible by road.
 
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.

Bosnia & Herzegovina

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

 Bosnia & HerzegovinaBosnia & Herzegovina has a rich history, having been first settled by the Slavic peoples that populate the area today from the 6th through to the 9th centuries AD. Sarajevo, the site of the Winter Olympics in 1984, is the capital and largest city. The country is mostly mountainous, encompassing the central Dinaric Alps, with the northwest more moderately hilly and northeast predominantly flatland. The country has 12 mi (20 km) of coastline, located around the town of Neum.
 
 
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.

Croatia

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

 CroatiaCroatia is located on the Adriatic Sea at the crossroads of central and southeast Europe. Its Adriatic Sea coast contains more than a thousand islands and islets varying in size, 48 of which are permanently inhabited. On the mainland, the central and southern regions near the Adriatic coastline and islands consist of low mountains and forested highlands. Karst topography makes up about half of Croatia, resulting in an extensive system of deep caves as well as Croatia’s most famous natural feature – Plitvice Lakes.
 
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.

Greece

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

 GreeceGreece is located on the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula. Ancient Greece is the cradle of Western civilization, with its many archeological sites provide context for understanding this. This has long made the country a leading travel country. Also attracting travelers is the ocean, as Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Sea. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with wine-producing valleys, vast stretches of olive orchards, and towns in different regional architectural styles. Greece is located on the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula. Ancient Greece is the cradle of Western civilization, with its many archeological sites provide context for understanding this. This has long made the country a leading travel country. Also attracting travelers is the ocean, as Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Sea. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with wine-producing valleys, vast stretches of olive orchards, and towns in different regional architectural styles.
 
 
A Natural Atmosphere includes a diverse range of destinations with outdoor-oriented features, including both water-based (beaches, rivers, lakes, etc) and land-based (mountains, forests, deserts, etc). It also includes specific outdoor activities, ranging from water adventuring (eg, kayaking, sailing) to land adventuring (eg, hiking, biking).

Natural Interests tend to be:
(a) outdoors-oriented, and therefore more dependent on weather conditions
(b) less easily accessible and more physically demanding than other destination categories.

In some cases (eg, rafting and climbing), this includes a significantly increased degree of adventure (or danger, depending on one's viewpoint).

Montenegro

Atmosphere: Nature    
Best Weather: April, May, June, September, October

 MontenegroMontenegro is a small country in the Balkans, on the Adriatic Sea. Geographically, Montenegro ranges from high peaks along its borders with Serbia, Kosovo and Albania, through a segment of the Karst of the western Balkan Peninsula, to a narrow coastal plain that stops abruptly in the north. Montenegro is also home to Europe’s deepest canyon, the Tara River Canyon, and is also known for its beautiful lakes and extensive hiking opportunities in one of the wilder regions of Europe.
 
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.

Serbia

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

 SerbiaSerbia is a landlocked country situated at the nexus between Central and Southeast Europe in the central Balkans. Given its longtime position on the crossroads of European history, it is a mix of cultures, ethnicities, and religions. Its geography is also varied, with the north dominated by fertile plains, the home to the Carpathian and Balkan Mountains, and the south primarily mountainous.
 
 
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.

Slovenia

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

 SloveniaSlovenia is a small country at the crossroads of the Balkans and Central Europe. For a small country, Slovenia's landscape is remarkably diverse. It has a small Adriatic coastline stretching from Italy to Croatia. Inland from there is the Kras Plateau, a limestone region of underground rivers, gorges, and caves. The Alps, including several subchains, dominate the northern areas along its long border with Austria. For those who want untrammeled wilderness, Slovenia is an excellent choice.