Exciting news! I’m off on my next adventure! After putting this trip off for over eight years, I’m finally going back to the Balkans. More specifically – Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina. Technically I’ve already been to the Balkans as both Bulgaria and the European side of Turkey are part of the Balkan Peninsula. But when most people think Balkans, they usually think of the Western Balkans and former Yugoslavia – Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro.
Back in 2009, Adrienne and I planned out a 2-3 week trip to Croatia and Slovenia, but due to the quickly rising costs, we decided to forego Europe for 2 weeks in Morocco (and I spent an extra week in Tunisia on my own). That trip ended up being an absolute blast and I don’t regret it in the least. But I’ve been waiting to make this one a reality ever since. And now I am!
Normally when I travel, I go alone or with a single friend, but I’ll be traveling with three friends on this trip. As I mentioned, this is something Adrienne and I have been planning for awhile, but when she mentioned it to her sister Corey, Corey said there was no way we could go without her. Then, somewhat late to the party, Emma declared she was joining as well. And so, CAKE was born (our initials…aren’t we clever?).
I leave tonight to fly to Zagreb for a couple days, where Emma and I will rent a car to drive to Slovenia, then back in to Croatia to explore the Istrian peninsula. Next it’s over to Plitvice National Park where we’ll meet up with Adrienne and Corey to drive to Split, Mostar and Dubrovnik. We’ll also spend a couple days on the island of Korcula before heading back to Dubrovnik where Adrienne and Corey will fly home and Emma and I will continue on to Montenegro. We will spend two nights exploring the Bay of Kotor and surrounding areas, ending with a few days in Sarajevo. In total, trip will be 26 days, though days 1 and 26 are travel days.
Highlights include Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes, wine and Roman ruins on the Istrian peninsula, Split, the old walls of Dubrovnik and the Dalmatian Islands. I plan to do a full day boat trip from Split to the Blue Grotto, and some Mediterranean diving around the island of Korcula.
Highlights include Ljubliana, Lake Bled, driving through the Julian Alps, the Skogjan Caves, Predjama Castle and hiking in Triglav National Park. I’ve also made a reservation for Emma and I to have lunch at Hisa Franko in Kobarid, considered one of the top 50 restaurants in the world. Normally I wouldn’t splurge on food like this, but everything worked out so perfectly for a visit, it seems like it’s meant to be.
Highlights include the Bay of Kotor, Lovcen National Park, Stari Bar, Lake Skadar and Sveti Stefan. I’m also hoping to stop at the Ostrog Monastery before heading back to Dubrovnik to catch the bus to Sarajevo.
Bosnia & Herzogavina
Highlights include Mostor and Sarajevo. There are also a few little towns worth stopping at on the way to Dubrovnik from Mostar – Blagaj and Potcitelj.
The entire trip will take 26 days, my longest since climbing Kilimanjaro in Tanzania a few years back. I’m definitely going to make the most of it as it will likely be my only trip for 2017. As always, thank you so much for following along on my journeys and I can’t wait to share more when I’m home.