There are some brilliant reasons why you should take a holiday in Eastern Europe
It’s been 30 years since the fall of the Berlin wall and the political upheavals that followed, and those years have seen massive changes in the former communist countries of Eastern Europe. If you’ve never thought of taking a trip to the Balkans, you’re missing out on some extraordinary experiences, so it’s well worth finding out more about the wonders of Eastern Europe.
The idea of touring Bran Castle, the real-life home of Dracula, is sure to appeal to kids who love a scary story, but there’s plenty of fine dining, culture, and architecture in the capital, Bucharest, to keep mum and dad happy. For wildlife, go to the Danube Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Take a cruise on the Danube and enjoy the spectacular views of Slovakia’s capital Bratislava, or enjoy a wander around Old Town’s picturesque streets with its excellent cafes and coffee shops. Slovakia has many historic towns full of fascinating buildings, like a living history book, and for natural wonders, you can’t miss the Tatra mountains.
Croatia has some of the most spectacular scenery, from the Plitviče waterfalls to the coastal beauty of Split. As well as natural wonders, Croatia is also home to some architectural marvels, like the stone walls around Dubrovnik, and the ruins of Roman Diocletian’s Palace. If you rent one of the luxury villas in Dalmatian Islands on the Mediterranean, you can experience both the nature and culture of the country.
Serbia’s capital Belgrade is home to the Nikola Tesla Museum and the Museum of Yugoslav History, and there’s plenty of nightlife for those who like to have fun in the evenings. Take a trip to the Uvac Canyon to explore Serbia’s landscape or the Tara National Park. Historical monuments are plentiful, the Petrovaradin Fortress and Crna Reka Monastery being just a couple of examples.
For medieval architecture, you can’t beat Kraków, and the whole of Poland is a cultural hotspot, having many museums, exhibitions, and galleries. Kids will love Europe’s largest Gothic fortress at Malbork and the primeval Bialowieza Forest, where wild boar, bison, wolves, and lynx still live. The Tatra National Park has 650 caves, more than 30 alpine lakes, and the stunning Wielka Siklawa waterfall.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Mostar is a fascinating and beautiful town on the Neretva River, and home to the famous Stari Most, or Old Bridge. Out in the countryside, Vrelo Bosne Park in Ilidža is the source of the River Bosna, and as well as having amazing scenery and wildlife, is full of activities to keep everyone in the family happy. No trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina would be complete without taking in Sarajevo, which as well as being a historical landmark, is now one of the most welcoming multicultural cities in the world.
These examples only scratch the surface of what’s on offer in Eastern Europe, so if your curiosity has been aroused, do take some time to find out more about these extraordinary countries.