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Balkans various questions

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San Francisco...
posts: 624
reviews: 16
Balkans various questions

Thinking of a solo trip around the region in 2013, I have various questions:-

Is 18 days enough time to cover the main sights in Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania?

I am thinking of travelling in either August or September, 2013. Am I better off travelling in September to avoid the crowds and higher prices, or do tourist start to close for the winter season in September?

What is the best way to travel around the region, I plan on using long distance buses, which bus lines should I look at?

Which is the best city to fly in/out of. I have miles that I plan on using, my choices of cities are Ljublujana, Dubronik, Zagreb and Split. I plan on getting an open jaw ticket so I can fly into one of these cities and depart from another instead of backtracking back to my original entry point.

Any suggestions and advice will be appreciated. Thanks.

Edited: 3:46 pm, December 12, 2012
San Francisco...
posts: 624
reviews: 16
1. Re: Balkans various questions

Forgot to ask..........

Are there formal immigration formalities betweent the countries, or is it similar to the Schengen zone where I can travel between different countries without immigration formalities.


Portland, OR
posts: 545
reviews: 25
2. Re: Balkans various questions

Slovenia is Schengen and part of the EU. The other countries on your list are not Schengen, so you'll need to do border crossings. In some cases you have to cross through Bosnia and Herzegovina just when driving through Croatia (like down the Dalmatian coast) so you need to do a border check twice (a small part of BiH juts out to the Dalmatian Coast in the middle of Croatia). I don't know where you are from. For Americans, it's usually a quick wave of your passport and that's it.

Eighteen days is not nearly enough time to see the highlights of the Balkans. Personally, I'd limit your first trip to Slovenia and Croatia. Even then you will be pushing it to see the highlights in my opinion. Otherwise, add more time.

The Croatian destinations on the Dalmatian coast (Dubrovnik, the islands, etc.) are mostly seasonal/warm weather destinations. They will still be nice in September but don't wait too long. By October things start closing down, depending on the weather. Dubrovnik will be mobbed with cruise ship tour groups during the days no matter when you go. It must be miserable in August. September is a great time to go in my experience.

I highly recommend picking up a Rick Steves Croatia/Slovenia book as a starting point (small parts of BiH and Montenegro are covered too). Ask more questions about specific places you are interested in once you have a list.

Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 6,418
reviews: 57
3. Re: Balkans various questions

Don't do it, it is not worth your time. Instead pick a pair - two neighbouring countries - and explore them. Slovenia and Croatia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania.

If you choose Slovenia and Croatia, come in September, and start in Slovenia (Ljubljana), for 6 days. Then travel along the coast (and islands) towards Dubrovnik to fly home.

Edited: 9:58 am, December 13, 2012
San Francisco...
posts: 624
reviews: 16
4. Re: Balkans various questions

Thanks for all the replies, I have been reading a guide book and I think I will rework my schedule to allow longer in the region. I doubt I will have a chance to go back soon, so I defintitely want to cover as much ground as possible.

5. Re: Balkans various questions

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