Travelling around Europe during the summer is one of my favourite things to do, since moving to the U.K in 2010 I have done 4 Europe backpacking trips through various locations in Europe so I thought I would share these itineraries so you can plan your own Europe summer trip and hopefully this helps you in some way. This Balkan Road trip takes in Croatia and Montenegro.
I did a Balkan road trip back in 2013 and it is one of my favourite summer trips. I am sharing just a snippet of this journey as I took six weeks to complete mine but this one can be done in around three weeks.
This itinerary takes in Zagreb, Plitvice National Park, Split, islands in Croatia, Dubrovnik, Bay of Kotor and Sveti Stefan.
Day 1-2 – Zagreb
Firstly, start in Zagreb the capital of Croatia. You can spend a couple of days here, when I visited it was a public holiday so EVERYTHING was shut but it was very pretty and I enjoyed wandering around.
Day 2-3 Plitvice National Park
Take a bus to the incredible Plitvice Lakes which is around 2 and a half hours long. You must inform your bus driver of your hotel or guest house they can drop you off at the right location.
The lakes are best done first thing in the morning as there are less people and it is cooler than midday. The lakes are phenomenal but make sure you have good walking shoes as it is a trek and a half to get from one side of the national park to the other.
If you are staying over night be sure to stock up on food as there are no restaurants or supermarkets nearby. We made a lovely meal and enjoyed it al fresco in our guest house’s garden.
Day 3-5 Split
The next stop on the Balkan Road Trip is Split. Split to me is totally underrated, it is a fantastic place and way more than a port town. The old Roman town is magical and it comes alive at night with countless al fresco dining options and bars dotted along the port. Spend a couple of days here soaking up the vibe and hitting the nearby beaches.
Days 5- 11 Croatia Islands
From here you can pick up a boat trip that takes you to the nearby islands of Hvar, Vis and Korucla or do what I did and pick up a weeks long sailing with MedSailors. I would recommend staying at least a week on the islands as they are truly remarkable.
You can read about my week long sailing trip here:
Day 11-13 Dubrovnik
You can either get a boat trip that takes you to Dubrovnik or back to Split but either is a good option because the drive between Split and Dubrovnik is fantastic. The views (as long as sit on the left side of the bus) are to die for and make the bus journey bearable.
Once in Dubrovnik there is a range of activities to keep you occupied. A must do is the walk around the wall, I did it at sunset and was graced with the most beautiful colours reflecting on the water and on the wall. You may recognise the wall from Kings Landing but it has to be seen to be believed.
There are also some great cocktail bars that are dotted along the wall and cliffs, they can be a little tricky to find but its worth it when you do. The cable car up to Srd Hill is also a must to get this incredible view over Dubrovnik old town.
Day 13-16 Kotor Old Town
Take a bus from Dubrovnik down to the The Bay of Kotor. The bus takes a few hours and drops you off right in Kotor town where you can spend a couple of days in the lovely old town admiring the views and wondering where all the people are.
Day 16-19 Sveti Stefan
From Kotor town you can take a small bus to Sveti Stefan which is a great seaside town further down the coast in Montenegro. It is calm, laid back and has a great beach not overcrowded like nearby Budva.
From here you can take a taxi back to Dubrovnik for around €40 which we needed for our early morning flight.
I hope this helps planning a Balkan road trip or travels through Eastern Europe. This trip was an absolute blast!
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