Although we may not be able to travel to the Balkans just yet, be sure to save down these picture-perfect spots for when you’re back on the road again! Try telling us the Balkans isn’t on your travel-wish list after this!
1. Mostar, Bosnia
It’s no wonder Mostar is becoming such an up and coming destination. Once you step foot in this town, it will be easy to see why! It’s without a doubt one of the most picturesque towns in the Balkans and even better, hasn’t been overridden by tourists quite yet. The iconic Stari Most bridge is beautiful from many angles and makes it incredibly easy to get an effortless good snap! The locals even train for years to jump off this bridge and it definitely makes for some good entertainment to watch. Not only is Mostar extremely picturesque and charming, but it also carries a whole lot of shocking history that will leave you having a greater appreciation for the country and people.
Photo tip: Climb one of the minarets of a mosque along the Neretva River for unique views of the bridge and old town. Another great spot to get views of the bridge is also by climbing down onto one of the river banks. As well as the bridge being a great photo spot, you’ll also find plenty of photo opportunities across the old town through the cobbled quaint streets and Turkish bazaars.
2. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Whether you’re a big Game of Thrones fan or have never seen an episode, one thing is for sure, Dubrovnik (aka King’s Landing) is a must-go for every traveller. Encircled by a huge stone wall with a beautiful terracotta roofed old city surrounded by the ocean, this town is rich in history and charm. You’ll find picture-perfect views around every corner.
Photo tip: You’ll find plenty of great photo opportunities when walking along the top of the wall, but be sure to head in the early morning or evening to miss the crowds and the heat. For the best views overlooking Dubrovnik, head to the top of Srđ Hill behind the Old Town and go to the restaurant for a good feed with panoramic views. If you’re feeling active, you can either hike to the top or you can simply take the cable car.
3. Kotor, Montenegro
This secluded coastal town offers views that look as if they’ve come right out of a postcard. Kotor definitely has one of the most impressive landscapes in the Balkans. With steep mountains surrounding the beautiful harbour and towering over the medieval old town, Kotor is quite simply breath-taking and really does offer ‘views for days’. Enjoy a boat trip through the fjords, explore the quaint old town or hike to the top of the medieval fortress for that perfect pano shot.
Photo tip: Hike up to the fortress either first thing in the morning for sunrise or for sunset, not only to capture the gorgeous lighting but to also avoid the heat! Kotor gets pretty hot during the summer and climbing those 1355 steps with the sun beating down doesn’t make it any easier. Be sure to capture photos on the way up as well. There’s many stunning view points along the way before you even get to the top, offering many different angles.
4. Lake Ohrid, North Macedonia
Lake Ohrid is one of Europe’s oldest and deepest lakes and has a lot to offer when it comes to unique charm! Bordering North Macedonia and Albania, the lake and town are recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Lake Ohrid is a tranquil setting ringed by mountains, quaint towns and beaches that come alive in the summer.
Photo tip: The most iconic photo spot is the Church of St John at Kaneo, which is positioned beautifully above the lake. The best spot to get a photo is with the lake in the background by climbing the steps above the church. Also climb up Samuel’s Fortress which sits above the town for more great views of Ohrid.
5. Meteora, Greece
Known for its unique rock formations and six medieval monasteries perched on top, Meteora feels ‘otherworldly’ and truly looks like something out of a fantasy movie. It’s easy to see why it has great photo opps, you’ll get some impressive snap without even having to try! With its captivating landscapes and gorgeous monasteries, not only is it a great place to snap an impressive picture but also is the perfect destination for nature lovers and hikers.
Photo tip: There’s of course incredible views from the monasteries themselves, but there’s also a couple viewpoints worth pulling over for. Look out for cars parked on the side of the road between Roussanou and Agia Triada Monasteries to get a great shot. Meteora also requires decent weather to really capture it as it’s finest. Be sure to go for the clearest skies at sunrise or sunset.
6. Korčula, Croatia
Nicknamed ‘little Dubrovnik’, Korčula still packs a punch in the beauty and charm department but offers a more authentic and cozy vibe. Located on an oval peninsula and with an enchanting medieval old town surrounded by the turquoise Adriatic Sea, there’s no shortage of great photo opportunities on this island.
Photo tip: Snap a great pic at the Revelin Tower and along the seaside promenade and narrow streets of the Old Town. You can also take nice photos from the rooftop bar at the top of the Zakerjan Tower.
7. Tirana, Albania
Unlike the other locations on this list, Tirana is by no means a pretty city in the traditional sense. However, you will find Tirana offers a sort of endearing quirkiness and grunginess that will pique your curiosity. The capital city is a mishmash of Greek, Slavic and Ottoman influences, so it sure has character to say the least! Tirana is a colourful city and an exciting place to explore, with many off the beaten path gems and odd finds such as a graffiti-covered pyramid, old war bunker turned art museum, brightly painted buildings and a picturesque mountain overlooking the city.
Photo tip: Head up to the highest point of Tirana by cable car, Mount Dajti. You’ll find tranquillity away from the quirky city and a mountain paradise with various viewpoints and hikes. Be sure to stay up for sunset at the mountain top restaurant with panoramic views overlooking the city.
Feeling inspired? Check out our Balkans tours to visit these amazing destinations plus more!