Winter in the Balkans is truly magical as the collection of countries within the region offers cozy spas, gorgeously frozen lakes and countless snow trails excellent for skiing. If you are looking to the Balkans this winter for your vacation, the following cities are undoubtedly deserving of a place on your bucket list:
1) Lake Bled in Ljubljana, Slovenia
Located about 31 miles south of the state capital, Lake Bled is a delightful attraction in the famed Julian Alps which is best known for its skiing havens. The lake takes on icy aesthetics during the winter resulting in a charming appearance that seems like something straight out of a fairytale. There is also a ski resort right behind the lake that proves a great family retreat that allows parents and children some together time whilst bonding over the joys of snow sports.
2) Vrnjačka Banja in Serbia
This town in Serbia offers a nice reprieve from the harshness of the icy grasp of winter as it plays host to the country’s most popular spa whose reputation extends far beyond the country’s borders. The Vrnjačka Banja spa takes that tag availing a simmering oasis sure to keep you nice and warm when the weather seems determined to freeze you cold. There are tons of other excellent spas within the town across hotels coupled with ample parks for calming mild winter walks.
3) Koncheto ridge in Bansko, Bulgaria
If you’ve been around, Bulgaria is a country that often springs up in conversations pertaining to the best-skiing nations in the Balkans but aside from that, it is also famous for a peculiar natural phenomenon. In Koncheto ridge in Pirin mountains, the weather seems to separate into two distinct parts by an invisible barrier of some sort with one side experiencing a sunny setting and the other experiencing cloudy skies and heavy downpours. It is definitely a must-see winter marvel.
4) Zagreb, Croatia
Croatia is quite delightful over the colder months and any list of the “Best winter cities in the Balkans” would simply be incomplete if this Dalmatian country were missing. The nation’s capital is famous for an advent Christmas and a fun-filled winter season where almost every Croatia property within the town is littered with festive lights and lined with Christmas market stalls. The town also sees a number of winter festivals and is home to an enthralling open-air skating rink that lights up beautifully in the darkness of night.
5) Ohrid, Macedonia
This historical town lying on the fingertips of the UNESCO-listed treasure that is Lake Ohrid is particularly appealing for history buffs as it boats a rich cultural past dating back thousands of years with structural accolades from those times still evident to date. The town is home a tenth-century Fortress overflowing with tales of the era and fourth-century BC architecture built upon meandering cobblestone streets reminiscent of a time so very long ago. Aside from its brimming past, Ohrid also serves up topnotch Macedonian liquor to keep you warm as well as various grilled meat dishes to accompany the spirits.
Other Balkan destinations also worth checking out during this time of the year also include Šar Mountains in Kosovo, Jahorina in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Durmitor in Montenegro and Zlatibor in Serbia.
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