Best Destinations For Nature Lovers in The Balkans

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Nature lovers, the Balkans is the perfect place for you. Despite the developed cities, the region has many treasures, many of which are strictly protected and are important monuments of nature. Beautiful mountains, national parks, picturesque villages, amazing canyons, and clear springs are just some of the destinations on our list. Get ready to explore the natural beauties of Balkan countries.

1. Ohrid Lake

Lake Ohrid is the most beautiful and important lake in the country, which is characterized by its rich history, archeological sites, and natural beauty. Lake Ohrid is one of the richest lakes in the world with endemic species of over 200. The lake is the oldest in Europe and belongs to the group of old lakes, along with Lake Baikal, Tanganyika, and Titicaca. From a biological point of view, it is the most important stagnant aquatic ecosystem on the continent. Located between the Galicica National Park and the city of Ohrid, it is the largest tourist attraction in the country. Here nature has formed beautiful natural beaches that can be seen all along the coast. The city and the lake are protected as natural and cultural heritage by UNESCO. 

2. Djerdap National Park

A unique national park that stands out from the rest for its lush vegetation and rich flora and fauna. Home to a variety of plant and animal species. Over 1100 plant species exist in the park, while the wildlife consists of bears, lynx, wolves, black stork, and many other species. This protected nature reserve consists of numerous gorges, bays, and canyons, connected in beautiful harmony. The main attraction is the grand gorge Iron Gates (Djerdap Gorge), the longest and largest gorge in Europe. It forms the border between Romania and Serbia and was once an important strategic place in the country. Numerous archeological finds and cultural and historical monuments are located in the surrounding area. Golubac Fortress stands out, especially for its imposingness and beauty. 

3. Tara National Park

Tara National Park is located in the Dinaric Alps and is home to the picturesque canyon of the Drina River. One of the most beautiful canyons in Serbia, and one of the largest in the world. The national park has numerous mountain trails, where you will have the chance to admire the lush forests, green vast meadows, waterfalls, mountain springs, and rivers. Both lakes Perućac and Zaovine fascinate with their beauty that offers you an additional adventure in these mountainous areas. Here you can rent a kayak and explore the lake region. Interesting tours are organized in Tara by professional guides to watch and observe these bears. Another reason to visit this place!

4. Lake Skadar

Skadar Lake is a beautiful natural landmark of Montenegro. It is surrounded by karst mountain ranges and rocky shores, and its course leads through green valleys, idyllic beaches, fishing villages, hidden monasteries and monuments, and even small floating islands. The whole region fascinates and delights, so we guarantee that you will completely indulge and enjoy the idyllic area. The lake is home to rich flora and fauna. The area can be called a haven for migratory birds. The region is one of the largest bird nesting sites in the country. There are 270 species of birds, and it is worth mentioning that some of the last pelicans in Europe have been spotted here. It also has 50 species of fish, 7 of which are rare and endemic. If you are lucky, you will notice some of these specific creatures.

5. Lovćen

Lovcen's fascinating scenery is what attracts visitors to come here and admire the masterpiece created by nature. Take a walk through the dense forests and lush greenery of the mountain or climb the peaks Štirovnik and Lake Peak to witness the wonderful view of the surroundings.

But what is Lovćen famous for? Here is the monumental mausoleum of Petar II Petrović-Njegoš, an important figure in Montenegrin culture. He was buried on the mountain top in Lovćen and today is one of the most visited places in this region. This mountain gem is located on the second highest peak, so to reach it you will need to climb 461 stairs. But do not hesitate, because you will witness the magnificent panoramic view. You will be delighted by the marble chapel which is decorated with gilded tiles. As soon as you climb to the top, head to Petar Petrović’s hometown Njegushi. Here you will have the opportunity to taste traditional food.

In the other parts of the national park, you will notice numerous buildings with national and authentic construction. Therefore, the entire protected park is not only natural but also a significant cultural, historical and architectural treasure. The villages located at the foot of the mountain will offer you a great experience of rural life.

6. High Tatras

Every nature lover, climber, and adventurer will find their perfect place in the High Tatras. There is no way you can not fall in love with the powerful Carpathian mountain range which is undoubtedly one of the most attractive destinations in Slovakia for outdoor sports or simply enjoying the picturesque scenery. It is worth mentioning that the High Tatras is home to a variety of plants, the most common of which are pine forests, as well as rare animal species.

What could you do in this mountain paradise? The ski resorts at an altitude of over 1300 meters offer excellent opportunities for skiing and cross-country, while the most famous tourist resort is Strbske Pleso located next to the crystal glacial lake which is one of the most beautiful mountains lakes in the country. While you are near this area, we recommend you to head to the most beautiful waterfall in the High Tatras - Skok Waterfall with a height of 25 meters. If you are into hiking, High Tatras will not disappoint you. The bravest will be able to head to the highest peak Gerlahovski Street (2,655m), but a guide must be hired. Lomniki Stit (2,634m) also attracts climbers, while you can access it via cable car. However, if you ask the Slovaks, they will answer that the most beautiful peak is Krivan (2,494m) which is easily accessible with marked trails. Another point of interest in the High Tatras is Belianska Cave, a mystical underground world filled with waterfalls, small ponds, and beautiful cave decorations. However, this mountain range offers so many opportunities for sightseeing and exploration, filled with glacial lakes, grandiose snow-capped peaks, idyllic hiking, and hiking trails, which is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist destinations in Slovakia.

7. Bled

Every journey to Slovenia will take you to the paradise lake- Bled. Any traveler who asks what to visit in this country will be directed to this lake, but there is a reason! As soon as you reach Bled, the view of the picturesque ambiance will take your breath away. The blue and green shades of the lake intertwine perfectly in the whole scenery, while the idyllic greenery additionally beautifies the unique environment. The lake adorns the charming island where the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption Of Mary stands, which can be reached by boat from the mainland, while the medieval fairytale castle rises above the rock. Many activities will be available here, such as hiking around the lake, cycling to explore the depths of nature, swimming in the lake in summer, kayaking, and even a little hiking! Osojnica hill gives the most beautiful view that will amaze you!

8. Bohinj

Bohinj is another beaituful lake, hidden in the unique Slovenian nature. Crystal clear water, a calm environment, and clean air, what more do you need? In the summer months, you will have a unique opportunity to swim in the lake, while you are surrounded by high mountain massifs where snow still stands. If you are not into swimming, rent a bike, kayak, or try horseback riding! But Lake Bohinj hides another great adventure. With a cable car from the lake, you can reach Vogel Mountain, which is part of the Julian Alps and Triglav National Park. From here you will witness the extraordinary view of the lake from a bird's perspective. In the winter months, the ski center is open, so you have the opportunity to enjoy ski adrenaline sports!

9. Kravice

The waterfall in Kravice is one of the most impressive works of nature in Bosnia. Located near Mostar, the area is stunning. It is best to visit on the summer days when you will have the opportunity to cool off and swim in the turquoise waters. In the spring the waterfall is the strongest, so it forms a fog that covers the whole area. Take a walk through the picturesque nature and admire the water that falls from an incredible 25 meters. Great place for relaxation.

10. Plitvice

Plitvice is the oldest and most popular national park in Croatia, located between the Mala Kapela and Plješevica mountain which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It consists of 16 interconnected ponds that form incredible cascades and waterfalls up to 78 meters high. Depending on the light, and minerals, the color of the water is constantly changing, so you will notice a variety of turquoise, blue and green shades. Numerous hiking trails extend through the park, surrounded by lush greenery and rich flora. Nature has created stunning views here that leave visitors breathless. The whole area is a haven for wildlife, so it is home to rare species such as the European brown bear, wild cat, gray wolf, and Eurasian lynx. The national park is easily accessible from Zagreb or Zadar and is a perfect traveling adventure through Croatian nature. One of the most visited tourist attractions in Croatia, which has more than 1 million tourists a year.

11. Mljet

For all adventurers and nature lovers, Mljet Island will be a favorite destination. Located in southern Dalmatia, near Dubrovnik, this island paradise is perfect for escaping the tourist hustle and bustle. The whole island is home to lush pine forests, hidden bays, and picturesque beaches. The western part of the island has been declared a national park, bordered by two unique lakes: Small and Large Lake. transformed >span class="">into a restaurant. The island area is great for hiking, cycling, or kayaking. Climb up to Montokuc to witness the magnificent view of Peljeshac and Korchula. 

12. Matka Canyon

Artificial lake on the river Treska, 17 km away from Skopje. Impresses with the canyon which is 1,000 meters high and is a magnificent work of nature. This canyon preserves an extraordinary wealth of endemic plants and animals. 77 species of Balkan endemic small butterflies are found here. Ramonda nathaliae is a plant that grows in this canyon and is used to compress food for astronauts. In this area, you will find the Vrelo Cave, one of the deepest in Europe, with a depth of more than 203 meters. A real mystical underwater beauty, which today can be visited by a boat. In the area, there are 5 medieval churches, as well as a fortress Markov Grad. As soon as you move into this region, be sure to rent a kayak and explore the beauties of this place!

13. Vrelo Bosne

Probably the most beautiful natural landmark in Bosnia. The springs have long been a place for the people of Sarajevo, who want to relax in the picturesque nature. It is located on Mount Igman, surrounded by green vegetation and lush forests. The landscape is full of cute little ponds full of fish and swans, and the green islands give it a special beauty. The region is home to a variety of animal and plant species, some of which are endemic and rare. The park is arranged with paths, there are numerous benches for relaxation, as well as playgrounds. Do not forget to sit in the restaurant and try fresh delicious trout.

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