8 Charming Small Towns In The Balkans

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While traveling through the Balkan countries, you will have the opportunity to discover small towns that fascinate with their beauty. Hidden in the picturesque nature, you will get acquainted with the extensive history and unique culture. We present the hidden gems in the Balkans that are worth visiting.

1. Jajce (Bosnia And Herzegovina)

If you are looking for absolute relaxation and rest, head to Jajce. Quiet and peaceful place, with a pleasant climate and picturesque surroundings. The main symbol of the village is the impressive waterfalls that are more than 20 meters high. Stand on the platform and admire the clear water with a light turquoise color. The village of Jajce has gone through different historical periods. Numerous medieval kings were crowned here, and it was the home of the Ottoman governors. You will notice the medieval stone buildings with unique Ottoman architecture. Head to the Church of St. Mary, dating back to the 12th century, and visit the place where the Bosnian kings were crowned. In the immediate vicinity is the ancient temple Mithraic, which today is protected by UNESCO. But the historical landmark of Jajce is the beautiful fortress built in the 14th century, while in its center is the magnificent castle with the most beautiful view of the surroundings. If you want to learn more about the history of Jajce, head to the 14th-century catacombs. But be prepared because there is a dark and mysterious atmosphere inside. For the best and most detailed tour of the catacombs, it is recommended to rent a guide. Finally, head to Lake Pliva, a short drive from Jajce. Perfect location for canoeing, fishing, swimming, or hiking through the fantastic nature.

2. Pucisca (Croatia)

On the north coast of the magnificent island of Brac, deep in the natural bay, is located the town of Pucisca, which is considered one of the most beautiful small places in Europe. Part of Pucisca's tradition and culture are quarries and white limestone. The houses with the beautiful white roofs are made of gleaming local stone, while the same material is also used for the cultural city monuments. The only stonemasonry school in Croatia is located in Brac, where students use traditional tools to make limestone sculptures. A truly photogenic place that fascinates with white limestone structures. Pucisca is a quiet and peaceful place, with natural beaches offering a variety of activities. In the past, many aristocrats and artists have chosen this town as a place to live and inspiration.

3. Perast (Montenegro)

The small gem located in Kotor's Bay attracts tourists with its peaceful atmosphere and photogenic surroundings. Although it does not have many beaches, it is enough to walk by the sea and feel the Mediterranean climate. Throughout the city, you will notice the spectacular monuments and stone buildings built in the style of Palazzo - Italian architecture. It has numerous churches, while the church of St. Nikola stands out with its exceptional beauty. This church, located on the shore, has a beautifully designed yard with exotic palm trees. But Perast hides more secrets. You will find two charming islands in the sea: Our Lady Of The Rocks and Saint George. On the natural island of Saint George, you will see a beautiful monastery dating back to the 12th century. But, Our Lady Of The Rocks is the artificial island that fascinates. There is also a small shop and a museum in the Roman Catholic Church. The interior is filled with Baroque style masterpieces and Italian paintings. Rent a boat from Perast and visit these island beauties, you will not regret it.

4. Berovo (N.Macedonia)

Just below the slopes of the Maleshevo Mountains, Berovo is home to untouched nature, clean mountain air, and delicious food. Also known as Macedonian Switzerland, this small town will delight you with its greenery and nature that paints an idyllic picture at any time of the year. Maleshevo's landscapes are an authentic experience for every lover of mountain places. An extraordinary beauty is Berovo Lake, a pearl of the Maleshevo region. Surrounded by lush forests and tall pine trees, it abounds in beautiful places for picnics and recreation. Here are the villas and apartments where you can rent and enjoy this mountain paradise. There are several hiking trails around the lake, which are also suitable for cycling. In summer, you have the opportunity to sunbathe on the lakeshore and cool off in the lake. In the spring months, you will notice the fresh smell of mountain tea, while in the winter, you will admire the snow idyll in this Maleshevo area.

5. Sremski Karlovci (Serbia)

Sremski Karlovci is a small, picturesque town located 12 km from Novi Sad, between the slopes of Frushka Gora and the mighty river Danube. It was a spiritual center and a real treasure trove of rich Serbian culture and precious historical values. It has 10,000 inhabitants, and you can explore the whole town on foot in one day. The journey starts from the main square Branko Radicevic. Branko was a prominent and respected poet who worked in Sremski Karlovci, and his works are among the best in Serbia. As you walk through the square, you will notice the magnificent buildings in baroque and neoclassical styles. The main building on the square is the court of the patriarchate and is the most famous building in the city. An architectural masterpiece from the 20th century was once the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Today, the museum of this church is located inside, which we warmly recommend you to visit. There is a beautiful yard in front, perfect for a relaxing walk.

6. Ptuj (Slovenia)

It is considered to be the oldest city in Slovenia, with beautiful medieval architecture and history on every corner. The Austro-Hungarians left the biggest mark here so you will notice many buildings, historical churches, and castles from that era. Ptuj is perfect for walking along the Drava River, wandering through the narrow streets, and exploring the historical sights. The adventure begins in the town square, and you will also see the city theater, the imposing clock tower, and the magnificent Dominican church. But the prominent place to visit is the monumental castle that hangs over the city with a splendid view of the surroundings. Suppose you are interested in a little more history. In that case, Ptuj Castle also has a regional museum that gives a great insight into the city's past and tells its story through rich collections and archeological findings.

7. Berat (Albania)

Part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Berat must be on your to-do list when traveling to Albania. Its perfect location on the Osumi river makes it really attractive. Visitors are fascinated by Ottoman architecture. Take a walk through the old part, explore the Byzantine churches and visit the magnificent Berat Castle.

8. Melnik (Bulgaria)

Melnik will be your favorite destination if you are a wine lover. Located in a green valley surrounded by high mountains, the scenery is breathtaking. While walking around the city, you will have the opportunity to visit many wineries and try different wines from the region. Picturesque vineyards and Melnik Earth Pyramids should also be on your list. It was once part of the Byzantine Empire, so it has a unique architecture. The houses are built in Byzantine and Ottoman style.

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