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The Balkans refers to the region of Southeast Europe that occupies the Balkan Peninsula and the mountain range of the same name. Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Montenegro are located completely within the Balkans, and Croatia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia have parts of their territory within the region. For many, the war and the collapse of Yugoslavia are about the only thing they know about the region. There are a lot of different cultural groups and various languages spoken in the region, which has led to historical conflict. However, there are major changes taking place in the Southeast Europe region.

There’s far more than conflict to the Balkans. There are natural wonders, including mountains and lakes to behold. There is amazing food and wine to explore. There is a complicated and intriguing history to ponder. And compared to the rest of Europe, the region is incredibly cheap for travelers. There’s no better time to explore the Balkans! Here are our favorites in the region.

Uncommon Vintages from an Unusual Destination

Exploring Macedonian wines at the Popova Kula winery.

In southern Macedonia, we encountered an unexpected destination. On the hills above the tiny village of Demir Kapija we discovered the castle tower of the Popova Kula winery. From the first glimpse of the building, we knew this would be special.

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What is Albanian Food, Anyway?

Albanian food has aspects of Greek, Italian, and Turkish cuisine. Take a look at the delicious options in Albanian cuisine.

As with everything else when we started planning our trip to Albania, the idea of Albanian food was a big question mark in our minds. For no good reason, our expectations weren’t high, but we assumed we would make the best of whatever we were faced with.

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Five of the Most Affordable Cities to Visit in Europe Now

There are so many affordable cities to visit in Europe that have lots to offer. Budapest, Riga, Tirana, Vilnius, and Krakow are some of our favorite wallet-friendly options.

When most people think of affordable travel destinations, they think of Asia or certain parts of Central and South America. Europe doesn’t usually make the cut. But the dollar is particularly strong right now, and there are so many cheap places to visit in Europe that have lots to offer.

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Falling in Love with Lake Ohrid, Macedonia

Saint-John-at-Kaneo-Ohrid-Macedonia-2

Lake Ohrid, Macedonia is perfect. The region is a great spot for sightseeing, or just relaxing. Any visitor to the Balkans should find a way to visit for a few days because there are so many great things to do in Lake Ohrid.

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