56 days in The Balkans Itinerary

56 days in The Balkans Itinerary

Created using Inspirock The Balkans travel planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Athens, Greece
— 6 nights
Drive
2
Nafplio, Greece
— 5 nights
Drive
3
Kardamili, Greece
— 1 night
Drive
4
Kalambaka, Greece
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Thessaloniki, Greece
— 5 nights
Drive
6
Borovets, Bulgaria
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Istanbul, Turkey
— 7 nights
Fly
8
Goreme, Turkey
— 6 nights
Fly
9
Pamukkale, Turkey
— 3 nights
Fly
10
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
— 4 nights
Drive
11
Dubrovnik, Croatia
— 2 nights
Fly
12
Zagreb, Croatia
— 5 nights
Drive
13
Ljubljana, Slovenia
— 6 nights
Fly

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Athens, Greece

— 6 nights

The Birthplace of Democracy

One of the world's most ancient cities, Athens remains Europe's undisputed historical and cultural capital.
Athens is known for historic sites, museums, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get engrossed in the history at Acropolis Museum, wander the streets of Monastiraki, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mount Lycabettus, and steep yourself in history at Acropolis of Athens.

To see traveler tips, maps, photos, and tourist information, read Athens visit planner.

New York City, USA to Athens is an approximately 13.5-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from New York City to Athens is 7 hours. Traveling from New York City in January, expect Athens to be somewhat warmer, temps between 56°F and 44°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Sun) early enough to drive to Nafplio.

Things to do in Athens

Museums · Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Parks

Nafplio, Greece

— 5 nights
Nafplio, a city famed for its narrow lanes and elegant architecture, provides a comfortable base for exploring the many surrounding ancient sites.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Nafplio: Kapsia Cave (in Kapsas), Corinth (Akrokorinthos, Corinth Canal, &more) and Lousios Gorge (in Dimitsana). There's still lots to do: take a leisurely stroll along Nauplion Promenade, take an in-depth tour of Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation, look for gifts at T'Anapliotiko Bakaliko, and explore the ancient world of Archaeological Site Mycenae.

To find other places to visit, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Nafplio online tour planner.

Traveling by car from Athens to Nafplio takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Traveling from Athens in January, expect Nafplio to be little chillier, temps between 50°F and 32°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Kardamili.

Things to do in Nafplio

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Nature

Side Trips

Kardamili, Greece

— 1 night
On the 16th (Sat), pause for some serene contemplation at Church of Agia Sophia, then look for gifts at The Bead Shop Kardamyli, and then head outdoors with Vyros Gorge.

For ratings, maps, photos, and other tourist information, use the Kardamili travel route builder website.

Drive from Nafplio to Kardamili in 2.5 hours. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Nafplio in January: high temperatures in Kardamili hover around 59°F and lows are around 40°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Kalambaka.

Things to do in Kardamili

Outdoors · Historic Sites · Shopping

Kalambaka, Greece

— 3 nights
The gateway to one of the largest monastery complexes in Greece, the small town of Kalambaka nestles against a landscape of imposing rock formations rising 400 m (1,300 ft) into the air. Nearly leveled during World War II, the town rebuilt and reinvented itself in the post-war period, quickly becoming one of the region's major travel destinations.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Kalambaka: Metsovo (Divanis Gallery, Folk Art Museum Tossizza Mansion, &more). The adventure continues: make a trip to Meteora, snap pictures at Lithaios Central Bridge, enjoy breathtaking views from Trikala Fort, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Holy Trinity Monastery (Agia Triada).

To find other places to visit, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Kalambaka day trip planning app.

Traveling by car from Kardamili to Kalambaka takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight. Expect slightly colder temperatures when traveling from Kardamili in January; daily highs in Kalambaka reach 43°F and lows reach 29°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Thessaloniki.

Things to do in Kalambaka

Historic Sites · Museums · Wineries · Parks

Side Trips

Thessaloniki, Greece

— 5 nights

Mother of Israel

A city with a stormy history and a cosmopolitan heart, Thessaloniki attracts visitors with its diverse culinary scene, dynamic nightlife, and youthful energy.
Step out of Thessaloniki to go to Epanomi and see Ktima Gerovassiliou, which is approximately 34 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: don't miss a visit to White Tower of Thessaloniki, examine the collection at Hellenic Pharmaceutical Museum, steep yourself in history at Church of Agios Nikolaos Orphanos, and take a stroll through Ladadika District.

For ratings, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Thessaloniki tour itinerary planner.

You can drive from Kalambaka to Thessaloniki in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Kalambaka in January, expect Thessaloniki to be a bit warmer, temps between 50°F and 35°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sun) so you can go by car to Borovets.

Things to do in Thessaloniki

Historic Sites · Museums · Spas · Baths

Side Trips

Borovets, Bulgaria

— 2 nights
The oldest ski resort in Bulgaria, Borovets today serves as a popular modern destination for winter holidays.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Mon): tour the pleasant surroundings at Yanakiev Ski and Snowboard School, then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Borovets Ski Resort, and then trot along with a tour on horseback. On the 26th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: cast your line with Go Borovets.

To plan Borovets vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

You can drive from Thessaloniki to Borovets in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Istanbul.

Things to do in Borovets

Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Winter Sports

Istanbul, Turkey

— 7 nights

Queen of Cities

A physical and cultural bridge between Europe and Asia, the transcontinental city of Istanbul serves as a living reminder of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires.
Istanbul is known for historic sites, museums, and shopping. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: admire the landmark architecture of Hagia Sophia, explore the ancient world of Basilica Cistern, get engrossed in the history at Chora Museum, and hunt for treasures at Kapali Carsi.

To find more things to do, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Istanbul trip site.

Drive from Borovets to Istanbul in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. The time zone changes from Eastern European Standard Time (EET) to Turkey Time (TRT), which is usually a 1 hour difference. In January in Istanbul, expect temperatures between 48°F during the day and 48°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Tue) to allow time to travel to Goreme.

Things to do in Istanbul

Museums · Historic Sites · Tours · Parks

Goreme, Turkey

— 6 nights
Famed for its landscape of unusually shaped stone formations and churches cut into the natural rocks, Goreme sits in the central part of the country, an area originally settled during Roman times.
Explore Goreme's surroundings by going to Derinkuyu (Derinkuyu Yeralti Sehri & Kaymakli Underground City). There's much more to do: soar above the sights with a balloon tour, indulge in some personalized pampering at Camur Magarasi Katpatuka, Head underground at Uchisar Castle, and take in the dramatic natural features at Pasabag.

For ratings, maps, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Goreme trip itinerary builder website.

You can fly from Istanbul to Goreme in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Istanbul in February, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be colder in Goreme, with lows of 29°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Pamukkale.

Things to do in Goreme

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Outdoors

Side Trips

Pamukkale, Turkey

— 3 nights

Cotton Castle

A popular spa since the second century BCE, the modern city of Pamukkale continues to draw worldwide attention with its hot springs and travertines--naturally formed calcite bathing pools.
Step out of Pamukkale to go to Denizli and see Tripolis Antik Kenti, which is approximately 34 minutes away. There's lots more to do: witness a stunning natural landmark at Pamukkale Thermal Pools, push the limits with an extreme tour, explore the different monuments and memorials at Anatolia Cemetery, and enjoy unforgettable views with a balloon tour.

For maps, reviews, photos, and tourist information, use the Pamukkale tour itinerary maker website.

Fly from Goreme to Pamukkale in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Sarajevo.

Things to do in Pamukkale

Outdoors · Tours · Historic Sites · Parks

Side Trip

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

— 4 nights

Jerusalem of Europe

Nearly destroyed by war during the 1990s, the riverside city of Sarajevo now serves as one of the region's major educational, cultural, and commercial hubs.
When in Sarajevo, make a side trip to see Olympic Center Jahorina in Jahorina, approximately Jahorina away. There's much more to do: go all around town with City Tours, take in the spiritual surroundings of Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque, steep yourself in history at Bascarsija, and indulge in some culinary diversions at a local gastronomic tour.

For reviews, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Sarajevo day trip planning app.

Getting from Pamukkale to Sarajevo by flight takes about 9.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from Pamukkale to Sarajevo. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) so you can drive to Dubrovnik.

Things to do in Sarajevo

Museums · Historic Sites · Tours · Parks

Side Trip

Dubrovnik, Croatia

— 2 nights

Pearl of the Adriatic

Along the Dalmation Coast, the city of Dubrovnik has become famous for its pedestrian-only Old Town surrounded by fortress walls, and its historical heft has earned it World Heritage Site status.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Tue): wander the streets of Old Town and then contemplate the long history of Dubrovnik City Walls. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get engrossed in the history at War Photo Limited, steep yourself in history at Fort Lovrijenac, and then learn about all things military at Museum of Croatian War of Independence.

Plan my day in Dubrovnik using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

Drive from Sarajevo to Dubrovnik in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and car; or do a combination of train and bus. In February, plan for daily highs up to 55°F, and evening lows to 43°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Wed) so you can travel to Zagreb.

Things to do in Dubrovnik

Neighborhoods · Museums · Historic Sites

Zagreb, Croatia

— 5 nights

Little Vienna

Zagreb boasts a combination of Austro-Hungarian and Socialist architecture, but it is beloved for its outdoor cafe culture.
Zagreb is known for museums, historic sites, and fun & games. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in the local highlights with Walking tours, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Maksimir, admire the striking features of Cathedral of the Assumption, and see the interesting displays at Museum of Broken Relationships.

To find reviews, ratings, maps, and tourist information, read our Zagreb trip itinerary builder site.

You can fly from Dubrovnik to Zagreb in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Plan for little chillier temperatures traveling from Dubrovnik in February, with highs in Zagreb at 45°F and lows at 31°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Mon) early enough to drive to Ljubljana.

Things to do in Zagreb

Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods · Parks

Ljubljana, Slovenia

— 6 nights
Sitting astride the Ljubljanica River, Ljubljana is marked with picturesque bridges and a marketplace, designed by the famous architect Jože Plečnik.
Explore Ljubljana's surroundings by going to Bled (Bled Island, Mala Osojnica, &more). Next up on the itinerary: take a stroll through Ljubljana Old Town, make a trip to Ljubljana Castle, get to know the resident critters at ZOO Ljubljana, and indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To find where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Ljubljana trip planner.

Traveling by car from Zagreb to Ljubljana takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 41°F in February, and nighttime lows around 28°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sun) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Ljubljana

Parks · Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Museums

Side Trip