The Balkans for many travellers are still synonymous with war and tragedy. Those times are over and the Balkans are waiting for you with hospitality and warmth!
They have been in the headlines for many years. Massacres, delirious inflation, mad dictators and terrible insecurity have stunned viewers around the world. This incessant stream of bad news has severely tarnished the image of these magnificent countries.
Today is a time for renewal rather than tragedy. If there are still problems, they will not prevent the traveller from making a beautiful journey through forests and mountains and discovering the most beautiful monuments: the people!
The surprise is great when one decides to explore the Balkans: the inhabitants are disconcertingly kind
The locals may be a little defensive at first glance, but once the ice is broken with a smile, the exchange is warm and sincere.
Resolutely turned towards the future, they aspire to peace and better days. The dictators are gone and while the political situation in some countries is still not stable, these destinations are neither dangerous nor ugly. They are often painful reminders of the past. But this emotional visit will give way to the touching, sincere and selfless hospitality of the men and women of the Balkans.
The cities are still marked by the scars of battle. Here and there steles and statues honour the memory of the victims. A bunker, a sniper tower, bullet holes… Okay, you want a picture, fine, but don’t come to the Balkans just for that!
Learning history is good, don’t forget too. But giving value to their heritage, their traditions and their identity must also be on the agenda. Chances are that who will dominate on this trip will be the determination of the inhabitants to enjoy life and rebuild their lives.
For the people of the Balkans it is time to turn the page. They no longer want to dwell on the terror and misery of the past. They want to show what is beautiful and they have a choice in store! Countrysides, waterfalls, villages. Shopping streets, culinary specialties, monuments… everything is to be discovered.
Streets, squares, buildings may still be dilapidated but what does it matter! You are a traveller, not a tourist
Don’t stop at the obvious. when you see those women with their faces marked, selling the beautiful socks they knitted on the sidewalk. What will you see? Miserable women? Stop, pay a compliment, smile and watch them stand up and come shake hands with you in brotherhood. They are not miserable, they possess treasures of kindness and generosity.
That’s also what the Balkans are all about, like many wounded countries, they reserve for travellers the most beautiful surprises in the world!