Eastern Europe: the new kid from the eastern bloc is undeniably amongst the hottest travel destinations on the planet right now. After many years of isolation, these countries are making up for lost time – chic trendy cities with underground bars, fantastically quiet backroads leading through scenery few tourists get to see, and some of the finest up-and-coming vineyards out there.
Trading baguettes for dumplings, leading active tour operator Exodus Travels has noticed a rise in travelers heading east to traverse Europe’s underrated and lesser known destinations instead of choosing the more well-trodden and widely known countries in Western Europe. From a weekend of trekking to Slovenia’s highest peak to being fully-immersed in Macedonia’s eclectic history and contrasting natural beauty, here are 7 NEW ways travelers can explore Eastern Europe with Exodus Travels:
Highlights of Albania (pictured)
10 days / From USD$1,085
Albania is a fascinating, little-known Mediterranean country with an incredible history, set impressively against a wild and rugged landscape. Past civilizations have left their mark, which we see at the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Butrint and the famous Berat Fortress, but the real highlight is the warm hospitality received all over this wonderfully undiscovered country.
Europe’s Frontier: Moldova & Ukraine
8 days | From USD$1,475
Sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania, Moldova’s capital, Chisinau, has struggled to shrug off its Soviet past – but that’s part of the charm. Wander Moldova’s countryside to explore historic monasteries and one of the world’s largest wineries. Western Ukraine, by contrast, is home to Lviv, the country’s cultural capital, and certainly feels more European than Soviet. Explore a historic UNESCO-listed old town and charming cafe culture.
The Best of the Via Dinarica: Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro
14 days | From USD$2,295
Discover a network of old shepherd trails while traversing high alpine mountains, vibrant forests and alongside glacial lakes on the southern part of the Via Dinarica. The mountains encircling Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro offer some of the most remote and wild scenery. Picturesque mountain villages are inhabited by agricultural communities, where traditional shepherd life has been preserved for generations.
Mount Triglav Weekend: Slovenia
4 days | From USD$1,165
Summit Slovenia’s highest peak in one weekend. This short-break takes trekkers on an adventure to the heart of the Julian Alps and the summit of Mount Triglav (2864m). Walking through a wild mountainous National Park, spend the night in a traditional mountain hut before climbing up to the highest summit in Slovenia. Adventurers spend the first and last night in a lovely hotel in the charming lakeside town of Bled.
Cycle Northern Croatia & Slovenia
8 days | From USD$1,395
Starting in Zagreb, this tour takes cyclists on a pedal-powered journey. Cross the border to Slovenia and follow the beautiful Kupa River Valley, discovering hilltop castles and the impressive karst scenery of the Gorski Kotar Mountains. Back in Croatia, traverse Krk Island and head north to the Istria Peninsular. Cycle through rolling green hills, vineyards, and olive groves to the stunning UNESCO town of Poreč.
10 days | From USD$1,825
Discover the rich history of Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Kosovo, where influences from the East and West collide. Enjoy some of the cultural highlights of a lesser-visited region of the Balkans, famous for ancient civilizations, UNESCO World Heritage monasteries and the vibrant, laidback capital cities of Sofia and Skopje. The contrasting natural beauty found in this region can’t be missed; national parks, waterfalls, famous wine regions and the peaceful alluring Lake Ohrid.
Cycling in Poland; Warsaw to Gdansk
8 days | From USD$1,545
Starting in the fascinating capital city of Warsaw, pedal through the turbulent and hard-fought history of Poland. Cycling north towards the coast, discover tranquil lakes, ancient castles, impressive canals, and signs of the country’s recent dark past at Wolfschanze (Wolf’s Lair), known to be Adolf Hitler’s first eastern military headquarters in World War II. Experience Poland’s beautiful rural countryside whilst cycling towards the Baltic Sea where the tour ends in the fascinating port city of Gdansk.
To find out more about Exodus Travels’ active adventures around the world, visit exodustravels.com.