I need help.
Im planning a 2 week holiday in March from Trieste, Italy - > Slovenia -> Croatia -> ________ -> Greece.
But im undecided, as my route will either go thru Albania, Macedonia or Bulgaria. So which one do you recommend?
things to note -
already been to Bulgaria but only Varna not Sophia (which would be the resting place enroute to Greece.
They are all cheap but i heard Albania is cheapest BUT as an American - I need a 45$ Visa.
I hav heard NOTHING ever about the former yugoslav republic of Macedonia..anyone?
and I asked a greek friend about Albania, which is first choice for me as ide prefer coastal towns to see...and he said he wouldnt be my friend anymore if i went to Albania - i guess theres some social tension between Albanians and greeks! WOAH
so what should I do?
I think that you have an interesting question here! I would personally like to visit Albania, but that's just me. I've never been to any of those places, but good luck.
You may visit Macedonia, it is nice little country. In several days you can see many things. It has beautiful mountains, monasteries, mix of cultures, Ohrid lake etc.. Food is good, people are friendly, accomodation and transport not well organnized, but managable..
My boyfriend went to Macedonia in November on a work trip and loved it. He stayed in Ohrid, which it seems to be quite knows as far as tourism is concern. It is located at the edge of a very beautiful lake.
The frontier with Albania is not far away. He had the chance to pass it, and thought that even if it is still undevelopped he had the impression of Albania being a really beautiful country offering many things that may pass if you don't go!!!!
He wrote a "travel diary", although it is in spanish! :-( sorry, maybe using a translator....¿?
Of everything he told me about I can say that I would love to go to both Macedonia and Albania soon!!!!!!
this is the link: http://www.albertoconcejal.com/macedonia01.htm
even if you don't understand you can see the pictures!
I've been to Macedonia quite a few times and really loved it. Mountains, towns, villages and people. If you prefer something more oriental, adventurous (both in good and bad meanings), non european, go to Albania. On the other hand, you can experience both in Macedonia as the whole western part is inhabited rather only by Albanians. Just be a bit careful, there are still some ethnic tensions, now silenced.
Hey we travelled from Venice, croatia.. (islands) then from Dubrovnik -up to sarajevo ( a must!) then to Serbia...Belgrade, then to Bulgaria, Sofia and then to Thessolaniki in Greece where we started to Island hop....we were planning on going from Sofia to Macedonia which i would have loved to have seen, but we missed the bus!!
Didnt like Sofia too much - v polluted - but we went up a mountain nearby which was brill...
good luck x
Perhaps this reply doesn't reach you in time, but I give it anyhow. I think there is a country missing in your itinerary. You need to travel through Serbia or Montenegro to go to Albania, Macedonia or Bulgaria. From what I have read both Serbia and Montenegro are very much worth seeing. Here are several photography galleries with pictures from these Balkan-countries. I read a newspaper article on Sarajevo, telling that it's a nice and cool town to visit. Here is some further information that you may find useful. Some caution is needed though, looking at the travel advice given on the website of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Especially Kosovo and Albania seems to be for the more adventurous type of travellers.
I hope this information will make your decision easier.