I was hoping I could get some advice on plans for travel. I've been reading through the forms but incase I missed something I apologize if similar posts have already been answered thoroughly. This late February I'm traveling through parts of the Balkans for about 7 weeks. My plan is to hitchhike, backpack, couchsurf and camp my way from Split to Istanbul. The current route is
From Split I plan on heading south through Dubrovnik and Cavtat. From there, my goal is to make it to Herceg Novi, Kotor, and Cetinje. I will head south through Albania until I reach Berat, and from there I will head east towards lake Ohrid, then traveling to Skopje, Blagoevgrad, Plovdiv, and finally Istanbul. My goal is to hitchhike as much as I can, but I will definitely be using bus travel as well. This is only an outline so far.
If anyone has any advice to give, whether it's some locations to visit, places to stay, safety tips for specific areas, or activities to do, I would be very appreciative. I'm leaving room for a few towns to travel to, and could especially use some guidance in terms of traveling to places in Bulgaria and north west Turkey besides Blagoevgrad, Plovdiv, and Istanbul.
If people have any recommendations for national parks or nature areas that are accessible for hiking and camping in February/March I would be very grateful, as most of the ones I've researched don't have too much info on winter availability (does anyone know if Theth National Park is doable in early March?)
I've been reading up on the history, culture and geography of the Balkan Peninsula, but I know that first-hand experience is invaluable, so if anyone has particular information regarding their trip or experience, I'd love to read it.
Thanks for reading.