Eastern Europe Trip

Travel Forums Europe Eastern Europe Trip

1. Posted by dryadlys (Budding Member 4 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Hello! I am planning a multi-month trip through Eastern Europe. I have no dates planned yet, as the COVID outbreak makes it hard to plan, but am hoping to go when it's fairly warm so that I can spend time in the mountains and also swim in rivers/lakes.

So far my tentative travel plan is: Prague - Bovec, Slovenia - Zagreb, Croatia - Zadar - Split - Buna, Bosnia - Maglic - Zabljak, Montenegro - Kotor - Shkodra, Albania - Valbona - Theth - Vlora - Saranda - Papingo, Greece - Delphi - Athens - Santorini - Mykonos - Thessaloniki - Ohrid, Macedonia - Sofia, Bulgaria - Valiko Tarnovo - Sibiu, Romania - Brasav - Budapest, Hungary - Poprad, Slovakia - Krakow, Poland.

I know that's a lot but I was wondering if anyone has done a similar trip based around a balance of city life and nature (hiking/sightseeing) and can tell me if that is a good plan? Or just give me general recommendations for places to go in any of the countries I will be in/countries I will be around?

Other questions I have include;

Has anyone does this trip as a solo female traveler? I will most likely be alone, and am wondering how safe others felt in this region. My plan is to stay in hostels and airbnbs so that I can meet others, hopefully people who will do the hikes with me.

What is the best method of transportation to use to achieve this trip? I saw that renting a car may be necessary in order to see some of the mountainous areas I'm visiting, but would prefer to take public transportation when possible.

Is English widely spoken in these areas? I speak English and French, but not sure how far either of those languages will get me in this region.

I would love to visit Istanbul and Transylvania as well, but I'm not sure where that would fit in.

Thanks so much in advance for the help! :-)

2. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2092 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

I think that's an excellent region for a mix of cities and hiking. Cheap too.

To know if you're being too ambitious, how long do you plan to take doing this?

I believe I've heard that it's difficult taking hire cars across borders in some of those countries, so do check that out. Also, cars insulate you from meeting people, so buses and trains may be more fun and cheaper, though they could also be slower and more uncomfortable.

If you're going to Brasov then that is transylvania.

Yes English is spoken enough to get by, at least in places which see travellers, such as hostels and restaurants. The language barrier can be fun.

Look out for free walking tours in a lot of those cities. Free but they hope for tips. Great way to orient yourself in a new place, and meet a local to get some advice. I've done these in Budapest, Brasov, Zagreb, Split and Sofia, out of your list, and they were all worth doing.

In Sofia we did a free walking tour hike in the hills to the south, to see a waterfall. In Budapest you can link the cogwheel railway, children's railway and a chairlift with a short hike in the Buda Hills. In Kotor walk up to the fortress above the town.

Sounds like a great trip. I can't speak for the lone female viewpoint, but generally crime is very low in that region.

3. Posted by dryadlys (Budding Member 4 posts) 1w 1 Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the recommendations! I don't know my timeframe just yet, I'm thinking anywhere from 2-3 months though, maybe longer or shorter if needed. Minimum would be 2 months. That's good to know about the hire cars! Maybe I will just hire cars in the towns that are close proximity to the mountains for a few days and return them before I enter another country.

4. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 1325 posts) 1w 1 Star this if you like it!

I know you already have a lot on your list but while in Bulgaria see if you can also fit in a visit to Plovdiv which you can reach by train from Sofia. It's a lovely small city with bags of history (Roman onwards) and also a colourful arty area. Definitely worth a few days if you can spare them!

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