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Flying into Sofia then into Balkans (Pristina)

Travel Forums Europe Flying into Sofia then into Balkans (Pristina)

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1. Posted by boulderman (Respected Member 418 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

This seems the first Balkan destination to visit.

How easy is it to get there from Sofia? Direct? Duration? Cost?


Struggling with info.

2. Posted by lil_lil (Travel Guru 462 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Do you want to go to both Sofia and Pristina, or is the aim going to Pristina? If Pristina, why not just fly straight in from London with British Airways?

3. Posted by boulderman (Respected Member 418 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Sorry I’m ill (with a cold).

I would like to potentially do 2 trips to the Balkans.

I would like to start in the West at Durres or Tirana. I was thinking of flying into Dubrovnik then heading down via Podgorica. I would then go to Albania and go West to East to Lake Ohrid (I think there is a pleasant train). I would then go North to Skopje (or Sofia). From the former, I would go to Pristina then Sofia.

I would also like to go perhaps from Split to Mostar, Sarajevo, Belgrade and Budapest.

Not sure how to make 2 fairly yunique iterinary which is a fairly linear route. The other option is a feery from say Bari to Durres. Croatia and Bulgaria have cheap flights so I thought that would be cheaper than the ferry from Bari/Brindisi.

4. Posted by lil_lil (Travel Guru 462 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Disclaimer: information based on research and not experience. ;)

It seems like to travel between Sofia and Pristina, there isn't anything direct. Bus travel is probably your best bet, but it'll either be via Skopje or via Nis, as there are buses from Sofia to these cities. A better option is via Skopje where buses are far more regular than Nis (4 hours between Sofia and Skopje, bus costs 32 lev one way, 58 lev return (~€16.35 one way, €30 return)) then from Skopje to Pristina. (Source: Sofia Central Bus Station)

So the trip would look something along:
Dubrovnik - Podgorica - Durres/Tirana - Lake Ohrid - Skopje - Sofia - Pristina (via Skopje)

Have a look at inyourpocket guides for other information.

Hope this is helpful to some extend (although you may have found these yourself already).

5. Posted by boulderman (Respected Member 418 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Thanks Lil_lil,

I had looked at IYP earlier today but the pages weren't working.

I had thought of Nis but its less well-known to me.

I also heard (elsewhere) that you cannot go from Sofia to Pristina direct, only via Serbia (Skopje) due to border issue (or lack of).

I posted on this site as I like it and heopfully others searching for answers will find TP as well!

Edit: The IYP gudies are working, they are awesome!

[ Edit: Edited on 07-Dec-2009, at 05:19 by boulderman ]

6. Posted by lil_lil (Travel Guru 462 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Yeah the guides were working when I checked before I posted the link, and it's a pretty cool selection they've got there. And this question is interesting, as it got me started looking into the Balkans. Somewhere I've never ventured to (yet), so definitely something to consider for the future.

Now, if there's only someone I know whom I can rally into going with me... (it certainly would not be very sensible for me to travel there on my own since I'm of the size that someone can carry away very easily )

Hopefully there may be other TPers who can help you with your question. Perhaps BedouinLeo?

7. Posted by boulderman (Respected Member 418 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Well the exchange rate for a Brit against the Euro suggests I stay in Europe to help the planet, but go to non Euro places.

The question is going when its not too hot/too expensive/too busy and crowded.

I loved Sardinia and thought of seeing more than simply the West coast. Maybe fly into Corsica then ferry down to Sardinia then ferry/fly to Sicily and round the boot up to Croatia or ferry/fly to Croatia/Albania etc etc.

Sardinia in October was great weather. I went for a swim! Locals were in scarves and I was in a vest and t-shirt!
Unsure when is the earliest I should venture to the Balkans, as I would like some sunlight! The public transport would take sometime and I think this trip maybe too hard core for my friends. Peter struggled with the Baltics.

I've met Hien in London. Generally fly out by myself and meet travellers straight away and think it would a good idea to travel with my humourous friendly self, considering I typically am VERY researched on places (many people think I was in the military).

8. Posted by lil_lil (Travel Guru 462 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Well, after living in Dublin, pretty much anywhere in Europe is reasonable in price, lol. Even Paris. Maybe not London though... (mind, the last time I was there, GBP was still quite strong against Euro, unlike now)

Have you consider maybe Malta (if you haven't been)? Not too far from Sicily, and from what my friend reported back, it's lovely. (Another place on my list, gosh, it's ever growing!)

These Balkan trips sure sound hard core, but I'm sure if you've got everything researched, it'll help to make things easier. I used to be like that, but nowadays find myself more and more relaxed on the research front. Then again I haven't been able to travel much in the last year or two, and anytime I did travel it's to places that I'm already familiar with or have a good inkling on culture and the transportation system, so I can afford to go easy on the research. (Plus I've done enough of those for my study, I can do with a break)

I'm relatively new to TP (despite registration date) so I've never met any of the TPers so far. Maybe someday. :)

9. Posted by boulderman (Respected Member 418 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Hi ,

yes I saw your profile page

The reason you spent the most in Dublin is because the city keeps doublin'!

Why would you say the trip is hardcore, because less English spoken/different cuisine/language/long bus trips (on hilly roads)?

I'd like to scuba dive in Malta, I may combine it with the Italy trip. I can onyl take 2 weeks of work at a time as well, plus i am buying a house, hence cheaper trips :)

Have you seen my profile/travel map?

I had a response a few days ago from Leo on another Balkan quesiton.

I guess I am relatively aged on this website, one of the first few! I used to be the number one posted for some months last year (I have moments when I am on here alot and end up posting over 150 posts in one month!)

[ Edit: Edited on 07-Dec-2009, at 05:57 by boulderman ]

10. Posted by lil_lil (Travel Guru 462 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

I have just checked your profile - I'm very impressed! You certainly have moved around a lot. I am envious.

Why I would think it's a bit hardcore perhaps stems from my lack of understanding of the region. Years of political turmoil doesn't help either I guess, that I'd worry over the safety in the region. Different food, that's not an issue. I love food and love trying new stuff. Lack of local language would be an issue, albeit a small one, until it comes to being unable to read the characters and try to gather information out of those e.g. I don't speak Spanish but I can still make a lot of informative guesses from reading and inferring what I know based on other languages. I like to be able to recognise something even at places I'm unfamiliar with. Is that weird? hehehe...

Hmmm I guess I am on TP a bit much so, since I'm here barely for 2 months and already I'm posting over 270 posts on the forum and written nearly 270K characters on the travel guide.