Adventure awaits: The amazing Balkan road trip!

How it all started

It was 2016 and I was getting over a bad breakup. Summer was knocking at my door, but I found it difficult to make any traveling plans. Then along came Ana, one of my best friends, with this amazing, crazy idea of going on a Balkan road trip with her and her boyfriend, Tim.

It would last several weeks, we’d be traveling in an old Cielo, it would be just me and a couple every day, sometimes even sharing the same room. But what else was I going to do?


planning the balkan road trip

Planning the Balkan road trip

Did I mention Tim was German? This came with some advantages, one of them being that he was very well organized. He handled all the planning of the road trip, and it was one of the few times I could just relax and enjoy myself.

He used Ana’s Lonely Planet Southeastern Europe guide and we ended up with a very interesting list of places to see. Our road passed through BulgariaNorth MacedoniaAlbaniaMontenegroCroatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia, bringing us back to the starting point: Romania.

Unfortunately, I only had three weeks of annual leave. This got me only as far as Croatia, where I took a flight back, with a stop in Belgrade, Serbia.


balkan road trip through a field of poppies

On the road

Ana was our driver and despite a bumpy start, she did an amazing job.
(I slept peacefully for many hours in the back seat and not once did I get carsick!)

The trip itself was amazing, beautifully combining adventures in the crowded cities with hikes to admire nature’s beauty. And the people we’ve met along the way have brought us many smiles. They also left us with lots of great memories.

This is why I’ve decided this was going to be the best thing to start the blog with!

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20 Thoughts to “Adventure awaits: The amazing Balkan road trip!”

  1. Eva

    Road trips are always super exciting due to their unpredictability. No matter how well you plan there is always something that may and will go wrong. Well, not necessarily wrong but just not planned. 😉 And this is exactly why they are so exciting and enjoyable.

    1. I know! Sometimes you just end up loving a place and wanting to stay more, other times you end up spending a lot of time on the road because of road works and detours. Either way, a road trip is always an adventure!

  2. Neha

    Aren’t roadtrips just the best? I like the way you’ve described it, makes one want to go and read all about it 🙂

    1. They are! And you should! The entire trip is now available in the next posts, all the way to… the blog post series on our last Rome holiday, I believe.

  3. This sounds like an amazing trip. A lot of my friends are engineers, who are also very organized. I appreciate their attention to detail whenever we plan trips together.

    1. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always apply. My future husband is an engineer, yet I’m the one who’s always with the planning. He’s the spontaneous one 🙂

  4. Such wonderful friends to invite you on an amazing road trip. I’m excited to see some photos of this awesome road trip you experienced. And a good thing your friend is a great driver 🙂

    1. Yeah, Ana is an amazing friend! And not only is she a great driver (who also did car races), but she’s also a great photographer. You can check out some of her work in the upcoming posts.

  5. Lance

    This sounds like it was an amazing journey. It is so great to have good friends who know just what you need to get past a rough spot. And how fantastic to have a organised person to do all the planning.

    1. Ana is amazing, to this day she still comes up with great ideas for travel destinations. And, if we don’t go together, I always get a postcard where she shares some things or ideas that I might have enjoyed had I been there with her 🙂

  6. Renata

    I totally need to find a best friend who’s willing to drive me across the Balkans, too – I want to follow your steps on this road trip but first I need a driver ?

    1. I highly recommend this facebook group: Travel to Eastern Europe, the Balkans and former USSR. Sometimes, people post there looking for fellow travelers. You might get lucky 🙂

  7. Road trips are such a different style of travel – but absolutely perfect for a post-breakup change of pace! I did one myself after a breakup and it was one of the best ways to shake off the hurt and get a new perspective on the world!

    1. Exactly, Cynthia! And not just the world, but yourself, too.

  8. The Balkan road trip sounds really epic. It must have been a wonderful experience going by your itinerary. Road trips are something we love too as they provide a totally immersive experience of the places that you are passing through. You get close to a place and understand the local culture better.

    1. Right, Sandy, road trips are better to get in touch with the people and places you’re visiting. And, depending on the car, they can also be a sustainable travel option.

  9. YUKTI Agrawal

    I love Balkans area as it has influence of East and west. You have done a commendable job by covering 6 countries in 3 weeks that too by road. Kudos to your traveling spirit.

    1. Thank you, Yukti! It was actually not that long a drive, we made sure we’d only cover small distances each time we moved from one place to another. But i was amazing to get a small taste out of what each place had to offer best 🙂

  10. Road trips are always so good. I like flying but train or car is much better. The trip is also the travel, not just a way to travel between 2 places.
    And good luck for the blog!

    1. Thank you, Catarina! And you’re right, flying is probably the best choice most of the times, because we don’t have enough time or because it is less expensive than going by car or by train.

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